10 Fun Facts About Chocolate

You don’t need an excuse to gorge yourself on chocolate, and the truth is that most people love it, but wouldn’t you like to know the secret to success behind those culinary delicacies?

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Chocolate tastes wonderful, of course, but for many chocolate lovers, a big chunk offers them something more. Here are some of the reasons why the palate and chocolate are desired to such an extreme, along with a few fun facts about chocolate.


1. Death by chocolate.

When people hear the phrase “Death by Chocolate,” they probably assume that it is an extremely delicious cake, a joke, or some execution device. Fortunately, they’re usually right, but once in 17th-century the poison injected into the chocolate, which caused the death of a Spanish bishop, enough to ban the consumption of chocolate during church services.

To be fair, it wasn’t the chocolate itself, but the poison injected into the chocolate, which caused the death. If only he had abstained, he might have survived. Chocolate: A food so delicious that you’ll eat despite being deadly.

2. Chocolate makes us very happy.

There are a lot of natural chemicals in chocolate that are beneficial to us or affect our mood. There is one particular chemical that induces feelings associated with love, it is tryptophan, it makes us very happy.

Tryptophan (which is also present in eggs) influences endorphin levels in the human brain and increases serotonin production, leading to elevated states of euphoria. Since there’s a lot of this stuff in chocolate, it makes sense that people would spill over a bit when it comes to their passion for chocolate.

3. The Mayans and Aztecs used cacao beans as currency.

Our ancestors believed that chocolate was the food of the gods. Aztec and Mayan kings drank cups of hot chocolate on a regular basis, and the magical cacao bean, highly valued in pre-Columbian America, was used as a form of currency.

Instead of walking around with coins in their pockets, or loincloths, people exchanged cacao beans for goods and services.

4. Cocoa can prevent tooth decay.

You probably think that chocolate is full of sugar or artificial sweetener, and that it’s not good for your teeth. Well, that’s right, but it shouldn’t have to be that way. In fact, pure cocoa can help prevent tooth decay.

Certain chemicals naturally present in cocoa beans fight harmful bacteria in the mouth. Chocolate’s ability to deal with the microscopic bugs that live on the surface of teeth is so effective that it could one day be added to toothpastes and mouthwashes, without the sugar, of course.

5. Americans consume nearly half of the world’s chocolate.

If you think Americans eat too much chocolate, you’re right. In fact, they consume about half of the world’s chocolate, an amount that by weight exceeds three million pounds. While Europeans still ingest around 40% of the planet’s chocolate consumption.

6. Chocolate is, quite literally, chemical love.

Chocolate contains a chemical called phenylethylamine. Phenylethylamine releases certain “pleasure” endorphins in the brain, which make people feel good about everything – similar to how they feel when they’re madly in love. While chocolate might not be a perfect substitute for love, it’s one of the best substitutes you’ll find produced in mass quantities.

7. Chocolate producers love peanuts.

Chocolate producers around the world annually use about 20% of the world’s peanut crops and about 40% of the total almond trees grown. Given this information, there probably isn’t a dairy or peanut farm that isn’t rooted in chocolate’s continued success.

8. German chocolate isn’t really German.

If you have any German heritage, and you think you’re honoring your ancestors while slicing a sweet piece of German Chocolate Cake, you could be more than wrong.

While this tasty delicacy has the name “German” in the title, it has absolutely nothing to do with the country itself. In the mid-1800s, an American man named Sam German came up with a recipe for baking dark chocolate bars that could be used to make the cake. Sam, who worked for the Baker chocolate company, did a good job, and as a result got a cake named after him.

9. Chocolate inspired the invention of the microwave.

Percy Spencer, a scientist working on World War II radar and weapons projects, became a big fan of chocolate. After spending some time near a formidable device called a magnetron, he realized that the candy bar he had been keeping in his pocket had turned to mush.

He quickly jumped to conclusions and realized magnetrons might be able to heat food to incredibly fast ranges, and voilà, the microwave oven was born.

10. Unsweetened chocolate is basically a laxative.

You might think that maybe you can fool the system by buying a bunch of unsweetened chocolate and eating it while saving calories. But that’s a terrible mistake. Why? Because gorging on sugar-free chocolate is essentially a one-way ticket to the town of Baños. And the people who do know it.

In a factory that produces reduced-sugar and sugar-free chocolates, there are buckets on the floor filled with defective chocolates. Each bucket has signs that warn employees of the danger of heavy ingestion of the product.