National Chocolate Day
Chocolate Day is a day dedicated to all things chocolate and is observed in the U.S. It’s not to be confused with World Chocolate Day, a day that’s observed on July 7th and is also an observation of all things chocolate. No matter which day you celebrate –if you can even resist celebrating just one of these tasty holidays—there is usually only one way to observe the day, and that’s by treating yourself to one of the many chocolate delicacies out there. When it comes to chocolate, you have a lot of different options available to you including chocolate bars, cakes, muffins, puddings, ice cream, shakes, malts, and about a million other treats. All you have to do is to select the one that you like the most and go with it.
The History Of Chocolate
Humans have been enjoying chocolate for thousands of years. Historians believe that it can be traced back further than the ancient Mayans—all the way to the ancient Olmecs of Mexico in 1900 BCE. The Olmecs made a drink out of chocolate and placed it in special jars known as tecomates. They most likely passed down this preparation of chocolate to the Mayans who enjoyed drinking the chocolate drink from tall cylinder beakers. The Aztecs also had special cups just for drinking chocolate drinks and some historians believe this was because drinking chocolate was a status symbol and so drinking chocolate was a way to show off social status or wealth.
As far as the history of National Chocolate Day, we’re unsure who started it or when it was started. It’s assumed that it was started by the chocolate confectioners association, but at this point in time, we’re unsure if they were the ones who officially started this holiday.
Amazing Facts About Chocolate
Anyone who is yearning for some sweet facts to go with their observance of National Chocolate Day is going to want to check out the trivia we’ve selected below. We think that just about everyone can appreciate the following chocolate factoids. So grab yourself some chocolate milk and a piece of chocolate cake and enjoy the following pieces of trivia.
- To make just one pound of delicious chocolate, it takes over 400 cocoa beans.
- A cacao tree can produce about 2,5000 cacao beans.
- It takes up to five years before a cacao tree begins producing its first cacao beans.
- Approximately 70% of all cocoa comes from West Africa and is raised on small family farms.
- The average size of a cacao farm in West Africa is anywhere from 6 to 10 acres.
- Some cacao farms not only grow cocoa beans but also grow bananas or other crops.
- The leaves of the cacao tree can move up to 90-degrees to allow some leaves to get sunlight and to protect younger leaves from being burned up.
- In Philadelphia, Benjamin Franklin sold chocolate from his print shop.
- To early Mesoamericans, cacao beans were used as an early form of currency.
- Montezuma, the Aztec Emperor, reportedly drank up to 50-cups of cacao a day from a chalice made out of gold.
- Approximately 50-million people worldwide depend on chocolate for their livelihood.
- It can take up to four days to make just one chocolate bar.
- Champagne and sparkling wines should be paired with white chocolate.
- Red wine should be paired with dark chocolate.
- Chocolate can make dogs and cats seriously ill and may even kill them.
How Do You Make Chocolate, You Ask?
Chocolate is created from the seeds of the Theobroma cacao tree. This tree, which has been cultivated by mankind for over three thousand years, grows in parts of Mexico, Central America, and South America. After the seeds have been harvested, they are then fermented, dried, roasted, and shelled. After this has been done, chocolate liquor is made by grinding down and then liquefying the inside meat of the cacao nuts. The final step is to separate the chocolate liquor into two parts: the dark chocolate solids and the light cocoa butter. Now it is ready for Chocolate Day!
Observing National Chocolate Day
As we said repeatedly throughout this holiday article, National Chocolate Day is best observed by eating chocolate in any of its forms. It can be a chocolate cake, a chocolate pie, or a chocolate beverage. It can be milk chocolate or dark chocolate. It can even be celebrated with white chocolate—although technically, white chocolate isn’t chocolate because it doesn’t contain chocolate solids. Don’t worry, we won’t tell. Just be sure to use the hashtag #NationalChocolateDay on your social media accounts on this day to let the world know how you’re celebrating this holiday.