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Sweet Like Chocolate: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Your Favourite Sweet Treat
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Sweet Like Chocolate: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Your Favourite Sweet Treat

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Chocolate is the ultimate decadent food. For most, those chunks of luxurious brown velvet provide a heavenly taste sensation. In the UK, we are a nation of chocoholics and proud of how we contributed to the evolution of edible cacao as we know it today.

Did you know that British chocolate makers, J. S. Fry & Sons, produced the first ever solid chocolate bar in 1847?

Read on to discover seven other things you probably didn't know about chocolate...

1. M&M's, candy covered chocolate, were created in 1941 specifically for soldiers so that they could carry chocolate with them in warm conditions. The sugary coating around the chocolate prevents them melting so much.

2. Both cats and dogs can be at risk of poisoning if allowed to eat chocolate. It's to do with the naturally occurring stimulant theobromine in chocolate, which can be toxic to cats and dogs when ingested in large enough doses.

3. Dark chocolate, with a high cocoa content, is classed as a superfood. This is part due to it being a powerful source of antioxidants and the fact it contains flavanols, which are known to improve blood flow and protect from heart disease.

4. Nutella was the invention of an Italian pastry maker who blended hazlenuts into his chocolate, to make up for cocoa being in short supply. It was sold as an alternative to chocolate, to spread on bread. The name is a combination of the English word "nut" and the Latin suffix for sweet, "ella".

5. Chocolate was the currency of the ancient Aztec civilisation and worth more than gold dust. They believed that cacao seeds were a gift from the god of wisdom. I think they were onto something!

6. Chocolate chip cookies were actually created by mistake, when American chef Ruth Wakefield used broken up pieces of chocolate in her cookie dough expecting them to mix in and become chocolate cookies once baked. Realising the value of her discovery, she sold the idea to Nestle for a lifetime supply of chocolate. Literally living the dream.



7. Your love affair with chocolate might actually be based in hard scientific fact. This sweet treat contains phenylethylamine, sometimes referred to as "the love drug", for stimulating effect it has on mood. Chocolate also contains tryptophan, which releases serotonin into the brain making you feel happy.



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