We have just launched a competition on our Facebook Page to win a one night stay for two adults at our Birmingham City Hotel and to visit the Cadbury World, so we thought we’d remind you of the wonders of chocolate, which explain why it has such a massive following (and many devoted consumers!) all around the world.

Chocolate. In bars, biscuits, coffee, cereal and even medicine – it can be found in many foods and is ranked as the favourite flavour of Americans. Note: We’re talking about the American continent, no the USA.

After all, it was in America that chocolate was first discovered. It was cultivated as early as 1100 BC in the lands of Mexico, Central and South America. It was first used by the Aztecs as a popular drink and it was not until the Spanish conquest of the Aztecs that chocolate was imported to Europe in the 16th century. Still, solid chocolate was invented as late as 1847. Pure chocolate is actually bitter but most of the chocolate consumed today is in the form of sweet combination of cocoa solids, cocoa butter and sugar.

The Aztecs, the original chocoholics

Today, around two-thirds of the cocoa produced is produced in West Africa. In 2001, US consumers spent more than $10 billion and ate 2.8 billion pounds of chocolate alone (not including coated biscuits etc), representing about half of the world’s entire chocolate production. However, the Swiss are not far behind as they consume 11 kg per person per year!

Why is it so sought after?

Part of the reason is because cocoa contains alkaloids that are linked to the serotonin levels in the brain and are great natural antidepressant. These also help lower blood pressure and have anticancer effects. In addition, the antioxidants it contains prevent from aging and disease. So, chocolate is not always as unhealthy as claimed, unless there is little cocoa and plenty of sugar in it.

A quick pick-me-up

Many believe that chocolate is an aphrodisiac but that has not been confirmed by scientists. Interestingly, chocolate is also poisonous to dogs and other small animals as its stimulants might be harmful.

He may be a chocolate labrador but he can't eat chocolate.

 

Found these facts intersting? Cadbury World is ‘where chocolate comes to life’ and you can not only explore the making and manufacturing of chocolate, but also find out more about the history of this delicious treat and Cadbury itself. You can also get the chance to grow your own cocoa beans and experience virtual chocolate rain. Don’t miss out this great opportunity! Enter our competition here.

 

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