Cheers to National Chocolate Day!
Happy National Chocolate Day! Chocolate is high on the list of just about everyone’s favorite sweets. Chocolate is such a unique food. Unlike most other things we eat, chocolate isn’t grown and eaten in its first form. This heavenly sweet comes from a complex process and a rich history.
Chocolate is said to have deep roots in history dating back to the time of the ancient Olmec cultures in Mesoamerica as early as 1900 B.C. The people of Mesoamerica cultivated a plant in the tropical rain forests and mixed it into a paste with water, honey, vanilla, and other spices to form a chocolate frothy drink. Skip forward a few thousand years, Rodolphe Lindt invented a conching machine in the 1870’s which allowed for mass production of smooth, creamy chocolate as we know it today. 
Thanks to Lindt’s invention, we consume A LOT of chocolate today. It is said that worldwide, there is an estimated 40-50 million people who consume and depend on cocoa every day. Most of the cocoa beans that we consume come from West Africa. In West Africa, there are nearly 1.5 million cocoa farms. On those farms in an estimated 7 to 10 acres of cacao trees. Each tree produces nearly 2,500 beans! That’s a lot! While that’s a long way for cocoa beans to travel and be made into chocolate, it’s a treat we are satisfied with waiting for! Each chocolate bar we consume takes anywhere from 2 to 4 days to produce. 
Crazy chocolate recipes to concur those cravings:
- This Chocolate Cupcake is so sweet and so smooth.
- Raspberry Kissed Chocolate Mousse is a delicious way to fill those dessert cravings.
- You will fall in love with this decadent Chocolate Lovers Cheesecake.
- Treat yourself to a tasty breakfast with Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins.
- Chocolate Sour Cream Cookies are an easy take-along everyone will love.
- Your family will love these Fudgy Chocolate Peanut Butter Squares for dessert!
- Combine your favorite cookie and your favorite cake and you get – Chocolate-Covered OREO Cookie Cake!
- Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread in a mouthwatering way to bring together veggies and chocolate.
- Chocolate Cherry Swirl Buns are perfect for breakfast or for an afternoon cup of tea.
Decadent Chocolate products for your sweet tooth:
- Pick up a box of Mini Chocolate Lava Pies at the store for an effortless dessert, tonight!
- Change up your breakfast routine with Dark Chocolate Almond Milk.
- Belgian Double Chocolate Mini Eclaires are a delicious chocolately treat for your morning.
- Treat your taste buds to some Frozen Yogurt Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge.
- Cake for dessert? Yes, please! Chocolate Fudge Layer Cake is a layered cake fit for the whole family.
- Looking for a dairy-free dessert? Chocolate Cookies N’ Cream Cashewmilk Frozen Dessert is made with cashewmilk so you can skip the dairy and still enjoy frozen flavor!
- Give your coffee a boost with White Chocolate Mocha Creamer.
- Chocolate lovers will go crazy over this I Love Chocolate Cream Pie.
- Double Dark Chocolate Gelato is a smooth and frozen treat for your late-night snacking needs.
 http://www.history.com/news/hungry-history/the-sweet-history-of-chocolate  https://www.candyusa.com/story-of-chocolate/fun-facts-about-chocolate/