In 2015, the world consumed over one hundred billion dollars in chocolate. So, I think that it's safe to assume that most of us are obsessed (to the max) with this sweet treat.
For all of you chocolate lovers out there, we have compiled a list of fifteen shocking facts about chocolate. Many of these facts are going to surprise and shock you, and may even change your view on this delicious commodity. So, get your chocolate bar ready and start reading!
15 A natural caffeine high
Would you consider yourself a chocolate addict? Are you unable to live without a daily dose of chocolate? Do you believe that chocolate can give you an extra boost of energy? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you, my friend, may be addicted to chocolate. Don't worry, you're not alone.
Did you know that chocolate actually contains caffeine? Yes, you read that right, caffeine! Most chocolate bars contain 10 milligrams or more of caffeine. And most dark chocolate bars contain more than double that number! A Snickers Charge bar, for example, contains over 60 milligrams of caffeine. That's as much caffeine as you will find in a cup of tea. Crazy, right?! Now, you know why you feel a little bit of a caffeine high when you eat chocolate. Takes addiction to a whole new level, huh?
14 The most valuable piece of chocolate in the world
According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the most valuable chocolate bar in the world is a 100-year-old Cadbury chocolate bar that was sold at an auction in 2001. This particular chocolate bar travelled all the way to the Antarctic on Captain Robert Scoot's discovery expedition, between 1901 and 1904. The chocolate bar was never eaten and was still wrapped in its original wrapper, and placed in a cigarette tin where it stayed until it was purchased for $687 (in US currency) in London.
I'm not sure what the shelf life is like for chocolate. Does it age like wine, getting better with age? Hmm, either way I cannot deny that I would have loved to at least smelled the package. I can only imagine that chocolate during this era was pretty darn delicious. I guess we'll never know.
13 Willy Wonka & The Great Chocolate Debate
For any of you avid readers, you'll already know that the film Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory is based on Roald Dahl's book, Charlie & The Chocolate Factory. And if you didn't know that then you may be wondering, why in the world was the title changed?!
Originally, the Willy Wonka chocolate bar was going to be turned into a commercial stunt. Quaker Oats, yes—that Quaker Oats, decided they wanted to help finance the film to promote their new Wonka Bar. The Wonka Bar was a chocolate bar inspired by the book, that never really found its place in the chocolate world. Quaker Oats had hoped that by financing the film, changing the title, and doing a bit of product placement, that the bar would finally find success. Did it work? You bet your booty it did! Today, the Wonka Bar and the Willy Wonka Candy Factory are owned by Nestle.
12 The most treasured chocolate chip cookie recipe, ever
In 1939, a woman named Ruth Wakefield not only changed her life, but made a huge impact on all of our lives in the process. For over thirty years, Ruth owned and operated with her husband, the popular restaurant Toll House in Whitman, Massachusetts. Over the years, Ruth tweaked her chocolate chip cookie recipe to perfection. In 1939, she sold the recipe and the Toll House name to Nestle. And what did she sell it for? One dollar!
I wish I were kidding. Ruth sold the name of her famous cookie and the recipe for only one dollar. A dollar she said that she had NEVER even received. But Ruth did receive a lifetime supply of chocolate and was even hired as a consultant for Nestle for many years. So, in the end, I'd say she did pretty damn good, wouldn't you?!
11 Chocolate is better than kissing
Yes, you read that right. Chocolate is actually better for you than kissing! Well, according to scientific research done in the United Kingdom in 2011.
During this particular study, a group of scientists evaluated six long-term couples. During the first part of their study, the scientists monitored the couples brain activity while they were kissing for a significant amount of time. Then they monitored each individual while they ate and enjoyed some chocolate.
By measuring each of the subject's brain responses, the research found that chocolate is actually more stimulating to the body than kissing. Although both activities increase levels of stimulation, it's the stimulation from chocolate that actually lasts longer and creates more endorphins. Pretty crazy, huh? The lesson here is: Whenever you are feeling lonely, opt out of a one night stand and opt in for more chocolate.
10 Death by chocolate
No, it's not just our four-legged friends that can be killed by consuming chocolate. It's actually possible for a human to eat so much chocolate that it can become fatal. Yes, you read that right. You can literally die from eating too much chocolate. The fatal chemical in chocolate is known as theobromine, an alkaloid that is similar to cocaine, morphine, and nicotine.
When a human consumes a moderate amount of theobromine, the blood vessels widen and the heart stimulates. But don't worry, the chances of you actually dying from an chocolate overdose are pretty slim to none. You would have to consume over 1000 milligrams, per kilogram of body weight. That would mean a young child would have to digest almost 2,000 miniature chocolate bars in one sitting. That would be the equivalent to almost eating seventeen pounds of chocolate. I think its safe to say we'll be ok.
9 Chocolate-covered bugs
I know I risk the chance of you vomiting on your screen by reading this, but I feel like you have every right to know what I am about to tell you. You need to know that the chocolate bar, the one you are probably consuming at this very minute, most likely contains insect parts.
Are you done gagging? Do you need a few more minutes before we continue? I'll wait. OK, you good? Alright, back to business. According to the US Food & Drug Administration, the average chocolate bar contains around eight insect parts. But don't worry, it's still safe for consumption. The FDA monitors the pieces, and anything containing more than 60 insect pieces per 100 grams, is quickly rejected. Phew, so glad we cleared that up. Excuse me, I need to go take a walk now and maybe vomit.
8 Assassination by chocolate
It was recently discovered that during World War II, there was an actual death plot from the Nazi Party to kill Winston Churchill with a bar of chocolate. And this wasn't your usual bar of chocolate. The Nazi Party created an exploding bar of chocolate. Yes, exploding! Hitler's bomb and explosive makers actually created an explosive device that was coated with a layer of dark chocolate. Then, the explosive chocolate bar was wrapped in an expensive-looking gold wrapper and labeled, Peter's Chocolate.
