Chocolate, being chocolate, doesn’t need to be historically fascinating. What’s past is past, you may say, as you nibble on your chocolate cake. The fact is, chocolate has a rich (if not decadent) history. Check out these chocolate fun facts to pass along to others as you pass them the brownies. If you find you need additional chocolate inspiration as a study guide, peruse our chocolate cookies, cakes and pies, and if you’re studying with friends—be sure to make enough coffee for a crowd.
An average American will eat about 10-12 pounds of chocolate per year, and women are twice as likely as men to experience chocolate hunger.
As of 2010, Armenia holds the title for the world's biggest chocolate bar, which weighed over 9,000 pounds. That's about the size of an African elephant.
Ever since WWII, chocolate bars have been an official part of U.S. Army rations as a source of energy and, of course, a taste pleaser.
In 1906, the first U.S. recipe for chocolate brownies included Baker's Chocolate and appeared in The Boston Cooking-School Cook Book.
Chocolate has long been used in survival kits, and for good reason. A single chocolate chip can provide enough energy for an adult human to walk 150 feet.
The U.S. caught the chocolate wave in the late 1700s. The Baker's Chocolate Company was founded in 1780—almost a decade before George Washington was sworn in as president.
By the late 1600s, the chocolate craze had begun, and chocolate houses—much like taverns or coffee houses—sprang up all over Europe. The governments of the day even levied a tax on it.
After exploring the Americas, Christopher Columbus introduced chocolate to Europeans, who thought it tasted bitter. It finally caught on in the mid 1500s after Hernan Cortez brought some back to Spain.
The Central American Aztec civilization started reserving cacao beans around 1400 to make an unsweetened drink and to use as currency.
Ancient cultures thought chocolate was an aphrodisiac. While that's not scientifically true, chocolate does contain chemicals which create a reaction in the brain similar to that of falling in love.