Hot cocoa is a warm beverage made with cocoa powder, heated milk or water and sugar. The terms hot chocolate and hot cocoa are often used interchangeably by Americans causing a bit of confusion. To make hot chocolate, we use ground chocolate which contains cocoa butter. It’s mixed with hot milk and is actually a drinking chocolate.
Hot chocolate is a richer beverage made from ground chocolate which contains cocoa butter. Mixed with hot milk, the resulting mug is full of chocolate flavor and the fat and calories that come with it.
Hot chocolate is also known as drinking chocolate.
Hot cocoa is made from cocoa powder. Through the fermentation, drying, roasting and grinding process of cocoa beans a paste called chocolate liquor is produced. Through another process, the cocoa butter is separated leaving cocoa powder. It is this cocoa powder that we use to make hot cocoa. It has very little fat and calories and is mixed with either hot milk or water.
It is believed 2000 years ago that the first chocolate beverage was created by the Mayas and a cocoa beverage was an essential part of Aztec culture by 1400 AD. Europe popularized the beverage after it was introduced from Mexico in the New World and it has undergone multiple changes since then. Up until the 19th century, hot chocolate was used medicinally to treat ailments such as stomach diseases. (You don't need a prescription to drink it!)
In the United States, an instant form of the drink is popular. It is made with hot water or milk and a packet containing mostly cocoa powder, sugar and dry milk. People enjoy topping it with marshmallows or whipped cream. (Oh, I so don't like the powdered mixes!)
There are health benefits to drinking hot cocoa. Cocoa contains large amounts of antioxidants that may help prevent cancer. It has also been shown that the cocoa beans help with digestion. The flavonoids that are found in the cocoa also have a positive effect on arterial health.''
HOW TO OBSERVE NATIONAL HOT COCOA DAY
We don't know who was the creator of National Hot Cocoa Day. So, drink a warm cup of hot cocoa!
Yum and have fun! Claudia
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