Hot Chocolate History

Tonight at FCA, we are having a Hot Chocolate Bar. While I was looking for a picture to post, I came across some very interesting facts about hot chocolate.
Did you know...
Drinking chocolate was originally a cold mixture of ground cocoa beans and water with the addition of spices such as cayenne pepper, vanilla and pimento. Later spices such as cloves and cinnamon were used. It was drunk from large bowls so its aromas could be savored. By the time it was introduced to Europe, the more pungent spices in the drink were replaced with cane sugar and it was served hot instead of cold.
After being introduced in England, milk was added to the after dinner treat. By the 18th Century, so-called "Chocolate Houses" were as popular as coffee houses. The first "Chocolate House" opened in London in 1657. Because it was so expensive, hot chocolate was considered a drink for the elite.
"Hot chocolate" is a retronym and the drink was originally simply called "chocolate". The subsequent popularity of the "chocolate bar" forced the invention of the term "hot chocolate" to distinguish it from "chocolate" which now means "bar chocolate".
By 1828, the first cocoa powder producing machine had been developed in The Netherlands, which generated a less acidic, more processed cocoa, now known as dutch-process cocoa. The new form of cocoa was easier to blend with warm milk or water.
Americans often use the terms "hot chocolate" and "hot cocoa" interchangeably, while others make a difference between "hot cocoa", made from a powdered mix of cocoa, sugar, thickeners and "hot chocolate" made directly from bar chocolate, which already contains cocoa, sugar and cocoa butter. A modern American concept is the addition of marshmallows to hot chocolate.
In the UK, "hot chocolate" is a sweet chocolate drink made with hot milk and powder containing chocolate, sugar, and powdered milk, while "cocoa" usually refers to a similar drink made with just hot milk and cocoa powder, then sweetened to taste with sugar.
Interesting isn't it?
At our hot chocolate bar we are having marshmallows but also Andes mints and Heath toffee to add into the tasty chocolate.


Anonymous Becca said...

That is really very interesting Cristy! :) Thanks for sharing ;)

1:55 PM  
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