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July 7th was World Chocolate Day! Milk chocolate, dark chocolate, white chocolate…chocolate milk, truffles, Snickers, chocolate cake…I hope you indulged in any of the many kinds of chocolate out there.
History of Chocolate
The history of chocolate goes back around 2,500 years. The Aztecs loved their newly discovered liquid chocolate to the extent that they believed the god of wisdom, Quetzalcoatl, literally bestowed it upon them. Cocoa seeds even acted as a form of currency. Can you imagine shopping with coca seeds (chocolate) I think many of us would have a problem eating away at our money literally. Back in those days, chocolate was bitter, as it was long before sugar was added. Once chocolate took a turn and went sweet in a 16th Century Europe, chocolate caught on to the masses and became one of many households’ favorite treats. Many present-day chocolate companies began operations in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Such as Cadbury in England by 1868, then 25 years later Milton S. Hershey, purchased chocolate processing equipment at the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago. Hershey’s is now one of the biggest and most world-known chocolate creators in the world. He began the company by producing chocolate-coated caramels. Another chocolate giant is Nestlé which began back in the 1860s and has grown into one of the largest food conglomerates in the world. I’m sure you have tasted or heard of each of these chocolate giants.
How is Chocolate Made
But how is chocolate made? Many people are unaware that chocolate is a fermented food. You heard that right, once the cacao pods are picked, and then cleaned of pithy white material from the fruit, they are dried and then the cacao beans are fermented. The cacao nibs are revealed once the papery shell is removed. Chocolatiers then grind the nibs into cocoa mass, separating them into cocoa solids and cocoa butter, they then combine them with milk and sugar. If they’re creating white chocolate then it’s just the chocolate butter with milk and sugar. As time went on, we moved towards the indulgence of dark chocolate. It contains far less sugar and holds a higher percentage of cocoa. Every Chocolatier has different methods and ideas that are all popular across the world.
Celebrate World Chocolate Day
No matter what chocolate company you prefer or what type of chocolate we can all agree that it has made our lives so much sweeter. Chocolate is certainly of the world’s favorite flavors, if not the most loved taste across 7 continents. Often referred to as the magic bean, it definitely deserves to be celebrated. Everyone loves it, and the recipes that come with it are nothing less than amazing!
I myself love chocolate! My favorite chocolate recipes or snacks would have to be these Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Muffins, Oreos, Dark Chocolate Granola Bars, and Junior Mints. What are your favorite recipes or snacks with chocolate? Let me know in the comments below! Happy World Chocolate Day!
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