1. Originally, chocolate was a drink
Chocolate was being drunk before it was eaten. For most of chocolate’s history, it was nothing like the chocolate bars we now associate it with. It was consumed as a chocolate drink. Hot chocolate, as we call it today, was brewed as a bitter drink enjoyed on special occasions.
2. The bitter and spicy ‘xocoatl’
The word chocolate originated from the Aztec word ‘xocoatl’ which referred to a bitter, spicy beverage made from cacao beans. The word ‘xocoatl’ literally means bitter water.
3. Chocolate – Food of the Gods?
The scientific name of the tree that chocolate comes from is ‘Theobroma Cacao’. Not surprisingly, this word means ‘Food of the Gods’.
4. Chocolate recipe for a lifetime of chocolate supply!
The chocolate chip cookie recipe was created by a woman named Ruth Wakefield. She sold the recipe to Nestlé for a lifetime of chocolate supply! Who wouldn’t, right?
5. Blonde Chocolate – a rare species of chocolate
Apart from Dark chocolate, white chocolate and milk chocolate, there is a fourth kind of chocolate known as blonde chocolate, made with white chocolate that is slowly ‘toasted’ in the oven. This is very rare and not known to most people.
6. Chocolate’s soothing scent could trick you
You are most likely to buy something from a store that smells of chocolate. This is because of the soothing scent of chocolate. A study has suggested that the shopping habits of customers in a bookstore is heavily influenced by the scent of chocolate. When the air in book stores smelt like chocolate, people bought a lot more books.
7.Chocolate’s harmful effect on your pets
Chocolate can be very harmful to your pets, especially cats and dogs. This is because of a component called theobromine, which cannot be metabolized by dogs and cats.
8. Chocolate Industry’s worth
The chocolate industry is worth approximately $110 billion per year.
9. Flavour compounds
Chocolate contains over 600 flavour compounds. This is why it has a rich taste that cannot be resisted.
10. ‘Death by Chocolate’
It is actually possible to die from eating too much chocolate. Eating about 10 kgs of chocolate in a single day can be fatal.
11. Chocolate as a currency
In Mayan times, chocolate was of such high value that it was used as a currency. It was considered more precious than gold! This is why the cultivation of cocoa beans was restricted so as to not reduce the importance of money.
12. Cocoa beans to chocolate ratio
To make 1 kilogram of chocolate you will require over 900 cocoa beans.
13. A powerful source of antioxidants
Premium chocolates are rich in antioxidants which protect your cells. Antioxidants neutralize free radicals and prevent oxidative stress.
14. A natural painkiller
Chocolate contains dopamine which is a natural painkiller. Serotonin which is found in chocolate produces feelings of pleasure.
15. World’s largest chocolate bar
In celebration of its 100th birthday, Thorntons created the world’s largest chocolate bar, weighing a record-breaking 5,792.50 kg.
Now that you know enough about chocolates, go flaunt your new-found wisdom!