Just how delicious is chocolate? While most other foods get a single day designated in their honor, chocolate gets an entire week! In honor of this outstanding occasion, let’s count down a few of our favorite chocolate facts before exploring some easy ways to get in on the chocolate fun during American Chocolate Week.
Three Fiction-Worthy Chocolate Facts
The distinctive taste of chocolate is not only divine, but can even be described as “otherworldly.” It’s no surprise, then, that chocolate has some out-of-this-world attributes. Let’s count down three of our favorite unbelievable yet true chocolate facts.
1. Americans consume three billion pounds worth of chocolate every year — that’s half of the world’s overall chocolate consumption! Americans haven’t yet claimed the per capita chocolate-eating title, however: that belongs to the Swiss.
2. Chocolate actually contains mood-altering chemicals associated with elevated feelings of euphoria, happiness, love and passion. In the Harry Potter series, meanwhile, it’s literally magical: healers use it to cure ailing wizards.
3. Chocolate was so valued in the days of the Aztecs and Mayans that it was used as currency. Imagine walking around with a pocketful of cocoa beans instead of a wallet filled with dollars!
Celebrating Chocolate in Your Own Way
The simplest way we can think of to celebrate chocolate? Indulge. Now that you know you’ll be giving yourself a magical mood boost in doing so, you have even more reason to sink your teeth into this treat.
From caramels and truffles ranging from pure and simple flavors to “Come Hither Honey” (yes, it’s a thing), to brownies, cookies and fudge, there are countless classic ways to enjoy chocolate. But it doesn’t end there. Pies, cakes, biscotti, tiramisu and even tamales each incorporate this beloved flavor in new and exciting ways.
If you feel like sharing the love during chocolate week, there’s no more festive way to do so than by hosting a chocolate and wine pairing party. After all, “chocolate is the confectionery match to wine,” according to Wine Folly.
While pairing wine and chocolate can be tricky because of the high sugar content, here’s a rule of thumb to get you started: Sugar balances best with sugar. In other words, sweet wines typically pair well with sweet chocolate while dry wines typically pair well with dark chocolate.
Our picks? Pair dark chocolate with intense reds like Cabernet, Shiraz, Malbec and Zinfandel; semi-sweet chocolate with semi-dry/semi-sweet wines like Pinot Noir, Merlot, and Bordeaux; milk chocolate with sweet wines like Ruby Port, Moscato, and Cream Sherry; and white chocolate with sparkling options, such as Moscato and Champagne.
But also remember, all food-wine pairings are subjective so there’s no single right or wrong when it to the bacchanal bliss of wine and chocolate.
If you feel like taking your wine and chocolate tasting to another level of luxuriousness, meanwhile, consider starting with a cheese course before moving to the chocolate portion of the evening.
Of course, you don’t have to throw a party to share the joy of chocolate with friends and family members. Today’s gourmet gifts, courtesy of mail order food companies like FoodyDirect, deliver door-to-door decadence. After all, what better way to surprise a far-off loved one than with an unexpected gift of gourmet chocolate?
With so many different kinds of chocolate and so many wonderful ways to enjoy it, it’s not hard to fill seven whole days with celebrating this cravings-worthy confection. Visit FoodyDirect to shop foods, gifts, and more as you start planning your American Chocolate Week festivities.