NATIONAL CHOCOLATE CANDY DAY
National Chocolate Candy Day offers an opportunity for us to polish off the last of the specialty candies we received as gifts. Celebrated on December 28th, the day points us to the truffles and chocolate oranges tucked into stockings. Check those boxes of candy that may or may not have guides to help us choose cream-filled or ganache.
The word “chocolate” comes from the word “xocoatl” or “chocolatl.” Mayan “school” means hot or bitter, and the Aztec “atl” means water. 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.
But before it was ever made into a sweet candy, it was ground into a beverage. In ruling class society, the beverage was used for medical purposes.
In 1828, Dutch inventor and chemist, Coenraad Van Houten, developed a way to produce chocolate in solid form. His hydraulic press made it possible to remove the cocoa butter from the cacao. His invention leads to producing a powder opening the way for the first chocolate confections. It’s thanks to Van Houten we can enjoy the variety of chocolates we do today.
- Whitman’s produced their first box of chocolate in 1842.
- In 1847, British chocolate company J.S. Fry & Sons combined cocoa butter, cocoa powder, and sugar producing the first edible chocolate bar.
- The invention of the conching machine by Rodolphe Lindt in 1879 ushered in mass production of the creamy treat.
- The first chocolate Easter egg was made sometime in the early 19th century. In 1875 John Cadbury introduced his first chocolate egg.
- When Allied troops stormed the beach of Normandy on D-Day, part of emergency rations and in soldiers’ packs included the D ration bar designed by Hershey Chocolate company for the U.S. Army.
- Americans consume 12 pounds of chocolate each year.
HOW TO OBSERVE #ChocolateCandyDay
There are so many different kinds of chocolate candy. What’s your favorite? Enjoy a piece or two. Do you have leftovers? Host a chocolate candy party. Taste and sample all the varieties. Discover new favorites. Trade out the ones you don’t like. Bring some to work to share. How will you celebrate? Let us know by using #ChocolateCandyDay to post on social media.
NATIONAL CHOCOLATE CANDY DAY HISTORY
While we finish our bonbons and chocolate-covered cherries, National Day Calendar continues researching the origins of this chocolate holiday.
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