Chocolate is so much more than a snack to eat while binge watching Netflix all night long. Just one piece has so much history and hidden usages behind it, you would be surprised how powerful it really is and how many interesting chocolate facts exist.
Here we’re going to look at 50 delicious facts about chocolate.
To make things more fun, I want you to grab a chocolate and then read this blog!!
What Is Chocolate?
Chocolate is made from the fruit of the Theobroma cacao, a tropical tree which means “food of the gods” in Greek, according to an online exhibit by the Cornell University Library.
Chocolate Is Actually A Vegetable
Cacao beans produces chocolate, which grows on the cacao tree (Theobroma cacao), an evergreen from the family Malvaceae (other members of the family include okra and cotton). This makes the most important part of the sweet treat a vegetable.
White Chocolates Are Not Chocolates Really!
Because it doesn’t contain chocolate liquor more than 10%, white chocolate isn’t chocolate in the strict sense. But One of the main components of white chocolate is cacao, or cocoa, beans—mainly cocoa butter.
Hot Chocolate Was The First Chocolate Treat
Cacao was brewed in both Mexican and Aztec culture, though the result was nothing like today’s hot chocolate—it was a typically bitter concoction that was often used for ceremonial occasions like weddings.
Cacao Was Once Used As Currency
The Aztecs and Mesoamericans loved and valued the cacao bean so highly that they used it as currency during the height of their civilization.
Cocoa And Cacao Are The Same Thing
The words are interchangeable! It’s all one bean.“Cacao” is how you say “cocoa” in Spanish.
Napoleon Bonaparte Loved Chocolate
The French leader wanted wine and chocolate available to him and his senior advisers even during intense military campaigns.
Making Chocolate Is Intensely Hard
Despite its regal background and revered status, the cacao bean doesn’t just magically turn into chocolate—it takes about 400 beans to make a single pound of the good stuff.
The First Chocolate Bar Was Made In England
Way back in 1842, the Cadbury company made the very first chocolate bar. The company is still in existence, and is perhaps most famous for their delightful Easter-themed treats.
Chocolate Has A Special Melting Point
Chocolate is the only edible substance to melt around 93°F(32°C) , just below the human body temperature. That’s why chocolate melts so easily on your tongue.
Cacao Trees Are Immortal, Almost
That may sound impressive, but the Cacao trees, which are tropical beauties, may actually live up to 200 years. However, interestingly, they produce viable beans for just 25 years of their lifespan.
Chocolates Are Not For Pets
Chocolates and cocoa products may be dangerous for your pet as it contains a toxic component called theobromine. While humans can easily metabolise this component, it takes time for the pets to process, which only builds up to the toxicity.
Growing A Cocoa Tree Is No Joke
It takes about a year for a cocoa tree to produce enough pods to make about 10 small-sized chocolate bars.
Know The Number Of Chocolate Flavors Available Across The Globe
Chocolates have more than 500 flavors available, while wine has just about 200. Wonder how many have you tasted?
Chocolate Can Produce Alcohol
Around 1400 to 1100 B.C. civilization fermented cocoa beans to create alcoholic drinks. Researchers in Honduras learned that it was first farmed for this purpose before it was eventually used to create the sweet dessert we eat in today’s modern culture.
It Can Improve Your Memory
A experiment conducted at the Columbia University proved that chocolate can improve your memory. The participants were instructed to drink the beverage that contains a high dose of cocoa flavanols every day for three months. The group who consumed this drink had a 25% better performance than the normal people.
There are a number of holidays devoted only to chocolate. July 7th is known as Chocolate Day. This is to celebrate the day in 1550 when chocolate was first brought to Europe. There is also the July 28th celebration of National Milk Chocolate Day and International Chocolate Day on September 13th.
The Ivory Coast Is The Single Largest Producer Of Cacao
Despite its Amazonian roots, most cacao—nearly 70 percent of the world’s supply—comes from Africa.The world’s largest producer of cacao is the Ivory Coast in West Africa, which account for about 30-40% of all production worldwide.
Chocolate Invented Microwave
Chocolate actually inspired the Microwave. Percy Spence, a scientist working on WWII radar loved chocolate. When near a magnetron, he noticed a chocolate bar in his pocket had melted. He realized magnetrons could be used to heat food quickly and discovered the microwave oven.
World’s Most Expensive Chocolate Bar
Cadbury offers The Wispa Gold Wrapped Bar. It was a marketing campaign to relaunch their brand of caramel chocolate bars, Wispa Gold. And we get this expensive version in an edible gold leaf. It cost around 1430$ per bar.
Process Of Making The Chocolate
Did you know making chocolate is not a piece of cake? Despite its regal background and revered status, the cacao, or cocoa, beans do not just magically turn into chocolates; it takes quite the processing.
Cacao seeds are harvested by hand because machines could injure the trees, according to Cornell. Workers remove the pods, which are orange when they are ripe, and open them with a machete. The seeds are placed in large fermentation trays that are stacked and covered in banana leaves, where they are left for two to seven days.
Fermentation produces the chocolate flavor and aroma. It also destroys the seed’s embryo, preventing unwanted germination, and causes the white pulp to fall away from the seeds.After fermenting, the beans dry out on sunny platforms.
Workers turn them several times a day for three to five days to complete drying. The beans can dry faster in rotary driers but sun-dried beans taste the best, according to Cornell.
