International Chocolate Day

Next Friday, 13 September 2024

Get your sweet tooth ready because September 13 is International Chocolate Day! Whether you prefer your chocolate dark, milk, or white, with or without nuts, there is barely anyone who can resist its flavor.

While no one needs an excuse to enjoy some chocolate, today is the perfect day to indulge in your favorite chocolate delicacy without any guilt.

Chocolate bar

Since chocolate is loved so much around the world, there couldn't just be one date to celebrate it. There is International Chocolate Day on September 13, World Chocolate Day on July 7, and two National Chocolate Days on October 28 and December 28!

International Chocolate Day Background

While the origins of this holiday are unclear, the National Confectioners Association commemorates International Chocolate Day on September 18. This day also coincides with the birthday of the founder of the Hershey Chocolate Company, Milton S. Hershey.

National Confectioners Association is an American organization that promotes the use of chocolates, mints, gums, and other things in the Confectionary Industry. 

Chocolate comes from the bean of the Theobroma Cacao tree, which grows in Central America, Mexico, and the north of South America.

It has been cultivated for thousands of years, and cacao seeds have been used and consumed since as early as 1100 BC and played a big role in the Aztec and Mayan cultures. The Aztecs used to grind and drink the chocolate beans without any sugar and believed that cacao was a gift from the gods. 

Cacao tree beans - chocolate
The bean of the Theobroma Cacao tree, the key ingredient of chocolate

Cocoa beans were first brought from the Americas into Europe around 1550, where they were combined with milk and sugar to make a very popular chocolate drink.

In 1780 the United States built its first factory to make and distribute the new chocolate drink. However, it was not until 1842 that chocolate bars began to be produced by Cadbury in England. 

Milk chocolate was invented in Switzerland in 1875. This inspired a young Milton S. Hershey to manufacture and sell his milk chocolates. Thus, Hershey's Chocolate Company was founded, and the first Hershey milk bar was produced in 1900. The famous Hershey's Kiss was invented in 1907. 

Since then, the manufacturing of chocolate has constantly evolved, and today we have hundreds of different candy bars, and all kinds of chocolate bars with different fillings, gourmet chocolate, bonbons, chocolate truffles, and so on. The possibilities of what you can make with chocolate are also endless. It ranges from cakes and brownies to mousses, cookies, fudge, milkshakes, and ice cream.

That is probably why Americans consume an extraordinary 3 billion pounds of chocolate every year. 

The most popular Chocolate bars

Surveys show just how much chocolate Americans buy in a year, and it is a lot! Here are some of the most popular chocolate bars that are enjoyed by many people around the world:

  1. Snickers: Produced by Mars, Inc., Snickers is one of the most popular chocolate bars globally. It is known for its combination of nougat, caramel, and peanuts covered in milk chocolate.

  2. Reese's Peanut Butter Cups: Made by The Hershey Company, Reese's Peanut Butter Cups have a loyal fan base. They consist of a delicious blend of chocolate and creamy peanut butter.

  3. Hershey's Kisses: Created by The Hershey Company, Hershey's Kisses are small, bite-sized chocolates shaped like kisses. They are wrapped in foil and are a favorite among chocolate lovers.

  4. Kit Kat: Owned by Nestlé, Kit Kat is a widely recognized chocolate bar with a unique concept. It consists of layers of crispy wafers covered in milk chocolate, which can be broken apart into individual sticks.

  5. M&M's: Produced by Mars, Inc., M&M's are colorful candy-coated chocolates that come in various flavors and varieties. Peanut M&M's, in particular, are a popular choice among consumers, combining chocolate and peanuts.

These chocolate bars have gained popularity due to their distinctive flavors, textures, and widespread availability. Keep in mind that the popularity of chocolate bars may vary depending on the region and individual preferences.

The Benefits of Eating Chocolate

While many people associate chocolate with something that is unhealthy, there are many benefits to having a moderate amount of dark chocolate every day.

  • Dark chocolate has many antioxidants, which help with your heart and circulation, reducing the risk of strokes. It also reduces cholesterol and regulates your blood pressure and blood sugar levels.
  • If this wasn't enough, dark chocolate has been proven to improve your mood, by releasing endorphins when you eat it. 
  • Scientists at Harvard found out that hot chocolates help in improving cognitive functions by increasing blood flow to the part of the brain where it needs the most.
  • Dark chocolate consists of flavonol which helps in strengthening the immune system.
  • Some evidence shows that it can also prevent liver damage. 

What to do on International Chocolate Day

The most obvious way to celebrate this day is with chocolate. 

Think of your favorite way to consume chocolate - whether you prefer the classic bar, like it more as a smooth hot chocolate, or love baking some chocolate brownies - and enjoy it! 

Many different recipes use chocolate. Find one that sounds good to you, and try something different!

Interesting Facts about Chocolates

  • The Mayans and Aztecs (native people who lived in Central America and Mexico) used to believe that cacao beans were magical beans. Thus, they thought it was suitable to be used during sacred occasions such as someone's birth, death, or marriage.
  • During the American Revolutionary War, chocolate was such a valued food item that it was included in the soldiers' ration. In fact, it was also used in place of money.
  • During World War II, Nazis had made an explosive chocolate bar that would activate a bomb as soon as someone took a bite. They apparently wanted to kill Prime Minister Winston Churchill as per the United Kingdom Government Security Agency MI5.
  • Globally, Switzerland is the country where the amount of chocolate consumed per capita is the highest. In fact, a person who lives in Switzerland consumes around 8.8 kg chocolate in a year on average!
  • Côte d'Ivoire, a country located on the Southern Coast of West Africa, is the largest producer of Cocoa globally. It produces over 2 million tons of cocoa beans every year. 

International Chocolate Day
International Chocolate Day

International Chocolate Day - Next years

Saturday, 13 September 2025

Sunday, 13 September 2026

Monday, 13 September 2027

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