Surprising Chocolate Facts

If you want to be a real chocolate master, you have to know these chocolate facts

Chocolate isn't just delicious. If you learn about the weird and wonderful chocolate facts out there, you'll realize it's also one of the most interesting foods you can gobble. And even if this information isn't exactly practical -- it won't help you cook better chocolate treats, lose weight while eating chocolate, or find the best boxed candy -- it should make you a fascinating conversationalist.

Namely, chocolate facts

Did you know that chocolate actually gets its name from a Mexican word for the sound you make when you stir it? Whip up a batch of hot chocolate and (at least according to Mexico) it makes a "choco choco" sound when you froth it. Choco... chocolate!

The Mythology of Chocolate

Tested and tried chocolate facts to dispell the myths:

-- Contrary to popular belief, chocolate does not have anything to do with acne.

-- Chocolate is not laced with caffeine. The average serving of chocolate contains between five and ten milligrams of caffeine. Compare that with a cup of coffee, which has about 150!

-- Chocolate is in no way physically addictive (sorry, dieters, you'll have to find a new excuse to indulge).

Chocolate Energy

Does chocolate really energize you? Check out these chocolate facts and decide for yourself.

-- One chocolate chip gives the average adult enough energy to walk 150 feet. That means that to fuel yourself for a hike around the world, you'd need almost 900,000 chocolate chips.

-- Chocolate has always played an important role in the armed forces. Napoleon used to carry chocolate for his energy lapses, and the famous Hershey Bar came into being at the request of the American military.

-- Chocolate contains phenylethylamine (PEA), a substance your body manufactures when you're "falling in love." That's why so many people have considered chocolate an aphrodisiac.

Patriotic chocolate facts

Interesting tidbits about chocolate in the USA.

-- Americans eat almost half of the world's yearly supply of chocolate.

-- At the same time, it's a lot less than the Swiss. While the average American eats 10-12 pounds of chocolate a year, the average Swiss eats 21. However, the Swiss have one of the world's lowest obesity and heart failure rates.

-- Before 1970, white chocolate was virtually unknown. Since then, the FDA has made it illegal to call white chocolate "chocolate," since it's not actually. It doesn't contain cocoa butter. In other words, white chocolate is just sugar and butter that kind of resembles chocolate in texture.

Store up these chocolate facts, and next time there's a lull in conversation, burst out with your wealth of information!