Food of the Gods: 15 Fun Facts about Chocolate

 
 

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Theobroma Cacao, the cocoa tree,  means "Food of the gods"

Swedish botanist, Carolus Linnaeus, gave the cocoa tree its scientific name.  Theobroma cacao, means “Food of the gods” in Latin.

 

“Chocolate remedies adversity”  – Jareb Teague

 

 

 *  During the Revolutionary War, soldiers were sometimes paid in chocolate.

 

 *  Cacao beans were so treasured to early Mesoamericans that they were used as currency.

 

 *  Spanish royalty gave cakes of cacao in their wedding dowries.

 

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“All you need is love, but a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt” – Charles Shultz

*  Chemistry can back up that statement! Chocolate contains phenylethylamine, which is a chemical that releases certain “pleasure” endorphins in the brain. This can make people feel good all over — similar to how they feel when they’re deeply in love. While chocolate might not be an ideal alternative for love, it’s one of the best (and tastiest) substitutes you’ll find.

 

 

*  There are a lot of naturally occurring chemicals in chocolate that affect our mood. One example is tryptophan (which is also found in turkey). Tryptophan influences the levels of endorphins in the human brain and increases the production of serotonin - leading to elevated states of euphoria. It’s no wonder why so many of us are passionate about chocolate!

 

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“Life is short… Eat Chocolate!”

   - words we live by at Maple Ridge Farms!

 

 

Over 50% of adults in America prefer chocolate to other flavors

 

The average serving of milk chocolate has about the same amount of caffeine as a cup of decaf coffee. The amount of caffeine in chocolate correlates to the amount of cocoa solids in a particular chocolate. So dark chocolate has a slightly higher level of caffeine, whereas white chocolate contains no caffeine!

 

German chocolate cake isn’t German! In 1852, Baker’s Chocolate Company named a new sweeter style baking chocolate after the worker who invented it… Sam German. In 1957, a Texas homemaker sent a recipe using “German’s Chocolate” to Dallas newspaper, and the recipe was so popular that it was reprinted across the country. Somewhere along the way, German’s Chocolate Cake lost its apostrophe-s leading many to believe that the cake was German in origin.

 

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“From humble beginnings come great things.”

Chocolate comes from a fruit tree, and is made from the seeds.

 

 

It takes approximately 400 cocoa beans to make one pound of chocolate.

 

Because cocoa trees are so delicate, farmers lose an average of 30% of their yearly crops.

 

Approximately 70% of cocoa hails from West Africa.

 

Cocoa is typically raised by hand on small family-owned farms.

 

Worldwide about 40-50 million people depend on cocoa for their livelihood.

 

Bonus! Because We Care:

 

The chocolate used in our gifts are Rainforest Alliance certified which ensures that the farms have met the environmental, social and economic standards of the Sustainable Agriculture Network. No rainforests have been damaged to create our gifts.

 

 

Sources: Smithsonian.com, npr.org, National Confectioners Association

 

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