World Chocolate Day 2022: Chocolate has remained one of the best culinary inventions to date. Today, on 7 July 2022, the world is celebrating World chocolate day. This day marks the introduction of Chocolate to Europe in 1550. The event’s anniversary is celebrated annually since 2009.
Chocolates have traveled a long way since and we can’t imagine the world without the chocolates today. No festivities, no occassion or celebration is complete without the chocolate. Chocolate therefore has evolved as the ‘New Mithai’ racing ahead of traditional sweets. Chocolates have also been replacing traditional sweets when it comes to exchanging gifts. There are a range of tastes and endless flavours today available for chocolates making a perfect substitute for alternate traditional sweets. Let’s dive deep and understand more about these luxurious desserts.
Earlier in Europe, chocolates were used as a symbol of wealth and give a sense of upper social status to the natives. The chocolates were expensive, and gifting and serving chocolates was a matter of pride and a social marker for the ‘elite’.
With time, chocolate’s affordability has eased, and with the increasing availability of the chocolate and flavours it evolved as the choice of the sweetness in everybody’s lives.
If one notices, every person owns their own never-to-forget story or experience related to chocolate. Whether they have received it from a lover, friend, sibling, children, teacher, parents, or in-laws, it’s always a pleasant experience to receive or give even a small-sized chocolates.
Chocolates can be gifted to anyone on any occasion, it would signify nothing but love and happiness.
History of World Chocolate Day?
It is believed, that in the western world, the day of July 7th marks the introduction of chocolates into Europe in the year 1550. Before that chocolates were limited to specific regions of the world like Central America and Mexico. Chocolates entered Europe through various world travelers, and back then, chocolate was served as basic chocolate drinks. It was in the 1800s when chocolates were first created in solid forms as bars for public consumption. Gradually, various companies introduced chocolates as products with uniqueness and creativity, and many dishes and delicacies were formed and invented that lead to the spread and popularity of chocolates.
Cultural significance of chocolate?
Some historical texts say that in the Mayan civilisation, cacao (a raw form of chocolate) was a gift that their Gods offered humankind. Mayans enjoyed cacao in different forms and it is believed that they consumed it as hot, cold, and spiced beverages. They also used cacao beans as currency to buy food grains.
In the culture of Aztecs, cacao was considered more valuable than gold.
How are chocolates becoming ‘New Mithais’ of Indian culture?
Talking about the positioning of chocolates in Indian culture, the fact cannot be denied that chocolates have acquired a position of ‘new mithai’ in our lives.
The significance of sweets, ‘Mithai’, in Indian culture represents joy, happiness, prosperity, and a good omen. No special occasion, festival, or ceremony is complete without Mithai, what’s more, remarkable is the fact of how beautifully our Indian culture has embraced the sweetness of chocolates as the ‘New Mithai’.
Is gifting chocolate a healthy option?
It is obvious in today’s global culture that gifting chocolates expresses gratitude, and respect and acknowledge the presence of others in our lives, but a question that haunts everyone before gifting chocolates to someone is, is chocolate a healthy gift?
Like any other thing in this world, chocolate is no exception. It is beneficial for health but it can have negative effects as well.
Chocolates are rich in anthocyanins and phenolic acids which help to protect cells from inflammation, improve the functioning of the brain, and boost immune, and cardiovascular health. On the other hand, some studies suggest that consumption of chocolates can affect body mass index (BMI) and central body fat. Chocolates have a high-calorie count due to their sugar and fat content, which can lead to numerous health issues.
Chocolates create memories, there is no harm in giving someone chocolate but the sweetness of the chocolate is intended to bring happiness in life rather than ruin the health of your loved ones, therefore, opt for the healthier variants of chocolates available.