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Every Second, Americans Collectively Eat 100 Pounds Of Chocolate.

National Chocolate Day is observed annually on October 28.  While there are many specific chocolate related holidays throughout the year, National Chocolate Day celebrates all things chocolate.  As America’s favorite flavor, chocolate is well deserving of its own day of honor and celebration.

  • Chocolate comes from the seed of the tropical Theobroma cacao tree.  Cacao, which has been cultivated for at least three millennia, is grown in Mexico, Central America and Northern South America.
  • The earliest known documentation of using cacao seeds is from around 1100 BC.
  • The first recorded “Death by Chocolate” case occurred in the 17th Century in Chiapas, Mexico.  Upper class Spaniards were so addicted to chocolate that they refused to adhere to a church dictated chocolate ban that forbade them from eating or drinking any food during the church services.  As a result, the people of the town refused not only listen to the ban but chose to attend worship services in convents instead.  The Bishop who passed the law was later found dead due to poison being mixed into his daily cup of chocolate.
  • The word “chocolate” comes from the Aztec word, “Xocolatl”, which ironically means “bitter water”.
  • The word chocolate was first recorded in English in 1604, though England’s first cup of chocolate was not brewed until 1647.
  • Americans eat an average of 22 pounds of candy each year, or approximately 2.8 billion pounds annually which is split almost equally between chocolate and candy. Most Europeans consume far less than this.
  • Every second, Americans collectively eat 100 pounds of chocolate.
  • While the US produces the most chocolate and consume the most pounds every year, the Swiss consume the most per capita,  followed closely by the English.
  • Chocolate manufacturers currently use 40% of the world’s almonds and 20% of the world’s peanuts.
  • Chocolate is technically responsible for the microwave.  Scientists were experimenting with micro waves in hopes of creating better radar detectors and in the wake of World War II, scientists were testing devices called magnetrons.  A scientist named Percy Spencer entered the lab with a chocolate bar in his pocket and realized it quickly began to melt. Spencer then realized that the magnetron could potentially be used to cook food.  He successfully tried popping corn and then attempted to cook an egg which cooked so quickly, it blew up in his face.
  • Every Russian and American space voyage has included chocolate bars.
  • On the fourth visit of Christopher Columbus to the Americas, he presented cocoa beans to the Spanish Court.  King Ferdinand and Queen Isabelle were not impressed and dismissed the chocolate as bizarre tribal concoctions.
  • The smell of chocolate increases theta brain waves, which triggers relaxation.
  • Chocolate is the only edible substance to melt around 93°F, just below human body temperature. That’s why chocolate melts in your mouth.
  • The English chocolate company Cadbury made the first chocolate bar in the world in 1842.
  • M&Ms were created in 1941 as a means for soldiers to enjoy chocolate without it melting.
  • Nutella was invented during WWII, when an Italian pastry maker mixed hazelnuts into chocolate to extend his cocoa supply.
  • In 2013, Belgium issued a limited edition of chocolate flavored stamps.
  • There is a rare fourth kind of chocolate in addition to the classic milk, dark, and white varieties: blond chocolate.
  • Chocolate has over 600 flavor compounds, while red wine has 200.
  • A lethal dose of chocolate for a human being is about 22 lbs., or 40 Hershey bars.
  • When it Comes to Coughs, Chocolate Is More Effective than Codeine.
  • A PAIR OF BRITISH CONFECTIONERS INVENTED SOLID CHOCOLATE.  The Fry and Sons shop concocted what they called “eating chocolate” in 1847 by combining cocoa butter, sugar, and chocolate liquor. This was a grainy, solid form of the treat.

Sources:

National Day Calendar

Mobile-Cuisine

Just Fun Facts

Fact Slides

Mental Floss

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