Chocolate has been cultivated and consumed by humans for thousands of years! You can find it in beverages, bars, cookies, cakes, cereal and much more! It is a sweet indulgence for many and is readily available in many places. Here are ten delicious facts about the world’s favorite confectionary that you probably didn’t know!
- 1. “Chocolate” comes from the Aztec word “xocoatl”. The cacao pod looks similar to an anatomically correct heart , and was used by the Mexica to symbolize the sacrificed human heart.
- 2. Many soldiers in the American Revolutionary War were given chocolate to comfort them in battle! In fact, President George Washington made sure chocolate was a part of their rations. Now we know chocolate does trigger pleasure centers in the brain, so it makes sense that this would be a comforting treat for soldiers.
- 3. The global chocolate industry is worth over $100 BILLION dollars. Imagine how many chocolate bars you could buy for that much money. You and everyone you know would be swimming in chocolate for life! The top four countries that produce and sell chocolate are the United States, Germany, Switzerland and Belgium.
- 4. White chocolate isn’t technically chocolate! It’s a chocolate derivative. Genuine chocolate must contain cocoa powder, whereas white chocolate contains cocoa butter!
- 5. It takes 400 cocoa beans to make one pound of chocolate! There are 10 steps to turn cocoa beans into chocolate: growing, harvesting, removing cacao, fermenting, drying, roasting and winnowing, grinding, conching, tempering and molding, and quality analysis!
- 6. A cocoa tree takes four to five YEARS to produce it’s first beans! Luckily it’s worth the wait! Cocoa trees, scientifically referred to as theobroma cacao, are native of the Amazon basin and other tropical areas of South and Central America.
- 7. Not all chocolate is sweet and delicious. Bakers chocolate, semi-sweet or unsweetened chocolate, and 70%-99% cocoa chocolate have a very strong, bitter taste and are only for the most seasoned of chocolate enthusiasts.
- 8. Like bananas, dark chocolate contains a lot of potassium, an essential mineral. Potassium helps the heart, liver and kidneys work properly, which contributes to overall health!
- 9. 100 grams of dark chocolate contains 98% of your daily recommended dose of manganese, which is a mineral that helps promote healthy bones and metabolic functioning! Who says chocolate isn’t a health food?
- 10. A chocolate-making company broke the record for the world’s largest chocolate bar creating a monstrous drool-worthy masterpiece weighing 6 TONNES! That’s the same as three rhinoceroses! I wonder how long it took to finish eating all of that!
How many of these fun facts did you already know? Did you learn anything new? When it comes to chocolate, too much of a good thing is simply wonderful!