Few things go together better than chocolate and caramel. This flavor combination is one that’s been used in everything from milkshakes and candy bars to cakes and ice creams. People seem to not be able to get enough of it. That’s probably why the 19th of March has been designated as National Chocolate Caramel Day. This is a day that encourages everyone to add a little bit of chocolate and caramel into their day, regardless of the type of sweet treat they’re used in.
The History Of Chocolate & Caramel
As is true for so many food holidays, we were unable to uncover the history of National Chocolate Caramel Day. So we decided to instead focus on the history of chocolate and caramel. So without further ado, let’s first take a look at the origins of chocolate before we take a look at the history of caramel. Once we’ve covered all of that, then we will speculate as to when the two may have come together for the first time.
Chocolate is an ingredient whose use can be traced back to the ancient Olmecs of southern Mexico and then eventually to the ancient Mayans. Although not much is known about how the Olmecs used chocolate, it’s a pretty safe bet that they taught the Mayans how to not only consumer chocolate but also to revere it. Chocolate was used by the Mayans in religious events and for use on special occasions. The Mayans enjoyed their chocolate drink with chili peppers and it was served frothy. The Mayans didn’t reserve chocolate only for the wealthy but allowed everyone to consume it.
The Aztecs, however, did consider cacao was given to them by the gods and that it should only be used by the wealthy. Even so, the wealthy didn’t have a monopoly on these special chocolate drinks, so even commoners were able to enjoy it at other celebrations such as at weddings. The Spanish conquistadors would bring chocolate from the New World to Spain. It’s from Spain that chocolate would spread throughout Europe-changing and evolving into the candy that we enjoy today.
Although people of the Middle East have reportedly been making a form of crystallized sugar that was very similar to caramel, most food historians would attribute the invention of caramel to the American colonies during the 17th century. This is when American settlers began making hard candies in their kettles. It’s believed that beet sugar was used for this purpose as traditional cane sugar would’ve been expensive at this time. Regardless of what time of sugar they used, however, one thing is for sure: at some point, cream was added to the caramel to turn it from hard candy to a chewy caramel.
Caramel and chocolate would be combined into one fantastic treat by no other than Milton Hershey. He did this during the 19th century and by the end of that century, chocolate-covered caramels had become extremely popular. From that moment on, neither chocolate nor caramels would be the same. They would be forever intertwined.
Observing National Chocolate Caramel Day
Go grab some chocolate caramels and celebrate National Chocolate Caramel Day. While you’re chewing on your tasty treats, don’t forget to spread the word about this holiday using the hashtag #NationalChocolateCaramelDay.
When is National Chocolate Caramel Day?
|This year (2023)||March 19 (Sunday)||Multiple dates - more|
|Next year (2024)||March 19 (Tuesday)||Multiple dates - more|
|Last year (2022)||March 19 (Saturday)||Multiple dates - more|