Hot Chocolate: How The Centuries Old Drink Became A Comforting Staple
- Aanchal Mathur
Updated : December 20, 2022 03:12 IST
If legend is to be believed, hot chocolate’s journey goes centuries back with its earliest variant dating back to around 500 BC.
As the weather turns nippy, the time to stock up on warm and comforting foods and drinks too is approaching. Think of something warm and drool-worthy on a cold December night, and most of the chocolate lovers would think of an utterly comforting cup of hot chocolate. I mean think of that melted chocolate and cocoa, topped with shaved chocolate or oodles of whipped cream, can you resist? Hot chocolate can soothe you even in the harshest of winter chills. And while we have several flavours of hot chocolate around us today, right from chilli, peppermint, salted caramel, hazelnut or cinnamon, the classic Hot chocolate has had a unique journey that has made it so popular across the world today.
If legend is to be believed, hot chocolate’s journey goes centuries back with its earliest variant dating back to around 500 BC. It is believed to have been created by the Mayans around 2,500–3,000 years ago, when a cocoa drink was an essential part of Aztec culture and they referred to as xocōlātl. The drink then became a part of Mexican or Aztec culture by 1440 A.D before travelling the world through Europe along with various transformations.
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The hot chocolate that we know today is way different from how it was enjoyed by the Mayans, as sugar seems to be a very modern addition. They used to mix the freshly sourced chocolate from cocoa seeds with water, cornmeal and peppers, take it in a cup and pour it back and forth in a pot until it became thick and foamy. And so, it wasn’t always enjoyed piping hot and used to have a hint of spice. It reached Europe in early 1500s, where in Spain it transformed into a sweetened beverage. It soon garnered love in London when it reached in 1700s and made its way to small cafes and coffee houses, becoming the ultimate cup of happiness for many.
It is said that the Englishmen first added milk to hot chocolate. They started enjoying it in the evening and it was a part of the menu at every local café and town. It also garnered immense popularity in the US too, where it even became a part of regular coffee vending machines at every café. Since then, hot chocolate has become a winter essential across the world. Whether with whipped cream, marshmallows and chocolate syrups or nothing at all, hot chocolate is an indispensable part of us.
We've got you sorted with an easy hot chocolate recipe right here. Try this winter delight at home and let us know your experience.