International Chocolate Day – September 13, 2022, history, quotes, FAQS,
International Chocolate Day is on September 13. Celebrate with us as we give you some cool facts and fun ideas to celebrate this well-loved treat. After making its debut about 4,000 years ago, chocolate can now be found everywhere. Whether you’re a fan of dark chocolate, white chocolate, or hot chocolate, there’s no denying the decadence of this rich delicacy!
HISTORY OF INTERNATIONAL CHOCOLATE DAY
The history of chocolate can be traced back to 450 B.C., originating from Mesoamerica, present-day Mexico. The word “chocolate” is derived from the Nahuatl word, “chocolatl,” meaning “hot water” and the Aztec word, “xocoatl,” meaning “bitter water.”
About 4,000 years ago, the Olmecs began refining cocoa beans into chocolate, which they used as medicine and as part of customary rituals. Centuries later, chocolate was assimilated into the Mayan culture as a beverage and for concluding important transactions.
Cocoa beans were once perceived as being so valuable that they were used as a currency by the Aztecs, who believed that the beans were a gift from the gods. Its potency was so revered that natives drank it in preparation for war.
According to legend, chocolate found its way to Spain in the 16th century through Hernan Cortes, a Spanish explorer who discovered cocoa during his journey to the Americas. From then on, chocolate soon spread to other parts of Europe.
The time-consuming process required to produce chocolate made it an expensive treat, which was restricted to the upper class. In 1828, however, the chocolate press was invented by a Dutch chemist called van Houten, eliminating the problem. The machine was able to squeeze roasted cocoa beans in order to obtain the fine cocoa powder used to make chocolate. This not only made chocolate more accessible to the common man, but also mass production possible.
In the 20th century, chocolate is still being enjoyed all over the world, in a wide variety of exciting flavors and formulas. Cocoa is now grown and exported from over fifty countries, at over 4.7 million tons a year.
INTERNATIONAL CHOCOLATE DAY TIMELINE
Enter the Cocoa Plantations
The Mayans cultivate the earliest-known cocoa plantations.
Chocolate in America
Chocolate arrives in Florida, brought on a ship from Spain.
The First Bite
Joseph Fry creates the first chocolate bar.
International Cocoa Organization
The International Cocoa Organization is established
INTERNATIONAL CHOCOLATE DAY ACTIVITIES
Visit a chocolate house
Find a chocolate house or chocolatier near you and treat yourself to something fancy. Double the fun and take a friend along.
Try a new brand of chocolate
Mix things up a little and buy a brand of chocolate you’ve never tried before. You might be pleasantly surprised!
Do something sweet
Don’t wait until it’s Valentine’s Day to show some love. Send your friend or loved one a box of chocolates and spread the fun.
5 HEALTHY FACTS ABOUT CHOCOLATE
When taken in moderation, dark chocolate is good for your health and can even lower the risk of heart disease.
Chocolate can help you study
Flavonoids in chocolate can help to improve memory and focus.
Chocolate contains caffeine
Though chocolate contains caffeine, it is more potent in dark chocolate than in white chocolate.
Say goodbye to tooth decay
Dark chocolate contains polyphenols that help fight cavities and tooth decay, as well as prevent mouth odor.
Research has shown that chocolate can improve a person’s blood flow.
WHY WE LOVE INTERNATIONAL CHOCOLATE DAY
The varieties are endless!
Chocolate is a versatile delicacy that can be enjoyed in multiple ways. You can relax while sipping some hot chocolate, snack on a chocolate bar, or lap up some chocolate ice cream.
It’s an international treat
Chocolate has become cross-cultural. Whether you live in Timbuktu or Antarctica, you can eat chocolate wherever you are.
It makes us happy
Chocolate doesn’t just taste good. It also releases chemicals such as dopamine and opioids which positively affect our moods.
How to Celebrate International Chocolate Day
A favorite day of the year for many people, International Chocolate Day is certainly one that deserves celebrating. Consider some of these ideas for participating in and enjoying this day:
Enjoy Eating Some Chocolate
Whether it’s milk chocolate, semi-sweet chocolate or dark chocolate, International Chocolate Day is the perfect time to enjoy taking part in this delicious treat. Grab a favorite type of chocolate bar, like Hershey’s, Nestle or Ghirardelli, or try out some new and special types of chocolate that are sourced from different parts of the world.
Another fun way to celebrate the day is to buy
a huge box of chocolates and try out the different flavors. Whitman’s Samplers, Fannie May, Richart, Lindt and Godiva are just a few of the companies that make assorted boxes of chocolates. Read the list on the lid to find out what you are eating, or hide the list and make a guessing game out of finding out which flavor each chocolate is!
Host an International Chocolate Day Event
Whether it’s a setup in the breakroom with coworkers at the office or a party at home including neighbors and friends, International Chocolate Day is a great time to gather chocolate lovers together and pay heed to this worldwide sensation.
Featuring everything chocolate, this gathering can include creative snacks like a chocolate fountain, homemade chocolate brownies or chocolate ice cream sundaes. For activities, try a chocolate tasting table where guests can sample a variety of chocolates that are sourced from around the world. Perhaps include chocolates that contain higher or lower percentages of cocoa.
Enjoy Chocolate For All the Meals
Chocolate doesn’t have to be only for dessert! It can be used in savory meals as well. So, in honor of International Chocolate Day, in addition to having it for a snack or dessert, try including chocolate in meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Chocolate for breakfast can be an easy inclusion. Chocolate yogurt, chocolate smoothies, or chocolate cherry muffins can be on the menu. If the chocolate included in breakfast is dark chocolate, it can even work in a healthy manner to help to burn body fat and decrease blood sugar levels throughout the day!
For lunch and dinner, savory meals can be created that include chocolate. Certain recipes for chili (specially Cincinnati style chili) include shavings of dark chocolate and cinnamon flavors and it’s served on top of pastas. Mole sauce, which is a traditional Mexican dish, is made with chocolate and spices and used on meat dishes, tortillas, or enchiladas.
Salads make a great light lunch and many salad recipes can be adjusted to incorporate some chocolate. Try a spinach pear salad with chocolate vinaigrette or a baby spinach and strawberry salad with vidalia onions and cacao nibs.
Bake Something with Chocolate
Of course, the easiest time to incorporate chocolate into eating is for dessert. Try whipping up a basic brownie recipe, baking some pre-made chocolate chip cookie dough, or preparing some easy no-bake chocolate, peanut butter and oat cookies without even having to turn the oven on. International Chocolate Day is a great time to enjoy baking with this versatile ingredient.
Share Chocolate with Friends
As long as you are cooking or baking, why not go ahead and share with someone special in celebration of the day? Or, for those who don’t feel like baking, feel free to pop over to a local bakery or grocery store! Box up some chocolate cupcakes to give to the neighbors, pass out some chocolate muffins at work or simply get a big chocolate bar and share it with the family!
INTERNATIONAL CHOCOLATE DAY FAQS
Is there vegan chocolate?
The answer is yes! Chocolate is made from cocoa beans, which are obtained from the cocoa tree. Make sure to check the ingredients before buying.
Should chocolate be refrigerated?
According to Cadbury, chocolate should not be refrigerated. It should be stored in a cool, dry place.
How do you make hot chocolate?
You can make hot chocolate in either of two ways. The first way is to dissolve cocoa powder in hot water or milk. The second way is to melt pieces of chocolate in a pan of warm milk.