National Bittersweet Chocolate Day is on January 10 each year. Did you know that in ancient times, bittersweet chocolate was used as a medicine to treat a wide variety of diseases? Bittersweet chocolates are popular all over the world for their unique and intense flavor. It is used in all sorts of chocolate confections and desserts, and some think it’s even better when eaten as is!
History of National Bittersweet Chocolate Day
If you belong to the small part of the population for whom the rich, sweet flavor of milk chocolate isn’t just enough to satisfy your chocolate craving, Happy National Bittersweet Chocolate Day!
Bittersweet chocolate is a type of chocolate that does not contain any milk. It is a blend of at least 35% cocoa liquor, cocoa butter, and a minimal amount of sugar. It’s the ratio of cacao to sugar that determines whether the chocolate is bittersweet, semi-sweet, or sweetened. Bittersweet, or dark, chocolate is at least 70% cacao.
The history and origin of the National Bittersweet Chocolate Day are unknown, but the history of chocolates is extensive. According to research, chocolate was first discovered by the Aztec, who used grounded cocoa beans for cooking a bitter beverage. They often cooked it with corn and pepper and gave it a name: ‘xocolatl’. This is the origin of the modern name ‘chocolate’.
When Europeans were taking great voyages across the ocean, a few centuries back, they found the Aztec civilization and were introduced to ‘xocolatl’. However, they did not particularly like the bitter Aztec beverage. They took the cocoa seeds back to Europe and added sugar to the ground cocoa seeds. This gave birth to the chocolate we eat today.
After that, chocolate took many forms, shapes, flavors, and colors, and today we have hundreds of chocolate brands available to satisfy our cravings. So, do we need a special day to celebrate and indulge in chocolates, as we were already doing it daily? Well, bittersweet chocolate just gives us another reason to treat our taste buds.
National Bittersweet Chocolate Day timeline
The Olmec Indians grow cocoa beans as a domestic crop.
Christopher Columbus brings cacao seeds to Spain from his voyage to Central America.
Spain, Italy, France, and other European countries visit Central America to import cacao as the demand for chocolate grows.
The first chocolate bars are produced by Bristol company Fry & Son.
National Bittersweet Chocolate Day FAQs
Are bittersweet chocolate and dark chocolate the same?
Bittersweet chocolate is made of dark chocolate, which contains 50% to 90% of cocoa, butter, and sugar. The reduction of cocoa and sugar in dark chocolate helps to make bittersweet and semisweet chocolates.
What kind of chocolate is used in desserts?
Bittersweet chocolate is chocolate that contains at least 35% chocolate liquor and sugar. Used in desserts, bittersweet chocolate provides a very rich, deep flavor.
Which is the purest form of chocolate to eat?
Bittersweet is considered the purest form of chocolate. It consists of less sugar and high levels of cocoa. Bittersweet chocolate is usually used for baking. Very few numbers people eat this kind of chocolate directly.
National Bittersweet Chocolate Day Activities
The best way you can celebrate National Bittersweet Chocolate Day is by eating a delicious bit of dark chocolate. Or make your evening cocoa with a bonus: a little block or two of bittersweet chocolate to make it decadently delicious.
Add a twist to your routine
If you’re waiting for a surprise that can change your life for the better without being too sweet, today is the day! Spice up your normal, boring snacks by adding bittersweet chocolate with everything. Pair it with interesting things such as orange, figs, dried apricots, or almonds for a new taste experience.
Indulge in the joy of giving
Buy a bag full of bittersweet chocolates and give it to your friends, family, and anybody you come across that day. You will make their day!
5 Sweet Facts About Chocolate
Chocolate is a caffeine supplement
One ounce of bittersweet chocolate contains up to 10 milligrams of caffeine, whereas one cup of brewed coffee contains up to 150 milligrams of caffeine.
We can store it for years
Due to the high cocoa content in bittersweet chocolate, it can be kept for years in the correct conditions — a cool dry area in a tightly sealed container.
No need for iron supplements
Bid goodbye to your iron supplements, because an ounce of bittersweet chocolate contains 10% of the daily recommended intake of iron.
It can make you live a long life.
Bittersweet chocolate is loaded with antioxidants — this can act against cell damage and lower the risk of heart disease, keeping you healthy and younger for many years.
Too much of a good thing
Theobromine, the compound in chocolate that makes it poisonous to dogs, can kill a human as well — if you ingest 22 lbs of it.
Why We Love National Bittersweet Chocolate Day
Bittersweet chocolate needs attention
As much as people love chocolates, most of them have only tasted or heard about milk chocolate, because bittersweet chocolate is not as popular. So, this day, bittersweet chocolate gets the attention it deserves.
Chocolates bring joy
In any situation or environment, chocolates can brighten up anyone’s mood. It’s science — it helps in the release of multiple peptides of the brain and gut.
Bittersweet chocolates are healthy
Compared to their relatives, bittersweet chocolates are much healthier and can be consumed daily without compromising your wellbeing.
National Bittersweet Chocolate Day dates