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30 Chocolate facts

 

 

  1. The name Theobroma cacao was first given to the cocoa tree by Carolus Linnaeus –the father of modern-day taxonomic plant classification. Theobroma comes from ancient Greek and translates as ‘Food of the Gods’. Cacao is the Mayan root word retained by the Spanish colonizers of Mesoamerica to describe the tree and its produce.

  2. Accoring to the International Cocoa Organization, Europeans account for almost half the world's chocolate consumption. They estimate the average Brit, Swiss, or German eats 11kg of chocolate a year.

  3. In Mayan times the cocoa bean was used as currency as it was considered to be worth more than gold dust. Cultivation of the beans was restricted so the value of cocoa beans as money would not go down.

  4. The smell of chocolate increases theta brain waves, which triggers relaxation.

  5. Cocoa beans are very nutritious; they consist mainly of fat (50%) and carbohydrates (25%). In addition, cocoa contains proteins, theobromine, niacin, minerals (including calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium, sodium, and phosphorus) and vitamins A, B1, B2 and B6.

  6. To be classified as real chocolate, a product has to contain cocoa solids or cocoa liquor. White "chocolate" contains cocoa butter instead, so technically, it is no chocolate.

  7. The cocoa tree only grows 20° north and south of the Equator.

  8. The best bean comes from the Criollo tree, which is native to Central and South America as well as the Caribbean islands and Sri Lanka. Only 5% of the world’s production is Criollo.

  9. Chocolate is the only edible substance to melt around 93° F, just below the human body temperature. That’s why chocolate melts so easily on your tongue.

  10. Chocolate has over 600 flavour compounds, while red wine has just 200.

  11. The Brussels Airport is the biggest chocolate seller in the world, as vendors there sell more than 800 tons of chocolate every year.

  12. Dr. James Baker and John Hannon founded their chocolate company—later called Walter Baker Chocolate—in 1765. That’s where the term “Baker's Chocolate” comes from, not to denote chocolate that’s just meant for cooking.

  13. The cocoa tree can grow as tall as 12-15 m in the wild. But to facilitate harvesting most cocoa farmers do not let it grow higher than 4-8 m.

  14. The French leader demanded that wine and chocolate be made available to him and his senior advisers even during intense military campaigns.

  15. Chocolate prior to conching has an uneven and gritty texture. The conching process produces cocoa and sugar particles smaller than the tongue can detect, hence the smooth feel in the mouth. The length of the conching process determines the final smoothness and quality of the chocolate. High-quality chocolate is conched for about 72 hours, and lesser grades about four to six hours.

  16.  The antioxidants in the dark chocolate surpasses pecans (14% less) and red wine (25% less).

  17. Despite its Amazonian roots, most cacao—nearly 70 percent of the world’s supply—comes from Africa. The Ivory Coast is the largest single producer, providing about 30 percent of all the world’s cacao.

  18. The cocoa tree blooms and bears fruit the whole year round. This means that cocoa has flowers and fruit on the tree at the same time. In two cycles of six months, thousands of delicate flowers adorn the stem and main branches. Only approximately 40 will eventually develop into fruit. Each flower blooms for only a single day.

  19. The French celebrate April Fool’s Day with chocolate-shaped fish, or “Poisson d’Avril.”

  20. Full-grown pods vary significantly in shape, texture and size, and can range from about 15 cm to over 35 cm in length. A ripe fruit typically contains 20 to 75 cocoa beans, each 1 cm to 3 cm long, embedded in a white pulp.

  21. Poorly tempered chocolate may turn the chocolate white and is called chocolate blooming. It is an indication that sugar and/or fat has separated due to poor storage. Chocolate should not be put oin the fridge. It is not toxic and can be safely consumed

  22. There are an estimated 1.5 million cocoa farms in West Africa.

  23. Some cacao trees are more than 200 years old, but most give marketable cocoa beans for only the first 25 years.

  24. The blood in 's famous shower scene was actually chocolate syrup.

  25.  The largst ever chocolate bar weighed just over 5792kg.

  26.  Chocolate contains high levels of a powerful stimulant called 'theobromine'. Theobromine poisoning can cause heart failure, seizures, acute kidney damage and dehydration.

  27.  More than twice as many women than men eat and crave chocolate.

  28.  The chocolate industry is worth approximately £80 Billion per year.

  29.  There is a little cafffeine in chocolate. Most bars have about 10 milligrams of caffeine in them.

  30.  A 2004 study in London found that 70% of people would reveal their passwords in exchange for a chocolate bar !