Thursday, October 31, 2013

In Honour of Halloween: The History of Chocolate and 7 Interesting Facts

Chocolate is delicious and probably one of the favourite snacks around the world. It has quite an amazing history as well, which stretches back thousands of years.

From bars to hot cocoa, there are so many different ways that we consume the stuff. As a whole, the industry is worth about $90 billion worldwide -- a staggering number that speaks to how regardless of culture or location, chocolate breaks down barriers.

The Chocolate Lovers gift basket
from, available
for delivery throughout the
country. In fact, we have 
baskets available. 
Let's take a quick look at some fascinating facts relating to chocolate.

1. The cultivation of chocolate is thought to have started before the Olmecs, and possibly as far back as 1400 BC.

2. Chocolate is derived from the cocoa bean, and upwards of two-thirds of the world's production of this plant takes place in Western Africa.

3. Why is this? Because the climate in places like Cote d'Ivoire makes it ideal for the tree to grow. The plants need roughly 200 centimetres of rain per year, and temperatures that hover between 21 and 32 degrees celcius to flourish.

4. The first European to discover chocolate? Good ol' Christopher Columbus, on his fourth voyage to the new world.

5. The conqueror Montezuma is believed to have drank 50 cups of day of xocolatl, a primitive beverage consisting of chocolate, vanilla and spices that was commonn durig those times.

6. Though we sometimes think of chocolate as being not the best for us (and like anything, moderation is key), dark chocolate, in particular, has been linked to a variety of possible positive effects on people's health.

7. Milk chocolate, the most commonly-sold type in North America, wasn't invented until 1875.

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