In 2014 U.S. chocolate sales were $21.1 billion, which alone shows the significance and the demand for the product. Whether it be white, milk, dark, or other more rare varieties (all will be revealed later on), everyone loves to sit down and have a square or 10. Here we’re going to look at 100 delicious facts about chocolate.
The ancient Maya are said to be the first to commonly grow cacao trees and drink chocolate. The Aztecs had to trade for cacao as they couldn’t grow the trees. The word “chocolate” derives from the Aztec “xocoatl,” the bitter, spicy cacao bean based drink. Chocolate was consumed not as a solid but as a liquid for 90% of its history.
The word “cacao” derives from “kakawa,” likely from the Olmec language—an ancient Mesoamerican precursor to Maya. And “chocolate” is said to come from the word “xocolatl,” or “bitter water,” in reference to the bitter sipping chocolate revered during the golden age of the Maya people in Belize.
Ah chocolate, the first love of every man, woman, and child, it’s a solution (however temporary) to every problem from upset and anger to happiness and adoration. Chocolate truly is one of the wonders of the world, in the past, it has been that valued it’s actually been used as currency.
Where did the word cacao come from?
What’s in a name? The word “cacao” derives from “kakawa,” likely from the Olmec language—an ancient Mesoamerican precursor to Maya. And “chocolate” is said to come from the word “xocolatl,” or “bitter water,” in reference to the bitter sipping chocolate revered during the golden age of the Maya people in Belize.
Top crop: Indigenous to the tropical forests of Central America, cacao trees have grown wild in Belize for some 3,000 years—flourishing in the humid microclimates of cenotes—and farmed since around 250 B.C.
Touchdown! Cacao trees bear fruit that resemble footballs, with each pod weighing about a pound and containing around 40 seeds, aka cacao beans, enveloped in sweet white pulp. In the wild, trees sometimes tower 60 feet or taller, but cultivated trees max out around 20 feet in order to ease the harvesting process.
Corporate sponsor: In the 1980s, the Hershey Corporation partnered with Belize’s Ministry of Agriculture to boost the country’s cacao production, setting up a large cacao farm along the Toledo District’s Hummingbird Highway in southern Belize. A few years into the project, world chocolate prices began to drop, and Hershey pulled out.
Chocolate is life: According to ancient Maya beliefs, cacao predates human history. As the creation myth goes, after people were created from maize, they received precious foods including cacao that the gods discovered at “Sustenance Mountain.”.
What is chocolate used for?
1. Chocolate was regarded as an aphrodisiac by the Aztec Indians and the word chocolate means ‘bitter water’, in the Aztec language. 2. Chocolate is a valuable energy source. One chip of chocolate can provide enough energy for an adult human to walk 150 feet. 3.
In 1842 Cadbury’s in England created the worlds first chocolate bar. 6. One ounce of baking chocolate or cocoa contains 10% of the daily recommended intake of iron. 7. You would have to eat more than a dozen chocolate bars to equal the amount of caffeine found in a cup of coffee. 8.
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