10 Things You Didn't Know About Chocolate

Are you a chocolate lover? Here are 10 interesting facts about one of our favorite sweet treats! 

1. Chocolate has ancient origins 

Chocolate has ancient roots, dating back to Mesoamerican cultures like the Aztecs and Maya. The word "chocolate" is derived from the Aztec word "xocolātl," which referred to a bitter beverage made from cacao beans.

2. It comes from...

 Chocolate comes from the cacao bean, which grows on the cacao tree (Theobroma cacao). The tree is native to the deep tropical regions of Central and South America 

3. It was once used as currency

 The Maya civilization valued cacao beans so highly that they used them as a form of currency. In some cultures, cacao beans were considered more valuable than gold.

4. It has health benefits!

Moderate consumption of dark chocolate has been associated with several health benefits. It contains antioxidants, may improve heart health by reducing blood pressure, and can enhance mood by triggering the release of endorphins.

5. It contains caffeine 

Chocolate contains a small amount of caffeine, but its stimulating effects are often overshadowed by the presence of theobromine, a compound related to caffeine. Theobromine has a milder stimulant effect.

6. White chocolate is not actually chocolate

 Unlike dark and milk chocolate, white chocolate does not contain cocoa solids. It is made from cocoa butter, sugar, and milk solids. Some argue that white chocolate is not technically chocolate.

7. The world's largest chocolate bar...

The largest chocolate bar ever made weighed approximately 12,770 pounds (5,783 kilograms). It was created in Armenia in 2010.

8. Switzerland loves chocolate!

Switzerland has one of the highest chocolate consumption rates per capita in the world. Swiss chocolate is renowned for its quality and is a significant part of Swiss culture and economy.

9. Chocolate has been to space!

 Chocolate has made its way into space. NASA has included chocolate on various space missions, and astronauts enjoy it as a treat in the confines of the spacecraft. Special packaging is designed to prevent chocolate crumbs from floating around in microgravity.

10. Truffles and creams are different things

Chocolate truffles are typically made with a ganache center. The ganache is rolled into balls and then coated in cocoa powder, powdered sugar, or melted chocolate. Chocolate creams typically have a softer, smoother consistency than truffles. They are made with a fondant center. Interesting!