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Unique Facts About Chocolate

Unique Chocolate 

5,026 - pounds - AMAZING...the weight of the largest chocolate bar ever made, According to the Guiness World Book of Records. It was produced by Elah-Dufour United Food Companies at Turin, Italy, in March 2000.

52% - the percentage of Americans who choose chocolate over vanilla as their favorite flavor

65% - the percentage of American chocolate eaters prefer milk chocolate.

3.3 - billion lbs. - The amount of chocolate eaten in the U.S. in the year 2000!

230 - the number of calories which the average 1.5- to 1.6-ounce milk chocolate bar has with more than half of those coming from fat.

3.5 - million pounds - the amount of whole milk used every day to make chocolate by U.S. chocolate manufacturers

7 - milligrams - The amount of caffeine in an ounce of milk chocolate - about the same amount contained in a cup of decaffeinated coffee. A cup of full-strength coffee has more than 20 times that much.

96 - degrees - the melting point of cocoa butter which is just below the human body temperature, and why it literally melts in your mouth.

60% - the percentage of Americans said they gave boxed chocolates as a winter holiday gift.

63% - the percentage of Americans who can't resist buying a chocolate treat for themselves when buying chocolates for someone else.

51% - the percentage of Americans who choose what chocolate they eat by the shape of the piece

40% - the percentage of women who regularly crave chocolate

15% - the percentage of men who regularly crave chocolate

$13 billion The amount Americans spend a year on chocolate.

Unique & Fun Facts About Chocolate - Did you know that...

* the word "Chocolate" comes from the Aztec word "xocolatl", which means "bitter water"

* chocolate is a great natural antidepressant. It contains tryptophan which helps you create serotonin, your body's own antidepressant. Also, the phenylethylamine, found in chocolate has been shown to release serotonin and endorphins- two known chemicals that make us feel happy!

* The seeds of the cacao tree grow not on the end of its branches, but directly off the branches and the trunk.

* Each pod is about the size of a pineapple and holds thirty to fifty seeds - enough to make about seven milk chocolate or two dark chocolate bars.

* Cacao flowers are pollinated by midges, tiny flies that live in the rotting leaves and other debris that fall to the forest floor at the base of the tree. Those midges have the fastest wingbeats in the world: 1,000 ties per second!

* Farmed cacao trees today are endangered by natural threats, such as the witch's broom fungus and other diseases and pests. Along with the rest of the rainforest, their wild counterparts are threatened by lumber companies, which harvest the taller trees that shelter the cacao and help maintain the cacao's fragile ecosystem.

* Cacao seeds are not sweet. They contain the chemicals cafeine and theobromine, which give them a bitter taste.

* Cacao is not related to the coconut palm or the coca plant, the source of cocaine.

* Aztec Indians believed chocolate to be an aphrodisiac

* Chocolate contains high-quality anti oxidants that can protect you from developing cancer and heart disease

* Several studies over the past three decades have failed to find a link between chocolate and acne

* Chocolate is poisonous to dogs (and other domestic animals). The theobromine found in chocolate is a stimulatant, and can be too much for small animals

Fun Facts About Chocolate...cont'd

* Some of the earliest European cocoa-makers were apothecaries seeking medicinal uses of the plant.

* Chocolate contains two stimulants also found in coffee-caffeine and theobromine-but in relatively small amounts. Fifty M&Ms for example, have about as much caffeine as a cup of decaffeinated coffee.

* America produces more chocolate than any other country

* Cadbury's in England produced the first ever bar of chocolate in 1842

* the shelf life for most chocolate is a year

* the haze sometimes found on chocolate is actually a harmless substance known as bloom -- an accumulation of fat crystals on the surface of the chocolate that can form as a result of storage temperature, various cooling methods or the presence of certain types of fat in the chocolate. But fortunately, it usually doesn’t affect the taste of the chocolate

* chocolate really is "The Food Of The Gods" - The cacao tree is a species of the genus theobroma, which translates into "food of the gods"

* It takes 4 cacao seeds to make one ounce of milk chocolate and 12 seeds to make 1 ounce of dark chocolate.