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A modern symbol of decadence and love, chocolate was first consumed thousands of years ago in Mesoamerica, where cacao beans were roasted and combined with water, spices, and other ingredients to make a flavorful beverage. Mayan and Aztec societies considered cacao a gift from the gods and used it as currency and in religious ceremonies. Millennia later, we’ve come to associate fine chocolate with European nations like Belgium, Switzerland, and Spain. But perhaps the best way to enjoy chocolate is to take inspiration from its origins as a delicious drink.

Chocolate has flavor notes akin to a glass of wine—it can be earthy, floral, fruity and everything in between. Dark chocolate is bitter but also the most complex. Milk chocolate is creamy and sweet, its bitterness offset by sugar and dairy. White chocolate contains cocoa butter but no cocoa solids and is very sweet and mild. Choose your chocolate first, then have a little fun. Try to taste the flavors in your cup of cocoa.

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