Hot Cocoa Day - December 13

December 13th is Hot Cocoa day and really - there is nothing better on such a cold day than a pampering and warming cocoa cup!
The chocolate drink is prepared from cocoa powder and hot milk, or a vegetable substitute for milk - a soy drink or a hot almond drink.
Cocoa powder is a dark brown powder extracted from drying and grinding the cocoa beans. The powder is rich in nutritional values - it has almost twice the amount of antioxidants than red wine, and three times as much green tea.
The cocoa trees originate in the foothills of the Andes near the Amazon and Orinoco rivers in South America. Cocoa came to Central America in the first century by the Maya. The Toltecs and then the Aztecs cultivated its seeds and gave it the name "cacahuatl" in their language, the Navatl language.
The hot cocoa drink was a hit as early as the 10th century. Documents of the Spanish conquest of Mexico say that the emperor of the Aztec Empire, Mokatsuma II, used to drink only Cocoa, which was served to him in a bowl of gold and eaten with a golden spoon. The chocolate was mixed with vanilla spices until it became a melted cut. Every day 50 such bowls were prepared for him and another 2000 bowls for the nobles of his court.
In 1502 Columbus became acquainted with cocoa during his fourth voyage to America but did not discover its commercial potential. In 1519, the Spanish conquerors who came to Mexico under the leadership of Hernan Cortez, found in the palace of the Aztec king Montezuma a huge treasure of cocoa beans instead of silver and gold. Cortez brought the cocoa beans to Spain in 1528 and the Spaniards did not expose them to the rest of Europe for 100 years.
The cocoa drink first came out of Spain in 1615, when Princess Anne, daughter of King Philip II of Spain, married King Louis XII of France and brought the drink with her to the royal court. The French were enthusiastic about cocoa and it gained a reputation as an aphrodisiac.

By 1700 the cocoa drink had become popular throughout Western Europe. He also came to western India and the Philippines by the Spaniards.
Today cocoa trees are grown mainly in Equatorial Africa, Ivory Coast and Ghana, Indonesia and Latin America, especially in Brazil. The cocoa is ground mainly in Europe, the Netherlands and Germany.

How to celebrate Hot Cocoa Day?
It is easy. Today is the day to make hot chocolate in a cup, marble cocoa powder at home and hot milk. There are lots of cocoa drink recipes that creatively combine other things like cinnamon sticks, vanilla, dark chocolate, marshmallows, whipped cream and more.
If you can, drink hot chocolate, listen and watch the rain - is there anything more perfect than that?

December 13th is also Horse Day

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