In 2014 when impoverished Ivory Coast cocoa farmers were asked what they were growing was made into, they didn’t know. The farmers knew cocoa was some type of food but they had never heard of or tasted chocolate until reporters brought them a chocolate bar to try.
Cacao trees may actually live up to 200 years. Interestingly, they produce beans for just 25 years of their lifespan. It takes about a year for a cocoa tree to produce enough pods to make just about 10 small-sized chocolate bars.
Chocolate was classified as “candy” under the Revenue Acts of 1918 and 1921, and so it was taxed as such. Hershey’s sued to recover about $8,000,000 in taxes by arguing it was “food”, and so had been wrongly taxed. The Supreme Court ruled it was “candy”.
A 2004 study found that pregnant women who ate lots of chocolate had reduced prenatal stress, and their babies at 6 months old had a more agreeable temperament than pregnant women who ate no chocolate.
The unfortunately named “Ayds” dieter’s chocolate considered a name change when the AIDS crisis hit. Executives resisted with one saying “The product has been around for 45 years. Let the disease change its name.” – The name was later changed to “Diet Ayds” before being pulled from the market.
In 2005, to protest against conditions in the cocoa industry, a Dutch reporter ate 17 chocolate bars then asked to be arrested and tried for child slavery. The judge wouldn’t convict him, and the reporter went on to found Tony’s Chocolonely company.
A chocolate river existed in 1971. The famous chocolate river from the original Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory film was made with 15,000 gallons of water mixed with chocolate and cream. The river spoiled fairly quickly due to the cream and the cast said it stank.
The Queen of England is the only person to have ever eaten British Chocolate. In 1932 a factory in York tried growing cacao plants in the inhospitable British weather, but harvested only enough for one small bar, which they presented to Elizabeth II.
Hershey’s designed a customized chocolate bar for the troops during WW2 called “D ration bar”. It was so thick that soldiers had to shave slices off with a knife before chewing on it. By the end of the war, more than 3 billion ration bars had been produced. Also, M&Ms were originally made with Hershey’s chocolate, who had control of the rationed chocolate at the time, and were sold exclusively to the US military. They were designed based on a British made candy which was observed by the Mars Company founders son in the 1930s during the Spanish civil war. Regular chocolate was susceptible to heat and the candy coating helped to allow it to “melt in your mouth, not your hand”.
Hayleigh Curtis is one of Cadbury’s 10 taste testers. Her taste buds are so important that Cadbury got her tongue insured for 1.25 million dollars.