Ah chocolate, the first love of every man, woman and child, it’s a solution (however temporary) to every problem from upset and anger to happiness and adoration.
Chocolate truly is one of the wonders of the world, in the past it has been that valued it’s actually been used as currency.
In 2014 U.S. chocolate sales were $21.1 billion, that alone shows the significance and the demand for the product.
Whether it be white, milk, dark or other more rare varieties (all will be revealed later on), everyone loves to sit down and have a square or 10.
Here we’re going to look at 100 delicious facts about chocolate.
Winston Churchill at one point was in danger of a Nazi assassination by an exploding bar of chocolate.
Aztecs used cacao seeds were a form of currency.
Montezuma II, an Aztec emperor, drank over 50 cups of chocolate per day.
As well as milk, dark, and white varieties, there is a rare fourth type known as blond chocolate.
The film “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” was financed by Quaker Oats to promote its new Wonka Bar candy. That’s why it’s named that instead of the book’s title of “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”.
Joseph Fry invented the first chocolate bar in 1847.
The chocolate industry is worth approximately $110 billion per year.
Milky Way bars aren’t named after the galaxy; they’re named after the malted milkshakes the bars were supposed to taste like.
Three Musketeers bars were originally three pieces; chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry. They switched to just the one bar after strawberry prices increased.
In 1947, hundreds of Canadian kids went on strike and boycotted chocolate after the price of a chocolate bar jumped from 5 to 8 cents.
Andes Candies were called “Andy’s Candy’s,” after creator George Andrew Kanelos but it was changed after men didn’t want to buy their partners chocolates with another man’s name.
A 2013 study found that the smell of chocolate in a bookstore made customers 22% more likely to buy books of any genre and a whopping 40% more likely to buy cookbooks or romance novels.
The largest chocolate bar ever weighed over 12,770 lbs (5,792 kg), created in the UK in celebration of Thornton’s 100th birthday.
The world’s most valuable chocolate bar is a 100-year-old Cadbury’s bar, it sold for $687 at auction in 2001. It was taken on Captain Robert Scott’s first expedition to the Antarctic.
Chocolate milk was invented in Jamaica. Irish botanist Sir Hans Sloane is said to have first mixed chocolate with milk in Jamaica in the early 1700s.
Chocolate milk is an effective post-workout recovery drink.
German chocolate cake has history with Germany. It’s named after its inventor, Sam German.
Darker chocolates can have as much caffeine as a can of Coca-Cola.
A 2004 London study found that 70% of people would give their passwords for a chocolate bar.
Americans buy 58 million+ lbs (26 million+ kg) of chocolate on Valentine’s Day, that’s 5% of yearly sales.
Brussels Airport is the world’s biggest chocolate seller, selling over 800 tons of chocolate a year.
More than two-thirds of the world’s cocoa is grown in Africa, and Côte d’Ivoire alone produces 33% of the world’s supply.
A chocolate river existed in 1971. The famous chocolate river from the original Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory film was made with 15,000 gallons of water mixed with chocolate and cream. The river spoiled fairly quickly due to the cream and the cast said it stank.
The International Cocoa Organization say the average Brit, Swiss, or German eat 24lbs (11kg) of chocolate a year.
In 1930, Ruth Wakefield mixed Nestle chocolate pieces into her cookie dough after running out of baker’s chocolate whilst making chocolate cookies. Instead she created chocolate chip cookies, and later sold the idea to Nestle for a lifetime supply of chocolate.
Lays sold limited edition crisps covered in milk chocolate said to have a “salty-sweet combination, along with the texture contrast of warm melted chocolate and a crunchy chip”.
The average chocolate bar contains insect fragments. The U.S Food and Drug Administration say “Anything more than 60 insect pieces per 100 grams of chocolate is rejected.”
A thief took $28 million worth of gems in 2007 after gaining the guards trust at an Antwerp Bank by repeatedly offering them chocolate.
1 in every 200 workers, or around 17,000 people in Belgium work in the production and promotion of chocolate.
One chocolate chip gives an adult enough food energy to walk 150 feet. Around 35 chocolate chips is enough for a mile or 875,000 chips would take them around the world.
It takes the whole of one year’s crop from one tree to make half a kilo of cocoa.
