It is Chocolate Day! What better way to commemorate it than with a piece about the lesser-known facts about it? We saved the best for last!
1. Cocoa Beans Now Mostly Come From Africa
Cocoa beans are native to the Amazons, but surprisingly, most of them (about 70 percent of the world's supply) are now cultivated in West Africa. Ivory Coast is said to be the largest producer yet!
2. Napoleon Loved Chocolate
It may be hard to believe that one of the world's greatest military leaders had a sweet tooth, but he sure did! The French leader especially loved chocolate, and he would request that it be served with wine even during intense military campaigns.
3. White Chocolate Is Not Chocolate
White Chocolate lacks cocoa solids or chocolate liquor, so it isn't chocolate. However, it is so named because it contains cocoa butter, a part of the cacao bean.
4. Chocolate Has An Official Day
Chocolate is celebrated worldwide on July 7. This marks the day it first reached Europe; while many still contest this fact, there is no stopping enjoying the special day that is just another excuse to enjoy the sweet treat!
5. Cacao Was Once A Currency
The Aztecs' love for chocolate was so much that they decided to make it their currency. Believe it or not, that was during the height of their civilization!
6. A Pair Of British Confectioners Created Solid Chocolate
In 1847, The Fry and Sons shop created what would eventually become the chocolate bar we now know. It was made by combining cocoa butter, sugar, and chocolate liquor and was named "eating chocolate."
7. Chocolate Has Its Own Special Melting Point
Chocolate is the only edible substance to melt around 93° F, just below the human body temperature. This is what gives chocolate that characteristic melt that most people savor when eating it.
8. Cacao Trees Can Live For As Long As 200 Years!
The cacao (or interchangeably, cocoa) trees live for very long but can only make viable cacao beans for a mere 25 years.
9. The First Chocolate Bar Was Made In England
The Cadbury company, which still exists, created the first chocolate bar in the early 1840s.
10. Chocolate Is Really A Vegetable!
If you need an excuse to eat chocolate, this is it!
Chocolate, of both kinds, comes from the cacao bean, which grows on the cacao tree (Theobroma cacao). This evergreen plant belongs to the family Malvaceae, alongside cotton and okra.
It is definitely now our favorite vegetable to exist!