Do you cherish your hot chocolate? Do you crave your cocoa? Well, tis not only the season but it’s also the day to be drinking that chocolaty favorite that was made for a frigid winter day. That’s right, it’s National Hot Cocoa Day. Go make yourself a cup and come back here so you can appreciate this hot, wintry beverage while learning about it. Continue reading when your hot chocolate is ready…
So here’s a little history of hot chocolate:
First of all, if it wasn’t for monkeys, you and I might never have tasted such a fantastic drink! What do monkeys have to do with hot chocolate? Well, people didn’t start eating chocolate until we noticed our less-evolved predecessors doing it. What happened when people first saw monkeys eating the white pulp within the cocoa pods? Well, monkey see, monkey do.
The Mayans were the first people to try it out, eating the pulp and spitting the bitter beans out like the monkeys did. After some time, however, the Mayans realized the cocoa beans weren’t so bad after roasting in the sun for a while. The Mayans would soon come to ground the cocoa beans and turn the grounds into a drink. And VOILA—the world’s first hot chocolate.
The hot chocolate that you’re enjoying right now is nothing like the original Mayan cocoa drink. If you were drinking the original, Mayan cocoa drink, you probably wouldn’t like it very much. It used to be a spicy, bitter drink. Despite what we might think of it, the Mayans couldn’t get enough of it. Cocoa beans actually became more valuable than gold was in the Mayan culture!
The Mayans shared their drink with Aztec traders who were eventually conquered by Hernan Cortes and his Spanish army. Cortes took cocoa beans back to Spain with him and it eventually became a treat that the whole world loves. So as you sit there, finishing up the last of your hot cocoa, smile and be thankful for monkeys.