Of course, there are even more fun and interesting facts about chocolate as it dates back to 1000 B.C. Compiled here is a list of interesting tidbits that can be used to impress friends and family while enjoying one of your favorite pieces of indulgent chocolate.
1. The first recorded “Death by Chocolate” case occurred in the 17th Century in Chiapas, Mexico. Upper class Spaniards were so addicted to chocolate that they refused to adhere to a church dictated chocolate ban that forbade them from eating or drinking any food during the church services. As a result, the people of the town refused not only listen to the ban but chose to attend worship services in convents instead. The Bishop who passed the law was later found dead due to poison being mixed into his daily cup of chocolate.
2. The word “chocolate” comes from the Aztec word, “Xocolatl”, which ironically means “bitter water”.
3. The biggest bar of chocolate ever made was created in 2000 and weighed 5,000 pounds. Turin is the city in Italy that can be proud of this accomplishment.
4. Americans eat an average of 22 pounds of candy each year, or approximately 2.8 billion pounds annually which is split almost equally between chocolate and candy. Most Europeans consume far less than this.
5. While the US produces the most chocolate and consume the most pounds every year, the Swiss consume the most per capita, followed closely by the English.
6. Besides the obvious cheese and ice cream industries, American chocolate manufacturers use about 1.5 billion pounds of milk and consume approximately 3.5 million pounds of whole milk yearly.
7. Chocolate manufacturers currently use 40% of the world’s almonds and 20% of the world’s peanuts.
8. Chocolate is technically responsible for the microwave. Scientists were experimenting with micro waves in hopes of creating better radar detectors and in the wake of World War II, scientists were testing devices called magnetrons. A scientist named Percy Spencer entered the lab with a chocolate bar in his pocket and realized it quickly began to melt. Spencer then realized that the magnetron could potentially be used to cook food. He successfully tried popping corn and then attempted to cook an egg which cooked so quickly, it blew up in his face.
9. Every Russian and American space voyage has included chocolate bars.
10. On the fourth visit of Christopher Columbus to the Americas, he presented cocoa beans to the Spanish Court. King Ferdinand and Queen Isabelle were not impressed and dismissed the chocolate as bizarre tribal concoctions.
P.S. Here is an extra fact about chocolate: A great selection of indulgent chocolate gift baskets is available by clicking here.