Next, the beans are taken to the chocolate factory, where they are cleaned. The beans are roasted in large, rotating ovens. The roasting draws out flavor and removes the beans. Roasted beans go into a winnowing machine, which cracks the beans and removes hulls. The remaining part of the bean is the nib. Nibs become chocolate.
Types Of Chocolate
Fine chocolate falls into three categories: dark chocolate, milk chocolate and white chocolate.
- Dark chocolate has chocolate liquor, cocoa butter, lecithin, sugar and vanilla.
- Milk chocolate has all of the above plus milk fats and milk solids.
- White chocolate contains everything milk chocolate does except chocolate liquor.
Health benefits of chocolate
1. Good heart food
Several recent studies have examined the role that chocolate may have on heart health. Cacao beans are full of phytonutrients, which act as antioxidants and provide additional benefits. Furthermore, cacao beans are rich sources of iron, copper, magnesium, zinc and phosphorus.
A study in the journal in 2017 proves that adults who eats chocolate at least once a month has 10 to 20 percent lower rates of having heart attacks than those who never or rarely eats chocolate.
2. Good mood food
Chocolate is often associated with positive effects on mood, but the reasons why it makes some people feel good are debatable. However, these substances are in very low concentrations — too low to induce an antidepressant effect.
Chocolate may interact with neurotransmitter systems that contribute to appetite, reward and mood regulation, such as dopamine, serotonin and endorphins, according to the 2013 article in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology.
3. Chocolates Can Help Prevent Tooth Decay
Your mouth plays a home to bacteria that turn sugar into acids, further eating away the tooth’s surface causing cavities. The antibacterial agents in cocoa beans tend to inhibit the growth of these bacteria and prevent tooth decay. Choose to eat dark chocolate as it contains more cocoa. However, this doesn’t mean you eat chocolate daily.
Some Short One-Liner Facts :
1. There are an estimated 1.5 million cocoa farms in West Africa.
2. Cacao leaves can move 90 degrees, from horizontal to vertical, to get sun and to protect younger leaves.
3. The average size of a cocoa farm in West Africa is 7 to 10 acres.
4. Worldwide, 40 million to 50 million people depend upon cocoa for their livelihood.
5. Spanish royalty gave cakes of cacao in their dowries.
6. The Aztec emperor Montezuma drank 50 cups of cacao a day from a golden chalice.
7. The French celebrate April Fool’s Day with chocolate-shaped fish, or “Poisson d’Avril.”
8. In 2014 U.S. chocolate sales were $21.1 billion, that alone shows the significance and the demand for the product.
9. The chocolate industry is worth approximately $110 billion per year.
10. Three Musketeers bars were originally three pieces; chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry. They switched to just the one bar after strawberry prices increased.
11. In 1947, hundreds of Canadian kids went on strike and boycotted chocolate after the price of a chocolate bar jumped from 5 to 8 cents.
12. The largest chocolate bar ever weighed over 12,770 lbs (5,792 kg), created in the UK in celebration of Thornton’s 100th birthday.
13. Darker chocolates can have as much caffeine as a can of Coca-Cola.
14. Americans buy 58 million+ lbs (26 million+ kg) of chocolate on Valentine’s Day, that’s 5% of yearly sales.
15. Brussels Airport is the world’s biggest chocolate seller, selling over 800 tons of chocolate a year.
16. Lays sold limited edition crisps covered in milk chocolate said to have a “salty-sweet combination, along with the texture contrast of warm melted chocolate and a crunchy chip”.
17. 1 in every 200 workers, or around 17,000 people in Belgium work in the production and promotion of chocolate.
18. The biggest chocolate sculpture ever made is a 12 by 12 foot high chocolate pyramid weighing 18,239.5 lbs (8,273.3 kg) in Irvine,California by Qzina Speciality Foods.
19. Blue packaged chocolate doesn’t sell in Shanghai or Hong Kong, as the Chinese relate blue with death.
20. Hershey’s produce 70 million Kisses a day, and enough a year to make a 300,000 mile (around 483,000 km) line of Kisses.
21. Chocolate and chili is a well-known combination, but Firebox took it a step further producing the “instant regret chili chocolate” infused with 6.4 million Scoville chili extract.
22. A cocoa tree takes almost a year to produce enough pods to make 10 normal-sized Hershey bars.
23. The largest chocolate ever made was in the Derbyshire(UK). The chocolate made by the Thorntons plc weighed 12,770 lbs (5,792.5 kg).
24. Eating 10 kilograms of Chocolate could kill a human.
25. According to the International Cocoa Organization, Europeans account for almost half the world’s chocolate consumption. They estimate the average Brit, Swiss, or German eat 11 kilograms (24 pounds) of chocolate a year.
26. Nutella was invented during WWII, when an Italian pastry maker mixed hazelnuts into chocolate to extend his cocoa supply.
27. Contrary to popular belief, mice actually prefer chocolate over cheese every time! Mice love sweet smelling food because they are more tempted by a piece of chocolate than a chunk of cheese.
28. A jewel thief made off with $28 million dollars of gems in 2007 because he was able to gain the trust of the guards working in the bank in Antwerp, Belgium, by repeatedly offering them chocolate.
29. Soldiers were sometimes paid in chocolate during the Revolutionary War.
30. In 1930, Ruth Wakefield mixed Nestle chocolate pieces into her cookie dough after running out of baker’s chocolate whilst making chocolate cookies. Instead she created chocolate chip cookies, and later sold the idea to Nestle for a lifetime supply of chocolate.