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Sample These Chocolate Facts
WHAT’S IN A NAME? The ancient Mayans are credited as the first people to grow and consume chocolate. However, the word “chocolate” comes from the later Aztec civilization. The Aztecs loved a bitter, spicy beverage made from cacao beans called “xocoatl.” And since we’re on the topic of words, the scientific name for the tree that grows cacao beans, Theobroma cacao, is a Greek word, which translates to “food of the gods.” This just proves cocoa connoisseurs were right all along — chocolate really is divine. A SWEET DEAL Speaking of the Aztecs, their civilization loved chocolate so much that cacao seeds were used as a form of currency in Mesoamerica. During the American Revolution, chocolate was still accepted as payment, sometimes used in soldiers’ rations in lieu of wages. Even today, chocolate remains a valuable commodity. The chocolate industry is worth around $110 billion a year. Humans have enjoyed the sweet pleasures of chocolate for thousands of years. And with so many chapters of candy history left to explore, namely ruby chocolate’s eventual entrance, it’s clear the treat won’t go out of style any time soon.
Chocolate lovers, rejoice! After 80 years, a new variety of chocolate has finally graced the world: ruby chocolate. This naturally pink chocolate, created by Swiss chocolatier Barry Callebaut, is not milky like milk chocolate, sweet like white chocolate, or bitter like dark chocolate. Instead, Callebaut describes the flavor of his confection as a “tension between berry fruitiness and luscious smoothness.” Unfortunately, while ruby chocolate sounds like a wonderful treat, it is not yet available to consumers. So, as you wait for ruby chocolate to be stocked in your local grocery store or candy boutique, satisfy your chocolate cravings with some sweet facts about your favorite treat. IMPOSTERS! The names of certain chocolates can be very misleading. German chocolate cake, for example, is not named after the country of Germany. It’s actually an American dessert that was first baked in 1852, named for its creator, Sam German, and originally called “German’s chocolate cake.”White chocolate also suffers from a mistaken identity. Made primarily from cocoa butter, white chocolate does not contain any cocoa solids, which means it’s not technically chocolate.
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