10 things you should know about chocolate and cocoa

Theobroma cacao, a tropical tree, is the source of chocolate. For at least three thousand years, people have been growing cacao. Northern South America, Central America, and Mexico are the regions where the plant is found. Cacao seeds were first used circa 1100 BC, according to historians.

Here are some important facts about chocolate and cocoa.

  • A 3.5 ounce bar of milk chocolate contains about 12 to 21 milligrams of caffeine.
  • It takes 400 cocoa beans to make one pound of chocolate.
  • the mere smell of chocolate increases theta brain waves, which trigger relaxation.
  • Chocolate has a melting point between 86F (30C) and 90F (32.2C) , which is just below the human body temperature.
  • White chocolate isn’t considered to be chocolate because it doesn’t contain any cocoa solids or cocoa liquor. This sweet treat is made from a blend of cocoa butter, vanilla, and sugar.
  • German chocolate cake does not have a German origin. It was named after the American baker Samuel German, who developed a type of dark baking chocolate for Baker’s Chocolate Company.
  • Hot chocolate was the first chocolate treat. Cocoa was brewed in both Mexican and Aztec culture, though the result was nothing like today’s hot chocolate- it was a typically bitter concoction that was often used for ceremonial occasions like weddings.
  • Dark chocolate can help prevent tooth decay because it contains polyphenols. These chemical can help fight the overgrowth of bacteria and other organisms in the mouth.
  • A farmer must wait four to five years for a cocoa tree to produce its first beans. Although some cocoa trees may live to be more than 200 years old, most only give marketable beans for about 25 years.
  • For several centuries in pre modern Latin America, cocoa beans were considered valuable enough to use as currency. One bean could purchase a good turkey hen, according to a 16th century Aztec document.


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