Chocolate Almanac

Scroll for chocolate dates, songs, movie titles, history and ephemera.

The Year in Chocolate,

Every day should be a chocolate day, but the specifically nominated ones so far include:

January
3 — National Chocolate Covered Cherry Day
8 — National English Toffee Day
10 — National Bittersweet Chocolate Day
27 — National Chocolate Cake Day

February
1 — National Dark Chocolate Day
9 — India’s (national) Chocolate Day … part of “Week of Love” lead up to Valentines Day beginning with “Rose Day” (7th) and including “Propose Day” (8th), “Teddy Day (10th), “Promise Day” (11th), “Kiss Day” (12th) and “Hug Day” (13th)
14 — (Saint) Valentine’s Day
14 — National Cream-Filled Chocolates Day
17 — Birthday, in 1867, of William Cadbury, English chocolate manufacturer (He passed in 1922.)
19 — National Chocolate Mint Day
23 — Tootsie Roll introduced by Leo Hirshfield, 1896.
25 — National Chocolate-Covered Peanuts Day
27 — National Chocolate Cake Day
28 — National Chocolate Souffle Day

March
6 — National White Chocolate Cheesecake Day
14 — (White Day) Traditionally, girls give guys chocolate in Japan, Korea and Taiwan.
15 — Birthday of Coenraad Johannes van Houten (1801-1887), Dutch chemist who patented process to easily create powdered chocolate for hot cocoa.
Third week — American Chocolate Week
19 — National Chocolate Caramel Day
24 — National Chocolate Covered Raisins Day

April
3 — National Chocolate Mousse Day
4 — Casparus van Wooden patents chocolate milk powder in Amsterdam in 1828.
21 — National Chocolate-Covered Cashews Day

May
National Chocolate Custard Month
1 — National Chocolate Parfait Day
2 — National Chocolate Mousse Day
3 — National Chocolate Custard Day
12 — National Nutty Fudge Day
15 — National Chocolate Chip Day
24 — Birthday in 1879 of Harry Burnett Reese of Peanut Butter Cup Fame.

June
National Candy Month
2 — National Rocky Road Day
3 — National Chocolate Macaroon Day
7 — National Chocolate Ice Cream Day
11 — National German Chocolate Cake Day
16 — National Fudge Day
17 — Birthday in 1903 of Ruth Wakefield, inventor of the Toll House Cookie, the first chocolate chip cookie. (She passed in 1977.)
22 — National Chocolate Eclair Day
26 — National Chocolate Pudding Day

July
3 — National Chocolate Wafer Day
7 — Chocolate Day. Celebrating the 1550 European introduction of chocolate from Mexico.
8 — In 1881 (legend has it), Edward Berner, a Two Rivers, Wisc., druggist, poured chocolate syrup on ice cream in a dish creating the ur-chocolate sundae. Previously, it  had simply been the key ingredient behind ice-cream sodas.
8 — National Milk Chocolate with Almonds Day
25 — National Hot Fudge Sundae Day
28 — National Milk Chocolate Day

August
4 — National Chocolate Chip Day
10 — National S’mores Day (some celebrate it 11 Aug.; also “National Toasted Marshmallow Day is 30 Aug., in case you want to re-celebrate with a S’more)
20 — National Chocolate Pecan Pie Day
31 —National Trail Mix Day (for when chocolate chips are part of the mix)

September
12 — National Chocolate Milkshake Day
13 — International Chocolate Day. Also, the birthday, in 1857, of Milton S. Hershey, chocolate manufacturer/philanthropist. (He passed in 1945.)
22 — National White Chocolate Day
27 — National Chocolate Milk Day

October
National Dessert Month
1 — Peru’s National Chocolate and Cocoa Day (first celebrated 2012)
14 — National Dessert Day
14 — National Chocolate-Covered Insects
18 — National Chocolate Cupcake Day
28 — National Chocolate Day

November
5 — Birthday, as of 1887, of Oscar Bossaert, Belgian chocolate manufacturer (He passed in 1956.)
7 — National Bittersweet Chocolate with Almonds Day
11 — St. Martin’s Day, a feast day for a a knight in Roman times who gave a begger his cloak after cutting it in two with his sword that is celebrated in Germany and elsewhere with a cup of your finest hot chocolate.
29 — National Chocolates Day

