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9 Things You Didn’t Know About Chocolate

By Alice M Davidson
6th Jul 2016

things you didn't know about chocolate

It’s a fact. Chocolate is one of the best things to grace this crazy world of ours. Not only does it taste so damn fine in all its variations, but it also brings joy to so many people’s lives (especially our own lives because, let’s face it, we’re juuuuust a little bit selfish). 

There’ve been numerous studies that claim that chocolate is, in fact, good for you, and who are we to disagree? To get all sciencey on you chocolate fiends, chocolate has a chemical in it called tryptophan that causes the release of endorphins into the brain. These endorphins help to rid us of stress and pain and, instead, leave us feeling happy and generally more awesome. This is science, people. Deliciously, wonderful science.

Now we know you probably think there isn’t much to know about chocolate, just that it is the best/one of life’s necessities, but we picked the chocolate fact-filled brain of Jimmy Turner, curator from Sweet Addiction (an exhibition alllll about chocolate), for some chocolate facts you probably didn’t know. 

  1. We eat an average of 4.9kgs of chocolate per year in Australia. You may think that’s a lot, but Swiss eat 9kg so we’re good. 
  2. In 2015, almost 3.7 billion delicious Lindor balls were produced. That’s pretty much one ball for half of the world’s population! 
  3. It takes around 700 cocoa beans to make 1kg of chocolate.
  4. Chocolate was used as a weapon in WWII when the Nazis designed an exploding bar of chocolate in an attempt to assassinate Winston Churchill.
  5. Ruth Wakefield, who made the world’s first chocolate chip cookie (bless up), sold her recipe in return for a lifetime’s supply of chocolate. Smart lady. 
  6. 40% of the world’s almonds and 20% of the world’s peanuts go into our precious chocolate bars. 
  7. The average chocolate bar contains fragments from about eight insects and surprisingly enough, mostly cockroaches! Umm, ew?
  8. The majority of world’s cocoa is produced in Africa—68% to be exact. 
  9. A new chocolate bar is released every hour. So much chocolate, so little time. 

If you are a chocolate fiend (and we’re guessing you are if you’re reading this article), then you’d better check out the Sweet Addiction exhibition, the first of many exhibitions held at The Calyx in the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney. The Calyx is a new building featuring the largest green wall in the Southern Hemisphere and includes over 18,000 plants that have been arranged into living artworks (there’ll even be plants arranged to form a giant chocolate box!). 

The Sweet Addiction exhibition will showcase the botanic story of chocolate. Starting in the depths of tropical rainforest, you will take a journey through chocolate plantations, its history and a Lindt mill, culminating in the delightful chocolatier room (there’s dates for the special Lindt chocolate demonstrations that you won’t want to miss).

The details

What: Sweet Addiction Exhibition 
When: 11th June 2016 to April 2017 from 10am to 4pm. 
Where: The Calyx, The Royal Botanic Garden Sydney
Cost: Tickets are available here, or you can get them on the door

If you need some chocolate stat, check out Sydney's Best Hot Chocolates

Image credit: Ina Peters

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