BRRR! It’s freezing outside! If it didn’t feel like winter before, it definitely does now with all the frost on our windows and single-digit temperatures outside. We can all agree that nothing can cure the winter blues like a cup of hot chocolate. So while you’re snuggled up under a blanket by the fire and sipping on some hot chocolate, share some of these fun facts about your favorite warm beverage!

  • It’s believed that the Mayans created the first chocolate beverage around 2000 years ago. They drank it cold, flavored it with wine and chili peppers and was not at all sweet.
  • Cocoa was given as a dowry when members of the Spanish Royal Family married other European aristocrats.
  • When chocolate finally reached the west, it was very expensive, costing between $50–$70 per pound in equivalent modern US dollars.
  • Screen Shot 2013-01-24 at 12.31.53 PMUntil the 19th century, hot chocolate was even used medicinally to treat stomach disease.
  • A study conducted by Cornell University has shown that hot chocolate contains more antioxidants than wine and tea, therefore reducing the risk of heart disease.
  • In the movie, Chocolat, Roux’s (Johnny Depp) favorite chocolate item was hot chocolate.
  • In November 2010, Nestlé made The World’s Largest Cup of Hot Chocolate (634.01 US gallons) in Mexico.
  • Hot Chocolate vs. Hot Cocoa—there IS a difference: (A) Hot chocolate is made directly from bar chocolate, which already contains cocoa, sugar and cocoa butter. (B) Hot cocoa is made from powder made by extracting most of the rich cocoa butter from the ground cacao beans.

For a great selection of your favorite hot chocolate (and cocoa) products, stop by your local Sparkle Market! Then go home, and stay warm!