See Also: White Chocolate; Candy; Candy Bars; Chocolate Chip Cookies; Caffeine; Chocolate Quotes; etc.
Chocolate (Theobroma Cacao). A 1545 document written in Nahuatl, the language of the Aztecs and other Central American peoples, shows that cacao was even used as currency - a turkey was worth 200 cacao seeds, a tamale was worth one, and the daily wage of a porter at the time was 100 cacao seeds.
(Archaeology magazine Nov/Dec 2010)
Number of U.S. manufacturing establishments that produced chocolate and cocoa products in 2008, employing 38,369 people. California led the nation in the number of chocolate and cocoa manufacturing establishments, with 146, followed by Pennsylvania, with 115.
(US Census Bureau, October, 2008)
Latest research indicates that chocolate was being passed along pre-Columbian trade routes from Mexico up to the American Southwest. Analysis of chemical residues on painted potsherds from Chaco Canyon, New Mexico have been identified as theobromine, the base compound in both cacao beans and chocolate.
Current World Archaeology (#35, 2009)
West Africa is the source of 70% of the world's cocoa beans.
While in Jamaica, physician and naturalist Hans Sloane (1660-1753) came up with the idea of mixing the bitter local chocolate beverage with milk to improve its taste. He later patented the idea. It soon became popular back in England and quickly spread throughout Europe.
Aztec emperor Montezuma drank 50 golden goblets of hot chocolate every day. It was thick, dyed red and flavored with chili peppers.
(Now that’s Hot Chocolate!)
Columbus brought cacao (chocolate) beans back to Spain on his fourth voyage in 1502.
Milton Stavely Hershey first became rich selling caramels. He sold his caramel business in 1900 for $1 million and started making milk chocolate.
American consumers average 10-12 pounds of chocolate a year, while in the UK they eat almost twice that amount.
Chocolate manufacturers currently use 40% of the world's almonds and 20% of the world's peanuts. (2008)
Chocolate supposedly made its film debut when Jean Harlow ate candy in the 1933 comedy 'Dinner at Eight'.
Chocolate syrup was used for the blood in the famous shower scene in the Alfred Hitchcock movie 'Psycho' (1960). The scene lasts for about 45 seconds in the movie, but took 7 days to film.
The Cacao tree only thrives in latitudes no more than 20 degrees north of south of the equator.
U.S. chocolate manufacturers use about 3.5 million pounds of whole milk every day to make chocolate.
When we eat chocolate:
• 66% of chocolate is consumed between meals.
• 22% of all chocolate consumption takes place between 8pm and midnight.
• More chocolate is consumed in winter than any other season.
Hershey's Chocolate was introduced in 1900.
Cole Porter got a kick from fudge. He had nine pounds of it shipped to him each month from his hometown.
The fruit of the Cacao tree grow directly from the trunk. They look like small melons, and the pulp inside contains 20 to 50 seeds or beans. It takes about 400 beans to make a pound of chocolate.
Never give a dog chocolate, as it contains theobromine, which is a central nervous system stimulant. As little as 2 ounces can be lethal to a small dog.
Bittersweet chocolate is what is usually called for in baking.
It contains more chocolate liquor (at least 35%) and less sugar than sweet chocolate.
Semisweet chocolate contains 15% - 35% chocolate liquor.
Hawaii is the only state that grows cacao beans to produce chocolate.
In the U.S. chocolate candy outsells all other types of candy combined, by 2 to 1.
Seven billion pounds of chocolate and candy are manufactured each year in the United States.
Americans consumed over 3.1 billion pounds of chocolate in 2001, which is almost half of the total world's production.
There were 1,271 U.S. manufacturing establishments producing chocolate and cocoa products in 2003. These establishments employed 43,379 people and shipped $13.5 billion worth of goods that year. California led the nation in the number of chocolate and cocoa manufacturing establishments (with 146) followed by Pennsylvania (with 120).
* US Census Bureau, July 2006