You might end up steaming mad if you overlook today’s food holiday. December 12 is National Cocoa Day!
It’s also National Ambrosia Day. This was considered a food or drink of the Greek gods that, when consumed, would provide immortality to whoever ate it. Seeing as how there aren’t any 1,000-year-old Greeks walking around nowadays, I’m thinking that’s one legend that never lived up to its hype. It’s also National Popcorn String Day. Great for decorating Christmas trees, but probably not meant to be consumed until after the holidays, by which time it’s stale. So we’re going with cocoa, which is a perfectly hot and refreshing treat this time of year!
The Mayans were the first to use cacao beans to brew a beverage known as xocoatl, an unsweetened precursor to hot cocoa. In the 17th century, Spanish doctor Antonio Colmenero de Ledesma was the first to publish a recipe for modern-day hot chocolate, referring to it as an elixir to help cure ailments. The drink was a hit; even our esteemed first President, George Washington, enjoyed a cup of hot cocoa for breakfast every morning. Hey, a man’s gotta have something to look forward to after a busy AM chopping down cherry trees!
Though many people consider hot chocolate and hot cocoa one and the same, there actually is a difference. Hot chocolate is made by mixing hot water or milk with melted chocolate, while hot cocoa is a combination of hot water or milk and cocoa powder.
To celebrate, we had a cup of hot cocoa before bed. Yum! (I took the spoon out, first. Wouldn’t want to poke myself in the eye).