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Hot Chocolate

Delectable Hot Chocolate
Hot chocolate- the childhood favorite can be seen as the best seller in the corporate houses & caffes, football stadiums, and college campuses. Indeed, this beverage tops the list of "good-for-you" antioxidants providing food as well. The welcome treat on a cold fall or winter day, this classic delicacy comes in unique flavors and varieties of instant hot chocolate available in stores. However, this delicious and comforting beverage should not be confused with hot cocoa. The former is made with actual chocolate and is a richer, much more substantial beverage. The latter is produced from cocoa powder or from a manufactured product containing cocoa powder such as hot cocoa mixes.

The major ingredients of Hot Choco are chocolate and milk / water, with the optional ingredients being cream, pinch of salt and flavorings, such as herbs, spices, liqueur, mint, etc. Being considered more than a beverage or else a confection, the hot chocolate contains phytochemicals. This beverage alters the mind through a myriad of pleasurable sensations as the flavor and taste sensations flood the mouth, stimulating memories of the childhood, youth, and adult years. The latest entry in the market for calorie conscious individuals, remains the "organic" hot chocolate.

History of Hot Chocolate

Chocolate has been drunk as a beverage for thousands of years. The word chocolate is said to derive from the Mayan word "xocoatl"; cocoa from the Aztec word "cacahuatl". The Mexican Indian word chocolate comes from a combination of the terms choco ("foam") and atl ("water"); as early chocolate was only consumed in beverage form. Back in the days of the Aztecs, cocoa beans were valuable not only for their 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. The Aztecs actually drank it cold, flavored with wine and chili peppers, and not at all sweet.

Archaeologists tell us that the Olmecs, the oldest civilization of the Americas (1500-400 BC), were probably the first users of cacao, followed by the Maya, who consumed cacao-based drinks made with beans from their plantations in the Chontalpa region of what is now eastern Tabasco. Chocolate was discovered and brought to Europe in the early 1500s by the explorer Cortez. After its introduction in Spain, the drink began to be served hot, sweetened and without the chili peppers. When it hit London (in the 1700s), 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.
Benefits of Having Hot Chocolate
The beverage- hot chocolate is a rich source of high-quality polyphenol antioxidants, potentially beneficial compounds similar to those found in fruits, vegetables and red wine that may have the potential to reduce the risk of developing heart disease and certain cancers. The other advantages related to hot choco are the following:

  • While preparing or sipping the yummy hot chocolate, its smell may increase theta brain waves, resulting in relaxation.
  • Chocolate contains phenyl ethylamine, a mild mood elevator.
  • Men who drink hot chocolate live longer than those who don't.
  • The flavanoids in chocolate may help keep blood vessels elastic.
  • Chocolate increases antioxidant levels in the blood.
  • Mexican healers use chocolate to treat bronchitis and insect bites.
  • The carbohydrates in chocolate raise serotonin levels in the brain, resulting in a sense of well-being.
  • Chocolate contains stearic acid, a neutral fat which doesn't raise bad cholesterol.
  • Hot choco is rich in minerals that the body needs, including magnesium and iron.
  • Chocolate is not addictive.

Varieties of Hot Chocolate
Once you have the first sip of hot chocolate, your taste-buds scream in ecstasy, with an increased heart pumping as the sugar finds its way into your bloodstream instantaneously. The thick sweetness of the hot beverage makes you close your eyes and relish the taste. In fact, hot chocolate remains the beverage of choice for chilled fans. With whipped cream to top off the froth, as well as having the servings of cinnamon, the other popular varieties of this drink happen to be:

  • Mayan Hot Chocolate
  • Angelina’s Hot Chocolate
  • Italian Hot Chocolate - Cioccolato Caldo
  • Mexican Hot Chocolate
  • Decadent Hot Chocolate
  • Aztec Chili Hot Chocolate
  • Brown Sugar Hot Cocoa
  • Chocolate Caliente
  • Chocolate Mint Tea
  • Milk Chocolate and Orange Cocoa
  • Orange Hot Mocha
  • Parisan Warm Chocolate
  • Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate
  • White Chocolate Coffee
  • White Peppermint Hot Chocolate.

Global Popularity of Hot Chocolate

Considered as the most popular drink in America and parts of Europe, hot chocolate is consumed throughout the world. It is preferred to be really thick in Europe, being made directly from chocolate. The Germans are also known for having very thick, heavy chocolate. In Spain, hot chocolate and churros was the traditional working-man's breakfast. In Mexico, hot chocolate remains a popular national drink. Traditionally, Mexican hot chocolate includes semi-sweet chocolate, cinnamon, sugar and vanilla. The recent findings that hot chocolate contains more antioxidants that wine and tea, thus reducing the heart disease risk, have boosted the drink's popularity on the global scale.

Quick Choco Facts

Aztec emperor Montezuma drank 50 golden goblets of hot chocolate (thick, dyed red and flavored with chili peppers) everyday !!

  • The fruit of the Cacao tree grows directly from the trunk. It looks like small melons, and the pulp inside contains 20 to 50 seeds or beans.
  • The botanical name of the chocolate plant is Theobramba Cacao, which means “Food of the Gods.”
  • The best thing about this hot beverage is that it is very low in Cholesterol. However, a large intake of calories coming from sugars remains the problem to deal with regular workouts.
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