3. Chocolate is a raw or processed food produced from the
seed of the tropical Theobroma cacao tree. Cacao has
been cultivated for at least three millennia in
Mexico, Central and South America. Its earliest
documented use is around 1100 BC.
The majority of the Mesoamerican people made
chocolate beverages, including the Aztecs, who made it
into a beverage known as xocolātl, a Nahuatl word
meaning "bitter water".
The seeds of the cacao tree have an intense bitter
taste, and must be fermented to develop the flavor.
5. After fermentation, the beans are dried, then
cleaned, and then roasted, and the shell is removed to
produce cacao nibs. The nibs are then ground to cocoa
mass, pure chocolate in rough form.
Because this cocoa mass usually is liquefied then
molded with or without other ingredients, it is called
The liquor also may be processed into two components:
cocoa solids and cocoa butter. Unsweetened baking
chocolate (bitter chocolate) contains primarily cocoa
solids and cocoa butter in varying proportions.
Much of the chocolate consumed today is in the form of
sweet chocolate, combining cocoa solids, cocoa butter or
other fat, and sugar.
6. Cocoa solids contain alkaloids such as theobromine and
phenethylamine, which have physiological effects on the
body. It has been linked to serotonin levels in the brain.
Some research found that chocolate, eaten in
moderation, can lower blood pressure. The presence of
theobromine renders chocolate toxic to some
animals, especially dogs and cats.
Chocolate has become one of the most popular food
types and flavors in the world. Gifts of chocolate molded
into different shapes have become traditional on certain
7. Chocolate Fun Facts
Many believe that chocolate is an aphrodisiac, possibly
because of the simple sensual pleasure of its
consumption. Scientists suggest that theobromine and
other chemicals do act as mild sexual stimulants. But we
all know chocolate will win their heart.
The word Chocolate comes from the Aztec word
xocolatl, meaning, bitter water.
71% of American chocolate eaters prefer milk chocolate.
It's true! Chocolate is The Food of the Gods. Cacao beans
come from a tree that is a species of the genus the
obroma, which translated is food of the gods.
Chocolate is a great natural antidepressant. It contains
tryptophan which helps you create serotonin, your body's
8. Chocolate Fun Facts
Contrary to popular belief, chocolate does NOT
contribute to acne. However the milk in milk
chocolate might, so enjoy the benefits of dark
Chocolate is poisonous to dogs (and other domestic
animals). The bromine found in chocolate is a
stimulant, and can be too much for small animals.
Chocolate contains high-quality anti oxidants that
can protect you from developing cancer and heart
Chocolate is rich in magnesium and iron, which your
10. Chocolate Fun Facts
Chocolate makers use 40% of the world's almonds and
20% of the world's peanuts.
Chocolate's melting point is just below your body
temperature, so it melts in your mouth. Melting
chocolate in your mouth raises brain activity and heart
rate more intensely than passionate kissing, and lasts
four times longer!
Ancient Aztecs thought chocolate had magical powers;
like the ability to give them strength.
Chocolate was consumed by the ancient Aztecs as a
frothy beverage, somewhat like hot chocolate we drink
11. Chocolate Fun Facts
Chocolate contains over 300 mineral properties that
are beneficial to your health.
Chocolate comes from a plant, called Theobroma
cacao, which translates "Food of the Gods".
Dark chocolate has more antioxidants than green tea
and just as many as blueberries.
White chocolate really isn't chocolate. It's made from
cocoa butter, the substance you get by pressing cocoa
beans. Cocoa butter is absent of the cocoa solids used
to make chocolate.
Chocolate does contain chemical elements that really
do boost your mood and produce a euphoric feeling.
12. Chocolate Fun Facts
Eating chocolate gives you the same feeling as falling
in love. This is probably why Valentine's Day and
chocolate go hand in hand.
Chocolate comes from the Aztec word "xocolatl" which
means "bitter water".
Switzerland is one of the top countries for chocolate
consumption. The Swiss consume about 22 lbs of
chocolate, per person, per year.
Cocoa beans were used as currency by the Mayan and
Aztec cultures. Perhaps this is where they saying
"Money grows on trees" came from.
13. Chocolate Fun Facts
Allowing chocolate to melt in your mouth produces the same
or even stronger reactions as passionately kissing.
Hershey is the oldest and largest chocolate company in the
Cadbury is the most popular chocolate in the UK.
Most cocoa comes from West Africa.
The most expensive chocolate in the world is $2,600 per
pound. It's called Madeleine and is made by Fritz
Knipschildt, a chocolatier in Connecticut.
Craving chocolate when a woman is on her menstrual cycle
may have more to do with the fact that chocolate is known
for helping ease menstrual symptoms.
14. Chocolate Fun Facts
Eating chocolate can also reduce the symptoms of
Chocolate is beneficial for proper blood flow to the
lungs and other organs.
The minerals in chocolate help to increase brain power
An English doctor prescribed chocolate to pregnant
women as he believed it helped the fetus and embryo's
16. Chocolate is available in many types. Different
forms and flavors of chocolate are produced by
varying the quantities of the different ingredients.
Other flavors can be obtained by varying the time
and temperature when roasting the beans.
"Unsweetened chocolate", also known as
"bitter", "baking chocolate" or "cooking chocolate" is
pure chocolate liquor mixed with some form of fat to
produce a solid substance. The
pure, ground, roasted cocoa beans impart a
strong, deep chocolate flavor. With the addition of
sugar, however, it is used as the base for
cakes, brownies, confections, and cookies.
