Do you like chocolate as much as I do? If you do you should also find these ten facts about chocolate pretty interesting. Sadly there are a LOT of myths out there about chocolate but I have done my very best to make sure all of these facts are as real and true as I possibly can…
FACT 1: Chocolate Literally Grows on Trees!
If you think that is a joke it really isn’t. In fact, it grows on a fruit tree called Theobroma cacao and it is made from a seed that grows on the end of its branches. Sadly for 1 little bar, you do need at least 400 cocoa beans so they need to grow a lot of trees.
FACT 2: Chocolate is Literally The Food of The Gods
This isn’t a personal opinion, this is fact! The tree it comes from is the Theobroma Cacaois (named by Carolus Linnaeus, the father of plant taxonomy) and translated means “food of the gods”. I for one will not disagree with that name, it sounds perfectly fitting.
FACT 3: Chocolate is Tastier Than Every Bottle of Wine Ever Made!
This fact is all about something called “flavour compounds” and the highest ever recorded in a bottle of win is 200. But chocolate in its purest form has over 600 flavour compounds! So that is why a nice bottle of wine taste so good with chocolate, it just adds to the flavour a little!
FACT 4: Growing Chocolate Takes Years!
To reach the point that it is worth harvesting a coco farmer must wait at least 4 years for the plant to reach seed maturity. This makes the cocoa tree a very long-term investment but it is also one that is said to be worth £900 ($1200) Per Year for each tree owned!
FACT 5: Over 70% of the Worlds Chocolate Comes from West Africa!
There are an estimated 1.5 million cocoa farms in West Africa and this means they produce the most cocoa beans of any country. But it is also about geography because the trees they come from are VERY fussy when it comes to weather and even the slightest drop in temperature can cause the tree to wither!
FACT 6: The Cacao Tree is Very Clever!
Not only can the plant move its own leaves to feed them the sun or prevent them from getting rain on them (this is done by the tree turning all its leaves 90°) but most of the trees are also well over 100 years and many are even over 200 years old! Older and wiser I guess.
FACT 7: The Price of Chocolate Fluctuates Daily
You might think the price of a sack of cocoa seeds doesn’t change much year on year, after all, us humans will always love chocolate! But that is not the case at all and this is all down to the weather and the number of beans brought to market. This means the price of the beans fluctuates more than any currency in the world and sadly can badly affect the cocoa farmers income.
FACT 8: The Largest Chocolate Bar In The World Weighed Over 5 Tonnes!
This was made here in the UK by Thorntons PLC and it weighed 5,792.50 kg (12,770 lb 4.48 oz) and measured 4.0 m (13 ft 1.48 in) by 4.0 m (13 ft 1.48 in) by 0.35 m (1 ft 1.78 in). Imagine trying to get that in the fridge!
FACT 9: Chocolate Drops for Pets Don’t Contain Any Chocolate!
While it might be advertised as chocolate drops and buttons for pets this really isn’t what is in them as chocolate is poisonous to most pets due to it having large amounts of theobromine which is VERY bad for them so any pet products can’t contain cocoa by law.
FACT 10: The First Chocolate Bar Was Made in 1847!
It was a man named Joseph Fry and his son who are said to have been the very first people to make a paste made up of cocoa powder and sugar, then mould that into the shape of a bar. But I bet it didn’t taste even half as good as they do now.
Do you know any more facts about Chocolate? If you do please leave them in the comments below as well as your own first memories of chocolate, because that first time is almost never the last.