Apparently I am a chocolate genius since I got 8 out of 10 questions correct. Anyone out there actually surprised by that?
Chocolate Trivia: (taken from hersheypa.com and corsinet.com)
-The botanical name of the chocolate plant is Theobramba cacao, which means "Food of the Gods."
-One plain milk chocolate candy bar has more protein than a banana.
-Ten percent of U.S. Recommended Daily Allowance of iron is found in one ounce of baking chocolate or cocoa. Chocolate also contains Vitamins A1, B1, B2, C, D and E as well as calcium, potassium, sodium and iron.
-Cultivation of cacao trees can occur only in tropical climates, 20 degrees north or south of the equator. Principal growing areas include West Africa, Brazil, Ecuador and the Indies. Generally, it takes five years before trees begin bearing fruit in the form of pods that grow from the tree trunk. Each pod contains an average of 20 to 40 cream-colored cocoa beans. Nearly 400 beans are required to make a pound of chocolate liquor, the semi-liquid mass produced by grinding the beans. A non-alcoholic substance, chocolate liquor is the basis of all chocolate and cocoa products.
-The earliest cocoa plantations were established in 600 AD, in the Yucatan, by the Mayans.
-Drinking cocoa became popular in the USA after the Boston Tea Party, partly as a means of protest because it was not taxed in the way tea was.
Chocolate in Pennsylvania:
-Pennsylvania is second only to California in its number of chocolate and cocoa processing establishments.
-Hershey, PA is named for Milton Hershey who was the first American to experiment with creating milk chocolate. He came up with his own formula after visiting Swiss chocolatiers who would not share the process they had invented.
-He founded the town as a company town for his employees but felt strongly it should not be a faceless company town with merely utilitarian rows of identical structures. He envisioned and created a family friendly town with parks, recreational opportunities, and good public transportation. The quality of his product and the well-being of his workers were always placed above mere profit.
-Unable to have children, he and his wife established a school for orphan boys which continues today to serve over 1100 financially needy boys and girls today. Three years after his wife's death Hershey endowed the school with is entire fortune. He himself only completed the 4th grade. His philanthropy was motivated by a deep sense of obligation to use his wealth for the good of others.
Chocolate in Trinidad:
-Trinidad is 11 degrees north of the equator so it falls within the 20 degree north/south range where cacao can be grown.
-Hershey uses cacao from Trinidad.
-As strong as the smell of chocolate in Hershey, PA is, the smell of driving through a cacao plantation is 100 times more. It was the most intoxicating aroma I have ever encountered. I wanted to get out of the car and re-enact the poppy field scene from The Wizard of Oz.