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Over 90 million chocolate rabbits are produced annually. Just over three quarters of us (76%) will eat the ears first
Here it is. Everything you need to know about "the food of the gods". And just in time for Easter. After extensive consultation with the chocolate gurus who deliver TAFE NSW's chocolate-making course, (plus some quality time with Google), we're pleased to bring you a list of the 25 most highly educational and mouth-watering chocolate facts.
25 Chocolate is made of solids from the cocoa bean, derived from the cacao tree and a rich source of flavanol antioxidants.
24 There's evidence of chocolate dating back at least 3,000 years. For centuries after its discovery it existed only as a liquid.
23 The botanical name of the chocolate plant, Theobramba cacao, means "Food of the Gods."
22 The Aztecs adored chocolate but were unable to grow cacao themselves as their climate was too dry. For a time, people who lived under Aztec rule were therefore allowed to pay their taxes with cocoa beans.
21 Chocolate affects serotonin levels in the brain, which is why it makes us feel happy.
20 But don't share it with your cats, dogs or parrots as the theobromine in it can kill them.
19 Although chocolate does contain caffeine, it's not much. You'd need to eat about 14 milk chocolate bars for the caffeine equivalent of a regular cup of coffee.
18 Chocolate also has a reputation of being a powerful aphrodisiac. Throughout history, various orders of nuns were strictly forbidden from eating or drinking it.
17 Most of the world's cocoa today is produced in western Africa, with Cote d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast) alone accounting for about a third of it.
16 About three quarters of the world's cacao trees are grown within a narrow area only eight degrees either side of the equator.
15 The World Cocoa Foundation estimates that the number of people who currently depend on chocolate for their livelihood is about 50 million. Much of this is with the use of child labour and slavery.
14 Chocolate is naturally bitter, not sweet. It was the Spanish who first started sweetening it by adding sugars and honeys.
13 Milk chocolate was first created in 1875 when Swiss chocolatier Daniel Peter added powdered milk to it.
12 The term ‘white chocolate' is a misnomer. It actually isn't chocolate at all, as it contains no cocoa solids, just cocoa butter.
11 The Swiss consume more chocolate per capita than any other nation on earth.
09 In the 1960 Alfred Hitchcock film Psycho, chocolate syrup was used as blood in the infamous 45-second shower scene (which took a week to film).
10 If you want your home made cake or brownies to taste more chocolatey, add about a teaspoon of espresso powder, which will ramp up the chocolate flavour without ramping up the calories.
07 Chocolate is a common trigger for migraines, but, contrary to popular belief, is not responsible for acne.
08 In the 1971 film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, about a third of the entire Chocolate Room set was edible. Even the river was made from a combination of real chocolate, water and cream, although it spoiled fairly quickly and left a foul smell.
06 The average person will consume approximately 10,000 chocolate bars in a lifetime.
05 The world's largest chocolate bar was created in October 2011 by Thornton's PLC in the UK. It measured 4m square, was 35cms thick and weighed 5,792kgs (almost six tonnes!).
04 In the US, the holiday that produces the most chocolate sales is neither Easter nor Valentine's Day, but Halloween.
03 Dark chocolate is widely considered to have many health benefits such as boosting memory and attention span, improving problem-solving skills, lowering blood pressure and cholesterol levels, improving platelet function and insulin sensitivity.
02 Over 90 million chocolate rabbits are produced annually. Just over three quarters of us (76%) will eat the ears first.
01 The most popular chocolate bar in the world today is Snickers, with global sales of $2 billion. It was first introduced in 1930 by Mars Inc and was named after the Mars family's horse.