I'm sat here wondering why have I never heard of this holiday before now !! Who doesn't love a bit of chocolate every now and then. I know I do.
As always I've taken the opportunity to go out and get some yummy choc's and have a chocolate party using my latest floral design tableware. The design pictured is called Climbing Roses and it is available in Luscious Black and Chateau Grey.
So why are we celebrating chocolate? Well I found out this celebration stems from Valentines day which started to get global recognition in the 1840's. People were exchanging chocolates and flowers. Cadbury are reported to have introduced the concept of chocolate in a basket that could be given to loved ones. Well I guess it is the best way to celebrate a joyous occasion, romance, birthdays, weddings, or any occasion.
Now I reckon there will be some eagle eyed folks out there who are thinking I've got it wrong because the world celebrates Chocolate Day on the 9th February each year (I didn't know that either !!) but World Chocolate Day is different and is observed on the 7th July to commemorate the introduction of chocolate to Europe in 1550.
So I've learnt a little about the history of chocolate and what we're celebrating on World Chocolate Day during the
creation of this blog. I've learnt chocolate stems back for about 2,500 years, early civilisations like the Aztecs and the Mayans (the two cultures flourishing in Central Mexico, Central America and Southern Mexico) loved the newly discovered liquid chocolate, they believed the god of wisdom had bestowed it upon them. In those days, Cocoa seeds were used as a form of currency, could you imagine going shopping at Tesco with a huge bag of cocoa seeds? Probably not !
During this time the chocolate was bitter because it was before sugar was added, it was not until the 16th Century when it arrived in Europe that chocolate became a sweet treat and was loved by the masses.
Present day chocolate companies started to operate in the 19th and 20th Centuries. Cadbury (my favourite) began in England in 1686 and then 25 years later Mr Hershey purchased chocolate processing equipment and began his company by producing chocolate coated caramels. Of course
don't forget about Nestlé who began in the 1860's and are now one of the largest food conglomerates in the world.
I don't want to bore you, so here are just few more fun facts:
Chocolate is good for your health. Yey!! it's generally believed that darker chocolate can give greater health benefits. Studies show dark chocolate may help boost your immune system, reduce inflammation and increase brain activity.
Chocolate melts just below human blood temperature. That's why it is mouth meltingly satisfying.
Belgium is famous for its chocolate, in 2013 they issued 500,000 postage stamps which smelled of cocoa, were coated with a varnish to look like chocolate and even the glue tased like chocolate when you licked the stamp.
Chocolate grows on trees, so I guess for the Aztec's and Mayan's money did grow on trees, if only I could've lived in those days !! Each cocoa tree can produce 2,500 beans with approximately 3.8 millions of beans growing each year.
Like my tableware, the first ever chocolate bar was made in the UK and there is another reason to be proud to be British.
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