Fun facts about chocolate
With Christmas just around the corner we thought we’d look at some fun facts about chocolate, after all we’re all going to enjoy eating a little too much of it this time of year.
- A chocolate river exists
Well it did, back in 1971. The famous chocolate river Augustus Gloop almost drowned in in the original Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory film was made 15,000 gallons of water mixed with chocolate and cream.
With all the cream, the river spoiled fairly quickly and the cast revealed it left a terrible smell.
- Chocolate was used as money
In Mayan times the cocoa bean was used as currency as it was considered to be worth more than gold dust. Cultivation of the beans was restricted so the value of cocoa beans as money would not go down.
- White chocolate isn’t real chocolate
Yes, we’ve all been lied to. In order to be classified as real chocolate, a product has to contain cocoa solids or cocoa liquor. White “chocolate” contains cocoa butter instead.
It’s allowed to be called chocolate because the EU 20 per cent cocoa butter, 14 per cent total milk solids, 3.5 per cent milk fat and has no more than 55 per cent sugar content, you can label it white chocolate.
- Europeans love chocolate
According to the International Cocoa Organization, Europeans account for almost half the world’s chocolate consumption. They estimate the average Brit, Swiss, or German eat 11kg of chocolate a year.
- Thorntons created the world’s largest chocolate bar
In celebration of its 100th birthday, Thorntons created the world’s largest chocolate bar – weighing a record breaking 5,792.50kg.
- The chocolate chip cookie was an accident
In 1930 Ruth Wakefield realised she was out of baker’s chocolate and mixed broken piece of Nestle chocolate into her cookie dough, expecting the chocolate to be absorbed and create chocolate cookies. Instead, she accidentally created chocolate chip cookies, and later sold the idea to Nestle in return for a lifetime supply of chcolate.
- Crisps dipped in chocolate exist
For a limited time only, Lay’s (known as Walkers in the UK) in America sold crisps dipped in a layer of milk chocolate. The Calgary Herald said the crisps had a “salty-sweet combination, along with the texture contrast of warm melted choclate and a crunchy chip.”
- You can die if you eat too much chocolate
Chocolate contains high levels of a powerful stimulant called ‘theobromine’. Theobromine poisoning can cause heart failure, seizures, acute kidney damage and dehydration.
To ingest enough theobromine for it to be fatal, you have to eat about 22lb of chocolate or 40 bars of Dairy Milk.
- Your chocolate probably contains bugs
On average, a chocolate bar contains around eight insect parts, but it is still deemed to be safe for consumption. According to the U.S Food and Drug Administration, “most foods have natural contaminants in them, but there are levels which the FDA deems safe. Anything more than 60 insect pieces per 100 grams of chocolate is rejected by the FDA.”
- We eat a lot of Toblerones
So many Toblerone bars are sold each year that, if they were to be laid end to end, they would go on for 62,000km which longer than the circumference of the Earth.