Chocolate is a typically sweet, usually brown, food preparation of Theobroma cacao seeds, roasted and ground, often flavored, as with vanilla.
Let’s find out some interesting facts about it!
1. It is made in the form of a liquid, paste, or in a block, or used as a flavoring ingredient in other foods.
2. Cacao has been cultivated by many cultures for at least three millennia in Mesoamerica.
3. The earliest evidence of use traces to the Mokaya (Mexico and Guatemala), with evidence of chocolate beverages dating back to 1900 BCE.
4. In fact, the majority of Mesoamerican people made chocolate beverages, including the Maya and Aztecs, who made it into a beverage known as xocolātl, a Nahuatl word meaning “bitter water”.
5. The seeds of the cacao tree have an intense bitter taste and must be fermented to develop the flavor.
6. After fermentation, the beans are dried, cleaned, and roasted.
7. The shell is removed to produce cacao nibs, which are then ground to cocoa mass, pure chocolate in rough form.
8. Because the cocoa mass is usually liquefied before being molded with or without other ingredients, it is called chocolate liquor.
9. The liquor also may be processed into two components: cocoa solids and cocoa butter.
10. Unsweetened baking chocolate (bitter chocolate) contains primarily cocoa solids and cocoa butter in varying proportions.
11. Much of the chocolate consumed today is in the form of sweet chocolate, a combination of cocoa solids, cocoa butter or other fat, and sugar.
12. Milk chocolate is sweet chocolate that additionally contains milk powder or condensed milk. White chocolate contains cocoa butter, sugar, and milk, but no cocoa solids.
13. Cocoa solids are a source of flavonoids and alkaloids, such as theobromine, phenethylamine and caffeine.
14. Chocolate also contains anandamide.
15. Chocolate has become one of the most popular food types and flavors in the world, and a vast number of foodstuffs involving chocolate have been created, particularly desserts including cakes, pudding, mousse, chocolate brownies, and chocolate chip cookies.
16. Many candies are filled with or coated with sweetened chocolate, and bars of solid chocolate and candy bars coated in chocolate are eaten as snacks.
17. Gifts of chocolate molded into different shapes have become traditional on certain Western holidays, such as Easter and Valentine’s Day.
18. Chocolate is also used in cold and hot beverages such as chocolate milk and hot chocolate and in some alcoholic drinks, such as creme de cacao.
19. Although cocoa originated in the Americas, recent years have seen African nations assuming a leading role in producing cocoa.
20. Since the 2000s, Western Africa produces almost two-thirds of the world’s cocoa, with Ivory Coast growing almost half of that.
21. In 2009, the Salvation Army International Development Department stated that child labor and the human trafficking and slavery of child laborers are used in African cocoa cultivation.
22. The smell of chocolate increases theta brain waves, which triggers relaxation.
23. White Chocolate isn’t technically Chocolate, as it contains no cocoa solids or cocoa liquor.
24. It takes approximately 400 cacao beans to make one pound (450 gr.) of chocolate.
25. The inventor of the Chocolate Chip Cookie sold the idea to Nestle Toll House in return for a lifetime supply of chocolate.
26. M&Ms were created in 1941 as a means for soldiers to enjoy chocolate without it melting
27. Every second, Americans collectively eat 100 pounds of chocolate.
28. The World’s Largest Chocolate Bar Weighed 5,792 kg (12,770 lb).
29. Chocolate magnate Milton Hershey canceled his reservations for the Titanic due to last minute business matters.
30. The Aztecs loved and valued the cacao bean so highly that they used it as currency during the height of their civilization.
31. The Fry and Sons shop concocted what they called “eating chocolate” in 1847 by combining cocoa butter, sugar, and chocolate liquor. This was a grainy, solid form of the treat.
32. Dr. James Baker and John Hannon founded their chocolate company—later called Walter Baker Chocolate—in 1765. That’s where the term “Baker’s Chocolate” comes from, not to denote chocolate that’s just meant for cooking.
33. The Pennsylvania native may be best known for starting The Hershey Chocolate Company in good old Hershey, PA, but he got his start in candy long before hooking up with chocolate. His founded his first company, The Lancaster Caramel Company, when he was 30 years old.
34. There are Potato Chips Dipped in Milk Chocolate.
35. 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.
37. Most modern chocolate comes from forastero beans, which are considered easy to grow—though the crillo bean is believed to make much tastier chocolate.
38. Eating dark chocolate every day reduces the risk of heart disease by one-third.
39. Chocolate can sicken and even kill dogs.
40. Chocolate has an anti-bacterial effect on the mouth and protects against tooth decay.
41. In 2013, Belgium issued a limited edition of chocolate flavored stamps.
42. Chocolate is the only edible substance to melt around 93° F, just below the human body temperature. That’s why chocolate melts so easily on your tongue.
43. A lethal dose of chocolate for a human being is about 22 lbs., or 40 Hershey bars.
44. The average chocolate bar contains 8 insect parts.
45. There’s a pill that makes farts smell like chocolate.
46. Cats can get sick or die from eating chocolate.