If there is one hot drink that gives me the ultimate comfort and makes me cozy during a cold winter night it is hot chocolate. Yup, where gloves also fail, holding a cup of chocolate does not.
Now hot chocolate is made in many different ways and some of us love adding out own flavor twist. For example, a few days back I had hazelnut hot chocolate and before that cinnamon hot chocolate. And while it was good, nothing like the original hot chocolate.
So I decided to dig deep and learn more about my favorite hot drink and here are some facts about hot chocolate that will change your perception of it.
You know you have the perfect cup of hot chocolate in your hands when it is rich, creamy and velvety but have you ever thought about its past? How did hot chocolate happen to be? Where did it originate?
How Chocolate is Made
Well, Cocoa beans are extracted from the Theobroma cacao tree and then fermented, dried roasted which gives them the strong flavor profile. From the cacao nibs that are extracted after removing the shells is created chocolate liqueur by crushing it turning it into a paste. Oh, and it does not contain any liqueur so do not get confused.
Another thing not get confused by is hot cocoa and hot chocolate. While most people think it is the same thing it actually isn’t. That is because hot. cocoa is made using milk and cocoa powder. On the other hand, hot chocolate is made using milk or cream along with some melted chocolate.
Since hot cocoa contains cocoa, it lacks the richness and creamy texture of hot chocolate that makes hot chocolate so desirable. But if you are looking for a more potent taste, then Hot cocoa is your kind of drink.
History of Hot Chocolate
Hot chocolate was first used by the Olmecs. They found that the drink was easy to make energy booster and would also improve mood. These qualities made the Olmecs believe that it was the drink of the gods due to which they reserved it only for special guests and sacred ceremonies.
When the revolutionary wars started, hot chocolate was used to speed up recovery of tired and injured soldiers and in Spanish culture, cocoa was even given away as dowry.
Most people started to take notice of the drink back in 1631 when it was published by Antonio Colmenero de Ledesma in one of his books.
Furthermore, it wasn’t until the early 1800s that chocolate was introduced as a candy.
Hot Chocolate In Different Countries
If you want to enjoy some of the richest and creamiest hot chocolate in the world, Vienna is the place to be. Belgians usually throw in a pinch of cinnamon in their hot chocolate for an earthy flavor while whipped cream on top adds to the richness.
C0lombians take this up a notch with cinnamon, cloves, and vanilla but that’s not what it is mainly known for. Instead of whipped cream, here the hot chocolate will have a dollop of white farmer’s cheese (yes, you heard that right, it’s cheese).
Here’s How to Make Colombian Hot Chocolate at Home