Know The Chocolate: Answer To Every Problem
There are very few people in this world who would say that they don’t like chocolates. In fact chocolate is one of the most desirable food items in the whole world. It is also related to many occasions such as Valentine’s Day, Christmas, Easter and proves to be a great companion in emotions like love, happiness, sorrow, boredom etc. But there is so much that we don’t know about our favorite chocolate, despite it being our favorite!
Here are a few facts that a Chocolate lover (read everyone) must know:
1) Chocolate comes from the fruit-pod of the cacao tree and is grown mostly in parts of Africa, and Latin America, and also some other parts of the world. It takes a cacao tree five years to mature and start producing pods, and it reaches its peak at 10 years. The tree can produce pods till 30-40 years before it becomes sterile. Each pod is almost the size of a rugby football and contains roughly around 50 cocoa beans. It takes around 4 cocoa beans to produce one ounce of milk chocolate containing 10 to 15% chocolate, whereas an ounce of dark chocolate requires 12 to 15 beans.
2) The Swiss are the largest consumer of chocolate, and consume about 22 pounds per person every year. Americans, with Canadians come second consuming about 12 pounds per person, every year.
3) Chocolate helps in preventing bad cholesterol to accumulate in the body, as it contains a substance known as phenolics, which is also found in wine. But an interesting thing is that 1.5 ounces of dark chocolate has as many phenolics as a glass of red wine. The chemical helps in lowering the risk of heart disease and helps prevent clogging of arteries.
4) Dark chocolate is believed to be high in Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity. ORAC is a way of calculating antioxidant capacity in food products like spices, fruits , vegetables and berries.
5) Chocolate, if made a part of a healthy balanced diet makes you feel great! Theobromine, a substance found in chocolate triggers the release of endophrins, which is a chemical produced in our brains that actslike a natural antidepressant.
6) Chocolate can make your teeth whiter. A dark chocolate bar, with high cocoa-to-sugar ratio can discourage tooth decay and lead to fewer dental cavities and shiny teeth.
7) Chocolate can help ease cough as it contains theobromine, which suppresses the activity in the vagus nerve which makes us cough. In order to get results, melting one 50 gram bar of dark chocolate in two cups of real cocoa (not the hot chocolate mix) is suggested.
8) Chocolate can prove to be a woman’s best friend. Female biology triggers a need for chocolates and according to Debra Waterhouse, chocolates can enhance thephysical and the emotional wellbeing. Some even say that Chocolate is a massage to the emotions.
9)Theobromine has been known to treat blood pressure problems, and is being researchedon for its use in fighting cancer.
10) At high levels, Theobromine can also cause poisoning, though generally animals and the elderly are more vulnerable to this. A healthy person would have to eat a large amount of chocolate to be susceptible to any danger.
11)The Aztec rulers are believed to drink more than ten cups of chocolate in a day. Aztec rulers and people from the royalty and high classes drank a ton of chocolate. Montezuma was reported to have drunk around 50 cups of chocolate in a day. The most fascinating point is that the Aztecs drank the chocolate cold. They also never mixed sugar in their chocolate. They would pour the chocolate from one pitcher to another till it got really foamy.
12) The biggest chocolate bar to have been created weighed 12,290 pounds. The bar was made from roughly 1,700 pounds of cocoa butter, 1,400 pounds of chocolate. It was almost 3 feet high and 21 feet long. It was made by more than 50 people and the inspiration behind it was, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. The best part was that the chocolate didn’t go waste and all of the chocolate was broken and sold while the proceeds went to charity.
13) The world today is facing a serious chocolate shortage because there are some serious diseases affecting the trees in Latin America. Apart from that, the world’s demand is rapidly increasing with time, which makes it really difficult to supply adequate amount of chocolate.
If this continues and the diseases that are affecting the cacao cultivation aren’t checked, we might face the problem of high prices of chocolate and also serious chocolate deficits.