Last year, I told you the history of wassail. Most people don't make wassail anymore (and they are missing out, believe me!), but everyone has sampled hot chocolate, and it's history is just as interesting.
Hot chocolate started out cold, with cornmeal and chili peppers, believe it or not. The Mayan people took their time to make the drink, pouring it back and forth from one vessel to another until it was frothy.
Don't worry. Things can only get better, right?
Spanish explorers took the drink back home with them and shared it with their country. It seems unbelievable, but the drink quickly caught on with the Spanish. They did make some changes (improvements, in my opinion) to the drink. They omitted the chile peppers and began to heat their chocolate.
Over the next hundred years, hot chocolate became a growing craze and "chocolate houses" (much like our modern craze of coffee shops) began to spring up. Years into the new fad, people began to mix milk into the beverage for a smoother, more luxurious taste.
This drink was much the same as the one that we drink today. However, most of us don't take the time to make hot chocolate from scratch anymore. Instead, we buy the packets that can be easily mixed with hot water or milk.
Here is the more difficult (and tastier) way to make hot chocolate.