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Food of the Gods

Let's talk about chocolate!

Chocolate comes from the cacao tree, Theobroma cacao. It’s a fitting name because theobroma comes from the Latin words for “food of the gods.”

Mayan emperors were often buried with jars of chocolate.

The average American consumes approximately 11.7 pounds of chocolate each year, but only 29 percent choose dark chocolate over milk.

Chocolate comes from the ivory-colored seeds of the cocoa tree’s fruit. Each melonlike fruit contains 20 to 50 seeds. About 400 seeds are required to make a pound of chocolate.

In 1974 a Pepperidge Farm employee in a Downington, Pennsylvania, plant died after falling into a vat of chocolate. His name: Robert C. Hershey.

The chemical theobromine is what makes chocolate fatal to pets— many animals don’t metabolize it well. Generally, the darker the chocolate, the more theobromine.

People who are depressed eat about 55 percent more chocolate than people who aren’t.

The Mars Candy Company is not named for the planet, but for its founder, Frank Mars.

Cocoa butter liquefies at a temperature slightly below 98.6 ° F, which is why it melts in your pocket. M&Ms were invented to provide sugar shells that had a higher melting temperature.

The Aztecs discovered and named chocolatl, but they used it as a beverage for its feel-good effects, not its flavor. In fact, chocolatl meant “bitter water.”

British candy maker Cadbury made the world’s first heart-shaped box of chocolates in 1861.

White chocolate has all the fat and sugar of chocolate, but none of the healthy flavonoids… and no solid cocoa. It does contain cocoa butter, though.

In 2004 interviewers asked British office workers if they would reveal their computer passwords in exchange for a chocolate bar— 71 percent said they would.

Cocoa usually starts losing flavor after about six months.

(Image credit: André Karwath)

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The article above is reprinted with permission from Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader Attack of the Factoids. Weighing in at over 400 pages, it's a fact-a-palooza of obscure information.

Since 1988, the Bathroom Reader Institute had published a series of popular books containing irresistible bits of trivia and obscure yet fascinating facts. If you like Neatorama, you'll love the Bathroom Reader Institute's books - go ahead and check 'em out!

We dish up more neat food posts at the Neatolicious blog

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