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One Chocolate Chip Provides Energy To Walk 150 Feet; 35 Chips To Go A Mile; 875,000 For An Around-The-World Hike.

Chocolate lovers, it is time once again to celebrate as January 10th annually recognizes National Bittersweet Chocolate Day. (National Bittersweet Chocolate with Almonds Day is celebrated on November 7th.)
  • The earliest known documentation of the use of cacao seeds is around 1100 BC. The cacao tree seed has an intensely bitter taste and must be fermented to develop the flavor.  Once the seeds have been fermented, the beans are then dried, cleaned and roasted.
  • Bittersweet chocolate is chocolate liquor to which sugar, cocoa butter, and vanilla have been added. It does have less sugar and more liquor than semisweet chocolate. However, the two of them may be interchangeable when baking.
  • 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.
  • The few that could afford to have chocolate on a daily basis managed better than people who couldn’t afford to eat the delectable cacao.
  • Studies have revealed that there are certain health benefits from eating bittersweet chocolate in moderation, such as lowering blood pressure and helping to protect the heart.
  • Bittersweet chocolate is a sweetened form of dark chocolate that does NOT contain milk.  It’s usually used for baking.
  • Dark chocolate is most popular among men.
  • More than twice as many women than men eat and crave chocolate.
  • The word Chocolate comes from the Aztec word xocolatl, meaning, bitter water.
  • 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.  If you decide to add fine dark chocolate to your routine, make sure it’s true dark chocolate. Sometimes milk chocolate will have food coloring to make it look like dark chocolate. Checking the cacao percentage is probably best.
  • 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.
  • Milk and dark chocolate come from the cacao bean, which grows on the cacao tree (Theobroma cacao), an evergreen from the family Malvaceae (other members of the family include okra and cotton). This makes the most important part of the sweet treat a veggie.
  • Milk chocolate was invented almost 4,000 years after chocolate was first cultivated.  The Mayans and Aztecs were enjoying the bitter cacao bean long before the dawn of modern society, but that “chocolate” is nothing like a Hershey bar you’d go pick up at the store. The most popular chocolate in the modern world (although its darker counterpart has become extremely trendy recently) is milk chocolate – however, this wasn’t invented until 3,600 years after ancient civilizations started enjoying cacao.
  • Swiss chocolatier Daniel Peter created the tasty treat in 1875 after eight years of trying to make his recipe work. Condensed milk ended up being the key ingredient he was missing.
  • In 1847, British chocolate maker Joseph Fry found a way to mix the ingredients of cocoa powder, sugar and cocoa to manufacture a paste that could then be molded into a chocolate bar unlike anything the world had seen before.
  • 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.
  • According to U.S. News, Switzerland is the #1 purchaser of chocolate in the world. The people of Switzerland purchased 18.1 lbs. of chocolate (yes, per person) in 2015 and that number went up to 19.8 in 2016. On the other hand, the U.S. wasn’t in the Top 10 in 2015 and broke in at #9 last year, with Americans buying 9.5 lbs. of chocolate for themselves in 2016.
  • Although cacao originated in Central and South America thousands of years ago, over 66% of the entire world’s cacao is grown in Africa.
  • Côte d’Ivoire alone produces over 33% of the world’s supply of chocolate. 98% percent of all cocoa is cultivated by just 15 countries.
  • 90% of the world’s cacao is grown on small family-run farms, no larger than 12 acres.
  • Cacao yields are small and labor intensive, in part because no machine exists to harvest it. Everything is done by hand.
  • Hawaii is the only U.S. state that grows cacao beans to produce chocolate.
  • When English Buccaneers overran a Spanish ship loaded with cacao beans, they set it on fire, thinking the beans were sheep dung.
  • During the Revolutionary War, soldiers were sometimes paid in chocolate.
  • Chocolate supposedly made its film debut when Jean Harlow ate candy in the 1933 comedy ‘Dinner at Eight’.
  • During WWII, the Germans designed an exploding, chocolate-covered, thin steel bomb designed to blow up seven seconds after a piece was broken off.
  • Chocolate was included in WWII soldier rations. According to army specification, it was designed to taste just “a little better than a boiled potato” so soldiers would not eat it too quickly.
  • Every second, Americans collectively eat 100 pounds of chocolate.
  • Seven billion pounds of chocolate and candy are manufactured each year in the United States.
  • When we eat chocolate:
    • 66% of chocolate is consumed between meals.
    • 22% of all chocolate consumption takes place between 8pm and midnight.
    • More chocolate is consumed in winter than any other season.
  • The Brussels Airport is the biggest chocolate seller in the world, as vendors there sell more than 800 tons of chocolate every year.


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