We live in a world where over 7 million metric tons of chocolate are consumed every year, and yet, most people don’t know all that much about this incredibly popular treat. The next time you and your friends indulge together, wow them with some of these fun chocolate facts.
In Mayan times, cacao beans were used as currency and considered to be worth more than gold dust. To keep the value of the cocoa bean in check, the cultivation of cacao trees was restricted. Otherwise, it would have been too tempting to just grow your own currency!
Until 1847, chocolate was a delicacy enjoyed in bitter liquid form. The British chocolate company Fry and Sons introduced the concept of “eating chocolate” after combining cocoa butter, sugar, and chocolate liquor. This concoction was more grainy than smooth but was still enjoyed by many.
Daniel Peter, a Swiss chocolatier and entrepreneur, spent eight long years trying to figure out a recipe for milk chocolate that would work. It wasn’t until 1875 that he realized that condensed milk was the answer to all his troubles. We’re so glad Daniel never gave up!
It takes 400 cacao beans to make just one pound of chocolate. Here’s what that means: Each cacao tree produces around 30 to 60 pods per year. Each pod contains around 40 beans. So, each tree only produces 2 to 3 pounds of chocolate per year. Add to that the fact that cacao pods are harvested by hand, and you’ll start to understand why good chocolate is expensive.
White chocolate isn’t considered to be chocolate because it doesn’t contain any cacao solids or cacao liquor. This sweet treat is made from a blend of cocoa butter, vanilla, and sugar. Don’t worry, though: We won’t judge you if it’s still one of your favorites.
The mere smell of chocolate increases theta brain waves, which trigger relaxation. In fact, a study conducted at Hasselt University in Belgium showed that when the scent of chocolate was diffused in bookstores, sales of books increased — especially those of romance novels. Relaxation, indeed!
Chocolate also contains tryptophan, which the brain uses to produce serotonin, a hormone that causes generalized euphoria. So, eating chocolate really does make you happier!
Chocolate chip cookies were discovered totally by accident. In 1938, a woman named Ruth Wakefield thought that adding chocolate chunks to her cookie batter would result in chocolate cookies. Instead, she stumbled upon the recipe for what would become the [world’s favorite cookie]. Wakefield eventually sold the recipe to Nestle Toll House in exchange for a lifetime supply of chocolate. Good deal for Ruth!
Chocolate has an antibacterial effect on the mouth, as eating pure cocoa has been shown to prevent tooth decay. Which raises the question, why does no one produce chocolate-flavored toothpaste?
Think you know it all about chocolate now? Guess again. You have so much more to learn. Here are somefor you to sink your teeth into.