Hot Chocolate

More than just a drink.

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cacao treeI refer to the term "hot chocolate" because of the wonderful history this amazing food has going from a bitter, chili hot, drink to the sweet hot drinks and delicacies we have today. And, let's be honest, chocolate is hot!!!

Cacao, pronounced Kah Kow, was discovered around 2,000 years ago in the tropical rain forests of the Americas. It is most famous with the Maya and Aztec as it was used not only as a form of currency but as a drink which was for the holy, the royal and the honored.

Hot chocolate, like today, began it's life as a bitter drink. The pods from the tree contain seeds and it's these seeds which are processed into chocolate. Those early drinks were bitter, just as pure chocolate is, and was made by fermenting and roasting after which the seeds were ground to a paste. It became a frothy, spicy drink after being mixed with water, chile peppers, cornmeal and other ingredients.

Chocolate came to Europe with the Spanish conquistadors and, unfortunately, because the spanish couldn't get enough of it the production of large quantities was done with slave labor.

The bitter hot chocolate became sweet because the Spanish weren't exactly thrilled with taste. So to ramp it up a bit they started heating it and adding different spices like cinnamon along with sugar which became the beginning of the hot chocolate we know today.

Facts About Chocolate:

  • In Hitchcock's film "Psycho" it was chocolate syrup that was the blood in the iconic shower scene - lucky the movie was black & white.Hot Chocolate  
  • The average world consumption of cacao is 600,000 tons per year. 
  • To make 1lb of chocolate you will need about 400 cacao beans. 
  • The Swiss have one of the lowest heart rate failure and obesity cases in the world, could it be it is because an average Swiss has about 21lbs of chocolate per year. 
  • Don't give your dog chocolate - the thebromine in chocolate can cause seizures and death to dogs and other animals. 
  • The dark variety of chocolate is rich in anti-oxidants. It contains copper, iron, zinc and magnesium all nutrients essential to the body. It helps reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer. Do you need any other excuse? 

Chocolate Quotes:

There are many quotes on the beautiful, hot chocolate, but these four are my favorites: 

  • Strength is the capacity to break a piece of chocolate into 4 pieces with your bare hands - and then eat just one of those pieces. - Judith Viorst 
  •  I have this theory that chocolate slows down the aging process.... It may not be true, but do I dare take the chance? - anonymous 
  • The 12-step chocoholics program: NEVER BE MORE THAN 12 STEPS AWAY FROM CHOCOLATE! - Terry Moore 
  • Put "eat chocolate" at the top of your list of things to do today. That way, at least you'll get one thing done. - anonymous 
  • What you see before you, my friend, is the result of a lifetime of chocolate. - Katherine Hepburn 

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