Friday, January 6, 2012

The Chocolate Diva Shares!

Joleen Allis, our Chocolate Diva, kicks off the New Year sharing holidays beyond the usual to celebrate with chocolate.  Hey, any excuse for chocolate right!  Personally, I don’t really need an excuse though.  How about you?

If your chocolate celebration days are limited to Valentine’s Day and maybe your birthday, here is a calendar that lets you celebrate other important chocolate holidays!
January 1: New Year’s Day

Most people use New Year’s Day to make resolutions for self-improvement. Add to your other resolutions one to eat better chocolate, learn more about the components and history of chocolate, find new chocolatiers, and share your chocolate with others.

February 14: Valentine’s Day

You know the drill in the U.S.A.: it’s the men who go a-wooing with heart-shaped red velvet box of chocolates. But on February 14 in Japan, Korea and Taiwan it is the custom for women to bestow gifts of chocolate upon the men. Like being the only kid in grade school who doesn’t get a Valentine card, it is a source of embarrassment to Japanese men if they don’t receive any chocolates on Valentine’s Day (and Mom doesn’t count).

March 14: White Day in Japan, Korea & Taiwan

This holiday was created in 1965 by a clever marshmallow maker that sought to sell more product, promoting to men that they should pay back with marshmallows the women who gave them Valentine chocolate. The chocolate companies soon realized that they could capitalize on this marketing bonanza, and began promoting white chocolate. Now, Japanese men give marshmallows, white chocolate, milk and dark chocolate, to the women who thought of them on Valentine’s Day.

April: Easter, Around the World

The Easter Bunny and his basket of treats for good boys and girls was first mentioned in German writings in the 1500’s—although chocolate as an Easter treat came later. It didn’t arrive in Spain until 1527, in drinking form, and wasn’t made into the first bars until 1847 in England. The first molded chocolate Easter Bunnies and chocolate-crusted sugar eggs were created in Germany after then, adding to the store of colored eggs.

May: Mother's Day in the U.S.

If you’re a mother, you’re entitled to great chocolate on Mother’s Day—and if you’re the child who brings it, you’re entitled to share. If Mom really loves chocolate, show you care by finding her the very best of her favorites—be they truffles or chocolate covered pretzels.

June: Father’s Day in the U.S.

Don't forget dads.  Chocolate bacon cupcakes for would be well suited for Dear Old Dad!

July-August: Chocolate Fondue Day

A floating day in July or August to celebrate chocolate and summer by enjoying sweet seasonal berries dipped in chocolate; and berries and other fruits and sweets dipped chocolate fondue. Yes, this is a made up holiday up; but only because the large chocolate companies aren’t on the ball like the Japanese marshmallow folks.

September: Fall Equinox, Worldwide

The Fall Equinox is a floating date around September 22-23 that marks the first day of autumn, when day and night are of equal lengths. For centuries, friends have gathered to celebrate the day and strengthen their spirits in preparation for the passage into winter.  Enjoy a chocolate autumn dessert buffet with friends to mark the first day of Fall.

October 31: Halloween in the U.S.

Just for kids, you say? Not when you see the beautiful treats made by great chocolatiers. Compartes Chocolatier Skull & Bones Bonbons, Cocoa Dolce Chocolate-Dipped Apples or Browniepops would bring a new dimension to your Halloween.  

October 31 - November 2: Day of the Dead in Mexico

Mexican people have celebrated the Day of the Dead, a ritual in which the living remember their departed relatives. From October 31 through November 2, graves are tended and decorated with offerings, and families expect a visit from loved ones who have passed. The offerings dedicated to the deceased, usually include foods and beverages, are also put in homes on elaborately decorated altars. Foods can include chocolate beverages, chicken with chocolate mole sauce, and sugar and chocolate skulls inscribed with the names of the deceased on the forehead.

December 25: Christmas Day, Everywhere

Instead of more things that you don’t need and don’t have space for, this is your opportunity to ask for one or two boxes of luxury bonbons (not too much—remember, they have a two-week shelf life), a collection of fine bars for tasting and study (they’ll keep a year or more), and a variety of fine hot chocolates to keep you warm for the winter. While others will have forgotten their gifts by mid-January, you’ll be happy with yours through spring


Shonna said...

Chocolate is a NEEDED staple at my house. There are just times I feel I have to have a little. It’s hard sometimes because chocolate is like a bag of potato chips,..once you start it is hard to keep your hand from reaching for another. I didn’t know about the Valentine and White Day tradition for Japan, Korea, and Taiwan. I wish we had a White Day here, it would be fun.

Lizzie said...

Nothing says you can't celebrate other culture's holidays, Shonna...hehehe

Jennifer Mathis said...

white chocolate is my favorite so Im all for adding White Day