Every year, on December 13, people celebrate National Cocoa Day by making and drinking hot cocoa. The most common recipe for hot cocoa includes cocoa powder, heated milk or water, and sugar. Some people also call this drink hot chocolate, which causes a bit of confusion. This is because it’s actually made using ground chocolate containing cocoa butter.
You can make “chocolate liquor” by roasting and grinding cocoa beans and then removing their cocoa butter. Hot cocoa is made from the resulting powder and is a healthy drink if you don’t add too much fat or calories.
Why Do People Celebrate Cocoa Day?
The day encourages us to celebrate the basic ingredient of chocolate: cocoa beans. Cocoa beans are the foundation for all varieties of chocolate. Think about it: How many of you have ever imagined having chocolates filled in a full room during your childhood days?
Almost all of you, I believe. Moreover, this day gives us an excuse to celebrate a product that makes many people happy.
History of National Cocoa Day
Chocolate has a long and rich history. Archaeologists believe that cocoa was first seen around 5000 years ago. Of course, chocolate back then was much different from what we consume today, as sugar was still scarce.
To add flavor, people added vanilla and chili peppers and would serve this drink year-round. It was reportedly more popular during the Olmec period (which began around 1500 BCE) than it is today. The drink was used for spiritual purposes as a form of prayer.
It was first found in South America, where natives had been enjoying it for hundreds of years before the arrival of Europeans. The Spaniards declared it bitter—a fact that didn’t keep them from trying to grow it and enjoy its coffee-like flavor.
Actually, chocolate was initially a bitter drink. It would not be until it was introduced to Europe that it became a luxury drink of the wealthy and was sweetened.
The creation of powdered chocolate led to the invention of milk chocolate. Soon after, the chocolate bar and instant hot cocoa came into existence.
Ways to Celebrate National Cocoa Day
1. Drink cocoa
If you are at work on National Cocoa Day, why not make yourself a cup of this delicious drink? Make your cocoa the way you like it, and perhaps try out a few different recipes with your colleagues during a tea break.
2. Try Different Toppings and Spices
If you want to take your hot chocolate game to the next level, try adding some different toppings to it. Furthermore, some great choices to try are marshmallows, candy canes, caramel, and toffees. However, if you don’t like candy, you can add cinnamon, allspice/nutmeg, or even almond flavoring.
3. Try Using Hot Cocoa Bombs
If you’re a hot cocoa fanatic, try making hot cocoa bombs. Hot cocoa bombs are chocolate balls with marshmallows and other flavors in them. They’re a fun way to enjoy hot cocoa!