Today, July 7, is World chocolate day.
It is also known as the International chocolate day and 2 is observed every year on July 7th.
World chocolate day is all about celebrating chocolate as one of the best creations of humanity.
The history of chocolate can be traced to the commemoration and introduction of chocolate to Europe in the year 1550.
Before that time, chocolate was reportedly limited to specific regions and countries.
However, it was later discovered by foreign invaders and then, the sweet chocolate moved and travelled to many other countries of the world and became the beloved favourite of the people wherever it got to.
Well, in 1519, Spanish explorer Hernán Cortés was said to have been served a chocolate-based drink called ‘Xocolātl’ by Aztec emperor Montezuma. The explorer took the drink back with him to Spain and added vanilla, sugar and cinnamon to improve the taste.
The drink further gained popularity in England & France in 1600s after the Spanish invasion.
In the cause of time, edible, solid chocolates and many chocolate-based dishes began to take form across the world, including a variety of delicacies.
It is important to note that chocolate comes from the seed of the tropical Theobroma cacao tree.
Cacao has been cultivated for at least three millennia and grows in Mexico, Central America, and Northern South America and the earliest known documentation of using cacao seeds is from around 1100 BC.
Since cacao tree seeds have a very intense, bitter taste, they must be fermented to develop the flavour and once fermented, processors dry, clean and roast the beans. After roasting, the shell is then removed to produce cacao nibs.
The cacao nibs are then ground into cocoa mass, which is pure chocolate in rough form.
The cocoa mass is usually liquefied, then moulded with or without other ingredients.
At this point in the process, it is called chocolate liquor.
The chocolate liquor, however, gets processed into two components: cocoa solids and cocoa butter.
- Chocolate is a fermented food.
- Chocolate is considered the world’s favourite flavours.
- It is seen as the most loved taste across the world.
- Chocolate is equally called a magic bean,.
- There are other days dedicated to celebrating chocolates like;
- White Chocolate Day (22 September),
- Milk Chocolate Day (28 July),
- Chocolate Covered Anything Day (16 December),
- Bittersweet Chocolate Day (10 January) and so many others .
- About 30 percent of the world’s cocoa is reportedly grown in Africa.
- The cocoa bean actually originated from the Amazon.
- Chocolate is seen as a fattening indulgence and this can be attributed to the high sugar content and processing that it is subjected to by certain companies.
- There was a bar of time chocolate was used as currency in Aztec culture.
- Careful and moderate eating of chocolate can help the body and brain to function well.
- Dark chocolate contains at least 85 per cent cocoa and only 15 percent sugar (or sugar alternative) and these are considered to be ideal and healthy.
- Scientists have discovered that colours have an impact on people’s perception of chocolate taste. and therefore they opine that drinking hot chocolate in an orange cup will make it taste better!
- Chocolate is considered a natural mood enhancer and having a few bites can help anyone feel happy and content.
- It contains anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, phytochemicals called flavonoids, stimulants called theobromine and these can help with immunity, heart health, cough, boosting memory and brain function.
- Chocolates are believed to be fattening, but consuming dark chocolate twice or thrice a week in moderate amount can help control weight, curb sugar cravings and aid digestion.
- A chocoholic is a person who craves or compulsively consumes chocolate and is known to be inordinately fond of chocolate.
- Healthwise, it is dangerous to be too addicted to chocolate.
Common Types of Chocolate
- Unsweetened baking chocolate – cocoa solids and cocoa butter in varying proportions.
- Sweet chocolate – cocoa solids, cocoa butter or other fat and sugar.
- Milk chocolate – sweet chocolate with milk powder or condensed milk.
- White chocolate – cocoa butter, sugar, and milk but no cocoa solids.
- Swiss milk chocolate.
- Bittersweet Chocolate
- Semi-sweet chocolate chips.
- Cocoa Powder
- Tempered couverture chocolate.
- Ruby Chocolate
- Chocolate Liquor
- White Chocolate
Chocolate and languages
- Dutch – chocolade.
- English – chocolate.
- French – chocolat.
- German – schokolade.
- Italian – cioccolata.
- Japanese – チョコレート
- Polish – czekolada.
- Portuguese – chocolate