National Chocolate Week – 10 Amazing Chocolate Facts

Posted on: October 14, 2022 by Mo

We are in the middle of  National Chocolate Week – and we’re celebrating here at Mo’s Cookie Dough.

Normally, we don’t need much of an excuse to indulge, but in honour of the week that celebrates the wonder of chocolate, we’ll be pulling out all the stops.   Of course, Mo’s Cookie Dough comes in chocolate chip flavour so baking up batches of warm chocolate chip cookies seems to be a good idea.

Chocolate is fascinating stuff. Here are our top 10 chocolate facts…

  • The cocoa tree grows in plantations located on both sides of the Equator (i.e. the band that encircles the globe between the tropics of Cancer and Capricorn).
  • Coca trees grow to heights of between 3 and 8 metres (12 metres in the wild), and they like hot and humid climates. One cocoa tree can produce about 1-1½ kilograms of cocoa beans a year.
  • The Ivory Coast in Africa produces more cocoa than any other country at 37 % of the world’s total.
  • Ruth Wakefield, the inventor of the chocolate chip cookie, sold her cookie recipe to Nestle in return for a lifetime’s supply of chocolate.
  • Ice-cream makers Ben & Jerry’s made the first cookie dough ice cream after they received an anonymous suggestion on their flavour suggestion board in one of their shops.
  • Chocolate has more than 600 flavour compounds, while red wine has just 200.
  • The word “chocolate” comes from the Aztec word, “xocoatl,” which referred to the bitter, spicy drink the Aztecs made from cacao beans.
  • Chocolate bars didn’t come into existence until 1847, when the Bristol company Fry & Son made a ‘chocolate delicieux a manger’, a bar made from a mixture of cocoa powder, sugar and a little of the melted cocoa butter that had been extracted from the beans.
  • The iconic American chocolate product, Hershey’s Kisses, is produced in huge quantities, 70 million per day. The annual production is enough to make a 300,000-mile long line of kisses!
  • And finally, here’s the best excuse to tuck in… A paper published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2012 by Franz Messerli reported a highly significant correlation between a nation’s per capita chocolate consumption and the rate at which the citizens of that country won Nobel Prizes. Messerli, himself a regular chocolate eater, said that while correlation didn’t prove causation, “chocolate consumption has been documented to improve cognitive function, it seems most likely in a dose-dependent way, chocolate intake provides the abundant fertile ground needed for the sprouting of Nobel laureates”.