Thursday, July 7, 2011

Happy National Chocolate Day - July 7!

Dia Duit
(Irish for Good day)

Today we are celebrating CHOCOLATE!

The average person will consume 10,000 chocolate bars in a lifetime.

Better make sure you eat your share...

Some chocolate history:

The Aztecs and the Mayas first discovered the value of the cocoa plant.
In 600 AD in the Yucatan, the earliest cocoa plantation was established
by the Mayas.
Wicker baskets filled with cacao beans were among the gifts which the Aztecs offered to the conquistadors.
Possibly a big mistake, in hind sight!

The Aztec emperor Montezuma drank
50 golden goblets of hot chocolate every day.
It was thick, dyed red and flavored with chili peppers.
anyone want to try it and let me know how it is?

Chocolate was first introduced to the US  in 1765,
when cocoa beans from the West Indies were brought to
Dorchester, Massachusetts.

 The fruits of the cacao tree, which take the form of pods that look like smallish melons, are very colorful -
from bright red to lemon yellow.

By 1810 Venezuela was producing half of the world's requirements for cocoa.

Karen's best hot chocolate recipe:

1 large mug - I like 10oz. - 12oz.

4 heaping teaspoons of Swiss Miss Hot Chocolate Mix
mini marshmallows in mix optional

boiling water

non-dairy creamer Peppermint, liquid

half and half cream

>Place in large mug measured Swiss Miss mix.

>Pour boiling water in, up to an inch or so from the top rim.
Stir thoroughly.

>Add 'blurb' of non dairy Peppermint flavored creamer.

>Add 'blurb' of 1/2 and 1/2 cream.

>Stir well. Adjust to taste. (Some people want extra 'blurbs' of

I know, what is a 'blurb'? It means you tip the container, and give it a quick 'blurb' of liquid. Not too much, can't really be measured.
I also ask my guests if they want marshmallow or not on top.
I like the big Jet Puffed marshmallows the best.

 In 1900 Queen Victoria sent her New Year's greetings
to the British troops stationed in South Africa during the Boer War
in the form of a specially molded chocolate bar. 

1897 Brownies are first mentioned in print, listed for sale
in the Sears,Roebuck & Co. catalog.


In 1842 Cadbury's Chocolate Company in England
creates the first chocolate bar.
 The first chocolate box was introduced by Cadbury.


By 1810 Spain was consuming one third of the cocoa
being produced in the world!

One plain milk chocolate candy bar has more protein than a banana.

But who wants plain when you can have it in cake?

chocolate-raspberry cake

This little piece of 'trivia' just made me laugh:

"A recent study indicates when men crave food,
they tend to crave fat and salt.

When women crave food, they tend to desire chocolate."

Well, Duh.
Wanna' bet someone got a government grant to figure this one out?

milk chocolate cherry cordials

One of my Dad's favorites were chocolate covered cherries.
Every year we would buy him a box for Christmas.
We would have to hide it well so our little dog, Clancy, wouldn't find the package, and eat them all.
One year we had to buy him 3 boxes,
although he actually only got 1.

More trivia:

Chocolate is toxic to dogs and parrots.

I guess no one ever told Clancy...

Among Clancy's famous stories -
He once ate almost an entire chocolate mousse that was cooling.
It was hot, so he would take a mouthful, and then shake his head to cool it off.
Think chocolate on the ceiling, chocolate on all the cupboards,
chocolate all over Clancy, chocolate on all the kitchen appliances..

Clancy's famous stories, part 2:

Clancy once leaped straight from the floor to the top of our kitchen table, and ate the frosting off 2 dozen doughnuts.
Many of them were chocolate frosted.
He only ate the frosting.

I think if they would have been chocolate doughnuts, with chocolate frosting, he would have eaten the doughnuts too... 


Hawaii is the only US state
that grows cacao beans to produce chocolate.

 In 1940 the Mars company invents M&M's
for soldiers going to WWII.

Per capita, the Irish eat more chocolate than
Americans, Swedes, Danes, French and Italians.

The Swiss consume more chocolate per capita
than any other nation on earth. That's 22 pounds each,
compared with 11 pounds per person in the US.

vintage Jello pudding advert

Chocolate manufacturers currently use
40% of the worlds almonds,
and 20% of the world's peanuts!

chocolate bundt cake sprinkled with powdered sugar
and with strawberries and blueberries in center

A little aside here:
If you have never seen "My Big Fat Greek Wedding"
go rent it and watch it!
One of the funniest scenes in it, and there are many,
is the "bundt cake" scene.
Do let me know if you see it, and what you thought!

not a bundt cake!

In 2001 Americans consumed over 3.1 billion pounds of chocolate, which is almost half of the total world's production.

In 1939 Nestle introduces semisweet chocolate morsels.
And aren't we all glad!

So, which chocolate chip cookie wins?

The soft chewy cookie,
or the crisper cookie?

With nuts,
or without nuts?

a chocolate fondue pot

chocolate dipped strawberries

That's it for today!

Tomorrow we will explore more of
The Language of Flowers,
the Flower of the Month for July.

an etsy treasury that features one of my handmade items:

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