10 Things You Didnt Know About Chocolate

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  • 7/29/2019 10 Things You Didnt Know About Chocolate

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    10 Things You Didn't Know About ChocolateFor many of us, life without chocolate is difficult to imagine. But it was only as recently as the Victorian erathat the chocolate bar was invented. Read on to discover more about the history of one of Britain's best-loved

    foods.

    1. Origins

    The ancientMaya and Azteccivilizations in Central America were the worlds first chocolate lovers. Cocoa

    trees grew wild in the tropical rainforests of the Amazon basin and the Maya and Aztecs used the beans to

    make a much-prized spicy drink, which they called chocolatl.

    2. Meaning

    InNahuatl, the Aztec language, chocolatl means bitter water. A related Nahuatl word, cacao (source of theEnglish word cocoa), refers to the bean itself.

    3. Chocolate in EuropeIt was the Spanish Conquistador,Don Hernn Corts, who first realized the commercial value of chocolate.

    He brought cocoa beans back to Spain in 1528 and very gradually the custom of drinking chocolate spread

    across Europe. In 1657 the first of many drinking-houses where the new liquid-chocolate was enjoyedappeared in England.

    4. Eating chocolateUntil the earlyVictorian times chocolate was exclusively for drinking, then a technique for making solid

    "eating" chocolate was devised. The inventor of eating chocolate is unknown but the first solid chocolate

    was sold in 1847 by Fry & Sons of Bristol.

    5. Milk and white chocolate

    In 1875 a Swiss manufacturer, Daniel Peters of Vevey, Switzerland, produced the first milk chocolate bar by

    successfully finding a way to combine chocolate and milk. White chocolate, which is technically notchocolate as it does not contain any cocoa liquor, was not invented until the 1930s.

    6. Swiss chocolateThe Swiss consume more chocolate than any other population in the world. On average, each person

    consumes around 9 kg (20 lbs) each year! Perhaps this isn't really surprisingfamous Swiss chocolate

    makers include Rodolphe Lindt, Henri Nestl, Philippe Suchard, Jean Tobler (founder of the Toblerone

    brand), and Charles Amde Kohler (the first to add hazelnuts to chocolate).

    7. Chocolate boxes

    Richard Cadbury introduced the first ever chocolate box in 1868. He also introduced the first ever chocolateboxes forValentine's Day, thereby starting the tradition of giving chocolate as a token of love on February

    14.

    8. Making chocolateThe harvesting of cocoa pods is very labour intensive. The pods are split open by hand and the beans needed

    to make chocolate are removed to be fermented and dried. They are then sent to chocolate manufacturing

    companies, where they are roasted and ground in large mills until they become a thick brown liquid. Thiscocoa mass is the basis of all chocolate and cocoa products.

    9. Producing chocolateAfrican countries harvest about two-thirds of the total world output of cocoa beans. At the start of the

    twenty-first century the Cte d'Ivoire was the world's greatest cocoa-bean producing nation.

    10. Health

    A chemical in chocolatetheobromineis toxic to dogs and cats. For humans, chocolate contains only asmall amount of nutrients and has a high fat content. However, the presence of antioxidants in dark chocolatemeans that it has recently been promoted for its health benefits.

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