Top Things You Never Knew About Chocolate
It is World Chocolate Day! For those who love this tasty treat, here are some of the most interesting facts about this candy!
1) Dark Chocolate is Good for Your Health
Research shows that by eating small doses of dark chocolate daily, you can lower your blood pressure, reduce your stress levels, and improve your heart health! However, it is important to note that this only applies to bars of chocolate that have at least 70% cocoa. It does not apply to chocolate cake or truffles!
2) Cocoa Beans are Actually Seeds That Come From a Fruit
Cacao trees produce a pod shaped fruit that houses up to 50 cocoa beans (seeds) as well as a sweet and edible pulp. These pods can take up to five months to grow and ripen. Interestingly enough, while these trees can live for up to 100 years, they will only produce these fruits for about half of that time.
3) The Scientific Name for Cocoa Trees Literally Translates to "Food of the Gods"
Clearly, the man who named this plant was a fan of the food it produced! This Latin title was given by Carl Linnaeus in 1753.
4) Theobromine is Better Than Caffeine
We all know the coffee bean will give us some pep in our step, but the compound theobromine that is found in the cacao bean may actually be better. Not only does it cause fewer side effects, but it also gives you more energy than coffee! That is because this compound is absorbed more readily and it naturally increases blood flow. Better yet, it has been shown to help with asthma, coughs, and other respiratory issues!
5) The United States is Second Highest Consumer of Chocolate Across the Globe
It should come as no surprise that Switzerland takes the winning slot for chocolate consumption per capita, but we are not far behind. As of 2021, they were eating an average of 11.6 kg (25.57 lbs) and we were at 9 kg (19.84 lbs) per person each year.
6) White Chocolate is not Considered Actual Chocolate in Some Circles
White chocolate contains 20% cocoa butter, but it does not contain the stereotypical cacao nibs that you normally find in milk and dark chocolate. While many people consider this a requirement for the candy to be called chocolate, the FDA disagrees. Their definition purely states that it needs to contain at least 10% cacao products, which means that it does fall in this category, despite what haters have to say.
7) It Melts in Your Mouth for a Reason
While this phrase figuratively implies that a food is delicious, in the case of chocolate, it has literal meanings as well. Since the melting point of this treat is between 86 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit and the normal temperature of the human body is around 98.6, our bodies cause it to melt!