Well I never knew that…Fun Facts About Chocolate
We’re celebrating the highlight of the chocolate world’s social calendar, National Chocolate Week, with a blog all about, you guessed it…chocolate.
From the weird to the wonderful, the wacky to the ‘well I never knew that’, I’ve rounded up my Top 10 chocolatey facts to get your taste buds tingling and rejoice in the most deliciously, decadent indulgence ever created.
1. White chocolate isn’t really chocolate. I know, mind blown on the first fact! This is because it doesn’t contain cocoa solids or chocolate liquor, meaning it isn’t chocolate in the strict sense. But it does contain parts of the cocoa bean—mainly cocoa butter.
2. The Aztecs loved and valued the cocoa bean so highly that they used it as currency during the height of their civilisation.
3. The scientific name for the tree that chocolate comes from, Theobroma cocoa, means “food of the gods”, it couldn’t be anything else!
4. The first recipe for ‘eating’ chocolate was invented right here, in the UK, in 1847 by Joseph Fry. You can still enjoy a Fry’s chocolate bar today!
5. Chocolate is the only edible substance to melt around 93° F, just below the human body temperature. That’s why chocolate melts so deliciously on your tongue.
6. According to the International Cocoa Organization, Europeans account for almost half the world's chocolate consumption. They estimate the average Brit, Swiss, or German eat 11kg of chocolate a year. Slightly concerned that my chocolate consumption may have bumped Britain up the list!
7. The blood in the film, Psycho’s famous shower scene was actually chocolate syrup.
8. Chocolate contains high levels of a powerful stimulant called 'theobromine'. Theobromine poisoning can cause heart failure, seizures, acute kidney damage and dehydration, eek! However, to ingest enough theobromine for it to be fatal, you would have to eat about 22lb of chocolate or 40 bars of Dairy Milk, and that’s a huge amount, even for a pro-chocolate eater like me.
9. A jewel thief made off with $28 million dollars of gems in 2007 because he was able to gain the trust of the guards working the bank in Antwerp, Belgium, by repeatedly offering them chocolate. I would have accepted on the first offer.
10. Despite its regal background and revered status, the cocoa bean doesn’t just magically turn into chocolate—it takes about 400 beans to make a single pound of the good stuff.
So, there you go, some very weird and very wonderful facts about chocolate. If that still isn’t enough of a chocolate fix, then why don’t you head over to my upcoming chocolate workshop pages. Each workshop begins with me sharing some fascinating facts about the history of chocolate and the chocolate production process from bean to bar. Of course, after all that talking, it’s time to get stuck in yourself, learning how to make the most delicious chocolate truffles. What an introduction to the art of chocolate making!