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Frazz
Posted on Friday 7 July 2006 at 8:22 am

Chocolate Day


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First, special thanks to Kathy (lady_katvic) for the ecard wishing me a Happy Chocolate Day today.

I have never heard of this wonderful holiday.  The card Kathy sent mentioned that this is in celebration of the anniversary of the introduction of chocolate to Europe from the New World.  Being a good little colonial historian, I of course had to investigate.

According to the National Confectioners Association, there are close to 20 different chocolate days or weeks in the year including a Chocolate Day, two different National Chocolate Days, two different National Chocolate Chip Days, and even a National Bittersweet Chocolate with Almonds Day.  If you want to see their list of candy (not just chocolate) holidays, it is here.

As to the arrival of chocolate in Europe, I couldn't find anything on a specific date.  I could find general information abot Columbus supposedly bringing some back from his fourth trip but it was ignored and forgotten and some other Spanish explorer later introduced it to the royal court more formally.  Over a couple of hundred years, it slowly spread throughout Europe.

I do "know" another story about hot chocolate.  This was told to me by a professor in whom I have absolute trust but I haven't really seen it anywhere else so you can decide for yourself if you believe it or think it is urban legend kind of stuff.  The Dutch were very good privateers and merchants and controlled a great deal of Atlantic shipping during the colonial periods.  The Spanish supposedly had a monopoly on chocolate but the Dutch smuggled so much of it and raided so many Spanish ships that the Dutch had more chocolate to sell than did the Spanish.  They had warehouses full and couldn't sell it all.  One enterprising Dutchman created a way of making hot chocolate.  Chocolate had always been drank hot, but he came up with a different process that tasted better.  The Dutch essentially created a marketing campaign for this new hot chocolate.  They told everyone that before they began their day they should break their fast with a nice mug of hot chocolate to give them energy and get them through the morning.  Thus was created hot chocolate and breakfast and thus is why hot chocolate is still sometimes called Dutch Chocolate.

There.  Now that everyone has had their chocolate education for the day, go eat some and celebrate Chocolate Day!
research happy
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