• Brent McTavish

Chocoholics of the World Rejoice! World Chocolate Day is here!


Rich, Moist and Delicious Chocolate Cake

What first appears to be a rather bizarre choice for those of us living in the northern hemisphere, the 7th of July has been World Chocolate Day now for well over a hundred years. At first I thought well maybe the date was chosen by those living in the earth’s southern hemisphere, where July is a winter month? But no, the origins of this auspicious day were apparently created to celebrate when chocolate was first introduced to Europe, on the 7th of July 1550.


This special day is now dedicated to all things cocoa-based, and it’s certainly not a time to discriminate. Indulge yourself and share with your friends and family throughout the day. But whatever you do, don’t get too high and mighty, buying yourself an 80% plus dark chocolate bar with perhaps sea salt, and look down on those who prefer white chocolate. Remember, there is a place for us all on this special day, no matter what our differing tastes and desires may be. Quality, well made, artisanal white chocolate can be absolutely delicious and surprisingly not too sweet!


Long before being brought to Europe, cocoa beans originated with the Mayans of Central America. Because of the difficulties involved with growing the cocoa pod plant, and it’s relatively low yield then, coupled with how important the crop was for religious ceremonies, the beans were also used as a form of currency. In those days, the cocoa consumed was totally different from the chocolate that we enjoy today.


Cocoa Powder, Cocoa Beans and a Cocoa Pod

The raw beans were fermented, roasted and ground into a paste that was then mixed with water, fruit juices, spices and chilli peppers for flavour, and then left to ferment in large earthenware pots. There was no sugar back then, sugar had not yet been created, so this strange concoction was not sweetened. This pungent, spicy, alcoholic cocoa-based drink was believed to grant physical strength. It was also believed to be an aphrodisiac. Because of all of this, it was coveted by royalty, fed to warriors, and used as a medication by the Mayans.


Today of course, chocolate has been refined to a science and continues to be coveted by many the world over. The cocoa pod plant is now grown all over the world in a tropical band, 30 degrees north and south of the equator, and no longer just in Central America. No matter what your chocolate preference is, there is a style, terroir, strength and flavour just for you. And because of this special day today, we have a legitimate excuse to indulge our sweet tooth, as if we ever needed one! So let’s show our passionate appreciation for the wonderful cocoa bean and everything it has provided … Pourquoi pas?



Happy World Chocolate Day to all, and to all, a heavenly night!


Carcassonne Chocolate Links to Explore:

Les Chocolats Philippe Boccardi

Pâtisserie Chocolaterie Bimas


Here's something unusual. How about trying a fascinating recipe for Steak with Chocolate and Coffee Sauce... Oh MY! And while enjoying, perhaps pair it with one of your favourite, not too tannic, slightly more rounded, full bodied red wines. Happy Tasting!



Sources:

erudus.com

awarenessdays.com



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