Swiss dark chocolate
17. "Dark chocolate", also called "plain chocolate" or "black
chocolate", is produced by adding fat and sugar to cocoa. It is
chocolate with no or much less milk than milk chocolate. The
U.S. has no official definition for dark chocolate but European
rules specify a minimum of 35% cocoa solids. Dark chocolate
can be eaten as is, or used in cooking, for which thicker, more
expensive baking bars with higher cocoa percentages ranging
from 70% to 99% are sold. Dark is synonymous with
semisweet, and extra dark with bittersweet, although the ratio of
cocoa butter to solids may vary.
"Semisweet chocolate" is frequently used for cooking purposes. It is a
dark chocolate with (by definition in Swiss usage) half as much sugar
as cocoa, beyond which it is "sweet chocolate."
"Bittersweet chocolate" is chocolate liquor (or unsweetened chocolate)
to which some sugar (less than a third), more cocoa butter, vanilla and
sometimes lecithin has been added. It has less sugar and more liquor
than semisweet chocolate, but the two are interchangeable when
baking. Bittersweet and semisweet chocolates are sometimes referred
to as 'couverture'. Many brands now print on the package the
percentage of cocoa in the chocolate (as chocolate liquor and added
cocoa butter). The higher the percentage of cocoa, the less sweet the
18. "Couverture" is a term used for chocolates rich in cocoa butter.
Popular brands of couverture used by professional pastry chefs
and often sold in gourmet and specialty food stores include:
Valrhona, Felchlin, Lindt & Sprüngli, Scharffen Berger, Cacao
Barry, Callebaut, and Guittard. These chocolates contain a high
percentage of cocoa.
Swiss milk chocolate
"Milk chocolate" is solid chocolate made with milk in the
form of milk powder, liquid milk, or condensed milk
added. In the 1870s, Swiss confectioner Daniel Peter
had developed solid milk chocolate using condensed
milk; hitherto it had only been available as a drink. The
U.S. Government requires a 10% concentration of
chocolate liquor. EU regulations specify a minimum of
25% cocoa solids, however an agreement was reached
in 2003 that allows milk chocolate in the UK and Ireland
to contain only 20% cocoa solids. This type of chocolate
must be called "family milk chocolate" elsewhere in the
19. "Hershey process" milk chocolate is popular in North
America. It was invented by Milton S. Hershey, founder
of The Hershey Company, and can be produced more
cheaply than other processes since it is less sensitive to
the freshness of the milk. The process is a trade
secret, but experts speculate that the milk is partially
lipolyzed, producing butyric acid, which stabilizes the
milk from further fermentation. This compound gives the
product a particular sour, "tangy" taste, to which the
American public has become accustomed, to the point
that other manufacturers now simply add butyric acid to
their milk chocolates.
Swiss White chocolate
"White chocolate" is a confection based on
sugar, milk, and cocoa butter without the cocoa solids.
"Cocoa powder" is used for baking, and for drinking with
added milk and sugar.
20. There are two types of unsweetened cocoa powder: natural
cocoa (like the sort produced by the Broma process), and
Dutch-process cocoa. Both are made by pulverising partially
defatted chocolate liquor and removing nearly all the cocoa
butter; Dutch-process cocoa is additionally processed with
alkali to neutralise its natural acidity.
Natural cocoa is light in colour and somewhat acidic with a
strong chocolate flavour. Natural cocoa is commonly used in
recipes that also use baking soda; as baking soda is an
alkali, combining it with natural cocoa creates a leavening
action that allows the batter to rise during baking.
Dutch cocoa is slightly milder in taste, with a deeper and
warmer colour than natural cocoa. Dutch-process cocoa is
frequently used for chocolate drinks such as hot chocolate
due to its ease in blending with liquids.
However, Dutch processing destroys most of the flavonoids
present in cocoa. In 2005 Hershey discontinued their pure
Dutch-process European Style cocoa and replaced it with
Special Dark, a blend of natural and Dutch-process cocoa.
21. Swiss White chocolate
"White chocolate" is a confection based on sugar, milk, and
cocoa butter without the cocoa solids.
"Cocoa powder" is used for baking, and for drinking with
added milk and sugar. There are two types of unsweetened
cocoa powder: natural cocoa (like the sort produced by the
Broma process), and Dutch-process cocoa. Both are made by
pulverising partially defatted chocolate liquor and removing
nearly all the cocoa butter; Dutch-process cocoa is
additionally processed with alkali to neutralise its natural
acidity. Natural cocoa is light in colour and somewhat acidic
with a strong chocolate flavour. Natural cocoa is commonly
used in recipes that also use baking soda; as baking soda is
an alkali, combining it with natural cocoa creates a leavening
action that allows the batter to rise during baking. Dutch cocoa
is slightly milder in taste, with a deeper and warmer colour
than natural cocoa. Dutch-process cocoa is frequently used
for chocolate drinks such as hot chocolate due to its ease in
blending with liquids. However, Dutch processing destroys
most of the flavonoids present in cocoa. In 2005 Hershey
discontinued their pure Dutch-process European Style cocoa
and replaced it with Special Dark, a blend of natural and
23. "Compound chocolate" is the technical term for a
confection combining cocoa with vegetable fat, usually
tropical fats and/or hydrogenated fats, as a replacement
for cocoa butter. It is often used for candy bar coatings.
In many countries it may not legally be called
"Raw chocolate" is chocolate that has not been
processed, heated, or mixed with other ingredients. It is
sold in chocolate-growing countries, and to a much
lesser extent in other countries, often promoted as
Flavors such as mint, vanilla, coffee, orange, or
strawberry are sometimes added to chocolate in a
creamy form or in very small pieces. Chocolate bars
frequently contain added ingredients such as
peanuts, nuts, fruit, caramel, and crisped rice. Pieces of
chocolate, in various flavours, are sometimes added to
cereals and ice cream.