National Dark Chocolate Day - History
Chocolate was first used as a food in mesoamerica.
Chocolate arrives in Europe and sugar is added for the first time.
Break me off a piece
The first instance of dark chocolate being found in bar form.
An Empire Begins
Milton S. Hershey first purchases chocolate processing equipment and starts Hershey's chocolates.
National Dark Chocolate Day Activities
1. 1. Find a sweet shop near you
You don't need an excuse to support one of your local chocolate shops, but on National Dark Chocolate Day why not indulge on all the beautiful desserts in the case.
2. 2. Make a dessert at home
While even the most novice bakers can make something delicious with dark chocolate, it still offers seasoned bakers a chance to test their skills. Regardless of your skill level, try your hand at a babka, molten cake, or pain au chocolat and even if it doesn't come out perfectly, just eat the evidence.
3. 3. Go to a chocolate-themed restaurant
Who needs three courses when dessert is clearly the best? Chocolate-themed restaurants are popping up in cities across the country offering unique and creative uses for our favorite confection.
1. Chocolate was originally a fermented beverage
Believed by the Aztecs to be a gift from Quetzalcoatl, the god of wisdom, chocolate was originally a fermented beverage that gave the drinker strength.
2. Chocolate gets its name from the Aztecs
Chocolate is derived from the Aztec language of Nahuatl word "chocolātl" which means "bitter drink."
3. Dark chocolate is a potential superfood
Thanks to its high percentage of cocoa and lower amounts of sugar and milk, dark chocolate's health benefits have made it a potential superfood.
4. Africa provides most of the world's cocoa
About two-thirds of cocoa in the world is produced in Western Africa with the Ivory Coast being the largest source of the crop.
5. Americans consume 2.8 billion pounds per year
That's over 11 pounds per person.
Why We Love National Dark Chocolate Day
A. Dark chocolate is good for you
Potassium, zinc, magnesium, oh my! Dark chocolate contains vitamins and minerals that the body needs. It is also rich in powerful anti-oxidants called flavonoids that promote healthy circulation and prevents plaque formation in the arteries.
B. It makes you feel good
Dark chocolate contains tryptophan and phenylethylamine, two chemicals known to tell your brain to release pleasure causing endorphins. This feeling of euphoria is often compared with the feeling of being in love.
C. It is so darned versatile
Chocolate's low melting point makes it perfect for use in baking and there are tons of ways to incorporate the sweet treat. Whether you've got panache for ganache or freak out for fudge, break out that double boiler and get melting.