Food and Wine, North Carolina

Chocolate–Food of the Gods

Valentine’s Day and Chocolate

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner,  most gift-givers know that chocolate ranks right up there with roses as the most romantic gift one can give! But did you know that this traditional gift of love, with the botanical name of Thebroma cacao, means “Food of the Gods”?

According to legend, the Aztec god Quetzalcoatl descended from heaven on a beam of the morning star carrying a cacao tree stolen from paradise. The Aztecs believed that wisdom and power came from eating the fruit of the cocoa tree, and that it had aphrodisiac qualities.

Throughout the centuries, various countries and cultures have improved the taste of the original “bitter water,” as it was called in Mayan culture, making it smooth and delectable for chocoholics worldwide.

Interesting Chocolate facts:

  • Chocolate is America’s favorite flavor (52% of adults say they like chocolate best).
  • It takes about 400 beans to make a pound of chocolate.
  • Seventy-one percent of chocolate lovers prefer milk chocolate.
  • Dark chocolate possesses the highest antioxidant content of any food–more than green or black tea, read wine or blueberries.
  • Chocolate contains very little caffeine-50 M&Ms have about as much caffeine as a cup of decaffeinated coffee.

(Chocolate facts compiled from

Check tomorrow’s post for info on the best chocolate bon bons this side of France–homemade right here in Wilmington, NC.

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