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10 Fascinating Facts About Chocolate!

It's most people's favorite treat. Heck, it's a lot of people's favorite thing, or the best gift they can give themselves at the end of a long day. It's chocolate, and for some it's a small but persistent part of their daily habits and diet. But how much do you know about your favorite treat? For example...

1. Not really chocolate
chocolate facts
Most of the chocolate products we consume contain only a small amount of actual chocolate. The reason for the that is the lack of standards for a minimum amount of chocolate in many products. Each country has a different standard. Milk chocolate is usually the one with the highest minimum standard.

2. Milk Chocolate is a relatively new invention
chocolate facts
Milk chocolate is the most popular chocolate in the world, and many kids will consider it the 'real' chocolate. But the truth is that although chocolate has existed for thousands of years, milk chocolate was only invented in 1875. The inventor of this delicious type of chocolate took chocolate powder mixed with salt and added it to concentrated milk, a food only invented a year previous. That man's name? Henry Nestle.

3. Chocolate Coins
chocolate facts
The Ancient Mayan culture of South America was the first to discover the way to turn cocoa beans into chocolate. More exactly, a cocoa drink. The drink became so central in Mayan culture they started using cocoa beans as money. For 10 beans you could buy a rabbit. For 100 - a slave. Archaeological evidence tells us that people even created fake cocoa beans out of clay.

4. Antioxidants
chocolate facts
Recent research shows that chocolate actually contains a hefty amount of antioxidants and materials that help protect the heart and the body from cancer. This becomes truer the more real cocoa is contained in the chocolate. This means you usually need to choose dark chocolate for the benefits.

5. Child Labor
chocolate facts
Despite the sweet taste of chocolate, a lot of it comes from bitter work conditions, where child labor is worked in harsh work environment. Experts estimate that in Africa alone more than 60 million kids work in the chocolate industry.

6. Not just caffeine
chocolate facts
The fact that cocoa, and so chocolate as well, contains caffeine is not news, but recent studies discovered that chocolate has another material called theobromine, which operates in a similar way to caffeine, but is more moderate. Some claim it helps relieve coughing.

7. A drink for the nobles
chocolate facts
The Aztec culture was influenced by the Mayan culture living close by and also used cocoa beans as currency at some point. This phenomenon caused the Aztec rich drinking dozens of hot cocoa drinks a day. Only the rich could afford this drink because let's face it - drinking your money is expensive.

8. The big chocolate fruad
chocolate facts
A few years ago the biggest chocolate makers in the United States, among them Nestle and Hershey, tried to convince the American Food and Drug Administration (the FDA) to change the components of chocolate and call it the same name. Their plan was to change the cocoa butter, the chocolate component in chocolate products. The companies claimed, to their defense, that 'the consumers don't know what they want, and don't understand concepts such as 'efficiency' or 'technical improvement'."

9. That's a lot of chocolate
chocolate facts
In September of 2011, a chocolate tablet weighing 6 tons was created. The manufacturing of this massive chocolate tablet required 770 kilograms of cocoa butter. The huge chocolate tablet was broken to thousands of little pieces and sold. All the profit was given to charity.

10. Global Shortage
chocolate facts
A mysterious disease is harming the cocoa trees of South America, where most of the world's cocoa comes from. The increasing consumption of chocolate in the world doesn't help the growing shortage. Experts expect chocolate prices to sharply increase during the next few years, so we'd stock up if we were you.

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