The man who created the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup was a farmer, by the name of Harry Burnett Reese, who was a former shipping foreman and dairy farmer for Milton S. Hershey, the founder of Hershey’s chocolate.
Terry’s produce over 350 million chocolate orange segments per year.
During the Aztec reign, a slave could be bought for 100 cocoa beans.
1 in 7 15-24 year olds claim life without chocolate is not worth living.
The biggest chocolate sculpture ever made was a 10 foot high Easter egg weighing 4,484 lbs (2,034 kg) in Melbourne, Australia.
Blue packaged chocolate doesn’t sell in Shanghai or Hong Kong, as the Chinese relate blue with death.
The first cacao trees were found in the Amazon River basin and the Venezuelan and Colombian Andes.
In 1991, a chocolate model ship was made in Barcelona measuring approximately 42.5ft long, 28ft tall and 8ft wide.
Japanese women give chocolate hearts to their loved ones on 14th February. The men a month later return the gesture on “Howaito” white day.
In the original Psycho film, the blood in the famous shower scene was actually chocolate syrup.
Chocolate sales in 2014 were $21.1 billion.
On 6th December during the feast of St. Nicholas, children in Holland put their clogs outside at night so Santa can fill them with chocolate money.
7th July is National Chocolate Day in the UK, the day marks when chocolate was first brought to Europe on 7th July 1550. Some credit Christopher Columbus with this feat in 1504.
International Chocolate Day is on 13th September, and some celebrate National Bittersweet Chocolate with Almonds Day on 7th November.
Milton Hershey the creator of The Hershey Chocolate Company started his empire in candy. He founded his first company, The Lancaster Caramel Company at 30 years old.
5 tons of chocolate is enough to make 28,000 Terry’s Chocolate Oranges.
Daniel Peter created milk chocolate in Switzerland in 1875 after mixing chocolate with condensed milk following eight years of trial and error.
Making chocolate takes about 400 beans to make a single pound of chocolate.
Cacao trees can live up to 200 years old but they only make viable cacao beans for just 25 years of their life.
The world’s largest box of chocolates weighed in at 2,002 lbs (908 kg). It was made in Chicago, USA, and contained Frango mints.
There are 2 types of cacao tree. Most chocolate comes from Forastero beans, which are said to be easier to grow but the Crillo bean makes much tastier chocolate.
To’Ak chocolate is one of the most expensive chocolates in the world, Each 50 gram (1.7 oz) bar is in a handcrafted Spanish Elm wood box individually engraved with the bar number.
Chocolate is the only edible substance to melt around 93° F, just below body temperature causing it to melt easily on your tongue.
More than twice as many women than men eat and crave chocolate.
Chocolate cravings have been proven to be unable to be satisfied by anything other than chocolate itself.
Chocolate produces the effects of a mild anti-depressant by increasing serotonin and endorphin levels in the brain.
Although not scientifically proven, chocolate is believed by many, to be an aphrodisiac.
Dan’s chocolate factory offers a chocolate covered bacon burger – and apparently it’s not too bad!
Cocoa butter is a by-product made from crushing roasted cacao beans. As well as in chocolate it’s also used in cosmetic products including massage oils and skin cosmetics. It’s one of the most stable, highly concentrated natural fats and as it melts at just below average body temperature it’s easily dissolved into the skin, perfect for moisturizing creams and other products.
Despite being high in fat content, chocolate doesn’t seem to raise blood cholesterol.
America consumes almost 50% of the world’s chocolate.
If all the Toblerone bars sold each year were to be laid end to end they would stretch 62,000km (38,525 miles), this is longer than the Earth’s circumference.
The amount of chocolate a country eats on average is linked to the number of Nobel Laureates that country has produced.
In 2009, 7.2 million tons of chocolate was consumed worldwide.
In the pre-Columbia era, possible dinosaur fossils were ground and mixed with chocolate.
Red M&M’s are among the most popular today, but in the 1970’s, they were replaced with orange pieces for almost ten years. This was the result of a study which stated that red food dye was linked to cancers.
Chocolate gives you a more intense mental high and gets your heart pounding more than kissing.
Hershey’s Kisses are named that after the kissing sound the deposited chocolate makes as it falls from the machine on the conveyor belt.
Hershey’s produce 70 million Kisses a day, and enough a year to make a 300,000 mile (around 483,000 km) line of Kisses.
