National Cocoa Day in The Villages FL

National Cocoa Day in The Villages FL

National Cocoa Day is celebrated on December 13th every year.

Hot cocoa is typically made with cocoa powder, heated milk or water, and sugar. However, some also call it hot chocolate, which causes a bit of confusion.

Hot chocolate is made by using ground chocolate containing cocoa butter.

We can also make chocolate liquor by fermenting, drying, roasting, and grinding cocoa beans. After this, the cocoa butter is removed, and we are left with only the cocoa powder.

This cocoa powder is used to make hot cocoa. It is a relatively healthy drink with very little fat and calories, depending on what you add to it.

HISTORY OF NATIONAL COCOA DAY

Chocolate has a long and ancient history. The first origins of cocoa can be traced back to 5000 years. Archaeologists believe that this is only as early as we can trace it. Of course, the chocolate back then was much different from that which we consume now, as sugar was still scarce. The beverage was flavored with vanilla, chili, and was served throughout the year. It was reportedly more popular during the Olmec period, where it was used for spiritual praying. It was once used as a trade currency in pre-Columbian Mesoamerica.

It first was found by European explorers in South America, where it was already enjoyed for hundreds of years before the arrival of the Europeans. Not only that, but it was the Spaniards who first found the flavor unpleasant and declared it bitter. In fact, chocolate became an acquired taste. It would not be until it was introduced to Europe and adopted as a luxury drink of the wealthy that it would be sweetened. This led to the invention of milk chocolate. And it wouldn’t be until 1828 that powdered chocolate would be available for consumption. Soon after this, the chocolate bar and instant hot cocoa came into existence.

The three prominent varieties of cocoa plants are Forastero, Trinitario, and Criollo. Forastero is a commonly used variant that contributes to up to 90% of the world’s cocoa production. Trinitario originated from Trinidad and is a hybrid variety of cocoa. Criollo is prone to diseases and less common — it is mostly cultivated mainly by Venezuela. Trinitario is foremost in quality and when compared to the other two varieties, it produces higher yields due to its disease-resistant nature.

HOW TO CELEBRATE NATIONAL COCOA DAY

  • Drink cocoa
    No National Cocoa Day is complete without enjoying a cup of this delicious drink. Make a cup of cocoa the way you like it and enjoy it. Make work a bit more fun by having a cocoa recipe swap and trying out the different versions while on a tea break.
  • Try using hot cocoa bombs
    If you are an ambitious hot cocoa fan, try your hand at making hot cocoa bombs. Hot cocoa bombs are chocolate spheres made with cocoa, marshmallows, and other ingredients. It is a truly unique way to enjoy cocoa.
  • Try different toppings and spices
    Take your hot cocoa game to the next level by experimenting with different toppings. Marshmallows, candy canes, caramel, and toffees are only some of the toppings that will make your drink extra delicious. If you are not a candy fan, try cinnamon, all-spice or nutmeg, or add almond flavoring to the cocoa.

5 FACTS ABOUT CHOCOLATES THAT WILL BLOW YOUR MIND

  1. Packed with flavor
    Chocolate contains over 600 flavor compounds, which give it a distinct aroma.
  2. There are four different types of chocolates
    These are dark, milk, white, and blond chocolates.
  3. White chocolate isn’t technically chocolate
    White chocolate contains cocoa butter but doesn’t contain any cocoa powder or cocoa solids. T
  4. Powerful industry
    The chocolate industry is worth over $75 billion per year globally.
  5. High caffeine content
    Dark chocolate contains 12 milligrams of caffeine per ounce and milk chocolate contains 9 milligrams, which is higher than espresso’s caffeine count.

WHY WE LOVE NATIONAL COCOA DAY

  • Cocoa is delicious
    In all cultures, there is some form of a traditional cocoa recipe, and there are millions of cocoa lovers worldwide.
  • A day to experiment
    National Cocoa Day is also about experimenting with your hot cocoa. Try different toppings, or even come up with new cocoa recipes.
  • It has a rich history
    Cocoa and chocolate have a rich history. From being objects of worship to mass-produced consumer sweets, cocoa beans have come a long way. Celebrate this by sharing something on social media and collecting cocoa trivia to sound like an expert.

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