To welcome in 2022, we pulled together 22 chocolate related questions to test your knowledge and highlight the benefits of eating craft chocolate!
Here we run through the answers and provide some extra information to find out even more fascinating and shocking chocolate facts.
Q1: How many litres of water (or baths) are needed to grow, and make, a chocolate bar?
- 1-10 (a third of a bath)
- 11-100 (1-2 baths)
- 101-1000 (2-20 baths)
- 1000-2000 (20-40 baths)
Cocoa Trees require a LOT of water – hence the importance of rainforests. For more, please see here
Q2: What is the first recorded dish we have for preparing or cooking with chocolate?
- Chocolate Ice cream
- Chocolate Cakes
- Chocolate Mousse
- Chocolate Brownies
It’s Chocolate ice cream! There has been a recipe discovered which dates back to 1692, the same book that first recorded a recipe for tomato ketchup. Recipes for chocolate cakes don’t appear until around 100 years later, and brownies and digestives are even later – 1895 and 1926 to be exact. Mousse is also a pretty recent invention, created in the nineteenth century by the artist Toulouse Lautrec, a recipe which he called chocolate “mayonaise”.
See links below for more fascinating scoops on ice cream:
Q3. Which of the following countries grows both wine and cocoa?
That’s right, the land down under – where chocolate grows and it’s sure to thunder…
As well as having vast open vineyards for wine production – Australia’s dense rainforests are the perfect location for producing cacao!
France, Argentina and Chile all grow great wines; but they lack rainforests and hence no cocoa!
One Australian cacao producer is Daintree, established almost 10 years ago, they produce single-origin craft chocolate, based in North Queensland.
To read about Daintree’s origins take a look at this article
Another Australian Chocolate company goes by the name “The Smooth Chocolator” producing delicious single origin chocolate – see here for one of their bars (unfortunately it is currently out of stock, but join our waitlist to find out when it returns!)
Q4: In which country was Cadbury accused of using slave labour to obtain cacao in the late 1890s and early 1900s?
- Sao Tome
Sao Tome, the Portugese colony, used many slaves to grow cocoa in it’s height of cocoa cultivation in the 19th century.
To discover what was really happening behind the mask of Bournville read our blog post here
Q5. Which company produced the first commercial chocolate bar for eating?
Fry’s of Bristol in 1847 (followed by Cadbury’s a few years later).
See our Blog Post to discover a bit more about Fry and his role in chocolate’s history.
Q6. Which company was instrumental in the production of the first milk chocolate bar?
- Cote D’Or
Henri Nestle was the pioneer of chocolate as most of us know it – as milk chocolate. The formula was first completed in Vevey, Switzerland, in 1875, after 7 years of trials. Chocolatier Daniel Peter, used Nestlé’s powdered milk to create the first milk chocolate bar, named the Gala!
Q7: Who is the odd one out for not being associated with chocolate gifts BEFORE (or on) Christmas?
- St Nicholas (aka Santa Claus)
Santa Klaus / St Nicholas is associated with chocolate gold coins, given on Advent and Christmas day; Napoleon with Chocolate Yuletide Logs; Eisenhower with Chocolate Advent Calendars. Befana (from Italy) is associated with chocolate – but on Epiphany, i.e. after Christmas!
To explore more about chocolate gift giving, explore our blog posts:
Q8. Which of the following products does NOT contain butyric acid
- Hershey’s milk chocolate
- Your underarm and feet
- A craft dark chocolate bar
Butyric acid is commonly found in cheese, a helpful addition in the fermenting process – this, however is not the case when it comes to good quality chocolate
To learn more about the role of Butyric acid in cheese – read here
Also, ever wondered why the popular american chocolate, Hershey’s, can evoke smells which resemble vomit to non-Americans – take a look at this article
Q9. Which of the following is not a taste sensed on your tongue?
