Coming up in July is one of the most amazing memorable dates for your calendar - World Chocolate Day - and if you’re anything like me, this is the perfect excuse for indulging in my favourite pastime!
Yes, there is actually a day set aside to celebrate one of the best food types ever invented. So make a note in your diaries - 7th of July is World Chocolate Day and in this article we are going to learn all about it.
History of World Chocolate Day
On 7th of July people all around the world will be treating themselves to some chocolate. It doesn’t matter what kind, be it dark, milk or white, this day is a great excuse to indulge in the delights of cocoa. Of course, you can choose the day to try a different chocolate you haven’t tried before, or simply enjoy one of your favourites.
But why do we celebrate World Chocolate Day, what is its history?
There is no hard and fast answer to exactly why this date was chosen, or even why we celebrate it, but the most notable suggestion is that it coincides with the anniversary of the introduction of chocolate across Europe in the mid-1500’s.
The actual observance of the day began in 2009 and it is used to celebrate the versatility of chocolate. It is a great way to sample flavour combinations you may have never tried before.
As well as this celebration, there are other notable dates used around the world in relation to their love of chocolate. In the US they hold International Chocolate Day in September to coincide with the birthday of Milton Hershey who founded the Hershey Chocolate Company back in 1894. In Ghana, which is the second largest producer of cocoa in the world, they hold their celebration in February, and in Latvia it is held on 11th July, just after World Chocolate Day.
History of Chocolate
So where does our love of chocolate come from? Let’s take a look back at the history of this wonder food.
Chocolate (or cocoa) is a food made from roasted and ground cacao seed kernels that is available as a liquid, solid, or paste, either on its own or as a flavouring agent in other foods.
Cacao has been consumed in one form or another since around the dawn of civilization, so it has actually been around for a lot longer than you may imagine!
Cacao seeds, however, have a very intense and bitter taste and so they must be fermented to develop the flavour, after which they are dried, cleaned and roasted. Once they have been ground, they form the basis of what we know as chocolate.
This basic form of chocolate, known as Cocoa, dates back to around 1000 BC (or maybe even earlier), and became known in the English language in about 1600, having come from the Spanish word “chocolâtl’.
Chocolate is one of the most popular food types and flavours in the world, and whilst most cocoa has previously originated from the Americas, nowadays around 60% of the world’s cocoa supply comes from West African Countries.
Chocolate today is mainly used in 3 basic formats, chocolate bars, as a coating or filling for deserts etc., or as a beverage. Of course, it is also popularly associated with various celebrations such as Easter or Valentine’s Day, and it was Cadbury who first created a heart shaped box of chocolates for Valentine’s day back in the late-1800’s.
As well as being used as a gift, such as for birthdays and the like, chocolate has also been successfully used in books and films, such as its association with Willie Wonka in both book format and 2 films.
Whatever your taste, you have to admit that chocolate is a great way to forget yourself and enjoy a little self-indulgent pleasure. So grab yourself a bar and munch away on 7th July in celebration of World Chocolate Day - Enjoy!