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July 7th is Chocolate Day

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If you're looking for something to do today then get ready for a sugar overload because it's Chocolate Day!  It's like Valentine's Day, only hotter!  Let's get right into celebrating Chocolate Day!


Well, it appears that this is the day way back in 1550 when chocolate was first introduced to Europeans. Even though it was available before then in other places, it's a special date and the reason today was chosen. But why celebrate chocolate? Really? This has to be one of the most loved flavors out there! Chocolate is pretty much everything; it's like a sugary virus that keeps spreading. So many people love it in so many different ways that it just has to be celebrated.  Chocolate has been cultivated from cacao trees for thousands of years in Central and South America. They used it as an ingredient in food and was made into a drink even more often. They might have even used the white pulp around the cacao beans for making an alcoholic beverage with fermented sugars. Once European settlers started coming to America a spicy drink called xocoatl popped up. It was a chocolate drink that was spiced up with vanilla, chili pepper, and annatto. It was supposed to keep you from being tired.

These cacao beans were so valuable at the time that they were often used as currency in Mesoamerica. The Aztecs even paid their taxes with them. Don't you wish you could do that? And oddly enough, in South America and European cultures, they also used it to treat diarrhea. But it wasn't until the 16th century that Europeans really got to experience this drink as a whole. The Spanish had to come in and beat on the Aztecs a bit before it was ever imported back to Europe. And it wasn't until 1847 that the first form of solid chocolate was made by J.S. Fry & Sons.  What a delicious journey!


So, how can you celebrate today?  Well, it's pretty dang easy since chocolate is everywhere! You can go to a restaurant, have a great meal and then order up something chocolate for dessert. Or you could even go to your local grocery store and check out the bakery for some fresh chocolate treats. Plus you could hit up a candy store or check out the candy as you're about to check out at the grocery store. The possibilities are endless!  And if you're creative you can get a bunch of chocolate and start trying to come up with wonderful new creations. Like for instance, you could melt down chocolate and cover different treats in it to see if chocolate tastes good with it. Get creative! Why don't you toast some bread, cut it into cubes like croutons and then cover it in chocolate? Do you think that'd taste good? What about chocolate covered beef jerky? How about some chocolate covered chocolate chip cookies? Try it with anything you want!  And then you can resist tasting the things yourself and instead invite over friends and family. Hand them a plate of your mysterious creations and have them try it without telling them what it is. Ask them if they like it, tell them what it was and then try it yourself. You might be amazed as to what tastes good... heck, chocolate covered baked beans might be good, you never know!  Have a great day and don't overdose on chocolate!

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