Toot Toot! One of the best days of the year has finally arrived – and I’m not talking about my birthday. It’s World Chocolate Day and therefore an excuse to eat all the chocolate in the UNIVERSE. We know the basics of chocolate – that it tastes good and originates from the cacao bean – but it’s more than just a delicious dessert. There’s actually LOADS of facts we had no idea about and we wanted to pass our knowledge onto you! So without further ado, here are 10 interesting facts about chocolate to add to your general knowledge bank
1You’ve probably heard of the “Hershey” Chocolate bar, made famous by the USA. Did you know that Milton Hershey decided it would be great advertising if he put the word HERSHEY in large letters, so that when the wrapper was discarded on the street, you would be able to read the name clearly? I bet you didn’t.
2Chocolate was really popular in the 1600s – but was actually a form of expensive and pretty exclusive drink rather than a sweet dessert. The chocolate was taken flavoured with cloves and cinnamon as well as sugar.
3How do you feel about crisps dipped in chocolate? That’s what happened in America with Lay’s (the UK’s equivalent of Walkers) selling crisps dipped in a layer of milk chocolate. The salty-sweet taste combined with a little crunch and melted chocolate we think would be a seller here! Thoughts?
4Switzerland can take ownership for being the first to create Milk Chocolate in 1875! Daniel Peter told the concept to his neighbour Henri Nestle and finally invented it after eight years of trying.
5If you’re a KitKat fan, make sure you add travelling to Japan to your post pandemic bucket list. Turns out there’s over 200 different flavours of KitKat in Japan, which give recognition to the unique tastes and foods in the country.
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6Who loves chocolate? The Europeans do! According to the International Cocoa Organisation, Europeans make up for almost half the world’s consumption! DAMN
7What’s the difference between dark chocolate, milk chocolate and white chocolate? Well, dark chocolate combines cocoa solids, cocoa butter and sugar but contains little or no milk – this is why you have a slightly bitter taste compared to the other flavours. Milk chocolate contains more milk and dairy fat giving it a sweeter, creamier taste and it’s light brown colour. White chocolate doesn’t contain ANY cocoa solids like dark and milk chocolate do, and is purely made from cocoa butter, milk and sugar.
8Ever wondered what the percentage on the front of a chocolate bar means? Well, 100% dark chocolate means it ONLY contains cocoa solids. The higher the percentage, the less there is of the other ingredients (sugar and cocoa butter). Dark chocolate contains a minimum of 70% cocoa versus a maximum of 35% in white chocolate.
9Various studies have shown just how good incorporating a little dark chocolate into your diet is – it’s been shown to contain a high level of antioxidants which help eliminate toxins that cause diseases as well as being rich in epicatechin and Gallic acids which protect the heart from heart disease and heart attacks. It also acts as a cough preventer, brain stimulator and has antidiarrheal effects. Who knew?
10The Aztecs and the Mayans used cocoa beans as currency. The Aztec and Mayan kings drank cups of warm chocolate regularly, believing that it was the food of the god whilst the people used cacao beans as currency, swapping them for goods and services alike.
Feeling inspired by this article? Why don’t you attempt at making your OWN chocolate. Check out the recipes below for some baking inspo. Tag us in your recipes on Instagram @themodelcloud – we’d love to see what you come up with!