It’s National Chocolate Day

(WTNH)- You finally have a reason to start eating that Halloween candy early because today is National Chocolate Day.

The Mayan may have been on to something when they called chocolate “the food of the gods.” The tasty treat has been around since ancient history and this year Americans kept it going by eating around $18.27 billion worth of chocolate, according to data from Euromonitor.

We all love chocolate so much that besides today, there are dozen of other more specific chocolate related “days” such as International Chocolate Day, Chocolate Milkshake Day, National Chocolate Souffle Day and many more.

So how did it all begin? Chocolate comes from the seed of the tropical cacao tree, which is grown in Mexico, Central America and Northern South America. About 3,000 years ago, the Maya, Toltec and Aztec people made a beverage from the cacao tree and used it’s bean as currency. The Maya even believed the cacao tree was sacred, according to the Encyclopedia Britannica.

Making chocolate from the cacao beans is a long process of roasting and fermenting them to turn into a liquor and then into the different forms of chocolate like baking chocolate, cocoa powder and eating chocolate.

Chocolate isn’t just delicious, in moderation it can be good for you. Studies have shown that chocolate can prevent cognitive decline and lower cholesterol levels and the risk of heart disease and stroke.

So why not go head and indulge yourself today!

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