Chocolate Trivia

Chocolate Trivia

But We Love to Eat It Anyway

According to both ancient Aztec and modern European accounts, chocolate is said to be an aphrodisiac. This, unfortunately, may only be wishful thinking. It is true that chocolate naturally contains high amounts of phenylethylamine, the chemical stimulant produced in the brain of a person in love. Scientific studies have shown, however, that simply eating chocolate does not cause blood levels of this chemical to rise, possibly because most of the phenylethylamine is metabolized during digestion. Scientists, however, did not include in their study those people who may actually be in love with chocolate.

He'd Sell His Soul for Some Good Chocolate

As famous as Switzerland is today for making some of the world's finest chocolate, that has not always been the case. In 1797, for example, the great German poet Goethe (best known for his Faust) took a trip to Switzerland, but refused to do without his favorite treat. Not knowing the quality of Swiss chocolate, he packed his very own supply from Germany.

Who Are the Cocoa Mothers and Do They
Expect a Card on May 12th?

No, they aren't parents who allow their kids too many between-meal snacks. "Cocoa mothers" are the chocolate world's example of how, in nature, different species help one another survive. While the cacao tree flourishes only in the hottest regions of the world, their delicate young plants need ample shade to protect them. They depend on other trees to provide this protection; in the cacao-growing trade such trees are called "Cocoa mothers" and include, among others, the banana tree, the coconut palm, the lemon tree, and the baobab.

Is There Chocolate In Outer Space?

These days, there seem to be a lot of man-made things--and some people we may know, for that matter--in outer space, and chocolate is most definitely one of them. But as far as we know, travelers--like Goethe in Switzerland--have to bring their own. Chocolate is a great high-energy food (which is why it accompanied Sir Edmund Hillary on his Mt. Everest climbing expedition, and is included in American soldiers' ration kits), and has therefore been sent along on all American and Soviet space flights. As for chocolate of extraterrestrial origin...well, one imagines that any truly intelligent and advanced form of life out there must have invented at least a close equivalent to earthly chocolate.

Getting Mail Is Always Sweet

While everyone knows that chocolate is extremely important in cultural and culinary history, it is not so well known that it also figured into postal history. In the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, London's regular patrons often had their mail delivered to their favorite chocolate or coffee houses; this delicious custom was an early version of the modern day post office box.

This edition of the Flyer Chocolate Letter is published and copyrighted 1990- by Paris Chocolates, Inc., P.O. Box 1281, Washington, CT 06793, Tel: (800) CANDY BAR. Flyer Candy Bars, chosen the best in New York City by New York magazine, have received rave reviews in such media as The Boston Globe, Chef, Chocolatier, Food & Wine, The New York Times, and WOR Radio, New York.


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