Nothing beats warming up during a cold shopping trip or at home on a cold winter morning than sitting curled up with a nice hot chocolate in your hand. Once I have arranged for Gloucester Boiler Service company http://www.hprservicesltd.com/gloucester-boilers/boiler-service-gloucester/ to come and check the heating system out ready for the chilly weather, I stock up on hot chocolate and begin the run down to the snowy weather.
It was only when I was looking at all the different flavours of hot chocolate that you can buy that I stumbled across some facts that I never knew about my favourite winter drink, so I thought I would share some of them with you now.
Hot chocolate can be made using drinking chocolate or cocoa powder mixed with either water or milk, depending on your preference. There have been suggestions that hot chocolate carries some good health benefits due to the antioxidants that are naturally present in the cocoa bean and back in the 1800s some doctors used to prescribe hot chocolate as a medicine to help with the symptoms of some common ailments.
Some of the first recorded hot chocolate style drinks have been linked back to both the Mayan people around 2,000 years ago and the Aztecs back in 1400 AD. The popularity of the drink across Europe occurred after it was brought across from Mexico and since then it has been adapted many times and new varieties have been created.
Growing hot chocolate
Hot chocolate is made from the same main ingredient as any other chocolate product. Cocoa beans are created from the dried seeds of a cacao tree. These trees tend to be found in tropical areas such as America, across the Amazon and in Venezuela. The tree itself is relatively small in size only reaching around eight metres high once it reaches maturity. It is the seeds of this tree that the Mayan people ground down into a form of paste and added a number of spices, chili peppers and water to the mixture to create a drink that was usual enjoyed cold by people from all backgrounds. The Aztecs also added vanilla and chili pepper to their chocolate drink and is was enjoy as a mood enhancer and to aid tiredness.
Since then hot chocolate has been developed into many other flavours including mint, orange, spiced, white chocolate and even with alcoholic additions such as Bailey’s hot chocolate.