One of my favourite days of the year! I mentioned in this post how much I love chocolate. So in honour of World Chocolate day today, I've done the hard work for you and scoured the internet on your behalf to find some weird and wonderful facts about chocolate that may surprise you. Enjoy!
1. A chocolate river existed in 1971. The famous chocolate river Augustus Gloop almost drowned in in the original Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory film was made with 15,000 gallons of water mixed with chocolate and cream.
2. Aztec Emperor Montezuma drank 50 golden goblets of hot chocolate, dyed red
and flavored with chili peppers, every day.
3. In Mayan times the cocoa bean was used as currency as it was considered to be worth more than gold dust. Cultivation of the beans was restricted so the value of cocoa beans as money would not go down.
4. Chocolate syrup was used for blood in the famous 45 second shower scene in Alfred Hitchcock’s movie, Psycho, which actually took 7 days to shoot.
5. One ounce of milk chocolate has only a little more caffeine than the amount of
caffeine in a cup of decaffeinated coffee. White chocolate has no caffeine.
6. Ruth Wakefield invented the chocolate chip cookie in 1930 by adding chopped up pieces of Nestle chocolate into her cookie dough. It is a common held myth that the cookie was an accident and that she expected the chocolate to melt when making chocolate cookies but she deliberately invented the cookie. She sold the idea to Nestle in return for a lifetime supply of chocolate.
7. Chocolate is good for you. Chocolate contains a range of nutrients which include minerals such as potassium, calcium and iron. It also contains the B-vitamin riboflavin. It is true that most of the calories in chocolate come from fat it contains but this ingredient, known as cocoa butter, is the kind of fat that consists mostly of monounsaturated fatty acid also found in olive oil, the ‘healthy’ fat needed in all diets. Studies have shown that people who consume cocoa regularly have lower blood pressure than those that do not, are less likely to die from cardiovascular disease and have better peripheral blood flow.
8. You can die if you eat too much chocolate. Chocolate contains high levels of a powerful stimulant called 'Theobromine'. Theobromine poisoning can cause heart failure, seizures, acute kidney damage and dehydration. To ingest enough theobromine for it to be fatal you would have to eat about 22lb of chocolate or 40 bars of Dairy Milk.
9. It takes approximately 400 cacao beans to make one pound (450g) of chocolate.
10. M&Ms were created in 1941 so soldiers could enjoy chocolate without it melting.
11. Chocolate magnate Milton Hershey cancelled his reservations for the Titanic due to last minute business matters.
12. Chocolate can kill dogs.
13. In 2013, Belgium issued a limited edition of chocolate flavoured stamps.
14. German chocolate cake isn't German. It owes its name to an English-American chocolate maker named Samuel German, who developed a formulation of dark baking chocolate that came to be used in the cake recipe.
15. Nutella was invented during WW2, when an Italian pastry maker mixed hazelnuts into chocolate to extend his cocoa supply.
16. How you serve food and drink matters in the perception of taste. Hot chocolate tastes better in orange cups, scientists found. This is probably true as I always think that my cup of tea tastes better when served in a bone china cup or mug.
17. For most of its 4,000-year history, Chocolate was actually consumed as a bitter beverage rather than as a sweet edible treat.
18. We eat a lot of Toblerones. So many Toblerone bars are sold each year that, if they were to be laid end to end, they would go on for 62,000km which is longer than the circumference of the Earth.
19. White chocolate (my favourite) isn't real chocolate. Yes, we've all been lied to. In order to be classified as real chocolate, a product has to contain cocoa solids or cocoa liquor. White "chocolate" contains cocoa butter instead. Regulations govern what may be marketed as "white chocolate": In the United States, since 2004, white chocolate must be (by weight) at least 20% cocoa butter, 14% total milk solids, and 3.5% milk fat, and no more than 55% sugar or other sweeteners. Before this date, American firms required temporary marketing permits to sell white chocolate. The European Union has adopted the same standards, except that there is no limit on sugar or sweeteners.
20. The smell of chocolate increases theta brain waves, which triggers relaxation.
21. The World's Largest Chocolate Bar Weighed 5,792 kg (12,770 lb).
What is your favourite type of chocolate? Join the conversation and leave me a comment below.
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