July 7th isn’t just another day in the calendar—it’s World Chocolate Day. Yes, you read that right. This sweet treasure has its own day, and it’s today! This holiday dates back to July 7, 1550, when chocolate was first brought to Europe. Before that, chocolate was only found in specific regions, especially Mexico, Central America, and South America. Today, we celebrate being lucky enough to have this mouth-watering ingredient everywhere.
On this World Chocolate Day, we’re sharing the best, most interesting (and most random) facts about this sweet treat.
1. Cacao beans were once used as currency
Cacao was commonly used by the first civilizations in Mexico, Central, and South America. Aztecs and Mayans valued cacao beans so highly that they became its own form of money.
In an economy based on trade, cacao beans were extremely valuable. That chocolate bar you’re eating could have been worth more than you paid for it!
2. The first chocolate bar was made in England
In 1847, Joseph Fry created a paste made out of cocoa powder, sugar, and cocoa fat that, when pressed into a mold, would make chocolate bars. This amazing innovation allowed people to eat this delicious ingredient on the go.
3. White chocolate isn’t really chocolate
We know it’s loved by many, but technically white chocolate isn’t considered chocolate. Although it’s made with cocoa butter, it doesn’t contain any chocolate solids, which is what adds that distinctive flavor we all love so much.
4. Canadian children once went on strike to boycott the chocolate industry
In 1947, two years after the end of World War II, the price for a chocolate bar in Canada was raised from 5 cents to 8 cents. This led hundreds of children across the country to march in the streets to protest the price rise—and they succeeded! Shopkeepers found ways to go back to their five-cent prices, making kids happy once again.
5. The chocolate industry is worth billions
Over $100 billion to be more precise.
Shocked? So are we! But then again, not really. Chocolate is one of the world’s favorite foods, so it makes sense it’s worth so much.
In fact, according to Research and Markets, the global chocolate market is expected to reach $134.94 billion by 2024.
6. Hot chocolate tastes better in an orange cup
A study conducted by the University of Oxford found that orange and dark-cream colored cups enhances the flavor of chocolate in this hot drink. 57 volunteers were asked to taste hot chocolate served in cups with four different colors: white, dark cream, red and orange.
The participants then commented that the hot chocolate in the orange and dark cream cups tasted better, despite the drink being the exact same as the one in the other cups. Interesting, right?
7. Americans buy 58 million pounds of chocolate for Valentine’s Day
You can’t think of Valentine’s Day without thinking of chocolate. This is why, during the seven days before February 14, Americans spend an average of $27.4 billion dollars on candy, and they buy about 58 million pounds of chocolate.
Do you know any more facts about chocolate? Let us know in the comments!