Hot Cocoa’s Sweet History
It’s cold outside and it’s chilly inside the skating rink, making a steaming cup of cocoa our favourite post-practice treat. And we know we’re not alone. Figure skaters around the world have savoured this popular drink for too many years to count. According to the Hot Chocolate Festival Organization (and a few history books), the Mayans created hot cocoa more than 2000 years ago. But it wasn’t until the early 16th century when Spain’s upper class stirred a little sweetness into the frothy deliciousness that the beverage went from cold to hot, courtesy of the Dutch, Italians, French and other mainland Europeans. Now of course, hot chocolate is a staple in most of our homes. Beyond satisfying our sweet tooth, it has some pretty great health benefits, too. Hot chocolate contains more antioxidants than red wine and tea, so drinking a mug full can help reduce the risk of heart disease. Plus, it’s packed full of flavonoids, which can improve your blood flow, prevent free radical damage and help reduce blood platelet buildup so that you can benefit from overall cardiovascular health.
It can also be personalized by adding a hint of mint, a dash of warm cinnamon or even a hot chili pepper to spice things up. However you choose to mix-up yours, pouring a cup or two into your to-go thermos is sure to make skating time even more fun than it already is.