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Bits and Pieces
Stan Denning - Sunday, October 08, 2017



In Oaxaca, Mexico, healers called curanderos use chocolate to treat several illnesses such as bronchitis.
In some regions, children drink chocolate in the morning to ward off scorpion and bee stings.
Over 50% of adults in America prefer chocolate to other flavors.
In 2002, Marshall Field’s in Chicago made the largest box of chocolate.
It had 90,090 Frango mint chocolates and weighed a whopping 3,326 pounds.
In a small study at Indiana University, cyclists who drank chocolate milk after a workout had less fatigue and scored higher on endurance tests than those who had a sports drink. The largest and oldest chocolate company in the U.S. is Hershey’s.
Hershey’s produces over one billion pounds of chocolate product annually.
The most expensive chocolate in the world is the “Madeleine” and was created by Fritz Knipschildt of Knipschildt Chocolatier in Connecticut.
There are actually zero cacao solids in white chocolate.
A drawing from the Mayan Madrid Codex shows gods piercing their ears and sprinkling their blood over the cacao harvest, indicating a strong association between blood and cacao in Meso-American tradition.
In the ancient Mayan civilization, humans were often sacrificed to guarantee a good cacao harvest.
First, the prisoner was forced to drink a cup of chocolate, which sometimes was spiked with blood because the Maya believed it would convert the victim’s heart into a cacao pod. Belgium produces 172,000 tons of chocolate per year.
Over 2,000 chocolate shops are found throughout the country, many located in Brussels where Godiva chocolate originated.
Owing to the nature of cacao butter, chocolate is the only edible substance that melts at around 93° F, just below body temperature. This means that after placing a piece of chocolate on your tongue, it will begin to melt.
Commercial chocolate usually contains such low amounts of cacao solids that it is more likely the sugar that chocolate lovers are addicted to.
The cacao bean naturally contains almost 300 different flavors and 400 separate aromas.
Cacao has been around for millions of years and is probably one of the oldest of nature’s foods.
Motecuhzoma Xocoyotzin (Montezuma II), the 9th emperor of the Aztecs, was one of the most wealthy and powerful men in the world. He was also known as The Chocolate King. At the height of his power, he had a stash of nearly a billion cacao beans. Columbus’s son Ferdinand recorded that when the Mayans dropped some cacao beans, “they all stopped to pick it up, as though an eye had fallen.” Columbus, who was searching for a route to India, did not see the potential of the cacao market and mistook them for shriveled almonds. In Mayan civilization, cacao beans were the currency, and counterfeiting cacao beans out of painted clay had become a thriving industry.
Goods could be priced in units of cacao: a slave cost 100 beans, the services of a prostitute cost 10 beans, and a turkey cost 20 beans.
While the Spanish conquistadors horded gold, the Mesoamericans horded cacao beans.
In some parts of Latin America, the beans were used as a currency as late as the 19th century.
The first machine-made chocolate was produced in Barcelona, Spain, in 1780.
When English Buccaneers overran a Spanish ship loaded with cacao beans, they set it on fire, thinking the beans were sheep dung.
Madame du Barry, reputed to be a nymphomaniac, encouraged her lovers to drink chocolate in order to keep up with her.
Some scholars link the growing popularity of chocolate houses in Europe, such as the Cocoa-Tree Chocolate House on St. James Street in London, with the beginnings of the Enlightenment.
That was the drink on the table when 18th-century thinkers started to question long-held verities: the supremacy of the Church, the rights of kings, and potential for improvement in the common man and woman One of Louis XV’s many mistresses, Madame de Pompadour, became a famous chocolate addict and used it as a treatment for her sexual dysfunctions.
The Marquis de Sade, possibly the world’s first sexologist, was also hooked on chocolate.
According to Italian researchers, women who eat chocolate regularly have a better sex life than those who do not. They also had higher levels of desire, arousal, and satisfaction from sex.
One chocolate chip can give a person enough energy to walk 150 feet.
Americans eat 2.8 billion pounds of candy each year. Nearly half of this is chocolate.
Approximately 40% of almonds produced in the world are made for chocolate products.
A Hershey's bar was dug up after 60 years from Admiral Richard Byrd’s cache at the South Pole. Having been frozen all those years, it was still edible Chocolate was included in WWII soldier rations. According to army specification, it was designed to taste just “a little better than a boiled potato” so soldiers would not eat it too quickly.
In one year, the world can produce 3 million tons of cacao, less than half the coffee crop.
Chocolate melting in a person’s mouth can cause a more intense and longer-lasting “buzz” than kissing. Hershey’s Kisses were first produced in 1907 and were shaped like a square. A new machine in 1921 gave them their current shape
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