Winter wouldn’t be winter without a giant mug filled with rich hot chocolate. It’s the perfect drink for relaxing in front of the fire or curling up with a good book. But did you know that it comes with a history that’s just as rich as its taste?
In fact, the Olmec civilization of southern Mexico was the first to roast fruit from the cacao tree, then crush it into powder and mix it into a drink. Even Olmec pottery from 1700 BCE was found with traces of chocolate still on it. Later, the Mayans and Aztecs caught on to what the Olmec’s were brewing and created their own version, xocoatl, which was bitter in taste and included ingredients like chiles, water and toasted corn. Later, Spanish conquistadors brought cacao home and experimented with sweeter flavors like sugar, cinnamon and other spices.
We could go on, but the takeaway is that hot chocolate can become a much more interesting drink with a few tweaks. And we’re not just talking about adding a healthy splash of Bailey’s Irish Cream or Kahlúa liqueur for an adults-only kick of yum. If you want to take your cup of cocoa to the next level, check out our list below to find both food pairings and cocoa additions to create a perfect match for your next delicious mug.
So, What Are You Craving?
- Air-Popped Popcorn
- Roasted Nuts & Seeds
- Chips or Pretzels
- Nut Butter & Rice Cakes
What to add to your cocoa: Pinch of Sea Salt, Peanut Butter
- Peppery/Cured Meats
- Gingersnap Cookies
- Spicy Chili
- Buffalo Wings
What to add to your cocoa: Pinch of Cayenne or Cinnamon
- Goat/Brie Cheese
- Granny Smith Apples
What to add to your cocoa: Strawberry Slices, Orange Liqueur
- Candy Canes
- Shortbread Cookies
What to add to your cocoa: Nutella, Toasted Coconut