Saturday, July 24, 2010
Chocolate, made from the seeds of the Theobrama cacao tree, was known to the ancient Greeks as 'food of the gods'. The Aztecs reserved its consumption for priests, warriors and nobility and a beverage made from the seeds, called chocolatl, was a sacred concoction that was associated with fertility and wisdom. It was also thought to have stimulating and restorative values...
First introduced to Europe in 1528, it was not until 1876 that milk, cocoa powder and cocoa butter were mixed together to form what we now know as chocolate.
But who owns the lion's share of cravings in the world today?
The latest research I've found shows that 16 of the top 20 consuming counties are European. Switzerland leads in chocolate consumption at more than 22 pounds per person each year, followed by Austria at 20 pounds and Ireland at 19.5 pounds. America is estimated at a measly 11.7 pounds per person. Still, in 2001 Americans consumed 3 billion pounds of chocolate, which totaled $13.1 Billion in sales. 66% of chocolate is consumed between meals and it's been voted North America's favorite flavor by 52% of adults surveyed.
Most researchers believe chocolate's sensory qualities, chemicals, cultural values, social values and hormonal influences all play a role in chocolate cravings. It is the complete chocolate bar that people crave. Not one single chemical or quality can be soley responsible for satisfying a chocolate craving.
Whatever the reason, we all know it's definitely not advisable to get too close to a person's chocolate stash...
Posted by Rand MacIvor at 8:44 PM