18 Things You May Not Know About Chocolate
Think you know chocolate? Think again! From the history of the names of our favourite chocolate bars to the little-known historical impact of the cocoa bean, these 18 fascinating factoids about our favourite sweet treat will turn you into a chocolate expert!
- 1. The Aztecs used chocolate as currency.Because the cacao beans were so highly prized by the civilization, they were used in place of money.
- 2. Although cacao trees can live for up to 200 years, they can only produce viable beans for around an eighth of their lifetime.
- 3. In the Harry Potterseries, Harry and his friends often enjoy a snack known as Chocolate Frogs, but in Denmark, they were renamed ‘stupid owls’.
- 4. Technically, white chocolate isn’t chocolate.Because it only contains cocoa butter and no cocoa solids, it’s officially not really chocolate… sorry, white chocolate fans!
- 5. The very first chocolate bar (as we know it) was made 169 years ago.It was created by J.S. Fry & Sons, who later merged with Cadbury.
- 6. According to USA today, Americans eat on average 100lbs of chocolate every single second.That’s equivalent to a baby hippo or a big dog!
- 7. However, the Swiss, the Germans, the Irish, and the British eat even more.Yay, we’re winning!
- 8. ‘Cocoa’ and ‘cacao’ are the same thing.Which makes life a little less confusing…
- 9. Marie Antoinette was a big fan of hot chocolate.Before it came in solid chocolate bar form, hot chocolate was the treat of choice, and it was very popular at the French court in Versailles.
- 10. Even though the cocoa bean is indigenous to Central and South America, most of the world’s cocoa is grown in Africa, with the Ivory Coast producing around 30%.
- 11. It takes around 400 beans to make one pound of chocolate.
- 12. The 1971 film, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, was financed by Quaker Oats as a way of promoting their new chocolate bar: the Wonka bar.
- 13. Milk chocolate wasn’t invented until 1875.A Swiss confectioner by the name of Daniel Peter took eight years to create the formula, which he finally managed using condensed milk.
- 14. A study conducted in 2014 by Nature Neuroscience showed that subjects who drank a beverage with cocoa extracts for three months performed much better on memory tests than those who didn’t.So chocolate could be good for your memory!
- 15. Chocolate comes from two different kinds of cocoa bean.Most chocolate comes from the forastero beans, which are easier to grow, although the more luxurious and tastier crillo bean is used for richer chocolate.
- 16. Chocolate begins to melt at around 33°C, which is just below body temperature.Which is why it gives that wonderful melt-in-the-mouth feeling.
- 17. The founder of the Mars chocolate factor, Frank C. Mars, named the Snickers bar after his favourite horse.
- 18. The much-loved Alfred Hitchcock film, Psycho,used chocolate syrup in place of fake blood for the famous shower scene.Because it was filmed in black-and-white, the syrup showed up better on-screen.