Chocolate Facts
Interesting Stuff

A recent study indicates that when men crave food, they tend to crave fat and salt. When women crave food, they tend to desire chocolate. Aztec Emperor Montezuma drank 50 golden goblets of hot chocolate, dyed red and flavored with chili peppers, every day. Chocolate syrup was used for blood in the famous 45 second shower scene in Alfred Hitchcock’s movie, Psycho, which actually took 7 days to shoot. The average American consumes more than 10 pounds of chocolate every year.
76% of Americans say the ears of the chocolate bunnies should be eaten first.
5% think chocolate feet of the bunnies should be eaten first.
4% think the chocolate tails should go first.

Health Benefits
Why is chocolate good for you?
Chocolate contains a range of nutrients which include minerals such as potassium, calcium and iron. It also contains the B-vitamin riboflavin. It is true that most of chocolates’ calories do come from fat but the ingredient, known as cocoa butter, is the kind of fat that consists mostly of monounsaturated fatty acid also found in olive oil; the ‘healthy’ fat needed in all diets. Although studies are constantly being done with chocolate (and why not?), studies in the past (e.g. Netherlands, 2006, Harvard, 2003) have shown two significant additional positives. In these test studies, the people who consumed cocoa regularly had a lower blood pressure than those that did not, were less likely to die from cardiovascular disease and had better peripheral blood flow.

Why eat dark chocolate?
Dark chocolate has the potential to have the largest quantity of cocoa solids – at least to 70%. This means that 70% of the chocolate is from the cocoa bean and less from added sugars, oils and perhaps other fillers. Thus the antioxidants in the dark chocolate surpasses pecans (14% less) and red wine (25% less).

Why eat chocolate dipped nuts?
Besides the wonderful benefits from our all natural chocolate, nuts are a great food. In general, nuts are loaded with protein. Peanuts have the most, followed by almonds, cashews and walnuts. Protein is essential for healthy brain and muscle function, and for vegetarians, are a great substitute for animal protein. Nuts also contain omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants and fiber. Thus with all the added benefits of chocolate, chocolate dipped nuts are a great snack
History of Chocolate
The origin of the cacao (pron. Ca-cow) tree is in dispute. Some say it originated in the Amazon basin of Brazil; others place say it is native to Central America. We do know that during his conquest of Mexico, Hernando Cortez, the great Spanish explorer, came upon the Aztec Indians using cocoa beans to prepare their royal drink which they called “chocolatl” (meaning warm liquid). Excited about this new product, Cortez took some beans back with him to Spain. With some added cane sugar, the chocolate drink became very popular, especially among the Spanish aristocracy. Spain wisely started to plant cacao trees themselves which developed into a very profitable business. Remarkably, the Spaniards succeeded in keeping the art of the cocoa industry a secret from the rest of Europe for nearly a hundred years.

Spanish monks, who had been involved with the processing of the cocoa beans, leaked the secret out finally and soon Europe started to develop their own cacao bean industry. Throughout Europe, the delicious chocolate drink became hailed as a health-giving food. In 1657, chocolate drinking houses started to open up, but mainly served only the rich, since the cost to make chocolate was still very expensive. As inventors created machinery, and thus eliminated the need for grinding the chocolate with ones hands, the manufacturing process became more efficient, thus less expensive, and produced an even better tasting chocolate. By 1828, the great taste of chocolate expanded to a wider audience although it wasn’t until 1847 that the first ‘candy bar’ was invented and 1876 that the first milk chocolate was invented.