March 24th National Chocolate Covered Raisin Day

I remember as a child sneaking into my grandmothers drawing room, while she and her friends played bridge, and sneaking a handful of the candy left on the corner of the table. It was always chocolate covered raisins and nuts. They even call it, Bridge Mix. Back then, since I only saw the chocolate covered raisins when they played cards I didn’t think it was available unless it was a card day. The sweet chocolate and sweet raisins was a perfect combination and of most candies, probably the best one for you.

How to celebrate – Learn how to play Bridge. Go to the movie theater and buy some chocolate covered raisins. (Might as well see a movie while you are there.) Make your chocolate covered raisins.

March 24th National Chocolate Covered Raisin Day

Well, it seems like we tend to celebrate a lot of days that really aren’t all tat important. I don’t think i would put Chocolate Covered Raisins at the top of my list unless I were planning on playing Bridge today. Not that there is anything wrong with chocolate covered raisins, I do like them but I do not know that I would go as far as to actually celebrate them. On the other hand, they should, or could, be named a health food. After all, chocolate comes from the cocoa bean which is a vegetable and raisins are a fruit, so when we eat chocolate covered raisins we are eating our fruits and veggies! I just think the sugar involved here may sort of take it out of the range of most health foods. Still, it is a way to have something sweet and make the world think you are just being patriotic by eating them, after all it is national. Though I don’t think the government actually sees them that way.

How to celebrate – Have some chocolate covered raisins. Eat your fruit and vegetables. Play Bridge.

March 24th National Chocolate Covered Raisins Day

If you grew up like I did, watching your parents play bridge with their friends, sneaking out and stealing some of the bridge mix which was made up of chocolate covered nuts and raisins. I know I always welcomed bridge night.

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What I didn’t realize is that I was eating healthy! You see, the cocoa plant, which chocolate comes from, is considered a vegetable. Of course, the original vegetable (Chocolate) is bitter and was served as a drink, not candy. Once it reached Europe sugar was added and it suddenly became candy. Of course, it became unhealthy as well.

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And then the raisins come from grapes and are fruit. never mind that they are dried up and shriveled. They add a sweetness to that bitter chocolate, which isn’t bitter anymore but that doesn’t matter. Double sweetness is twice as nice.

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So the next time someone tells you to eat your fruits and vegetables, show them your bag of Raisinettes! You might have to remind them that you are eating fruit and vegetables, and they may not even think you are being truthful, but you are. Just remind them of the source of your treat.

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Ho to celebrate – Have some chocolate covered raisins. Start a bridge club. Go to the movies.

March 24th National Chocolate Covered Raisin Day

I remember sitting at the table as my Grandmother played bridge with her friend and munching on the chocolate covered raisins she sat out for her guests to munch on. I always thought I was doing them a favor from getting all that chocolate on their cards. I loved bridge day.

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Chocolate comes from the cocoa bean discovered by Christopher Columbus when he came to the Americas. (Of course the Native American knew about it long before Columbus got there.) Believe it or not the cocoa bean is considered a vegetable. So if you want to really stretch it, you can tell people you are eating your vegetables while chomping down on that chocolate. (I suggest you don’t really believe that you are though.)

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And then there’s the raisin. It is a fruit, it is a grape. I can only imagine that there was a time when someone found some grapes they had left out for say, a couple of years, and decided to eat it any way. By itself, the raisin does not have that visual appeal of something you want to put in your mouth but it does taste good and is at least sort of good for you.

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Remember going to the movies and chopping down on chocolate covered raisins while being entertained? Today, no one can afford those tiny morsels anymore but there was a time when they were cheap, fun and  easy to eat. (Add to that you are eating fruits and vegetables it so rewarding.)

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And if you want to try something truly an overload, fix yourself a chocolate covered raisin cake!

How to celebrate – Find some Raisinets and enjoy the memories. Discover your own way to use chocolate covered raisins. Include some chocolate covered raisins in your kids lunch today and create a smile.

 

National Chocolate Covered Raisins Day

As you probably already know, chocolate is not natural to Europe.  Christopher Columbus brought back the use of chocolate from his exploration of the Americas in 1502.  Mesoamerican’s had been using the plant to flavor and enhance their foods since 1750 BC.  Aztec and Inca populations were known to drink the substance and use it to coat various fruits and nuts to make them more enjoyable to eat.  So while Columbus did not discover the gold he hoped to find (Though others later did) he did bring back an economic boom to Europe that would surface a century later.

In Europe, they profess that the original Chocolate covered raisin was mentioned in the Germanic speaking regions where they were mentioned in a children’s folktale kleine Schokokugeln. In a Christmas prayer the treat is referred to as, “my little chocolate balls, oh, how nobly you glorify the fruit hanging down.  My vineyard weeps with good cheer at the gift from Heaven”.  Ah, maybe it losses a little in translation.  At least, let’s hope it was raisins they were coating in chocolate. I am a little worried about the term, “hanging fruit”.

While I have a little problem with the dateline, there is no doubt that one of the most popular treats in central Germany is the chocolate covered raisin.  Today it is hard to imagine any real holiday passing without a glass bowl of chocolate covered raisins set out on a table.  It’s hard to imagine a bridge game without chocolate covered raisins.

Today, we coat nearly everything in chocolate.  I’m pretty sure the Inca’s never thought about covering bugs that crawl on the ground with chocolate but it’s fairly common today.  Of course, who looked at a dried up grape and said to themselves, “Oh, I bet that would taste good!”  I don’t know about you but I like my raisins covered up with chocolate so I don’t have to look at them in the natural state.  Under normal circumstances, when I see something all wrinkled up, black or brown in color, and laying on the ground where it fell I’m not going to run over, pick it up and put it in my mouth!  However, I am glad someone did!