December
4 — National Cookie Day (not necessarily chocolate, but still a day to celebrate chocolate cookies)
5 — National Sacher Torte Day (celebrating the iconic Viennese chocolate cake)
8 — National Brownie Day
12 — National (Hot) Cocoa Day (although some argue it’s the 13th)
16 — National Chocolate Covered Anything Day
19 — Birthday of Franz Sacher (1816) in Vienna. The great confectioner, famous for the sachertorte, died March 11, 1907, in Baden bei Wien.
28 — National Chocolate Candy Day

Chocolate in Song

Chocolate Band Names

The Chocolate Papers were the first name of Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show, a 1960s, ’70s group. Other “chocolate groups include Hot Chocolate – 14 Greatest Hits“>Hot Chocolate, a British pop band with the hit, “You Sexy Thing from the ’70s and ’80s and Chocolate Syrup, offering a soul sound in the early ’70s.

Chocolate Songs

  • Cafe Cacao (Alpha Bondy)
  • Candy Man (Sammy Davis Jr.) … and yes, we know it only promises “chocolate” in the title
  • Chocolate (Tindersticks)
  • Chocolate (Tim Maia, sung in Portuguese)
  • Chocolate (Diva and Kylie Minogue and Snow Patrol)
  • Cigarettes and Chocolate Milk (Rufus Wainwright)
  • Chocolate Box (Prince)
  • Chocolate High (India.Arie)
  • Chocolate Jesus (Tom Waits)
  • Chocolate Legs (Eric Benet)
  • Chocolate Pope (Electric Six)
  • Chocolate Rain (Tay Zonday)
  • Chocolate Salty Balls (“Chef,” voiced by Isaac hayes in South Park)
  • Chocolate Sundae (Stan Getz, Louie Bellson, Oscar Peterson Trio, Harry Edison, Gerry Mulligan)
  • L’Enfance de Ko-Quo (Erik Satie)
  • Morphine & Chocolate (4 Non Blondes)
  • Non Voglio Choccolata (Mina)
  • One Cocoa (Gregory Isaacs)
  • Savoy Truffle (The Beatles)
  • Sweet Like Chocolate (Shanks & Bigfoot and Sharon Woolf)

Related Trivia: “More Songs About Chocolate and Girls” is an album title from The Undertones

Many of the above can be heard in one place via Spotify (if you have it):

Chocolate on the Screen

Movies with “chocolate” in the title

Better than Chocolate (1999)
Big Daddy Kane: Chocolate City (1991)
Blood and Chocolate (2007)
Bread and Chocolate (1974)
Chocolate (2009)
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005)
Chocolate (2008)
Chocolate: Deep Dark Secrets (2005)
Chocolate City (1994)
Chocolate Soldier (1941)
Chocolate Sperm (2001)The Chocolate War (1988)
The Dark Side of Chocolate (2010)
Like Water for Chocolate (1992)
Merci Pour Le Chocolate (2002)
Nothing Like Chocolate (2012)
Sexual Chocolate Taste so Fine (2012?)
Tuna and chocolate (2004)
Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971)

Vaguely Related Trivia: 1) Not all titles refer to chocolate as in the candy, some refer to black American experience. 2) from the television show Two and a Half Men (the episode first aired October 2003) comes the quote,

“If I can’t write my chocolate song, I’m going to take a nap.”

History and Other Trivia

Chocolate Basics

Today’s chocolate began its journey to you as seeds harvested from pods on a tropical cacao tree. Three main types are criollo, trinitario and forastero, with the latter the most hardy, disease resistant and prevalent as while the least flavorful still makes up perhaps an estimated 90 percent of the world’s cacao bean cultivation and production. The ideal is the criollo bean with its complex and fruity flavors, but until recently there was a worry that the pure plant had been lost, having been crossed with forastero to produce trinitario (named for Trinidad, where it was first grown), which makes up about 10 percent of the global (and pretty much all better) chocolate market.

Post-harvesting, they undergo a three to seven day fermentation, are then stripped out of the pods, roasted and ground into a paste 40 to 50 percent cocoa butter and the remainder cocoa powder (50-60%), which will then be melted into a liquid slurry.

  • Milk Chocolate is 30-40 percent cacao bean
  • Semi-sweet Chocolate is 55-60 percent cacao bean
  • Bittersweet Chocolate is 65-80 percent cacao bean
  • Unsweetened Chocolate is 99 percent cacao bean

 

From San Francisco’s Exploratorium Museum, a family-friendly take on choco-history

WNYC’s Leonard Lopate’s 17 October 2012 interview of historian Louis Grivettie and chocolatiere Jacques Torres on chocolate history and current culture:

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