Five Interesting Factoids about Chocolate

  

What are the top five cocoa-consuming countries? 
Per capita, Switzerland, Belgium, Ireland, Norway, and Germany top the list, according to the International Cocoa Organization. Compared to Switzerland’s 5.9 kg/person, the US comes in at a restrained 2.5 kg/person.

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What are the top five cocoa-producing countries? 
Ivory Coast, Ghana, Indonesia, Cameroon, and Nigeria.

Where did chocolate originate? 
While there’s no definitive consensus, some scholars believe the word “chocolate” comes from the Aztec word “xocoatl,” which was a bitter drink made from cacao beans. However, there is some evidence that cacao was consumed as a beverage by Mesoamerican cultures as early as three or four thousand years ago. By 1200 AD, the Aztecs were trading with the Mayans and accepted the cacao beans as a form of currency and tribute. They, too, began to drink chocolate, as a health elixir and during religious ceremonies. 

What is white chocolate? 
Some argue that white chocolate isn’t technically “chocolate” at all. The FDA describes chocolate as containing cocoa solids from the chocolate liquor expressed from cocoa beans. White chocolate, like chocolate, contains cocoa butter (fat from the cocoa bean) and milk, sugar, and other flavoring such as vanilla. But, it does not contain brown cocoa solids, like cocoa powder, which is the reason for the white-yellow coloring.

What is the difference between cacao and cocoa
People often interchange between the use of “cacao beans” and “cocoa beans.” However cacao refers to the unprocessed beans, as well as the tree, from which cocoa is derived. Cocoa refers to the product of the cacao beans once they’ve been roasted and processed.


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