Hot Chocolate:

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Hot chocolate is a stimulating beverage that is derived from the cacao plant. Hot chocolate contains any where from 3 to 13 mg of caffeine, which when consumed can increase the amount of energy in the human body. Hot chocolate was consumed as early as the 1500’s, and continues to be consumed world wide.

Other stimulating beverages are: Coffee, Tea, Energy drinks, and Soft Drinks






Botanical Info:

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Hot chocolate is derived from the Theobroma cacao plant or the cocoa plant. The Theobroma cacao is a part of the Sterculiaceae family which is native to the tropical region of the Americas. These plants produce flowers that grow directly on the trunk and on old branches. These flowers are pollinated by flies rather than bees or butterflies. The Sterculiaceae family consists of trees, shrubs or herbs comprising 65 genera and 1000 species. Examples of these are Brachychiton acerifolium, Brachychiton discolor, Kola nut, Fremontodendron californica, and Sterculia.

Classification:
Theobroma cacao L.
Kingdom
Plante- Plants
Subkingdom
Tracheobionta- Vascular plants
Superdivision
Spermatophyta- Seed plants
Division
Magnoliophyta- Flowering plants
Class
Magnoliopsida- Dicotyledons
Subclass
Dilleniidae
Order
Malvales
Family
Sterculiaceae- Cacao family
Genus
Theobroma L.- Theobroma
Species
Theobroma cacao L.- cacao





Domestic Information/History:
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The Theobroma cacao plant is located in the tropical region of the Americas (southern Mexico, central and south America). The Aztecs discovered cacao, and at the time it was very valuable and used for multiple purposes. It was not only used for consumption but also served as a form of currency. The Aztecs consumed hot chocolate much differently than we do today. The Aztecs drank it cold and flavored with wine and chili peppers. This drink was not at all sweet. It was not until the 1500’s when the Europeans discovered it and that the way it was served was changed. Hernan Cortez introduced it to Spain, and the Spanish began to serve it hot and sweet as it is served today.

http://coffeetea.about.com/cs/chocolate/a/chochistory.htm

To Drink or Not to Drink: Which Brands are the Best:

There are many different types of hot chocolate out there to choose from, and many people have their preferences. Below is a list of pros and cons of four different types of hot chocolate (ranging from commercial to gourmet) and below are the nutritional values of each product. With this information it should be easy for someone to find a hot chocolate that fits their taste:

Swiss Miss :

Pros: Good taste and texture, inexpensive, not too sweet
Cons: Occasional artificial taste

Nutritional Values:
Calories: 150
Cholesterol: 4g
Sodium : 170 mg
Total Carbohydrates: 27g
Protein: 2g

Lake Champlain Traditional Hot Chocolate:

Pros: good quality for the price, chocolaty but not too intense, not too sweet
Cons: not rich enough (depending on preference), hard to find

Nutritional Values:
Calories:170
Cholesterol: 5mg
Sodium: 30mg
Total Carbohydrates: 17g
Protein: 2g

Schokinag European Drinking Chocolate:

Pros: High-quality chocolate ingredients, complex flavor
Cons:not sweet enough (depending on preference), can be thin and bitter

Nutritional Values:
Calories: 241
Cholesterol: 0mg
Sodium:0mg
Total Carbohydrates: 21g
Protein: 3g

Hershey's Goodnight Kisses:

Pros: almost no caffeine, creamy and mild
Cons: Bland taste, can have a gritty texture

Nutritional Values
Calories: 140
Cholesterol: 5mg
Sodium: 140mg
Total Carbohydrates: 27g
Protein: 3g

http://www.consumersearch.com/hot-chocolate

References:













Stimulating Beverages : Coffee , Tea , Energy Drinks (Guarana ), Soft Drinks (Kola Nut)