National Chocolate Day is celebrated annually on October 28. Not only is chocolate delicious by itself, but it also enhances so many dishes and desserts. When I am in the mood for something sweet, chocolate is always one of my top choices. Here are some of my favorite chocolate desserts along with a few fun facts about chocolate:
WHITE CHOCOLATE IS NOT CHOCOLATE.
Because it doesn’t contain cocoa solids or chocolate liquor, white chocolate isn’t chocolate in the strict sense. But it does contain parts of the cacao bean, mainly cocoa butter. This is my favorite type of chocolate!
CHOCOLATE IS ACTUALLY A VEGETABLE—KIND OF.
Milk and dark chocolate come from the cacao bean, which grows on the cacao tree (Theobroma cacao), an evergreen from the family Malvaceae. This makes the most important part of the sweet treat a vegetable.
HOT CHOCOLATE WAS THE FIRST CHOCOLATE TREAT.
Cacao was brewed in both Mexican and Aztec culture, though the result was nothing like today’s hot chocolate—it was a typically bitter concoction that was often used for ceremonial occasions like weddings.
BAKER’S CHOCOLATE ISN’T JUST FOR BAKING.
Dr. James Baker and John Hannon founded their chocolate company (later called Walter Baker Chocolate) in 1765. That’s where the term “Baker’s Chocolate” comes from, not to denote chocolate that’s just meant for cooking.
MILTON HERSHEY REALLY WAS A CANDY KING.
The Pennsylvania native may be best known for starting The Hershey Chocolate Company in good old Hershey, PA, but he got his start in candy long before hooking up with chocolate. He founded his first company, The Lancaster Caramel Company, when he was 30 years old.
MILK CHOCOLATE WAS INVENTED IN SWITZERLAND.
Daniel Peter created the tasty treat in 1875—after eight years of trying to make his recipe work. Condensed milk ended up being the key ingredient.
CHOCOLATE HAS A SPECIAL MELTING POINT.
Chocolate is the only edible substance to melt around 93° F, just below the human body temperature. That’s why chocolate melts so easily on your tongue.
I hope you enjoy some chocolate today!