It's a known fact that chocolate is delicious. From white chocolate to dark, there's plenty to love about this crave-able food. Here are some facts about the seductive power of chocolate that might just have you begging for your next cocoa fix.
- The Aztecs Were Probably Bigger Chocoholics Than You
Au contraire? The indigenous people of ancient Mexico were the first to grow the cacao beans, which they used both as a form of money and to make a spicy drink called xocalatl (which is where we get the word chocolate). Emperor Montezuma II was so addicted to chocolate that he drank 50 cups of cocoa a day!
- We Have World War II to Thank for Nutella
World War II caused a massive worldwide shortage in cacao. This was considered such a crisis that confectioners tried to find ways to make chocolate more affordable for struggling families. Chocolatier Pietro Ferrero found the solution by adding hazelnuts to thin out the chocolate, resulting in the highly-addictive substance we now know and love called Nutella.
- Chocolate Chip Cookies Were Invented by a True Chocolate Addict
Ruth Graves Wakefield was the woman who invented the Toll House chocolate chip cookie, the first of its kind, in 1938. She co-owned the Toll House Inn, where she sold the decadent dessert all her patrons craved. Word soon reached Nestlé, who approached Wakefield for the rights to her recipe. Her request? A single dollar, plus a lifetime supply of chocolate.
- Essentially, Everyone Loves Chocolate
In a study conducted by the Nestlé Research Center in Switzerland, researchers offered to pay men who claimed to dislike chocolate for their participation. The problem? Finding enough people to begin the study in the first place! It apparently took over one year to find just 11 men who honestly claimed to hate chocolate.
- Chocolate is Addictive on a Chemical Level
The main component in chocolate, theobromine, is toxic to some animals like dogs and cats but has intriguing effects on the brain’s chemistry. Theobromine is a stimulant which elevates the heart rate, and there’s evidence it may even be an aphrodisiac, causing the brain to release hormones that mimic the feeling of being in love!
- Giving in to Your Chocolate Addiction Could Be Good for You
Can chocolate be healthy? While the fats and sugars that many chocolate manufacturers add to candy bars and sweets aren't great for your diet but there's evidence that chocolate can be good for your health. Chocolate contains both antioxidants and anti-inflammatory flavonoids, and may even reduce your risk of diabetes!
- You Could Never Eat the World’s Largest Chocolate Bar
According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the largest chocolate bar ever made was just over 12,770 pounds. It measured over 13 feet long and was over a foot thick. Even the most devoted chocolate lover would have to pass on this one.
- Millions of Tons of Cacao Are Turned into Chocolate Each Year
It takes over 3 million tons of cacao beans to feed the world's chocolate addiction. Most of the world's chocolate originates in West Africa. Sadly, most farm workers live in terrible conditions, and child labor is a major part of the industry. Fairtrade alternatives do exist, which will hopefully become more widespread as our need for chocolate continues to grow.