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Some interesting facts about chocolate

Some interesting facts about chocolate

Here are a few interesting facts about chocolate that you may not be aware of. Chocolate has always been considered a tasty treat, whether we are talking about children, young people or the elderly. This dessert is also appreciated for the “happiness” state it gives you when eating it, that’s why it has become one of the most loved products in the world. Chocolate almost goes with anything and any mood, plus it is also healthy (when you consume the right kind and in the appropriate amounts).

Unfortunately, chocolate farms are usually filled with children who work like slaves for the profit of others. They are promised money to help their families, but they are barely offered the minimum necessary for survival, not to mention that they are sometimes sold or beaten up for not making their daily quota. Not to mention that they are not even allowed to taste the product they are harvesting.

It is already known that the dark chocolate has the highest percentage of chocolate content, the rest, well, not so much. There are countries that have a certain standard for the chocolate contained in chocolate bars, as in the case of Milk Chocolate (about 10% chocolate liquor) and Semisweet chocolate (35%) in the US, while in the UK these amounts are slightly higher.

Milk chocolate, invented in 1875 is a relatively new concept, as compared to dark chocolate which has a history of a few thousand years. Milk chocolate was obtained by mixing the Dutch Cocoa (crushed Cocoa butter mixed with salts to reduce the bitter taste) with sweetened condensed milk, which was invented by a man named Nestle.

The Aztecs and the Maya used cacao beans as currency, as they were very valuable to them. It is believed that with 10 beans you could buy a rabbit and 100 could get you a slave. Cacao beans could actually buy anything from livestock to food and tools. Only the rich drank chocolate as its value was too high to be consumed by the poor.

Chocolate contains high amounts of antioxidants, namely flavonols and procyanids, compounds that are good for the heart and can prevent cancer to some extent. Nevertheless, the number of antioxidants is higher in the dark chocolate, still it has to be consumed in moderate amounts.

Besides the content of caffeine, chocolate also contains Theobromine, a similar compound, but with a much milder stimulant effect. Theobromine was also found out to be suppressing coughs, or reduce blood pressure.

The aristocracy and the rich Aztecs could afford and drink about 10 cups of chocolate a day, this number culminating with Montezuma himself, who was believed to drink up to 50 cups a day. The interesting fact is that they drank the chocolate cold and not hot, as we do nowadays, and they neither used sugar to sweeten it.

Some chocolate manufacturing companies attempted to get the FDA’s approval to replace the cocoa butter in chocolate bars with hydrogenated vegetable oil. Needless to say this request was not accepted, let alone approved.

Due to some serious diseases affecting cacao trees in Latin America, we could be facing chocolate shortage soon. Plus, there is an increasing demand for chocolate on the market, and if this disease will continue to affect larger and more extended areas, prices will also go up.

Chocolate can literally come in all shapes and sizes, proof being the largest chocolate bar ever made, weighing 6 tons. Created in September 2011, this particular chocolate bar consisted of 17 pounds of cocoa butter and approx. 14 pounds of chocolate liquor. Another attempt in England succeeded in creating an even larger chocolate bar, inspired by the story of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, the bar being broken up into pieces and sold for charity.  

 

 

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