15 Interesting and Surprising Facts About Chocolate

Are you a chocolate lover? Do you find yourself craving chocolate daily and are always up for trying new types and new recipes where chocolate is the star? As a chocolate lover, you may be well-versed in taste, but what about everything else surrounding the delectable treat? Here are 15 interesting and often surprising facts about chocolate.

Chocolate Began As a Drink

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As popular as chocolate bars and chocolate desserts are, did you know that the first way chocolate was consumed was in the form of a beverage? It was a very bitter drink since it was made of spices, water, and ground cacao paste. From there the drinks were flavoured with vanilla, fermented agave sap, flowers, maize, medicinal herbs, and more.

Chocolate Was Being Consumed Much Earlier Than Many Thought

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Cacao has a long history, but thanks to a recent study published by The University of British Columbia, it has been discovered to be even older than people initially thought. It is believed that it was domesticated as much as 5,300 years ago. Traces of the cacao tree have been found in the Mayo-Chinchipe culture, which was native to South America.

The Aztec Culture Treated Cocoa Like Gold

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Did you know that cacao beans were so highly regarded and desired that they were treated like gold in the Aztec culture? Cacao beans acted as a form of currency, which is what helped cacao to find its way into other cultures.

Europe’s Introduction to Chocolate Can Be Traced to Spain

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Wondering when Europe was introduced to chocolate? Many believe it can be traced back to Spain and a voyage by Christopher Columbus back in 1502. The story goes that he stole a native canoe and took it back to Spain and that canoe contained several items including cocoa.

It Takes a Lot of Cocoa/Cacao Beans to Make Chocolate

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As you gaze lovingly at your chocolate bar, it may surprise you how many cocoa beans are needed to make it. For one pound of chocolate, roughly 400 cocoa beans are needed. Generally speaking, one cacao tree produces 2,500 beans, which paints a much clearer picture of just how many beans it takes to fulfil the demands of consumers.

The Cacao Tree Is Extremely Delicate

Cocoa Tree
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Knowing how many beans it takes to produce chocolate makes this fact even more consequential. The cacao tree is known for being a very delicate tree. Farmers typically lose about 30% of their crop yearly, which is a huge amount. The majority of cocoa comes from West Africa, with approximately 1.5 million cocoa farms located there. The largest producer of cocoa is Cote d’Ivoire, which is responsible for 40% of the total global supply.

Cacao vs Cocoa – Which Is It?

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You’ve probably heard both cacao and cocoa and wondered which is the correct terminology. Cacao is simply the Spanish word for cocoa.

Switzerland Is the Biggest Fan of Chocolate

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And speaking of consumers, did you know that Switzerland holds the title of the largest consumer of chocolate around the world as of 2022? The data showed that each person consumed 8.8 kilos of chocolate that year. So if you’re a chocolate lover, you’ll find like-minded people in Switzerland.

Molded Chocolate Bars Began in the UK

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Looking back the first molded chocolate bar, it is courtesy of J.S. Fry & Sons, in the UK in 1847. The company was part of the “big three” British confectioneries at the time. Joseph Fry was able to figure out the perfect blend of cocoa, sugar, and cocoa powder. He made it into a paste that was thick enough to be moulded. It wasn’t until 1875 that the milk chocolate bar was made.

Tempering Is Used When Creating Chocolate

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Wondering how chocolate is made? It goes through a tempering process which involves repeated agitation of the cocoa butter and cocoa solids, then it is heated and finally cooled. Tempering is what ensures the chocolate has that shiny glazed look to it. It’s also what makes chocolate snap when you break it.

The Best Places in the World to Get Chocolate

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Trying to pinpoint the best places in the world to get chocolate is tricky, as everyone has their preferences. Generally speaking, however, there are a few countries that are known for making spectacular chocolate.

Some of the best countries for making chocolate include:

  • Switzerland
  •  Belgium
  • United States
  • Italy
  • Ivory Coast
  • United Kingdom
  • Ecuador

The Most Popular Types of Chocolate in the World

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Besides the best places in the world to get chocolate, some types of chocolate tend to be more popular than others. Here’s a look at the most popular types of chocolate to eat:

  • Milk chocolate
  • Dark chocolate
  • White chocolate
  • Semisweet chocolate
  • Unsweetened chocolate

It comes down to how you are consuming the chocolate and/or how you plan to use it in a recipe. For example, you may opt for semisweet chocolate in a dessert to ensure it’s not too much.

Hold Up – White Chocolate Isn’t Technically Chocolate

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A really interesting fact is that although white chocolate is in the category of chocolate, its’s not technically true. White chocolate doesn’t contain cocoa solids and instead is made from sweeteners, milk solids, and cocoa butter. This means it isn’t technically chocolate.

Go Ahead and Enjoy a Piece of Dark Chocolate and Its Health Benefits

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People are used to believing that sweets and desserts aren’t good for you but dark chocolate may just be the exception to the rule. Dark chocolate has several health benefits when enjoyed in moderation.

Some of the proven health benefits of dark chocolate include:

  • A source of antioxidants
  • It can help reduce the risk of heart disease
  • It can help lower blood pressure
  • It can help improve blood flow
  • It can help lower cholesterol
  • It can aid in brain function
  • It offers anti-inflammatory effects

Keep Chocolate Away from Pets

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For all the health benefits it offers people, it can be extremely dangerous to your pet cat or dog. It can make them extremely ill and even prove lethal, so be sure to keep it out of their reach.

Read More: Easy Homemade Chocolate Cannoli Cake

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Image credit: This Mom is On Fire.


A typical cannoli cake is made with mascarpone cheese. Well this Chocolate Cannoli Cake is quite different and because first, its a sheet cake, and second, its not full of cream. But it has all of my favorite flavors combined in one cake: coffee, chocolate, ricotta cheese and the freshness of orange. Your taste buds will go wild over this flavor combo!

Easy Homemade Chocolate Cannoli Cake

10 Non-Dairy Foods Packed with Calcium

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Calcium is an essential mineral that plays a crucial role in maintaining strong bones and teeth, supporting muscle function, and facilitating proper nerve signaling. While dairy products are commonly associated with high calcium content, individuals who are lactose intolerant, vegan, or simply looking to diversify their sources of calcium can turn to a variety of non-dairy foods.

10 Non-Dairy Foods Packed with Calcium

6 Pro Tips for Effortless Online Grocery Shopping

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In the fast-paced rhythm of modern life, the once-cherished task of grocery shopping can become a daunting chore. However, thanks to the rise of online grocery shopping services like Instacart, FreshDirect, and DoorDash, you can now skip the crowded aisles and checkout lines, all while enjoying the convenience of having your essentials delivered to your doorstep. To make your online grocery shopping experience even more seamless, here are some valuable tips to keep in mind.

6 Pro Tips for Effortless Online Grocery Shopping