It may be a bit warm here in St. Louis to celebrate, but today, December 13, is National Cocoa Day, according to National Day Calendar. The first chocolate beverage was created by the Mayans in Central America and contained chili peppers. They called the beverage xocolatl, which became the word chocolate.
Hot cocoa is made with cocoa powder, heated milk or water and sugar. The terms “hot chocolate” and “hot cocoa”are often used interchangeably but, technically, hot chocolate is made with shaved or melted chocolate instead of the cocoa powder.
Cocoa is made from the dried, fermented seeds of the cacao tree. Need an excuse to enjoy a cup? Cocoa contains large amounts of antioxidants that may help prevent cancer.