10 Things You Didn’t Know About Chocolate
With World Chocolate Day just around the corner it might be time to stock up your choco-knowledge.
Published 01/07/2014 | 13:01
If you thought Christmas, Easter and Valentine’s Day were holidays devoted to gorging oneself on chocolate, you’re in for a treat next Monday as the world gets set to celebrate World Chocolate Day.
Despite the amount of chocolate indulged on by the Irish, how much do you really know about the sweet treat?
Chocolate trumps the shift
Spending Saturday night prowling your local nightclub might all be in vain as studies have proven that a few squares of chocolate might just be more satisfying than locking lips. Scientists have suggested that the buzz from chocolate lasts four times as long as a passionate exchange so perhaps a night with a bar rather than in a bar might be more satisfying when it comes to happiness.
Chocolate says relax
The aroma of a gooey chocolate cake in the oven or the smell of the hot chocolate bubbling away on the stove is hugely relaxing, studies have revealed. The mere whiff of chocolate is enough to get kick up our theta brain waves which induces relaxation. It might just be why you feel better about your problems after indulging yourself in a Flake.
Chocolate spun the microwave
A lot of great things are inspired by chocolate and although that might include a reason for more frequent gym visits, chocolate was also the inspiration behind the microwave. Inventor Percy Spencer noticed that a bar of chocolate in his pocket melted rapidly while he was working with magnetrons and subsequently created the first microwave oven. Now an abundance of delicious chocolate treats can be whipped up in our favourite kitchen gadget. Thanks for that Percy.
It is for girls, Yorkie
Ironically, when Yorkie suggests that their product wasn’t for girls they couldn’t have been more off the mark. This fact may not be as surprising as the others, but scientists have proven that chocolate affects women in a different way to their male counterparts, who consume less. Chocolate causes the brain to release endorphins and also contains trace minerals like magnesium which women crave throughout their menstrual cycles. It definitely sheds some light on the chocolate abundance.
The new toothpaste?
Sceptics many raise an eyebrow but research has proven that chocolate help keep our knashers in tip top shape. Unfortunately, it is not the milky favourites hoarded in our ‘bold’ cupboard that lends help to our oral health, but instead the husk of raw cocoa bean. The ingredient might just be included in toothpaste in the future thanks to its antibacterial nature.
This means war
World famous M&Ms were originally created in 1941 as a means for US soldiers to enjoy chocolate without the constant fear of melting. Now, they are available in hundreds of colours and their main mascots, loud mouth red M&M and silly yellow haunt the ads.
Chocolate avoids sinking ship
American chocolate history could have been changed forever if chocolate magnate Milton Hershey boarded the Titanic as he planned. As things happened, he was called away on some emergency chocolate business and missed the boat as it set sail across the Atlantic.
The power of a chip
Don’t put down that cookie! Research has shown that the sugar within one chocolate chip can fuel your body to walk a whopping 150ft.
Houston, we have chocolate
It seems the power of chocolate jets beyond earth and astronauts seemingly can’t leave the planet without their fix. Every Russian and American space voyage has included a cupboard of chocolate treats to keep them going for the duration of the journey. Let’s face it, if they were to meet aliens, a box might be a nice ‘we come in peace’ offering.
The Aztecs and Mayas were absolute chocoholics and spent their days sipping away at beverages made from the white pulp surrounding cocoa pods. Roasted cocoas beans were toasted with corn and water for a delicious treat and cocoa butter was slathered upon their skin. If that wasn't enough, cocoa was also used as currency. Much like ourselves, the Aztecs considered the cocoa tree as a bridge between heaven and earth.
Down south, Skelligs Chocolatiers in Co. Kerry are gearing up to celebrate the annual festivities and along with chocolate makers throughout the country are preparing to dish out cocoa treats Willy Wonka style. For more information visit www.skelligschocolate.com