The story of chocolate, as far back as we know it, begins more than 2000 years ago in equatorial Central America where the Mayan Indians held cocoa beans in high regard. Images of cocoa pods were carved into the walls of their elaborate stone temples, and Mayan writings refer to cacao as "food of the gods." It was the Mayans who first created a beverage from crushed cocoa beans, which was enjoyed by royalty and shared at sacred ceremonies. (http://www.chocolateusa.org/)

  • A 1.5-ounce milk chocolate bar contains recommended daily values of the following vitamins and minerals:
    - 3 grams of protein
    - 15% of the Daily Value of riboflavin
    - 9% of the Daily Value for calcium
    - 7% of the Daily Value for iron

  • Chocolate contains essential trace elements and nutrients such as iron, calcium and potassium, and vitamins A. B1, C, D, and E. Cocoa is also the highest natural source for Magnesium. Magnesium deficiency is linked with hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, joint problems and pre-menstrual tension (PMT or PMS). (http://www.aphrodite-chocolates.co.uk/chocolate_health_benefits.htm)

  • Chocolate contains small amounts of a chemical called phenylethylamine (PEA), which is a mild mood elevator. It’s the same chemical that our brain produces when we feel happy or “in love.” The mild “rush” we get from this substance may be why some people say they’re “addicted” to chocolate.

  • The carbohydrates present in chocolate can raise serotonin levels in the brain and lead to a feeling of well-being.

  • Chocolate does contain caffeine, but only a small amount. The average serving of chocolate has less caffeine than a cup of decaffeinated coffee. So it's fine to eat chocolate anytime during the day or night. (http://www.chocolateusa.org/)

  • Recent research has shown that chocolate milk is as good or better than products like Gatorade and Endurox R4 when it comes to replacing fluids and carbohydrates. (http://www.chocolateusa.org/)

  • Some people claim that drinking a cup of hot chocolate before a meal actually diminishes their appetite. One researcher at the Aromocology Patch Co. Ltd. even experimented with helping patients lose weight by having them sniff a chocolate-scented patch whenever they were tempted to snack!

  • Generally, dark and bittersweet chocolates go best with strong red wines (although there are exceptions), while milk and white chocolates are best when paired with lighter red and sweeter white wines.

  • According to Murray Langham, a New Zealand psychotherapist and author of the book Chocolate Therapy: Dare To Discover Your Inner Self, the choice of a chocolate's shape and filling, as well as how its wrapping is disposed of, reveals much about people's personality traits and moods. Milk chocolate lovers, for example, tend to be innocent people who like to live in the past. Fans of dark chocolate, on the other hand, are materialistic, problem solvers who are excited by the future. White chocolate aficionados have an innate sense of fairness and believe they have the power of the universe at their command.

  • Once upon a time, money did grow on trees. Cocoa beans were used as currency by the Mayan and Aztec civilizations over 1400 years ago. When they had too much money to spend, they brewed the excess into hot chocolate drinks.

  • The Swiss consume more chocolate per capita than any other nation on earth. That's 22 pounds each compared to 11 pounds per person in the United States.

  • Chocolate is America's favorite flavor. A recent survey revealed that 52 percent of U.S. adults said they like chocolate best. The second favorite flavor was a tie (at 12 percent each) between berry flavors and vanilla.

  • U.S. chocolate manufacturers currently use 40 percent of the almonds produced in the United States and 25 percent of domestic peanuts.

  • U.S. chocolate manufacturers use about 3.5 million pounds of whole milk every day to make chocolate.

  • Sixty-five percent of American chocolate eaters prefer milk chocolate.

  • The largest chocolate bar ever manufactured weighed 5,026 lbs. and was exhibited by Elah-Dufour United Food Companies at Eurochocolate in Turin, Italy in March 2000.

  • The largest box of chocolates ever made was a Frango mint chocolates box weighing 3,226 lbs. created by Marshall Field's, Chicago, Illinois, USA on November 14, 2002. The box contained 90,090 individual chocolates.

  • On April 4, 1996, the Rotary Club of Piet Retief, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, made a chocolate and marshamallow Easter egg which was just over 25-ft high. The egg weighed 8,968 lbs. and was supported by an internal steel frame.

  • The Northwest Fudge Factory in Ontario, Canada, created a slab of fudge that weighed 2,002 lbs, making it the record-holding largest slab of fudge. The chocolate-and-vanilla-swirl fudge measured 166 ft. long, 9 in. wide and 3 in. high. The fudge took a total of 86 hours to prepare and 13 individuals to pour it into shape.

  • The price of chocolate varies greatly from inexpensive candy bars to pricey truffles. Like wine, the price varies depending on the processing and quality of the original ingredients (a chocolate made from high quality cacao beans and other ingredients, with a greater percentage of cocoa butter, with more extensive refining during manufacture) and the amount of fine hand work needed to fashion the chocolate into a confection. (March 2000 Issue of Chocolatier Magazine)

  • Chocolate's aroma, its ability to create "taste memories" and its indescribably rich flavor all combine to make it a food most people cannot resist. But at the same time cannot fully explain. And why should we? (March 2000 Issue of Chocolatier Magazine)

  • Cortez introduced chocolate to his country where it remained a Spanish secret for nearly 100 years. Here it was sweetened, flavored with cinnamon and vanilla and served hot as a refreshing beverage.

  • In 1657 a Frenchman opened the first Chocolate Shop in London selling solid chocolate used to be made into the satisfying beverage. It was so pricey at this time only the very wealthy could afford it...

  • Chocolate is a great economy booster. Annual world consumption of cocoa beans averages approximately 600,000 tons per year. Consumers worldwide spend more than $20 billion a year on Chocolate.

  • The seed pods of the cacao tree grow not on branches but directly on the trunk.

  • Each pod is about the size of a pineapple and holds thirty to fifty seeds – enough to make about seven milk chocolate or two dark chocolate bars.

  • Cacao flowers are pollinated by midges, tiny flies that live in the rotting leaves and other debris that fall to the forest floor at the base of the tree. Those midges have the fastest wingbeats in the world: 1,000 times per second!

  • It takes 4 cacao seeds to make 1 ounce of milk chocolate, and 12 seeds to make 1 ounce of dark chocolate.

  • Cacao is not related to the coconut palm or to the coca plant, the source of cocaine.

  • Africa now provides over half the world’s cacao, while Mexico now provides only 1.5%.

  • Chocolate has long been heralded for its value as an energy source. Think of it this way: a single chocolate chip provides sufficient food energy for an adult to walk 150 feet; hence, it would take about 35 chocolate chips to go a mile, or 875,000 for an around-the-world hike

  • Ten percent of U.S. Recommended Daily Allowance of iron is found in one ounce of baking chocolate or cocoa.


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