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National Chocolate Milk Day

National Chocolate Milk Day celebrates the chocolate sweetened milk, which can either be bought in stores, or made at home by mixing milk with either cocoa powder and a sweetener, chocolate syrup, melted chocolate, or a powdered chocolate mix. Since at least 1494, Jamaicans had been drinking a hot beverage made with cocao or cocoa—sources are not conclusive as to which one it was—which was either boiled with milk and cinnamon, or mixed with water (again, sources give different accounts of the drink). According the Natural History Museum in Britain, Sir Hans Sloane, and Irish botanist living in England, invented chocolate milk after visiting Jamaica in the 1680's and being given their drink. He didn't particular like it—he thought it was "nauseous"—and decided to add some some milk (the implication being this was cold milk and not boiled milk). He took his recipe back to England, and thus became known as the originator of chocolate milk, although some allege—without specific evidence—that Jamaicans or others may have mixed it with milk first.

Sloane's recipe was being sold as a medicinal elixir in the 1750's, and in the following century the Cadbury Brothers sold drinking chocolate that was influenced by Sloane's recipe. In 1828 the Van Houten company in Amsterdam invented a cocoa pressing method which made a chocolate powder that could be more easily dissolved in water or milk, which improved the consistency of chocolate milk.

There is a debate as to how healthy chocolate milk is. On one hand it has a high amount of sugar and is seen as being a contributor to childhood obesity, but on the other hand it is seen as being restorative to the muscles of athletes.

How to Observe National Chocolate Milk Day

Celebrate the day by drinking a glass of chocolate milk! Buy some at the store, or make your own with chocolate syrup or powder. You could even make your own powder instead of buying the premixed kind at the store.

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