When chocolate is covered in a white speckled layer, it has “bloomed”. This is caused by the fat (cocoa butter) molecules inside the chocolate over time rising to the surface and recrystallizing. Bloomed chocolate is still edible but will be dry and less flavorful.
Ben & Jerry’s made the first cookie dough ice cream after a suggestion on their shop’s flavor suggestion board.
Chocolate and chili is a well-known combination, but Firebox took it a step further producing the “instant regret chili chocolate” infused with 6.4 million Scoville chili extract.
Napoleon always had chocolate with him; he ate it as whenever he needed an energy boost.
One cacao pod will contain about 42 beans.
More than 7 billion chocolate chips are eaten annually.
American author Robert Cormier wrote a novel called The Chocolate War, due to its nature the book appeared in the American Library Associations “Top 100 banned/challenged books in 2000-2009”.
Global production of cocoa is currently forecast to decrease for the third year in a row, 2015/16 production is expected at 4.1 million tons vs. 2014/15 production of 4.2 million tons. 2013/14 production was 4.3 million tons.
A cocoa tree takes almost a year to produce enough pods to make 10 normal-sized Hershey bars.
Chocolate has 3 times more flavor compounds than red wine; red wine has just 200 whereas chocolate has 600.
The tree that chocolate is produced from is called Theobroma cacao which means “food of the gods.”
To die from Theobromine, a poisonous compound found in chocolate, an 12.5 stone (80 kg) human would have to eat around 12.5 lbs (5.7 kg) of unsweetened dark chocolate or 6.2 stone (40 kg) of milk chocolate.
The ancient Maya are said to be the first to commonly grow cacao trees and drink chocolate. The Aztecs had to trade for cacao as they couldn’t grow the trees.
The word “chocolate” derives from the Aztec “xocoatl,” the bitter, spicy cacao bean based drink.
Chocolate was consumed not as a solid but as a liquid for 90% of its history.
The largest chocolate ever made was in the Netherlands; the chocolate marzipan took 3 days and weighed 4,078 lbs (1,850 kg).
Ninety percent of the world’s cacao is grown on small family run farms under 12 acres (4,047 sq. meters).
In 2006, worldwide over 6.5 million tons of chocolate was traded.
Recipes exist for chocolate and calamari soup, the combination surprisingly seems to only have 1 person brave enough to try it, they gave it 4 stars.
In 17th century Mexico someone suffered death by chocolate. Poison was injected into chocolate, killing a Spanish Bishop who banned the consumption of chocolate during church services.
Chocolate contains tryptophan which makes us very happy. Tryptophan (also found in turkeys) affects endorphin levels in the brain and increases serotonin causing euphoria.
Pure cocoa can help prevent tooth decay. Naturally occurring chemicals in cocoa beans fight harmful bacteria in the mouth.
Europeans consume about 40% of the planet’s chocolate.
Chocolate producers worldwide use around 20% of the world’s peanut crops and 40% of all almonds grown.
Chocolate actually inspired the Microwave. Percy Spence, a scientist working on WWII radar was loved chocolate. When near a magnetron, he noticed a chocolate bar in his pocket had melted. He realized magnetrons could be used to heat food quickly and discovered the microwave oven.
Gorging on sugar-free chocolate acts a severe laxative. At one producers factory there are buckets of defective chocolates. Each bucket has a sign warning employees of the ramifications of over-consumption.
Cadbury World is on the site of the Cadbury factory established by Richard and George Cadbury in 1879.
In 1929 chocolate became Nestlé’s second biggest product.
Richard Cadbury, the son of Cadbury founder John Cadbury, made the first heart-shaped box of chocolates in 1861 for Valentine’s Day.
William Cadbury (Grandson of Richard Cadbury, the founder of Cadbury) commissioned the design of the Cadbury logo in Paris 1905 by French designer George Auriol.
So there we have it, as I said earlier chocolate really is one of the wonders of the world, driving people to do all sorts of things in search of the alluring substance.
Chocolate is an instant source of desire and happiness, and yet it’s even been used to kill!
Whether it be one of the major chocolate powerhouses, a smaller artisan chocolatier or a high-end high-quality purveyor supplying you your fix, just remember how much work goes into each piece of the melt-in-your-mouth goodness.