Hot cocoa is the perfect drink when you return home after you’ve been out walking in the brisk winter weather – the ultimate, comfort drink.
National Cocoa day just happens to fall on December 13th, the perfect time of the year for this celebration!
9 things about chocolate:
- Cacao is the Spanish word for ‘chcahuatl’, the name the Aztecs called the beans, chocolate is made from. It seems English traders misspelled the word, so cocoa is the spelling we tend to use (not here at Creative Nature as we sell our cacao nibs – add link)
- Chocolate was first introduced to England, around the 1600s, as a drink. During the 18th century, hot chocolate was at its most popular, where you could buy either, tea, coffee or chocolate at coffee houses.
- 18th century hot chocolate was more bitter than the modern versions, and was initially made from blocks of ground chocolate nibs and water, and was generally served with an equal mix of water and milk, and spiced ingredients, including cinnamon, sugar, vanilla chilli, rosewater, honey, pepper or jasmine.
- By 1700, there were 2,000 chocolate houses in London.
- Up to 1828, chocolate had only been consumed as a drink. Dutchman, Coenraad van Houten invented a cocoa press, which separated the fat from the cacao bean, leaving behind a fine powder. This powder was tastier, and with added milk, tasted like the hot chocolate we drink today. This also meant that chocolate could be mass produced, so the wider public could buy the product and enjoy it too.
- In 1847, J.S. Fry and Sons, from Britain, recombined the fat and liquor, added sugar and set it in moulds – the chocolate bar was born!
- Many of the big names in chocolate today, were all founded with money from Quaker families, who wanted chocolate to take the place of alcohol. To them, the consumption of alcohol was a sin, but chocolate consumption, only a minor vice!
- Today there are many different varieties of drinking chocolate in shops and online to suit all tastes, including both began-friendly and gluten-free hot chocolates.
- In 2020, the top drinking chocolate in the UK, was Cadbury’s Drinking chocolate, estimated as 4.4 million people.
Is there a difference between Cocoa and Cacao?
Cocoa powder or Cacao powder can be interchangeable in their use, when cooking.
Dark chocolate and unsweetened cacao products, can help minimize health risks linked to eating too much sugar, and therefore gaining weight.
If you are looking for healthier choice, then you need to read the labels when you purchase, looking for how the chocolate is made. Raw cacao products are generally less processed and healthier.
Why not make one of our hot chocolate drinks, using Creative Nature, Raw Cacao powder?