Do you want to know more about chocolate facts?
Chocolate is the great love of many people’s lives. It can be very sweet such as with white chocolate (which isn’t chocolate, by the way), or it can be somewhat tart as with dark chocolate, or it can rest perfectly in the middle of the two flavors such as with milk chocolate. This sweet may be seem simple and is often taken for granted, but it in fact has a long and interesting history along with a tedious manufacturing process.
More than that, it is known for having a large list of health benefits (and sometimes health detriments), especially when considering dark chocolate which is one of the purest forms of chocolate. While one could write a book all about chocolate, let’s instead explore 10 quick fun facts about it.
Top Chocolate Facts
- As I briefly mentioned before, white chocolate is not chocolate. But why? It looks like chocolate and has the same creamy texture as chocolate. This interesting fact is because there are no actual cocoa solids in white chocolate, although it does contain cocoa butter. (Erbland, 2018). Instead, white chocolate mainly consists of milk, vanilla, and sugar. If you eat a lot of white chocolate, don’t full yourself into thinking you’re also absorbing chocolate’s benefits because you’re primarily eating milk and sugar.
- Cacao beans, which were long cultivated by the Mayans and Aztecs, were so desired and valued by these groups that the beans were actually used as currency. Funnily enough, some even went as far as trying to make counterfeit cacao beans out of bits of clay (Hussein, 2018).
- Continuing on about the Aztecs and their love for delicious cacao beans, let’s talk about hot chocolate. The Aztec people practically invented hot chocolate, although the drink probably was not the sweet treat we’re familiar with today. Instead, the the Aztec’s version of hot chocolate was crushed cacao beans, hot chili peppers, and cornmeal. Though it may have not been very sweet, it must have still been delicious as it was considered a rare and expensive delicacy. In fact, whenever it was not being used for ceremonial occasions, one of the few people that could drink it regularly was the Aztec Emperor Montezuma II and other nobles. He was known to drink ridiculous amounts of the beverage, as many as 50 golden goblets per day (“The History of Hot Chocolate”).
4. When cacao was eventually brought to Europe and made into a sweeter drink, the people there were just as crazy about it as they Aztecs. In fact, Marie Antoinette herself loved it and it was often served at the Palace of Versailles. More than just revered for its delicious taste, chocolate was also believed to be an aphrodisiac (Erbland, 2018). More than that, Napoleon loved it just as much and even wanted it served during grueling military campaigns.
5. Solid chocolate was, if you can believe it, only invented in 1847 by a couple of British confectioners at their shop, Fry and Sons. They made this possible by mixing together cocoa butter, chocolate liquor, and sugar, although the resulting bar of chocolate was probably more grainy rather than creamy as we’re familiar with today (Erbland, 2018). Of course, ever since then, solid chocolate became a hit.
6. Milk chocolate is a very creamy, less tart, and much loved form of chocolate, but it seemed to be quite the struggle to have it invented. It was only brought into existence in 1875 (in Switzerland, of course), by a man named Daniel Peter, after he tried making it for 8 long years. After those 8 years, his recipe for the creamy treat finally succeeded after he discovered that the secret was condensed milk (Erbland, 2018).
7. Ever wondered how the infamous chocolate chip cookies were ever invented? Like most things, of course, it was by accident. Ruth Graves Wakefield accidently stumbled across the recipe in the 1930s when she was trying to make some Butter Drop Do cookies for guests at the Toll House Inn in Massachusetts. Apparently, the chocolate chips in the batter remained intact after cooking, and suddenly, a new type of cookie was born and was an instant hit (Hussein, 2018).
8. The scientific name for chocolate, or rather the cacao plant, is Theobroma cacao, which means “God food” or “Food of the Gods.” It was named this because of Carl Linnaeus, a Swedish taxonomist, loved chocolate so much that he must have felt the need to give the cacao plant such an impressive name (Hussein, 2018).
9. It’s difficult to find anything that has such a rich, complex smell and flavor as chocolate. Why? Because chocolate can boast an impressive 600 flavor compounds. So many flavor compounds makes chocolate extremely unique and hard to replicate. For comparison, a glass of fine red wine usually has around 200 flavor compounds (Hussein, 2018). Good luck trying to distinguish all of them!
10. If you’re ever alone on Valentine’s Day, just eat chocolate. Studies have shown that chocolate stimulates the brain and releases significantly more endorphins such as serotonin than kissing does, leading to a kind of mental high which includes increased feelings of happiness and calmness (Hussein, 2018). So, if you’re ever feeling down, eat some chocolate (in moderation), and your day is sure to improve. And now, you know all the best chocolate facts.
Erbland, Kate. (2018). “20 Things You Never Knew About Chocolate.” MentalFloss. Retrieved from https://www.mentalfloss.com/article/57507/20-things-you-never-knew-about-chocolate.
Hussein, Jennifer. (2018). “50 Things You Don’t Know About Chocolate.” Eat This, Not That! Retrieved from https://www.eatthis.com/chocolate-facts/.
“The History of Hot Chocolate.” HotelChocolat. Retrieved from https://www.hotelchocolat.com/uk/the-history-of-hot-chocolate.htmlhttps://www.hotelchocolat.com/uk/the-history-of-hot-chocolate.html.