Chocolate facts you didn’t know
It’s all well and good eating chocolate – but what do you really know about your favourite food? Here are some surprising titbits to impress people with at your next dinner party. Or, you know, quick sandwich in the office canteen.
Did you know that you can tell the quality of a piece of chocolate just by listening to the sound it makes? Not when it’s just unwrapped and sitting there, of course – but when you break it. Chocolate with a higher cocoa butter content will have a snappier snap, whereas cheaper chocolate, which has more vegetable oil, will be a bit quieter.
How many trees (and insects) we eat
Europeans are well known for their love of chocolate; we have all the best chocolate capitals, including Belgium, Switzerland, and France. But in Britain alone, we’re especially big fans. The average Brit gets through 187 chocolate bars every year.
It takes 400 cocoa beans to make just one pound of chocolate, and each cacao tree produces approximately 2,500 beans. Cacao trees can live to be 200 years old, but they only make useable cacao beans for 25 years of their life.
However, if you thought that’s all you eat when tucking into your favourite chocolate, you’d be sorely mistaken. One chocolate bar contains, on average, eight insect parts. But this is still deemed safe for consumption – and to be rejected by the FDA (US Food and Drug Administration), it needs to contain more than 60 insect pieces per 100 grams.
The first chocolate we enjoyed was nothing like the chocolate we see today
Cacao was first brewed in Mexican and Aztec cultures, but was a very bitter concoction often used for ceremonial occasions, such as weddings.