Trivia

Hard

Chocolate Milk Originated In?

Germany
The United States
India
Jamaica
A cup of cold chocolate milk.
Jukka Zitting/Flickr

Answer: Jamaica

Chocolate, milk, and the optional application of heat is the basis for a wide variety of drinks we consume by the millions of gallons from plain old cold chocolate milk to this-that-and-the-other thing premium drinks at coffee shops.

For centuries, credit for the invention of chocolate milk went to Sir Hans Sloane, an Irish botanist who claimed he had invented the drink after visiting Jamaica in the early 18th century. His story was that the locals gave him a cocoa-based drink, but it upset his stomach, so he mixed in milk and thus the wonder of chocolate milk was born.

That’s a lovely story (and possibly Sloane did in fact drink a steeped-cocoa drink and added milk in himself), but that hardly makes him the inventor of chocolate milk. While Jamaicans and many Meso-Americans had long been making cocoa-based teas (Cortez found the cocoa-tea the Aztecs offered him to be quite bitter and unpleasant), Jamaicans had been brewing mixtures of cocoa, milk, and cinnamon for centuries. The earliest recorded instance of such a mixture dates back to the journals of European explorers from the beginning of the 16th century, long before Sloane arrived on the island.

As such, it wasn’t an Irishman that invented chocolate milk but, to the best of our written knowledge, simply lifted the concoction from some hospitable Jamaicans who may have, in turn, lifted the recipe from another Meso-American culture long before anyone was there to take good notes.

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