For most people, chocolate is a deliciously sweet treat. But, turn it into a cup of drinkable chocolate, and it’s pure heaven, especially on a cold day or night. Grownups and kids alike love hot chocolate, sometimes referred to as hot cocoa.
You can make it by melting shaved chocolate or using cocoa powder with heated milk and sugar. But if you don’t feel like doing it yourself, you can always buy a hot chocolate mix. If you have kids, keeping a stash of hot chocolate mix in your pantry is a brilliant plan for when they get restless and your bag of usual snack tricks isn’t providing the same luster as it once did.
The very first chocolate beverage was said to have been made by the Mayans about 2,500 to 3,000 years ago, with archaeologists having over evidence that the Mayans started eating chocolate around 500 BC. Their chocolate beverage was served cold though. Cocoa beverages were apparently a huge part of Aztec culture around 1400 AD. What this proves is what we’ve known all along – chocolate is a delicious and delightful substance that makes everyone happy. End of story.
Ok, so that’s not really the end of this chocolate tale. It went on the impress the Europeans after being introduced from Mexico back when the New World was discovered. It was even used to treat stomach and liver problems up until the 19th century. That’s likely when everyone realized it was so delicious that they began faking illnesses just so someone would make them hot chocolate (we know we would!).
In the early days of chocolate beverages though, there was no sugar to sweeten it. So it became an acquired taste. Still, it was a taste that most people seemed to acquire quite rapidly. With the introduction to sugar, it became the sweet, chocolaty and amazing beverage we know it as today.
Getting hot chocolate in modern times is remarkably easy. As mentioned, you could make it yourself. It’s not hard to do so, but many people prefer a mix because it gets the ratio of sweetness just right. All they need to do then is add hot water (never boiling or it ruins the taste) or hot milk, mix it, and then sip it while falling into deeper and deeper stages of contentment.
In England, Cadbury is the chocolate drink of choice. This rich purple container is a beloved treat throughout the UK and is popular with children and adults alike. In France, A l'Ancienne and Poulain Grand Arome are all the range. The French hold their chocolates in high regard, and on a cold Paris day you can find these two mixes in any cupboard or pantry! In America, one brand is known for their ultimate chocolate concoctions and has introduced a delightful hot cocoa mix: Coop’s. Popular for their hot fudge, Coop’s also produces one of the most deliciously chocolaty hot cocoas, Cocoa Felice. All are fantastic hot chocolate mixes to try. Serve them to company as the weather gets cooler, or keep it on hand when you want to feel warm and cozy from the inside out!