Chocolate-Covered

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Someone was really thinking when they decided to make the Monday after a long holiday weekend National Chocolate Day!! So, for all the chocolate lovers of the world, today is a real treat… let’s Chat & Chew about chocolate

A Brief History of Chocolate

Consumption of chocolate dates back to the early Aztec Empire (14th century), and if you thought chocolate was valued today, it doesn’t compare to its value then—LITERALLY.  Believe it or not, chocolate was so highly valued, it was used as a form of currency!  Cocoa beans were kept locked in vaults as a way for the royals to pay attendants and buy goods. Due to the high worth of chocolate, consumption was typically reserved for religious ceremonies and royal celebrations.

Fun Fact: According to an article published by Smithsonian.com, “for about 90 percent of chocolate’s long history, it was strictly a beverage, and sugar didn’t have anything to do with it.”

Europe’s discovery of chocolate made headlines in 1519, after Spanish explorer Cortez landed on Aztec land in search of gold.  Coincidentally, the Aztecs were anticipating the arrival of the god of cocoa.  Cortez returned to Spain and presented to the King the cocoa beans he was given as a  gift from the Aztecs.  It was at this moment that the King suggested adding sugar.

Chocolate was officially introduced to the world in 1615, after Spanish Princess Anna of Austria and the French King Louis XIII married and exchanged the gift of chocolate.  Fast-forward 37 years, and the first chocolate house was opened in London.  After the Industrial Revolution, chocolate was forever changed as manufacturers began branding and developing technology, which altered chocolate from a drink to a treat.

Continuing the Celebration

Since we haven’t quite moved on from this past weekend’s festivities, why not tack on one more day of summer sweetness? While I’m a firm believer that everyday should be chocolate day, in honor of today, I’ve compiled a list of 5 Semi-Healthy Chocolate Recipes:

Which sweet treat will you indulge in?

 SOURCES: http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/lifestyle/2012/02/a-brief-history-of-chocolate/

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