National Chocolate Day is October 28. This informal holiday should not be confused with the day observed by the U.S. National Confectioners Association for International Chocolate Day, which is September 13, the same day as Milton Hershey’s birthday. If that name sounds familiar, it’s because you see the Hershey name in every candy aisle in America.
National Chocolate Day will be celebrated on Saturday, October 28, 2023.
October 28 as a food holiday has a not-shocking proximity to another candy-motivated holiday on October 31st (yes, Halloween). Chocolate is practically a national obsession in some parts of our culture, so it’s only logical that we’d get a day to appreciate chocolate on its own without having to share the spotlight with candy corn, pumpkin pie, and Jolly Ranchers.
Scroll Down for a List of Chocolate Recipes ⬇
What Is Chocolate?
Chocolate comes from the cacao plant. It is made from cacao beans which are harvested and processed into what we know today as chocolate. In its raw form cacao can be beans, powder, or paste. It is made into chocolate as we typically consume it by adding sugar and fat.
When you eat a raw unprocessed bean (our sources say you can) you are eating cacao. When you eat processed cacao you may be consuming cocoa (the powder) or something far more elaborate such as a Hershey bar.
A Very Brief History Of Chocolate
Chocolate has been around for thousands of years; the earliest record of chocolate in human diets includes the use of chocolate four thousand years ago in what used to be called Mesoamerica (then), which we know better as present-day Mexico.
Some sources note the discovery of cacao residue on ancient pottery dating back to 1300 B.C.E. (a scholarly alternative to the religious dating convention A.D., also known as anno domini which is medieval Latin for “the year of Our Lord”).
One of the oldest civilizations in the area used chocolate as medicine as well as for rituals. Fast forward to the 21st century and National Chocolate day and you have an important part of our food culture that is tied to many other parts of our society; moviegoing, fundraising, retail, and food culture overall.
Celebrating National Chocolate Day
On National Chocolate Day, October 28th, you can celebrate in the most obvious ways including trying new types of chocolate you’ve never experienced before. But part of the fun of informal holidays like this?
Trying new chocolate recipes you’ve never attempted before. Ever try to make hot chocolate by replacing the milk with coconut milk as a vegan/vegetarian alternative? Many vegan food swaps are unpopular with people unfamiliar with vegan food culture. Not this one–the creaminess of the coconut milk actually makes this a bit MORE decadent than the ordinary variety.
Ever had a chocolate chip cookie pizza? This dessert item may be popular among those who like to get creative with their National Chocolate Day observance. Basically chocolate chip cookie dough spread out pizza dough style and topped with…you guessed it.
But you can get even more adventurous with a recipe for chocolate covered bacon. You’re after something where the chocolate is firm, like a ganache and not runny like Hershey’s chocolate syrup. Many recipes call for you to temper your chocolate; this is done by heating, cooling, and heating the chocolate again. It makes for a beautiful coating for your bacon when prepared this way.
If you’re a real chocoholic, you might even consider a visit to a Hershey’s Chocolate World, which offers a Hershey tour, the ability to create your own candy bar, try chocolate tastings and wine pairings, there is a lot to do here!
There is naturally a Hershey’s Chocolate World in Hershey, Pennsylvania, but there is also a location in Niagara Falls and Las Vegas. National Chocolate Day will be one to remember if you decide to make a day trip to have an experience at Chocolate World.
These Chocolate Caramel Bars are DANGEROUSLY delicious. A layer of chocolate and caramel is nestled between sweet and crisp oats. Perfect for cutting into portions and packing in your lunch for a mid-day chocolate fix.
This vegan mole negro sauce is a deep, smoky sauce made with dried black chilies, spices, and bittersweet chocolate. Perfect for topping chicken or other meat, or adding to enchiladas, tacos, or tamales.
Monique McArthur is a mother of two, writer, fan of home cooking, and creator of delicious recipes. She envisions herself as a self-taught cook who also learned extensively from a family of restaurateurs. In her spare time she enjoys traveling, shopping, running with her dogs and spending time with family.