Chocolate. Whether you prefer it dark and rich, milky and smooth, or creamy and white, there's no denying its delicious taste and texture. But did you know that chocolate was once a currency used by the Aztecs? Or that the Nazi's used it to disguise explosives? Read on for more fun and surprising facts about chocolate.
Who doesn’t love chocolate? Whether you eat it dark or white, sparingly or by the tonne, no one can deny that chocolate is one of the most delicious things on this planet.
Chocolate can mend the broken hearts of lovers and console the lonely hermit as he/she sits on his/her couch watching the 58th episode of his favourite TV series on a Friday night. Chocolate can be both your dearest lover and your closest friend. But it doesn’t end there.
Here are 10 of our favourite surprising facts about chocolate. For more articles like this, remember to check out our health blog.
Chocolate is made from cocoa beans which are native to South and Central America. Thousands of years ago, prior to colonisation, the Aztecs and possibly even other ancient cultures in this part of the world used cocoa seeds as a currency.
For a long time, chocolate varieties fell under three categories; white, milk, and dark. But not anymore; innovation in the chocolate industry has given birth to a new kind of chocolate marketed as “blonde.” It has a distinct blonde colour and is made with caramelised butter to create a rich, creamy chocolate with a notable caramel flavour and colour.
As you can see, the Aztecs really, really, really loved chocolate. Montezuma II, an Aztec emperor, would consume up to 50 cups of chocolate per day. While he only lived to his mid-50s, he was an emperor, which is a good enough excuse to indulge in just a little more chocolate
J. S. Fry & Sons, Ltd. was a British Chocolate company owned by Joseph Storrs Fry and his family. Since the early 20th century, the company was bought out by Cadbury, one of the largest chocolate manufacturers in the world, but before that Fry & Sons earned its claim to fame after inventing the first ever chocolate bar in 1847.
Milky Way bars are thought to be named after the galaxy, especially since their wrapper contains stars and a blue galaxy theme. However, contrary to popular belief, this popular chocolate bar is actually named after malted milkshakes which they’re supposed to resemble in taste.
And you’ll never guess who they were targeting; British Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill. Nazi bomb makers used a think layer of chocolate to cover their explosive devices. The bars were branded as Peters Chocolates and were supposed to be placed inside the British War Cabinet by secret agents. However, British spies uncovered the plot well before Sir Churchill was in danger.
The cocoa tree, Theobroma cacao, produces about 50 pods twice a year. Each pod of beans can produce roughly 8 bars of milk chocolate or 4 bars of dark chocolate. In total, that means a cocoa tree produces enough beans to produce 400-800 bars per year.
A 2013 study looked at the effect that the smell of chocolate had on consumers in a bookstore. To the surprise of many, the study found that the smell of chocolate made customers 20% more likely to buy a book of any genre and up to 40% more likely to buy cookbooks or romance novels.
The largest chocolate bar was created in the UK in 2011 by Thornton’s PLC. The bar was made in light of the company’s 100th birthday and weighed a whopping 5,792.50kg (12,770lb, 4.48oz). That’s more than 3 times the weight of an average car which, according to US statistics in 2003, weighed around 1,815kg (or 4,000lb)
According to CNET, the price of an iPhone 7 is roughly $649 USD for a standard model. The world’s most expensive chocolate is a Cadbury’s bar dating back more than 100 years. It was taken on Captain Robert Scott’s first expedition to the Antarctic and, in 2001, was sold at an auction for $687.