Hitler wanted the chocolate bars to appear as high-end luxury items that would appeal to a certain demographic. The type of demographic that Winston Churchill belonged to, if you catch my drift.
The luxury chocolate bars that the Nazis created could potentially take out many men within several meters of the device. Luckily, this device never saw the light of day. Well, not behind drawings and small testings done in Germany. Lucky for Mr. Churchill as well.
7 The world's chocolate consumption
In 2015, it was reported by CNBC that Americans consume over 18% of the worlds chocolate. The US actually consumes more than many other countries, including Asia and the United Kingdom. And if we were to put an actual number on that percentage, we could estimate that Americans spend over eighteen billion dollars on chocolate each year. This ranks the US, 20th in world chocolate consumption.
So, who takes the title for most chocolate consumption? Switzerland, home of Toblerone and Lindt chocolate. It's hard to believe little ole Switzerland consumes more chocolate than any other country, but they do. In second place, Austria and Germany are tied.
I don't know about you, but I think we have a lot of catching up to do. Who's with me?! You pick up the chocolate-covered strawberries, I'll get the wine and the chocolate bars. Deal?
6 The white chocolate debacle
How many of you LOVE white chocolate? How many of you actually prefer it to regular milk or dark chocolate? If any of you raised your hand or said 'me!' then you may want sit down for this. Prepare to have your mind blown, big time!
White chocolate is not a chocolate. It doesn't even belong to the chocolate family whatsoever. White chocolate is actually a manmade product that was created to resemble our favorite sweet treat. But it's nothing like real chocolate. I'm sorry that I broke your heart, but it's true.
White chocolate does not contain solid cocoa (cocoa powder) or even cocoa liquor. White chocolate is actually made from milk fat and solids, cocoa butter, and lecithin (a fat). I'm sorry, but we have all been played, so hard. Go ahead, take a minute to grieve. You deserve it.
5 Chocolate can help maintain healthy teeth
In a study conducted in 2014, extensive research discovered that dark chocolate can actually prevent the growth of tooth decay. Seriously, I wish I could make this stuff up! So, how does it exactly work? Well, cocoa, the main ingredient in chocolate, actually contains tannin. Tannin is an organic substance that helps reduce the growth of plaque. And the oxalic acids found in dark chocolate actually appeared to lower acid production, thus preventing tooth decay.
Dark chocolate is also believed to harden the enamel surface of your teeth. Thus making your teeth stronger and healthier. Who would have ever thought. I think it's time for me to switch up my chocolate game. So, next time someone tries to tell you that you eat too much chocolate, flash your pretty smile at them, and accuse them of not eating enough. Case closed!
4 The case of the chocolate farts
I can't speak for all of you, but I can't say that I have ever farted and thought, man I wish my farts smelled like chocolate. I mean, seriously?! Well, believe it or not, someone actually thought this and created a pill to bring this idea to life. No joke.
Sixty-five-year-old French inventor, Christian Poincheval, has created a pill that literally makes your farts smell like chocolate. Christian also claims that these farting pills will also help reduce intestinal gas and bloating. An added bonus, I guess. The actual formula for this pill contains vegetable coal, seaweed, fennel, plant resin, cacao zest, and bilberry. So, if you're curious enough to try these out, visit his website at pilulepet.com. You can also choose to purchase sixty pills for only $23. Good luck! Please let us know if it works, we're dying to know!
3 Chocolates influence on Nutella
It seems as though Nutella has literally taken over the culinary world in the past few years. Everyone I know or meet seems to be obsessed with using it. Recipes have even been created for the sole purpose of using even more Nutella. So, you may be surprised to know that Nutella was actually invented during World War II. Yes, it's actually been around for a very long time now. Crazy, right!?
Italian pastry maker, Pietro Ferrero, created Nutella by using hazelnuts so that he could extend his chocolate supply. Apparently, during this time there was a shortage of chocolate due to the war. And Pietro's bakery just happened to be located in an area known to produce hazelnuts, so he decided to try them out in his recipes. The first jar of Nutella was sold in 1964 in Europe and has since become an international bestseller.
2 Chocolate as an alternative to cough syrup
Believe it or not, but some of the best chocolate news I have ever heard was actually discovered and released just this year! Professor Alyn Morice from the University of Hull, is a founding member of the International Society for the Study of Cough. She recently proclaimed that, 'chocolate can calm coughs." Numerous studies done in the UK have found that chocolate can actually suppress coughs better than most over-the-counter cough medicines. Whoa!
The study found that theobromine, the alkaloid found in cocoa, actually works better than codeine. Chocolate also works against inflammation and irritation, which makes it more effective than cough syrup. Unfortunately, hot chocolate will not work in the same way as eating a piece of dark chocolate. So, the next time you're feeling sick, just buy yourself a large chocolate bar and say buh-bye to cough syrup!
1 Chocolate as the natural aphrodisiac
Many of us know that chocolate is often used as a natural aphrodisiac. Hell, many of us actually take advantage of that fact. But did you know that dark chocolate can actually improve your sex life in a variety of ways?
Believe it or not, but chocolate consumption actually increases blood flow to your sex organs, thanks to the amino acids found in dark chocolate. It also stimulates your mood by releasing euphoric sensations to the brain. The same chemicals that produce feelings of lust and love. Dark chocolate also increases your energy levels. Thanks to theobromine, the substance found in chocolate that works directly with your nervous system. And lastly, dark chocolate improves the blood flow to your heart. Thus, giving you a strong and healthy heart. You know, a heart that is ready for lots of love making (wink wink).