Did you know that the earliest documented use of chocolate is around 1100 BC and that the majority of the Mesoamerican people made chocolate beverages, including the Aztecs, who made it into a beverage known as xocolatl? Now, geeks use this food to create things like Pokeballs and keyboards. Continue reading to see more.
5 Interesting chocolate facts:
- Chocolate is amongst the most favorite foods in the world and will unlikely ever go out of use. It is a wonderful source of quick energy. Chocolate has more than 500 flavor components, which is double the amount found in strawberry and vanilla. The annual consumption of cocoa beans averages around 600,000 tons per year. Consumers spend more than $20 billion annually on chocolate with chocolate manufacturers using around 40% of the world's almonds and around 20% of the world's peanuts.
- The word "chocolate" comes from the Aztec word, "cacahuatl" or "xocolatl", which means "bitter water". Chocolate is extracted from Cocoa Beans. It was Cacao originally but changed to Cocoa as a result of constant misspelling. The scientific name for Cocoa tree is "Theobroma Cacao", which is a Greek term meaning, "foods for the gods". Cocoa trees require warm and moist climates to grow and are largely found in West Africa - Ghana, the Ivory Coast, Nigeria and Brazil. They are evergreen and never stop blooming.
- Normally, the shelf life of a bar of chocolate is a year, but it can be put in a freezer to be kept indefinitely. The melting point of cocoa butter, which is a fat extract from roasted and crushed Cocoa Beans, is just below the human body temperature, which is why chocolate melts when put into the mouth. Cocoa butter is also used as a massage cream. Chocolate has also been used as a perfume because of its 'feel good' smell like fresh baked bread and brewed coffee.
- The first to create and export the chocolate products were the Mexican nuns who used them as a fund raiser for their convent in 1700s. Europe was first introduced to chocolate when Christopher Columbus brought back cocoa beans from the Caribbean islands from his 1502 voyage and then they began to be constantly brought to Europe by the Spanish Conquistadors in 1528. Today, American chocolate manufacturers use about 1.5 billion pounds of milk, which is only surpassed by the cheese and ice cream industries. In fact, the Americans are also responsible for eating half of the world’s chocolate products, consuming around 2.8 billion pounds of chocolates each year, or over 11 pounds per person.
- Chocolate was the reason why microwave was ever invented as some scientists were initially experimenting with micro waves in an attempt to create a better radar detector. It was during the WWII when scientists continued to test devices called magnetron. In one of such laboratory, a scientist called Percy Spencer was walking pass by with a chocolate bar in his pocket. He realized that it had melted because of this, he thought of using magnetron for cooking food. So he tried it first with some popping corn and succeeded. Then he tried it with some real food, an egg which cooked so quickly that it blew on his face.
[Sources 1 | 2]