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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The History of Hot Chocolate

In the book we are reading this month "Nine Coaches Waiting", Belinda Martin, the governess, gives Phillipe hot chocolate each evening before he goes to bed. I thought that since everytime she does that it makes me want some, it will be our task for the month. It sounds so delicious and the perfect treat for January.

Here is a little history of Hot Chocolate:

Back in the days of the Aztecs, cocoa beans were valuable not only for culinary importance but also as currency. Cocoa beans were often given as gifts during important ceremonies and festivals. Even so, they also used the roasted beans to make a chocolate drink. Their version is much different from the hot chocolate we know today. The Aztecs actually drank it cold, flavored with wine and chili peppers, and not at all sweet.

Chocolate was discovered and brought to Europe in the early 1500's by the explorer Cortez. After its introduction in Spain, the drink began to be served hot, sweetened and without the chili peppers. The Spanish were very protective of their wonderful new beverage, and it was over a hundred years before news of it began to spread across Europe.

When it hit London (in the 1700's) , chocolate houses became popular and very trendy. It was the English who started adding milk to their chocolate and it was enjoyed as an after-dinner beverage.

I hope you all enjoyng this book. More later:)


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