29 November – Chocolates Day
Chocolate is not cheating! After a salty meal, you need a little bit of sweet. This is living, not cheating.
~ Ali Landry
Chocolate is one of life’s greatest pleasures, providing hope in the darkness of an otherwise drab culinary experience. Chocolate didn’t find its way into the culinary repertoire of the western world until the Spanish learned of it from the Mayan people of Mesoamerica. From this simple beginning, it has spread throughout the world to be one of the most desired treats of all social and economic classes. Chocolates Day celebrates the history of this delicious treat, especially in one of its most popular form, a variety of chocolates.
History of Chocolates Day
Once they discovered chocolate, the Spanish actually kept the new substance to themselves for many years. In 1579 a Spanish vessel was attacked by English Pirates, finding it full of cocoa beans. Being unfamiliar with the delicious substance, they set fire to the vessel thinking they had conquered a vessel full of sheep droppings. The Spanish fell in love with the substance and were the first to start adding sugar to it.
Through all this time it was being consumed in much the same way as we consume hot chocolate or coffee today, so when did solid chocolates come about? In 1829 the cocoa press was invented, and with it came solid chocolate. This invention was intended to bring chocolate to the world, bringing it out of th exclusive province of the wealthy. Instead, it created a whole new type of chocolate and changed the nature of desserts forever.
In 1847 the first chocolate bar was invented, and its 1000-year history as a substance consumed only as a liquid came to an end. 1875 saw the creation of milk chocolate, and every innovation from there on out has gone towards making chocolate richer, creamier, and more delicious than ever. It is this initial bar and everything after that Chocolates Day celebrates.
How to celebrate Chocolates Day
The best way to celebrate Chocolates Day is to head out and buy yourself a bundle of your favourite chocolates. Whether it’s a simple chocolate bar from your local convenience store or a rich and flavourful fruit, cream, or caramel filled dainty, you’ll have every reason to indulge. Even better, put together a bundle of your favourite flavours and host a chocolates exchange at your work or school, or even just among your family and friends.