Friday 7 July is World Chocolate Day!
Originally from Mesoamerica, the cacao bean has been a favorite culinary passion for thousands of years. People’s intimate relationship with chocolate is thought to date back all the way three or four millennia, when ancient pre-Columbian cultures like the Olmec were drinking fermented beverages made from the cacao bean.
The world chocolate comes from the Aztec “xocoatl,” and the scientific name for the tree, Theobroma cacao, means “food of the gods.”
Why July 7? Friday marks 467 years since chocolate was introduced to Europe.
After all, who doesn’t love another excuse to sip down hot chocolate, or bite into a Belgian truffle?
Celebrate the sweet day of chocolate by:
- booking a honeymoon vacation to the Mexican coast to see the land that inspired a worldwide culinary passion
- asking our travel agents about deals for families on Big Island to visit the candy factory and sample macadamia nut chocolates
- attending a chocolate-making class in Brussels, Belgium in a fine chocolaterie
- tasting Mexican cocoa in its mouthwatering perfection at Oaxaca, home to small cacao farms
- booking a train trip in our office on Switzerland’s chocolate train to discover legendary Swiss chocolate in the medieval town of Gruyères
- book a chocolate workshop in lovely Paris with our friends Chocolatine (their name is oh so apropos)
- visiting Turin, home to legendary cioccolato caldo (hot chocolate) and the annual CioccolaTò festival, with chocolate factory and treasure hunt
See more destinations for chocolate lovers here.
Recipe: Mexican Hot Chocolate
(from Olivia’s Cuisine)
- 2 (3.5oz) bars good quality bittersweet chocolate (Lindt or authentic Mexican chocolate)
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- ½ cup water
- 2 cups milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- ½ tsp chili powder (optional)
- ½ Tbsp light brown sugar (optional)
- pinch of nutmeg
- Whipped cream to serve
- Over medium-high heat, melt the chocolate with the water and cinnamon sticks.
- Once everything is melted, add the milk, heavy cream, chili powder and sugar, and the nutmeg. Stir until well-combined.
- Once it boils, lower the heat to medium and let it cook until it thickens a little (about 5 minutes). If you think it’s too thick or sweet for you, add an extra cup of milk to thin it out.
- Serve with a dollop of whipped cream on top!