Here’s a day that will provide you with an excuse to consume some (more) chocolate. Not that anyone ever really needs an excuse, but it helps. In fact, I just had a sneaky chocolate or two as ‘research’ for this editorial piece.
World Chocolate Day is Sunday, July 7, and it celebrates the introduction of cocoa to Europe by Spanish explorer Hernán Cortés in 1550. Although Christopher Columbus is said to have brought the first cocoa beans back to Europe between 1502 and 1505, the humble beans were relatively ignored at this time in favour of the other treasures he returned with.
That being said, we’d all be silly to skip recognising this holy day. Worshipping chocolate is a daily occurrence for the majority of the population, whether you fancy sweet white chocolate delights, devilish dark chocolate morsels, or the go-to traditional milk chocolate.
It’s time to celebrate with some chocolate fudge ice cream, a mocha sprinkled with sweet chocolate powder, a handful of chocolate-covered almonds or a freshly baked chocolate chip cookie. Speaking of chocolate chip cookies, did you know they were a beautiful accident? Could you imagine your world without these delish treats for just a second? I’ll tell you what, it’d be a bleak bakery. The miracle happened in 1930 when Ruth Wakefield realised she was out of baker’s chocolate. So she improvised by using broken-up pieces of Nestle chocolate and mixed it into her cookie dough, expecting the chocolate to be absorbed into the mix, which would in turn create chocolate cookies. As you know now, she accidentally created chocolate chip cookies, and later sold the idea to Nestle. And what did she get for her invention? A lifetime’s supply of chocolate. You could say she hit the sweet spot!
We’ve got a local inventor here as well. Will Muddyman is the chief Willy Wonka at Chocolate Grove in Carrum Downs. He develops new products constantly and works out the formula with the help of his team. With more than 150 different products, I have no doubt you’ll find the right chocolate treat for your tastebuds — not to mention such novelty items for the kiddies as stegosauruses, crocodile eggs and Transformers. From chocolate-coated freeze-dried fruits and nuts to chocolate-coated salt and vinegar crisps or pork crackle, you’re in for a treat.
If chocolate isn’t your vice, never fear — July 7 is also Macaroni Day and Strawberry Sundae Day. However, we would warn against mixing these items with chocolate. We’ll leave the inventing to Will and Ruth.