How much do we really know about this delectable treat? Let’s take a deep dive into deliciousness with these fun facts about chocolate!
Step into the decadent, indulgent, creamy world that is chocolate! The famous treat derived from the cacao bean has had a fascinating journey from a bitter brew of the Aztecs to the most popular ingredient in desserts around the world.
The world of chocolate is a fascinating one, and we can’t wait to share these fun facts about chocolate with all of you chocolate lovers out there.
So how do you like your chocolate? Dark and bitter with antioxidants? Lush and creamy as perfected by the Swiss chocolatiers? Or do you prefer the chocolate imposter that is white chocolate?
And did you know that the first chocolate treat was hot chocolate? The Aztec civilization revered chocolate so much it was used as currency and its leaders were said to drink dozens of cups of hot chocolate a day! And that was all before any kind of sweetener was added to the mix.
We can’t get enough of these chocolate facts, and now we’re craving a big slice of German chocolate cake (which isn’t German at all by the way).
Have we peaked your interest? Are you ready to discover many more fun facts about chocolate? Let’s get this chocolate adventure started!
22 Fun Facts About Chocolate
1. National Chocolate Day
Let’s start with a celebration. July 7th is known as National Chocolate Day. It commemorates the day when chocolate was first brought to Europe in 1550 from the new world. For us, we don’t need a special day to eat chocolate.
We basically think it’s National Chocolate Day every day, but maybe we’ll simply eat more of it on July 7th.
2. Chocolate is from the Americas
No wonder they called the period in Europe before chocolate the Dark Ages! We’re kidding of course. But it is believed that the first cacao bean (the bean that is used to make chocolate) was cultivated as far back as 1250 BC in Mexico, Central and South America.
3. Thank you Africa
While originating in the Americas, most cacao trees grown today are in Africa. In fact, Africa now supplies up to 70% of our cacao for chocolate making. The country with the highest rate of production is the Ivory Coast who supplies a whopping 30% of the world’s cacao.
4. A humble bean
The cacao bean, from which dark chocolate and milk chocolate are derived, are grown on the cacao tree. The tree is from the evergreen family, Malvaceae.
Here’s one of the more interesting chocolate facts: cacao’s closest plant relatives in the Malvaceae family are okra and cotton. We bet you wouldn’t have guess that one!
5. Hot chocolate
The Aztecs loved hot chocolate. However, their brew was unsweetened and bitter. Hot chocolate was often used for rituals and ceremonies such as weddings, funerals and baptisms.
Here’s one of the weirdest hot chocolate facts: Aztec ruler Motezuma II was said to drink over 50 cups of hot chocolate a day!
6. The cacao bean as currency
The Aztecs and Mayans both revered the cacao bean to such an extent that it was used as currency in their ancient civilizations. The Aztecs believed the cacao bean was more valuable than gold and often bartered and traded with the bean.
7. Melts in your mouth
The melting point of chocolate is 93°F. This is unique because there is no other edible substance that melts as close to human body temperature.
This is why chocolate often melts in our hands and also why it’s so creamy and smooth when placed on our tongues. The popularity of chocolate is often attributed to this fact!
8. That’s a lot of chocolate!
Though it originated on the other side of the world, it is Europe that eats the most chocolate per year! The top three chocolate-eating countries are Ireland (17.4 lbs), Germany (17.8 lbs), and Switzerland (19.4 lbs).
9. Speaking of the Swiss
The prolific chocolate eaters are also one the the most famous chocolate producers in the world! Companies like Lindt and Toblerone are known for their milk chocolate treats. Milk chocolate was actually invented in Switzerland in 1875 by mixing dark chocolate with dried milk powder.
10. Chocolate is good for you!
Believe it or not, there are many health benefits associated with chocolate. Dark chocolate is known to contain high levels of antioxidants that fight inflammation and protect our cells from damage.
It also reduces the prevalence of heart disease by almost a third. That’s one of the fun facts about chocolate we can get on board with!
11. The first eating chocolate
It wasn’t until 1847 that we started to eat chocolate as a solid. The Fry and Sons chocolate company in the UK invented the first hard chocolate by combining cocoa butter, sugar and liquor. Fry’s is still around today as one of the most popular cocoa powder producers.
12. What exactly is cocoa butter?
Cocoa butter is what is extracted from the cacao bean. The process is quite difficult and time-consuming. It actually takes 400 beans to produce one pound of chocolate. Cocoa butter is not just used in chocolate, but also in lotions, creams and medicines. It’s really good for your skin!
13. Baking with chocolate
This is one of the more surprising chocolate facts: Baker’s chocolate is not actually named because the semi-sweet chocolate is used almost exclusively in baking. Instead, the name comes from the chocolate company, Baker’s, named after its founder Dr. James Baker. How about that!?
14. Chocolate at the airport
Speaking of interesting facts about chocolate – we know where we’re going for our next vacation! Brussels Airport in Belgium sells more chocolate than anywhere else in the world.
An astonishing 800 tons of chocolate is sold each year. That’s 3.3 pounds of chocolate per minute. Wow! Brussels here we come!
15. Our obsession with chocolate
This next chocolate fact is really impressive! The world consumes over $100 billion dollars worth of chocolate each year. This totals up to over 3 billion pounds of chocolate! The company that produces the most chocolate for consumption is Mars with close to $20 billion in sales each year.
16. Chocolate at the South Pole?
According to The Guiness Book of World Records, the most valuable chocolate bar is a 100-year old Cadbury that sold in 2001 for $687.00.
The chocolate bar, still in its original packaging, had even traveled to Antarctica. And we can’t even keep chocolate in the house for more than a day without eating it!
17. There’s a bug in my chocolate
Here’s one of the grossest chocolate facts that we could come up with! According to the US Food & Drug Administration, the average chocolate bar contains 8 insect parts.
Even more disturbing, the regulations allow chocolate with up to 60 insect parts per bar to be sold! Yuck!
18. Chocolate the aphrodisiac
We all know chocolate is one of the most popular gifts to give on Valentine’s Day, but did you know chocolate can actually improve your sex life?
Dark chocolate increases blood flow to the sexual organs and the caffeine in chocolate increases energy levels. No wonder chocolate covered strawberries are so popular!
19. This cake isn’t from Germany
German chocolate cake has nothing to do with Germany. In fact, the decadent dessert originates in the US and is named after the baker Sam German.
However, another popular chocolate cake, the Black Forest, did originate in Germany. As long as there’s chocolate cake on offer, we don’t care where it comes from!
20. Chocolate feelings
When you are feeling down do you reach for the nearest chocolate? We know we do. Especially chocolate ice cream!
The comfort of chocolate can help us get out of a funk or soothe us during hard times. In fact, depressed people eat 55% more chocolate than non-depressed people.
21. The king of chocolate
The largest and oldest chocolate company in the United States is Hershey’s. Founded in Pennsylvania in 1894, Hershey’s produces over 1 billion pounds of chocolate each year.
Some of the most famous products to come out of this factory include; Hershey’s Kisses, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and M&M’s.
22. The Great Nutella Heist
In 2017, a refrigerated trailer containing 20 tons of Nutella and Kinder Surprise eggs was stolen in the German town of Neustadt.
The thieves got away with over $70,000 worth of chocolate and chocolate spread. We knew people were obsessed with Nutella, but this is totally out of hand!
Who wants more fun facts?
If you’re looking for some recommendations, these are a few of our favorite fact books to buy. We use these when planning fun trivia nights with family and friends!
Have we satisfied your sweet tooth? Or are you craving more fun facts about chocolate? Let us know in the comments and we’ll add them to this list!