National Chocolate Day, on October 28th, recognises one of the world’s favourite tastes. While many specific chocolate related holidays exist throughout the year, National Chocolate Day celebrates all things chocolate.
As America’s favourite flavour, chocolate is well-deserving of its own day of honour. (Some sources designate July 7 or December 28 as Chocolate Day or International Chocolate Day.)
How is chocolate made?
Chocolate comes from the seed of the tropical Theobroma cacao tree. Cacao has been cultivated for at least three millennia and grows in Mexico, Central America, and Northern South America. The earliest known documentation of using cacao seeds is from around 1100 BC.
Since cacao tree seeds have a very intense, bitter taste, they must be fermented to develop the flavour.
Research has found that chocolate, when eaten in moderation, can lower blood pressure.
Once fermented, the beans are dried, cleaned, and roasted. After roasting, the shell is removed to produce cacao nibs. The cacao nibs are then ground into cocoa mass, which is pure chocolate in rough form. The cocoa mass is usually liquefied then moulded with or without other ingredients. At this point in the process, it is called chocolate liquor. The chocolate liquor may then be processed into two components: cocoa solids and cocoa butter.
- Unsweetened baking chocolate – cocoa solids and cocoa butter in varying proportions.
- Sweet chocolate – cocoa solids, cocoa butter or other fat and sugar.
- Milk chocolate – sweet chocolate with milk powder or condensed milk.
- White chocolate – cocoa butter, sugar, and milk but no cocoa solids.
HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalChocolateDay
Visit your favourite restaurant and indulge in a delicious chocolate dessert. Another idea is to host a chocolate tasting party. Invite friends to bring their best chocolate recipes to share. Here are a few recipes to try.