I love good quality chocolate.   There are a lot of history and interesting facts to go along with the ingredients like cocoa or cacao and sugar on labels.  In the beginning, sugar had nothing to do with chocolate.

1, Cocoa beans come from the fruit ( pod ) of trunks and branches of cocoa trees.  They are actually seeds that are dried and fermented.  The cocoa tree originated and was domesticated  in Amazon forests of south and central America and at the foot of Andes mountains at least 3500 years ago.

2, Dried and Fermented seeds are ground into paste.  It was consumed as a beverage by the Aztec sand Mayans who believed  in its medicinal properties. The ancient people flavored the beverage with chili peppers.  Cocoa beans were considered more valuable than gold and were used as money in those days.

3, It wasn’t until in the 17th century that cocoa beans reached Europe.  In 1828, a Dutch chemist found a way to take the bitterness out of the paste and make it into powder known as Dutch Cocoa.

4, A company called Cadbury  in England started making and selling what would resemble modern-day chocolate in 1847.

5, In 1621, a Spanish ship named Nuestra Senora del Rosario del Carmen brought chocolate to North America.  In 1700s, chocolate  was used as a ration by the military during French and Indian War.

6, Cocoa is the world’s third most traded agricultural product.  It takes about 400 cocoa beans to make one pound of chocolate.

7, Every one second, Americans consume 100 pounds of chocolate.

8, It’s well known that chocolate can kill dogs and cats.  We humans can die too if we eat too much of it.  It takes about 22 pounds of chocolate for us.

9, Chocolate is more effective for suppressing coughs than over-the-counter medication.  Hate the taste of nasty cough syrups?  Just eat chocolate.

10, Stressed?  Smell of chocolate has a relaxing effect.  There are a lot of chocolate-scented  bath and beauty products on the market.

 

 

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