International Chocolate day celebrates the confection that children (and adults too!) crave worldwide. Although the usual milk chocolate isn't good for you, get used to the taste of dark chocolate, a little stops those cravings and is actually good for you too!
WHERE AND WHEN?
Chocolate comes from cocao pods which grow on tropical cocao trees with the official name Theobroma Cacao which translates as Food Of The Gods.
Chocolate was first consumed as a bitter sort of drink said to have many healthy and mystical properties by the Mayans of Central America over 2600 years ago. It was first brought into Europe by Christopher Columbus and was always used as a drink till 1847 when Joseph Fry of England created the first chocolate bar, the rest, as they say, is history!
WHAT IS CHOCOLATE?
The cacao tree produces colourful pods which are harvested between May and December. The pods are opened and the seeds dried in the sun before being roasted and ground to separate the cocoa butter and cocoa powder.
Dark/plain chocolate must contain at least 70% cocoa solids as well as cocoa powder and sugar.
Milk chocolate contains less cocoa butter/solids only 50% plus cocoa powder, sugar and of course added milk.
White chocolate has no cocoa solids at all and is just made with 33% cocoa powder, milk, sugar and vanilla. It is not really chocolate at all.
CHOCOLATE FACTS AND FUN!
The natural chemicals in chocolate make you feel more relaxed and llift your mood at the same time. This is why people crave chocolate and eat far too much in one go. They like the good feelings (as well as the taste) and eat more and more.
Dark chocolate is best for you and a little piece a day has been proven to be good for your heart.
It takes 400 cacao beans to make one 450g bar of chocolate.
The largest bar of chocolate in the world weighed a staggering 5,792 kilos!
Every second the Americans collectively eat 45.35 kilos of chocolate, however the Swiss eat more chocolate per person in the world.
Chocolate is bad for animals, especially dogs.
Fair Trade chocolate says that no forced child labour is used in its production, but Fairtrade Chocolate represents less than 1% of the $66 gillion chocolate market.
Check out our Pinterest Board for more chocolate information and recipes too.