Rejoice! Rejoice! For National Hot Chocolate Day

photo courtesy of unsplash,

They say hot chocolate is like a hug from the inside. I say, we could all use a boiling hot hug on a day like this! The past few days, bitter cold arctic air has transformed Toronto into a frozen snow globe. Needless to say, we are all in desperate need of a piping hot cup of cocoa. And today is the perfect time for just that.

photo courtesy of Unsplash, photographer @maddibazzocco

To celebrate this sweet day, check out this recipe, Hot! Hot! Hot Chocolate Recipe! for a truly divine cup of cocoa, and browse through these eight unusual facts behind the history of Hot Chocolate.

Did You Know…

1) Hot Chocolate was invented by the Mayans and originally made with crushed cocoa beans, water and chili peppers.

2) Montezuma II, a legendary Aztec leader, gathered cacao beans from those he conquered and is said to have drank hot chocolate daily as a display of his power.

3) Hot Chocolate was a luxury item for European nobility in the 17th century, because at the time, cocoa beans grew only in South America (making them a very expensive treat!)

4) During the American Revolutionary War (aka, American War of Independence) from 1775-1783, medics gave Hot Chocolate to the wounded and sick – soldiers were even given small portions of chocolate in their rations.

5) Norwegian Explorer Roald Amundsen, took Hot Chocolate with him (and his team) on an expedition to the South Pole.

6) Hot Chocolate vs. Hot Cocoa. Yes, there is a difference. Hot Chocolate is made with real chocolate, while Hot Cocoa is made from powdered cocoa.

7) The antioxidants in Hot Chocolate are great for your heart and may reduce the risk of heart disease, and the flavonoids can help improve blood flow (just aim for organic and pass on the sugar).

8) The Guinness World Record for the largest cup of Hot Chocolate is … (drum roll please) an astonishing 880 gallons!

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