Today I am continuing my indulgence T13 with facts about chocolate.
- There are three major types of cacao: Criollo, Forastero and Trinitario.
- Cocoa beans were already used by the Mayans in the 7th century. They made a religious tonic drink they called “Xocoatl”.
- In the 13th century cacao beans were a unit of currency in central America.
- There even were counterfeit beans carved out of clay.
- In 1819 the first chocolate bar in history was created by Francois Louis Cailler in Switzerland.
- The countries with the biggest cacao production is Ivory Coast, Ghana and Indonesia.
- After roasting the cacao beans and removing their outer shell they are ground and heated up. By heating up the cacao fat (cacao butter) melts and turns the cacao into a cacao liquor.
- Unsweetened chocolate only contains 0-2% sugars, whereas semi-sweet one contains between 45-65%.
- However, even unsweetened chocolate has a lot of calories due to the large amount of fat in it.
- Chocolate increases the level of serotonine in the brain, so it might be helpful against depression and stress.
- The main types of chocolate are: White chocolate, milk chocolate, semi-sweet chocolate, bittersweet chocolate and unsweetened chocolate.
- When baking do not use chocolate chips to replace other types of chocolate. They contain less cacao butter and therefore won’t melt well.
- Chocolate absorbs other odors, so keep it in a dark, cool, dry place away from strong-smelling items.
And now a little helpful tip to feel good about yourself in all sorts of ways:
Put "eat chocolate" at the top of your list of things to do today. That way, at least you’ll get one thing done.
To see what other Thursday 13ers write about today, visit Thursday 13.
All images by Nestlé on flickr.