Free Chocolate Information

21 things you must know about chocolate!

  1. Chocolate is made from the fruit of the cacao tree. Cacao pods contain nibs that are crushed to make unsweetened chocolate.
  2. The scientific name of the cacao tree, Theobroma, means “food of the gods.”
  3. When the cacao nibs are crushed, there are fats and solids remaining. The fats are called cocoa butter. The solids are ground into cocoa powder.
  4. There are 40-50 million people who depend on cocoa for their livelihood.
  5. Chocolate bars may have “% Cacao” or “% Cocoa” printed on the label. This percentage refers to the total content of the cacao (or cocoa) solids.
  6. White Chocolate does not contain cocoa solids but can be called chocolate by U.S. FDA standards. It must contain cocoa butter.
  7. More than 36 million heart-shaped boxes of chocolate are sold every year for Valentine's Day.
  8. James Baker started America’s first chocolate company in Dorchester, Massachusetts in 1765, based on the advice of John Hannon, a penniless Irish immigrant.
  9. "Fair Trade" chocolate means farmers and laborers are paid a fair price for the product rather than being exploited. Products become Fair Trade Certified based on the standards determined by Fairtrade Labeling Organizations International.
  10. Organic chocolate is made from ingredients, including the cacao bean, that are grown without the use of synthetic pesticides or genetic modifications. In the US, the USDA must inspect a farm before its products can be labeled organic.
  11. Hawaii is the only US state that grows cacao beans to produce chocolate.
  12. The world's first chocolate candy was made by Dutch chocolate-maker Conrad Van Houten in 1828. He pressed the fat from roasted cacao beans to isolate the cocoa butter, and then added it to cocoa powder and sugar.
  13. It has been reported that Napoleon carried chocolate with him on his military campaigns, and ate it when he needed quick energy.
  14. ‘Single-origin’ chocolate indicates that the cocoa beans used to produce the bar are from one region or country.
  15. In countries like Ghana and Ivory Coast, people rarely eat chocolate because it is worth more to them as a trade product than as a food.
  16. Cacao is dried in the sun for about 7 days before shipped from the country of origin to the chocolate manufacturer.
  17. The largest cacao producing countries are Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, and Indonesia.
  18. Chocolate Liquor is the ground up "nib" of the cocoa bean.
  19. Fermentation is an important step in the transformation of cacao beans to chocolate.
  20. The seed pods of the cacao tree grow directly off the trunk, not on the ends of the branches.
  21. Each cacao pod is about the size of a pineapple and holds thirty to fifty seeds. It takes between 400-500 seeds to make one pound of chocolate.

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