Ten interesting chocolatey facts

1. The scientific name for the Cocoa Tree is ‘Theobroma Cacao’, which means ‘Food for the Gods’ in Greek.
2. In the UK, around 10kg of chocolate is consumed per person per year.
3. The origins of chocolate can be traced back to the ancient Maya Indians and Aztec civilisations in Central America as long ago as 600 AD.
4. The precious Cocoa Beans were used as a currency and as a unit of calculation in the Mayan and Aztec Cultures.
5. Emperor Montezuma of Mexico is purported to have had a Chocolate drink before entering his harem – which may have given rise to the notion of Chocolate having aphrodisiac properties.
6. According to scientists at Japan’s Osaka University, the husks of the cocoa beans from which chocolate is made contain an antibacterial agent that fights plaque.
7. Dark chocolate can help to increase levels of HDL in the body, a type of cholesterol that helps prevent fat clogging up arteries.
8. The largest cocoa producing countries are the Ivory Coast, Ghana and Indonesia.
9. Chocolate can help you concentrate as it contains a caffeine-like stimulant called theobromine.
10. Cocoa butter, which is the fat extract from roasted and crushed Cocoa Beans, is often used as a massage cream.

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