Chocolate is undoubtedly one of the most delicious things out there. Pretty much everyone likes chocolate and it's used as an ingredient in most of our favorite desserts. Heck it's even an ingredient in some savory foods like mole on chicken. It's just good.
Chocolate is so good in fact, that it's been estimated that about a billion people eat some on any given day. Nine out of ten people love it, and 50 percent of people claim that they can't live without eating chocolate every day (dramatic.) You probably know plenty about your favorite candy, but here are some pretty weird facts about chocolate that you might not have heard before.
13 Chocolate Has Been Used As Money
Back in the Mayan times, the cocoa bean was actually used as currency and was considered to be worth more than gold dust. They would specifically restrict the cultivation of the beans so that their worth would not go down, which doesn't make a whole lot of sense and is probably why this idea did not last forever. Money growing on trees doesn't get a whole lot more literal than that. In fact, even during the Revolutionary war, soldiers were sometimes paid in chocolate.
12 White Chocolate Isn't Chocolate
It shouldn't shock anyone that the retail industry tells us a lot of little white lies, and white chocolate doesn't really taste like chocolate, so this isn't that surprising, but you guy,s white chocolate isn't technically chocolate at all. It's actually just made from sugar, cocoa butter, milk products, vanilla, and a fatty substance called lecithin. It's true that cocoa butter is a derivative from the cocoa bean, but white chocolate is made without the chocolate solids from the cocoa bean that make something chocolate. Make sense?
11 Europeans Eat Even More Chocolate Than You
You can't go through a single checkout line anywhere without seeing a wall of chocolate, so it seems like everyone is eating it, but the statistics say that Europeans eat a lot more chocolate than everyone else does. According to the International Cocoa Organization, Europeans are responsible for half of the yearly consumption of all chocolate. That's really a lot. Chocolate was introduced into Europe in 1550 and took off like wildfire. Even though it's pretty popular everywhere, the Europeans still take the cake (or take the chocolate bar if you will).
10 The Chocolate Chip Cookie Was An Accident
Let's let that line sink in for a moment. One of the most delicious cookie creations of all time was completely unintentional. Before Ruth Wakefield threw some chocolate pieces into her cookie dough in 1930, everyone assumed that chocolate would melt when cooked, if they were thinking about it all. Ruth was out of baker's chocolate and used pieces of a Nestle bar broken up instead, thereby creating the first prototype of the chocolate chip cookie. She took the idea to Nestle which they gobbled up, and for the chocolate chip tip they awarded her a lifetime supply of chocolate. Personally I think she could have negotiated that deal a little better, but whatever.
9 You Can Die From Eating Too Much Chocolate
Death by chocolate, that's not a joke I guess. Chocolate contains a stimulant called theobromine, and if you overdose on it you can experience heart failure, kidney damage, seizures, and dehydration. Supposedly you have to eat 22 pounds of chocolate to ingest this much, and let's be honest, it's pretty unlikely that you ever will. For a ten year old kid that would mean eating 1,900 of those mini Hershey bars, and even the best Halloween doesn't give that turnout. Dogs however, need way less to be affected by it, which is why you can't share your Twix with them.
8 Chocolate Is Best Grown Near The Equator
It's easy to forget that chocolate comes from a plant that's just as picky about its growing conditions as any other crop out there. Cacao grows best within 20 degrees of the equator and 75 percent of cacao plants grow within 8 degrees of the midline. Think tropical weather with heat and plenty of humidity. Today most of it is grown in Africa because places like South America, Panama, and the Caribbean have had issues with bugs. Oh yes global warming could totally mess with our chocolate supply, because if it gets too hot the cacao just won't grow.
7 Throughout Most Of History Chocolate Has Been Drank
Chocolate how we think of it is a way more recent invention, and 90 percent of its history is of it being drank as a liquid. The Aztec Emperor Montezuma II supposedly loved it so much that he drank 50 cups of chocolate a day. It was a super popular drink at the Palace of Versailles in 1660. In the 1650's English people even thought it was a cure for tuberculosis. Chocolate wasn't made into "eating chocolate" until something like the 1800's when British people figured out that you could add sugar and cocoa butter to create a malleable paste that was packageable.
6 Hershey's Makes A Lot Of Kisses
Every day there are 70 million Hershey kisses being made. Over a year, that's enough to make a 300,000 mile long chain if you felt like it. And if you've ever wondered where they got that sweet name, it actually comes from the sound that the kisses make when they are squeezed out the machine to the conveyor belt. Very romantic. Speaking of romance, chocolate sales jump quite high around around Valentine's Day, but chocolate sales still win biggest on Halloween, followed by Easter.
5 Eating Chocolate Is Even More Thrilling Than Kissing
If you've ever felt total ecstasy having chocolate melt in your mouth you are not wrong. Scientists have found that people's heart rate doubles when they eat chocolate, and that their brains have a more intense and longer lasting "buzz" from eating it than they do when they're making out. The buzz lasts about four times as long, and is maximized when people let the chocolate melt in their mouth. No wonder people are totally addicted to the stuff.
4 You Can Buy Slices Of Chocolate For Your Sandwiches
Whether or not you've ever actually tried to put chocolate onto a sandwich is irrelevant, because if you wanted to you totally could. A company in Japan called Bourbon came up with this trick, with an end result that basically looks like American cheese slices except of course it's chocolate. Each slice is 0.08 inches thick, which makes it ideal for tossing on a PB&J sandwich, but it's also good for making things like beautiful chocolate flowers if you have that sort of skill set or can follow directions on Pinterest exceptionally well.
3 Advertisers Try To Sell Chocolate To Women
For some reason advertisers try to convince women that they absolutely need chocolate not want it, and it works. (Especially around that time of the month or in the throes of heartbreak.) The advertising works really well since 75 percent of chocolate purchases are made by men for women, but the science doesn't add up that women actually like it any more than men do. Any effort to study this actually gets a little confusing, because the concept of a "craving" is totally subjective and can't actually be measured. So who knows.
2 There Are Bugs In Your Chocolate
The FDA has very specific rules about what is allowed in food, but they're specifics are not exactly as strict as you might imagine them to be. Anything that's processed is going to have a lot more opportunity for random insects to fall in/dive bomb, and FDA says anything more than 60 insect pieces per 100 grams of chocolate is a no go. But eight insect parts in the average chocolate bar is totally cool. In fact, it is believed that people who are allergic to chocolate are actually just allergic to cockroaches, because there are so many of them in there. Sorry, guys.
1 Chocolate Contains Ingredients That Can Turn You On
Chocolate contains both tryptophan and phenylethlamine, both of which have some feel good impacts on the body. Tryptophan increases the production of feel good serotonin, while phenylethlamine is the chemical that your brain releases when you are falling in love. Now to be clear, the amounts of these ingredients in chocolate are pretty minimal so it might not actually give you any major feels, but if it gives you a mood boost at all, it could increase the likelihood that you get cozy with someone. Also go with the darker chocolates when you're looking for the health or mood boosts, since they contain more cacao.