Thursday, February 2, 2012

Today's Trivia – Chocolate

This week’s useless but interesting information is all about one of the greatest comfort foods: chocolate. Yum...yum...

- Chocolate has always been included on all American and Russian space flights.

- Aztec emperor Montezuma drank 50 golden goblets of hot chocolate every day. It was thick, dyed red and flavored with chili peppers.

- In the movie Psycho, by Alfred Hitchcock, chocolate syrup was used for the bloody 45-second shower scene.

- American chocolate manufacturers use around 1.5 billion pounds of milk.

- Manufacturers of chocolate use 40 percent of the world’s almonds and 20 percent of the world’s peanuts.

- Around 7 billion pounds of chocolate and candy are manufactured each year in the United States.

- Men crave food that is high in fat and salt while women crave chocolate.

- Chocolate stimulates the same reaction in the body as falling in love from a natural substance that is in chocolate by the name of phenylethylamine.

- A 1.5-ounce milk chocolate bar has 220 calories. (I imagine a world where chocolate is low in fat and calories. One can dream...)

- An ordinary milk chocolate candy bar has more protein than a banana.

- One ounce of baking chocolate or cocoa has 10 percent of the US Recommended Daily Allowance of iron along with Vitamins A1, B1, B2, C, D and E as well as calcium, potassium, sodium and iron.

- A chocolate bar only contains 12 mg of cholesterol which is very low when compared to 30 mg of cholesterol in a one ounce piece of cheddar cheese.

- According to the U.S. government, milk chocolate must contain at least 10% chocolate liquor.

- Cacao beans used to be used as currency among native tribes in Mexico and South America.

- Chocolate Truffles are so called because of their resemblance to the highly prized fungus of the same name.

- Chocolate was first enjoyed in beverages. It was only much later that it came to be used in solid form.

- When chocolate mousse was invented, it was known as chocolate mayonnaise.

- In Japan, there is a Valentine's Day tradition called "Giri Choco" (or "obligation chocolate") which requires that women give inexpensive chocolate to all of the men in their lives: coworkers, bosses, etc.

- In 1579, English pirates raided a Spanish ship. Upon finding its cargo of precious cocoa beans they burned the whole ship--they mistook the beans for sheep dung. (Morons...)

- Daniel Peter, a citizen of Switzerland, was the first to successfully combine chocolate and milk in 1875.

- It is said that Eleanor Roosevelt ate three, chocolate-covered garlic balls each morning as a memory aid.

- Chocolate's scientific name, Theobroma cacao, was created by combining a Greek term meaning "food of the gods" (theobroma) and the ancient Olmec word for the chocolate plant, "cacao."

- Theobroma cacao grows almost exclusively within 20 degrees of the equator.

- The flowers of the cacao plant are pollinated by midges. Midges are small winged insects that make their homes in rotting leaves on the forest floor.

- Although chocolate and milk seems like a perfect combination, it is extremely difficult to combine them as chocolate is mostly fat and milk is mostly water.

- There are three primary species of cacao: Trinitario, Criollo, and Forestero. Beans from Criollo trees are widely considered to be of the best quality.

- Theobromine, a chemical in chocolate, is highly toxic to many animals including dogs, cats, and horses.

- West Africa is the source of 70% of the world's cocoa beans.

- Columbus brought cacao (chocolate) beans back to Spain on his fourth voyage in 1502.

- Milton Stavely Hershey first became rich selling caramels. He sold his caramel business in 1900 for $1 million and started making milk chocolate.

- American consumers average 10-12 pounds of chocolate a year, while in the UK they eat almost twice that amount.

- Chocolate supposedly made its film debut when Jean Harlow ate candy in the 1933 comedy 'Dinner at Eight'.

- The Cacao tree only thrives in latitudes no more than 20 degrees north of south of the equator.

- U.S. chocolate manufacturers use about 3.5 million pounds of whole milk every day to make 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.

- Hershey's Chocolate was introduced in 1900.

- The fruit of the Cacao tree grow directly from the trunk. They look like small melons, and the pulp inside contains 20 to 50 seeds or beans. It takes about 400 beans to make a pound of chocolate.

- Bittersweet chocolate is what is usually called for in baking. It contains more chocolate liquor (at least 35%) and less sugar than sweet chocolate.

- Semisweet chocolate contains 15% - 35% chocolate liquor.

- Hawaii is the only state that grows cacao beans to produce chocolate.

- In the U.S. chocolate candy outsells all other types of candy combined, by 2 to 1.

- Seven billion pounds of chocolate and candy are manufactured each year in the United States.

- Rumor has it that Napoleon carried chocolate with him on all his military campaigns for a quick energy snack.

- The melting point of cocoa butter is just below the human body temperature -- which is why it literally melts in your mouth.

- The daughter of confectioner Leo Hirschfield is commemorated in the name of the sweet he invented: Although his daughter's real name was Clara, she went by the nickname Tootsie, and in her honor, her doting father named his chewy chocolate logs Tootsie Rolls.

- The average person will consume 10,000 chocolate bars in a lifetime.

- It's a common myth that chocolate aggravates acne. Experiments conducted at the University of Pennsylvania and the U.S. Naval Academy found that consumption of chocolate -- even frequent daily dietary intake -- had no effect on the incidence of acne. Professional dermatologists today do not link acne with diet.

- In Hershey, Pennsylvania, the streetlights along "Chocolate Avenue" are in the shape of Hershey Kisses.

- German chocolate cake did not originate in Germany. In 1852, Sam German developed a sweet baking bar for Baker's Chocolate Co. The product was named in honor of him -- Baker's German's Sweet Chocolate.


  1. Here's another bit of trivia: the Mayan Goddess of Abundance was Ixcacao (pronounced "eesh-ca-cayo") which means Cocoa Woman. She provided xocalati (pronounced "shoc-a-lati") to Her people. So from Her we get the words cocoa and chocolate.

    1. Thanks. That is a very cool bit of trivia! And I so enjoy when a goddess is involved.

  2. I'm not surprised that more chocolate is eaten during winter months - we need something to get us through this dead zone.

    Chocolate is a fascinating subject - I must 'research' it further, lol!!

    1. You got that right. I crave ice cream more now than I do during the summer!

  3. Replies
    1. I think I would have liked it, too, if it wasn't for the human sacrifice 'thingy'... :)

  4. Wow, there is a lot of chocolate info out there!
    I'm suddenly craving hot chocolate with chilis, Mmmm

    1. I'm so curious to know what that tastes like. I may have to experiment at some point!

  5. i HAVE A lot of catching up to do! I love DARK chocolate. Thanks for this info Martha!

    1. I love a lot of different types of chocolate, as long as there is no MINT in them. It's one flavour combination that I really don't like.