Want to know more about Chocolate? It’s a beloved treat that has gained popularity all over the world. Here are 25 interesting facts about chocolate that you probably didn’t know before reading this!
To make things more fun, I want to challenge you as well. How many of these Chocolate facts did you already know? Let me know in the comment section at the end of the article!
1. Chocolate is made from cacao beans
Many people aren’t aware of were their beloved chocolate actually comes from. Some know that it comes from cacao, but even fewer know where cacao is grown, and especially how it grows and how the beans are harvested.
2. The cocoa beans grow inside the cacao fruit
Have you ever heard of the Cacao fruit? Yes, that is right. Cacao beans, which you make chocolate from are growing inside these fruits.
The Cacao tree is native to Central America and South America but is more commonly grown in Africa these days. Every fruit contains about 20-40 cacao beans, which are often harvested by hand.
3. It takes about 900 cacao beans to make 1 kilo of chocolate
Remember that you just learned that each fruit contains 20-40 beans? That means it will take at least 22 fruits to get 1 kilo of chocolate! So next time you wonder why the finer chocolates are so expensive, you’ll know how many cacao fruits it took to make them.
Definitely one of the most interesting facts about chocolate!
4. Hot chocolate was brewed already by the ancient Mexicans and Aztecs
One of the most popular hot beverages in the world along with tea and coffee, especially in colder climates, and Europe in particular.
But did you know that the Aztecs used to make their own version of it from cacao beans? It was a lot more bitter than ours though since they didn’t add any sugar to it.
5. It was so precious that it was even used as a currency
It was so valuable to the early Mesoamericans that they used it as a currency. These days we only have the coins made of chocolate that kids eat, but they are good too!
6. There are an estimated 1.5 million cacao farms in West Africa
Most of the cacao farming is done in Africa, and more precisely in West Africa. Prices on cacao can change on a daily basis, which affects the income of local farmers.
A cacao farmer also has to wait up to 4 years before their cacao tree bears fruit.
7. The average size of a cacao farm in West Africa is 7 to 10 acres
That is about 4 hectares on average, which is equal to about 5-6 football fields. Many of the farms are family owned and the produce is small scale. As you can see in the photo below, the farmers also harvest the fruits and cacao beans by hand.
8. The Ivory Coast is the single largest producer of cacao
The world’s largest producer of cacao is the Ivory Coast in West Africa, which account for about 30-40% of all production worldwide.
There has been numerous documentary and clips showing that many workers in the cocoa farms don’t understand why “white people” value the beans so highly, and some of them have never eaten any before.
9. Milk chocolate was invented in Switzerland
In 1874, Daniel Peter made a breakthrough and created milk chocolate. He used condensed milk to get the taste and texture he wanted. Since then, the love for it has spread worldwide, way beyond Switzerland.
Toblerone is perhaps the most famous product from Switzerland.
10. The name of the cacao tree means food of the goods in Greek
It was the Swedish Carl von Linné who gave the name to the tree, he named it Theobroma cacao, where Theobroma comes from ancient Greek and would translate as “Food of the Gods”.
I’m sure many agree with its superpowers, and the fact is that it can be very healthy.
11. The melting point of chocolate is 30-32 Celsius (86-90 Fahrenheit)
Chocolate is also the only known edible product in the world which has a melting point below the human body temperature of 37 degrees Celsius.
You can melt it with a temperature of 30-32 degrees Celsius, which is why it melts in your mouth, and if you put a block in your hand.
12. Chocolate is harmful to dogs and cats
Make sure to never give some to your dogs and cats, because it can be lethal. And if it doesn’t kill them, they risk getting very ill.
The toxic component is theobromine, which can easily be metabolized by humans. Dogs and cats, however, can’t process it as easily as humans, which lead to higher levels of theobromine in their bodies.
Smaller dogs run a bigger risk than larger dogs.
13. Dark chocolate is a powerful source of antioxidants
The higher the percentage of cacao, the healthier it will be. But with less sugar in it, there will also be a more bitter taste to it.
I have tried 99% cacao from Lindt, and I could barely eat it. I found it too bitter, and it didn’t melt in my mouth. But I do enjoy 75-85% cacao as they have the best of both worlds.
The fat from cacao is very healthy as well, and the beans are a powerful source of antioxidants.
14. Cacao has over 600 flavor compounds
In comparison, wine only has 200 flavor compounds. So that is perhaps why we love cacao so much as it has such a rich taste.
15. The first chocolate bar was made in England
You can thank Cadbury for making the first chocolate bar, and what’s even more fascinating is that they are still in business today. The bar was made in 1842, and since then it has become a standard worldwide.
5 x Random facts about Chocolate
- It’s known as a natural aphrodisiac
- Napoleon loved chocolate and demanded it to be available at all times including during military campaigns
- Eating 10 kilograms of Chocolate could kill a human
- The smell of chocolate increases theta brain waves, which triggers relaxation
- It takes two to four days to make a single-serving chocolate bar
5 x Chocolate Facts for kids
- Cacao trees can live to be 200 years old
- The world’s largest chocolate bar weighed 5,792.50 kg.
- Spanish explorers discovered cacao and introduced it to Europe
- Cacao has a bitter taste, which is why sugar is added
- Milk chocolate is the most popular cacao product
How many of these facts about Chocolate did you know? Let me know in the comment section below!