By Cox Media Group National Content Desk
Chocolate lovers rejoice, today is your holiday.
July 7 marks International Chocolate Day, and it is time to celebrate.
5 things you didn’t know about chocolate
Here are five fast facts about the world’s favorite confection.
1. The cacao tree’s official scientific name is Theobroma cacao or appropriately enough, “food of the gods,” Smithsonian discovered. It was given the name by Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus.
2. The Aztecs used chocolate as an aphrodisiac. Montezuma is said to have drunk 50 cups of an Aztec chocolate beverage called xocolatl a day. But you can give the ancient Maya the credit for first growing cacao trees and drinking chocolate, according to the Field Museum.
3. During the Revolutionary War, soldiers were paid in chocolate at times. It was included as part of the rations, Smithsonian found. George Washington was fond of the chocolate beverage of the time period. To this day, Mount Vernon’s historic interpreters demonstrate the chocolate making process and how it was used at Washington’s home.
4. The average cocoa pod has 40 beans. It takes 1,000 beans to make about 2 pounds of chocolate liquor, the main ingredient of milk and dark chocolate.
5. Hershey’s started in 1886, after Milton Hershey had two previous failed candy companies. The first product released was cocoa in 1894. In 1900, Hershey started mass producing milk chocolate, taking out of the clutches of the wealthy and making it affordable to all. In 1907, he introduced the iconic Hershey’s Kisses.