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CHOCOLATE, YUM!


Do you like chocolate?  Most people do.  It is the most popular flavor in the world.  In the USA more than half of all the candy sold is chocolate.

The chocolate in the candy bar that you eat actually comes from a tree in the rainforest called the Cocoa tree, or in Spanish, Cacao (pronounced kah-KOW). Chocolate starts with cacao beans. These are seeds of the Cacao tree.  They grow inside a fleshy pod, which is the fruit of the Cacao tree. The fruit is thick and oval shaped, usually yellow or red, and can sometimes grow as big a as a football.

A cocoa pod contains an average of about 42 beans. It takes approximately 400 cacao beans to make one pound of chocolate.  You might think that chocolate is a fruit since it's made from the fruit of the cacao tree, but it's classified as a vegetable!

Chocolate has a long history and is one of nature’s oldest foods.  More than 2000 years ago Mayan Indians in Mexico and Central America used ground cocoa beans to create a drink.  Cacao beans were so valuable in ancient Mexico that the Maya, Aztec and Toltec civilizations used them as money.  Later The Spanish explorers brought the drink back to Europe where it became very popular.  It was not until the 1800’s that they learned how to make solid chocolate.  The English chocolate company, Cadbury, made the first chocolate bar in 1842.

Chocolate not only tastes good it is good for you! Eating chocolate can help prevent tooth decay, quiet coughs, help reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer, and help brain functions. Chocolate also contains iron, copper, zinc and magnesium; nutrients important to the body.


 

Did You Know?

1. The world’s biggest chocolate bar was made in Armenia in 2010.  It weighed over 9,000 pounds, about the size of an African elephant!

2. The average American will eat about 12 pounds of chocolate per year. 

3. Eating just one chocolate chip will give an average adult enough energy to walk 150 feet.

4. 23 million Hershey kisses are produced each day.

5. Chocolate is poisonous to dogs and other animals.  Aren’t you glad you are not a dog!

 

 

Check These Out!


Beans to Chocolate
Snyder, Inez
Follows the process of manufacturing chocolate, from harvesting the cacao beans to making candy.
Chocolate from Start to Finish
Woods, Samuel G.
Discusses the origin, history, and ways of preparing and using chocolate.
Chocolate
Burleigh, Robert
Traces the history of chocolate from a drink of the Olmec and Maya and later in Europe to its popularity around the world today.
Margret & H.A. Rey's Curious George Goes to A Chocolate Factory
George's curiosity causes a problem at the chocolate factory, but his quick thinking and speedy action on the assembly line help save the candies.
Milton Hershey
Gillis, Jennifer Blizin
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Dahl, Roald
Each of five children lucky enough to discover an entry ticket into Mr. Willy Wonka's mysterious chocolate factory takes advantage of the situation in his own way.
The Chocolate Cat
Stainton, Sue
A clever cat helps his owner, a chocolate maker, to discover the magic in his work and together they transform a colorless town into a place of beauty and happiness. Includes facts about the history and production of chocolate.

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