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Hot chocolate

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Hot chocolate (also known as hot cocoa or just cocoa) is a heated beverage typically consisting of shaved chocolate, melted chocolate buds or cocoa powder, heated milk or water, and sugar. Drinking chocolate is similar to hot chocolate (or cocoa), but is made from melted chocolate shavings or paste rather than a powdered mix that's soluble in water.

The first chocolate beverage is believed to have been created by the Mayan peoples around 2,000 years ago, and a cocoa beverage was an essential part of Aztec culture by 1400 AD. The beverage became popular in Europe after being introduced from Mexico in the New World, and has undergone multiple changes since then. Until the 19th century, hot chocolate was even used medicinally to treat ailments such as stomach diseases. Today, hot chocolate is consumed throughout the world and comes in multiple variations.

In France, hot chocolate is often served at breakfast time, and sometimes sliced French bread or croissants, spread with butter, jam, honey or Nutella are dunked into the hot chocolate; there are also brands of hot chocolate specially formulated for breakfast time, notably Banania.

While hot chocolate is generally consumed for pleasure, there are several potential health benefits associated with drinking hot chocolate. Studies have shown that hot chocolate contains large amounts of antioxidants that may be beneficial to one's health. Also, the Cocoa Bean has demonstrated evidence that it helps with digestion. From the 16th to 19th centuries, hot chocolate was valued as a medicine as well as a drink. Today, hot chocolate is consumed for pleasure rather than medicinally, but new research suggests that there may be other health benefits attributed to the drink.

On the other hand, several negative effects can be attributed to drinking hot chocolate. Hot chocolate contains high amounts of sugar. Caffeine found in the cocoa solids in hot chocolate may also have negative effects on health.

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References

Homemade Hot Chocolate, croce-delizia.blogspot.com

Hot chocolate, wikipedia.org

Cacao, www.botanical.com

Colombian-Style Hot Chocolate (Chocolate Caliente), www.mycolombianrecipes.com