Happy World Chocolate Day!
To mark the occasion, we’re running a special promotion today ONLY! Use code: FLASH25 to get 25% off Enjoy! Chocolate by midnight tonight! (Please note, boxes of bars and gift vouchers are not included in this promotion.)
Whilst you munch on a bar to celebrate, why not peruse our compilation of interesting chocolate-related facts below….? Enjoy!
#1 The history of chocolate can be traced back to the Mayans, and further!
Mayan history notes chocolate drinks (using cacao) were used for celebrations, but despite its importance, it was readily available to everyone, regardless of their wealth and power.
But even before that, it is thought that the ancient Olmecs of southern Mexico were using cacao, due to traces of theobromine - a stimulant compound found in chocolate - being found in 1500 B.C. pots
#2 Chocolate used to be used as currency!
Cacao beans were considered to be so valuable that during pre-modern Latin America, they were often used as currency. A tamale (a corn dough snack, with a filling) cost one bean, in comparison to 100 beans for a good turkey hen!
Source: Smithsonian Magazine
#3 Chocolate is ‘food of the gods’!
Well, scientifically it is… The scientific name for the cacao tree is ‘Theobroma cacao’ which literally translates to ‘cacao, food of the gods’!
Source: Eden Project
#4 Chocolate has over 600 flavour components!
There are over 600 volatile components found within chocolate products that make up the distinct flavour and aroma.
Source: Bean to Bar World
#5 Dark chocolate is a powerful source of antioxidants!
Dark chocolate contains a lot of organic compounds that are biologically active, and function as antioxidants. One study has even found that cacao and dark chocolate had more antioxidant activity than some fruits!
#6 Dark chocolate can help people fall asleep!
However, this depends on a variety of factors. Dark chocolate contains nutrients that can help you to sleep, but can also have the opposite effect - it’s all down to the individual. Dark chocolate contains an amino acid called tryptophan, which helps the body make melatonin - which is important for sleep cycles!
Source: Terry Cralle
#7 Cocoa and cacao are the same thing!
Technically cacao is cocoa in its raw form, for example it’s the cacao pod that the cacao powder and butter are extracted from. But whilst you may see us talking about cocoa and cacao a lot, these terms are often used interchangeably!
#8 Chocolate has a unique melting point!
However, that changes between the different types of chocolate. Chocolate generally starts to melt at around 30-32 celsius, which is why it often melts when you touch it! Dark chocolate with a higher percentage of cacao has a higher melting point, often at around 37c.
Source: Cocoa & Heart
#9 Dark chocolate with 75-85% cacao solids can provide us with 11g of fibre!
Not only is it delicious, but it has benefits for our health too!
Source: Medical News Today
#10 A cacao pod contains an average of 40 cocoa beans
Cocoa beans are the seeds of the cacao tree and are found in cacao pods (the fruit of the tree). It can take a minimum of 400 beans (so at least 10 pods) to make a pound of chocolate!