On November 7th, National Bittersweet Chocolate with Almonds Day ushers in one of the more healthful ways to enjoy chocolate.
Bittersweet chocolate is chocolate liquor to which sugar, cocoa butter, and vanilla have been added. It has less sugar and more liquor than semisweet chocolate. However, the two of them may be interchangeable when baking.
- In 1742, Eliza Smith included the only chocolate recipe in her cookbook, The Compleat Housewife, printed by William Parks. The simple recipe combined grated chocolate, orange flower water, and sugar. But, no almonds.
- Chocolate manufacturers use 40% of the world’s almonds.
- It takes 1000 pounds of almonds to make 1 pint of almond oil.
- The world’s largest almond factory is in Sacramento, California. It processes 2 million pounds of almonds a day.
- Japanese teenagers enjoy snacking on a mixture of dried sardines and slivered almonds.
- Ancient Mesoamericans used roasted, crushed cacao beans to treat sicknesses and even kidney stones. Due to dark chocolate’s health benefits, it was used to treat a wide variety of illnesses at the time. Even before scientists understood the specific health benefits, the wealthy in ancient times did.
- Historians agree that almonds were one of the earliest cultivated foods.
- Almonds are mentioned as far back in history as the Bible. They were a prized ingredient in bread served to Egypt’s pharos.
- The almond is botanically a stone fruit related to the cherry, plum, peach, and apricot.
- In America, bittersweet chocolate starts around 70% or more of cacao. Higher percentages of cacao lower the amount of sugar in your chocolate, but usually raise the amount of cocoa butter used. This ratio of cacao to sugar determines if it is bittersweet, semi-sweet, or sweetened.
- Chocolate syrup was used for blood in the famous 45-second shower scene in Alfred Hitchcock’s movie, “Psycho” which actually took 7 days to shoot.
- There are about 5 to 10 milligrams of caffeine in one ounce of bittersweet chocolate, 5 milligrams in milk chocolate, and 10 milligrams in a six-ounce cup of cocoa; by contrast, there are 100 to 150 milligrams of caffeine in an eight-ounce cup of brewed coffee. You would have to eat more than a dozen chocolate bars, for example, to get the amount of caffeine in one cup of coffee.
- A single chocolate chip provides sufficient food energy for an adult to walk 150 feet; hence, it would take about 35 chocolate chips to go a mile or 875,000 for an around-the-world hike.
- One-click of a mouse burns 0.0000024 kcals of energy, so if you eat a chocolate bar, you’ll need to click your mouse 765,551,000 times to burn it off.
- It takes 400 cocoa beans to make one pound of chocolate.
- Each cacao tree produces approximately 2,500 beans.
- Chocolate comes from a fruit tree; it’s made from a seed.
- Almonds are members of the rose family and are sometimes called “the queen of the rose family.”
- There are an estimated 1.5 million cocoa farms in West Africa.
- Benjamin Franklin sold chocolate in his print shop in Philadelphia.
- The health benefits of almonds are extensive, and they are frequently used as a healthy solution for relief from constipation, respiratory disorders, coughs, heart disorders, anemia, impotency, and diabetes. They also help in maintenance of healthy hair, skincare and dental care.