Celebrating World Chocolate Day

The world loves chocolate for several reasons. And it’s loved so much, a whole day is dedicated to it - July 7 is World Chocolate Day.

It’s unclear how the holiday originated, but some say it's celebrated on July 7 because that's when chocolate was first brought to Europe in 1550.

With numerous ways to celebrate, the day gives people the chance to indulge in their favorite treats guilt-free. Some businesses are even offering deals. 

Krispy Kreme is celebrating for multiple days by offering its chocolate glazed doughnut. It’s Krispy Kreme’s classic Original Glazed Doughnut covered in a rich chocolate glaze. 

The doughnut is available from July 7 - 9. You can also buy any dozen donuts and get 50% off a chocolate glazed dozen. 

Another easy way to celebrate is to learn about chocolates from all around the world. 

The bittersweet delicacy has been around for a long time, dating back thousands of years to Central America. Back then, chocolate was just a bitter liquid. Chocolate comes from the seed of a cacao tree. 

These seeds are naturally bitter, so through a process called fermentation, the seeds obtain their flavor. The seeds are then ground into cocoa mass, which is pure chocolate in rough form. The last step is to liquify the mass and this usually results in the creation of something called chocolate liquor. 

It then gets processed into two components known as cocoa solids and cocoa butter. 

Over the course of history, many inventors have had a role in chocolate’s rise to fame, and one of the most influential is arguably Milton S. Hershey. 

As the name suggests, he’s the man responsible for the creation of the Hershey Chocolate Company. He began the company by producing chocolate-coated caramels. Although the company was created in 1894, it wasn’t until 1900 when the first Hershey chocolate bar was sold, according to the company’s website. 

When Milton felt the increased demand for chocolate, he changed his formula so his company could mass-produce it. At first, chocolate was a treat only the wealthy could enjoy but then it became a treat affordable to everyone. 

A unique creation by Hershey also helped fuel soldiers through World War II, according to History.com

Listed as emergency rations, the U.S. government had some specific requests when it came to the bar they asked Hershey to create. They had to weigh 4 ounces, be high in energy, withstand high temperatures and "taste a little better than a boiled potato."

The final product was called the "D ration bar" and many soldiers would’ve preferred a boiled potato due to the taste, according to History.com. Most soldiers who ate it had to use a knife to shave off pieces from the block before they could eat it. 

An estimated three billion ration units were packaged and provided for military personnel around the world.

Studies show that chocolate not only comes with a good taste but with some health benefits as well. 

Chocolate increases dopamine and serotonin levels, which increase a person’s mood. Dark chocolate lowers blood pressure, improves blood flow, and reduces the risk of heart disease. It does all of these things because it’s an antioxidant.