Let’s face it, chocolate is all good. To demonstrate my love for this versatile and seductive ingredient, I have separated some curiosities you probably didn’t know about chocolate:
1. Cocoa originated in Mexico and Central and South America. Grain cultivation is believed to have started around 1,250 BC.
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2. However, currently 70% of plantations are concentrated in Africa. Côte d’Ivoire is the largest producer and accounts for about 30% of the world’s cocoa.
3. Although there are many types and nomenclatures for cocoa, the most well-known definitions are Forastero, Criollo and Trinitario. Approximately 90% of the plantations are Forastero cocoa, with which most processed chocolates are made. Criollo represents about 1% and Trinitario about 9%. The latter are considered thinner types and are very much appreciated by chocolate connoisseurs.
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4. More than 400 cocoa beans are needed to make just 500g of chocolate. In addition, demand for chocolate has been growing a lot in recent years and it is estimated that in the future, cocoa plantations will not be enough for so much chocolate.
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5. An average chocolate bar contains 8 traces of insects. Cocoa is a plant and undergoes several outdoor processes before becoming chocolate. So, while it sounds disgusting, this information makes a lot of sense.
6. Chocolate is the only food that melts at an average temperature of 34ºC, just below our body temperature. This detail is extremely important, as that is why it melts in your mouth.
7. The first chocolate consumed was hot chocolate. The Aztecs believed that cocoa was a divine gift and its value was so high that they used its beans as currency. At that time, cocoa was prepared only as a drink. Made with spices and without milk, chocolate tasted bitter and was consumed on special occasions, such as weddings.
8. And the Aztecs were right to appreciate cocoa so much. The aroma of chocolate alone relaxes us. When we smell it, Theta brain waves are activated, which causes a feeling of relaxation.
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9. But let’s agree, you can’t smell without taking a bite, can you? Consuming chocolate also helps to release endorphins, which generate feelings of well-being and pleasure, and increases the production of serotonin, which calms and relieves anxiety.
source: Caroline Director
10. In addition, studies show that consumption of dark chocolate is good for the heart and helps prevent bowel cancer, among other benefits.
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11. Despite doing well for humans, chocolate is a poison for dogs and cats. Cocoa contains a substance called Theobromine that is easily processed by the human body, but these animals do not process it well and are at risk of poisoning. That’s why it’s important to keep chocolate out of the reach of our pets!
12. It is worth remembering that, in exaggeration, chocolate is also bad for us humans. Consuming 10kgs or more of chocolate can be fatal for men.
13. Nestlé paid for the famous Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe with the tastiest coin of all: chocolate. As payment, the recipe creator demanded chocolate for life. Not bad, huh?
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14. Nutella was created due to a shortage of chocolate after World War 2. Italian confectioner Pietro Ferrero needed a good idea to deal with the lack of cocoa. That’s how the idea of mixing hazelnuts with your chocolate cream came up. Grazie Mille, Sig. Ferrero!
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I think that after so much information it is better to relax and eat something. Any questions about what to get in the pantry?