Happy National Chocolate Day!

Every Feb. 9 marks that special day when chocoholics across the nation united to celebrate their love of that tasty cocoa treat.

Chocolate is the widely favored candy treat adored by fans for almost 200 years. Even health nuts can appreciate the benefits chocolate offers. Researchers suggest that chocolate in moderation is healthy for the heart and could reduce high blood-pressure. It also contains theobromine, which is a mood enhancing substance that triggers the release of endorphins.

But where does chocolate even come from?

The Mayans harvested cocoa bean from rain forests and worshiped the intoxicating substance as an idol. The Aztecs also held the bean in high regard, using it for currency. They also used it to create a luxury drink. Christopher Columbus became the first European to discover cocoa during his fourth voyage to the New World. He returned to Europe with the beans, but they were overlooked for other treasures.

The Europeans would sweeten and fatten the foodstuffs made from the cocoa beans, adding sugar and milk. These ingredients were unknown to the South Americans. The Europeans did not add cocoa to their everyday diet, but used it only as a fancy dessert.

In the 1760s and the Baker Chocolate Company is established in Dorchester, Mass., by James Baker and John Hannon. Baker begins calling his products Baker's Chocolates. The 1800s saw the rise of many of the most popular chocolate companies including, Cadbury and Nestle. The Briton John Cadbury actually developed a process to make solid chocolate, creating the first chocolate bar.

In the 1900s, Milton S. Hershey introduced his own version of chocolate bar and the famed Hershey kiss. This was beginning of what would become a chocolate empire for the Hershey family.

The phrase #HappyChocolateDay began trending across the United States on Twitter. It seemed like almost everyone was getting into the spirit.

Happy Chocolate Day! RT if you're a chocoholic, wrote Twitter user AnilGujaraTi.

Happy Chocolate Day today? Now, that's a day worth celebrating! :D wrote Twitter user TGreekFB.

Happy Chocolate day Now give me some chocolate, wrote Twitter user Majestics1987.

So join the others and celebrate this great day by eating some chocolate candy, cake or brownies. And be sure click the through the slideshow and check out recipes for some awesome chocolate treats.