There are five main flavours which can be detected by the taste buds on our tongue. Taste works when tiny hairs known as microvilli receive and send a message to our brains, relaying the flavours it detects. These flavours include Sweet, Sour, Salty, Bitter and Umami, each of which has a unique area of the tongue where it is most strongly detected:
Astringency, however, refers to the experience of slight aridity or roughness in the mouth when consuming (or just after) a particular food or drink. Often this might be used to describe the mouthfeel of wine or tea, and of course, chocolate.
Read more of this in our blog post on how to taste astringency
Q10. How much sugar is there in a Tony’s milk chocolate bar?
- 0-15% (i.e. less than one teaspoon per 50g)
- 15-25% (i.e. about 1 teaspoon per 50g)
- 25-40% (i.e. about 1-2 teaspoons per 50g)
- 45-60% ie 2-4 teaspoons per 50g
e average amount of sugar (per 100g) in a Tony’s Chocolonely’s milk chocolate bar works out at 48.4g, compared to Pump Street (craft chocolate) where the average sugar content is 29.2g – that’s a huge difference.
Q11. What does chocolate grow on?
Chocolate grows in pods on the Theobrama Cacao Tree (and the pods emerge from flowers which emerge from the trunk of the tree before they are pollinated)
Q12. Which country claims credit for inventing couverture (couverture = “ready made chocolate” that many makers use to make bars, bonbons, etc. rather than using bars)
Oscar Callebault, a Belgian chocolate maker, claims credit for “inventing” couverture back in the 1930s. This made it far easier for chocolate companies, and all food companies, to use “ready made” chocolate couverture – and it’s only a small (but growing!) number of craft chocolate makers who work directly with cocoa farmers and their beans.
For more information see our blog on belgium chocolate
Q13. What is the second stomach?
- A good reason to enjoy a couple of squares of craft chocolate at the end of a meal
- The discovery that even though you thought you were full, the sight, smell and taste of desert helps you find a second stomach
- A reaction in your stomach that aids digestion
- All of the above
Chocolate really can aid digestion and help you access your second stomach – seems too good to be true? Read more here
Q14. In which country do historians now believe was the first place chocolate was fermented, ground and made into a drink?
Archaeologists working in the highlands of Ecuador in the mid 2010s discovered evidence that the Mayo Chinchipe culture in Santa Ana-La Florida were fermenting and consuming cocoa 1,500 years before cocoa was domesticated in Mexico and Central America (note: Mexico can still lay claim to being the first place that cocoa was cultivated!)
Q15. What is LEAST important when buying a Craft Chocolate Bar?
- Checking the ingredients
- Knowing where the bar is crafted
- Knowing the source of the beans down to the level of farm, co-operative, etc.
- The colour of the packaging
If you want bars that burst with flavour, don’t contain loads of additives, protect the rainforest and ensure farmers are appropriately paid please check where, with what and how your bar is made… look beyond the branded packaging!
Check here how to read a chocolate bar label
Q16. Where is NOT a good place to store your craft chocolate?
- A CocoaRunners storage pouch in a kitchen cupboard
- A tupperware box under your bed (or any other coolish and darkish place)
- In your home safe
- In your fridge
If there’s one place you certainly shouldn’t leave your chocolate – it’s the fridge! Keeping the chocolate in the fridge can lead to blooming…
For chocolate to melt in your mouth and release its aromas and flavours, it needs to be kept “in temper”. This means ensuring that it doesn’t undergo massive temperature swings – if you place a bar that has melted in the sun (or even been at room temperature) in a cold fridge, it may well go brittle and “out of temper”. For more, see our advice on how to store chocolate.
Q17. A chocolate bar from the deforested rainforest emits more than a serving of which other products?
- Farmed prawns?
- All the above?
According to research published in Science, the worst type of chocolate (which, sadly, is almost all mass produced chocolate) emits more carbon per serving than the “average” of beef, lamb, farmed fish and prawns.
But cocoa can be farmed sustainably, and a lot of craft chocolate is actually carbon-positive (it takes carbon out of the atmosphere).
The research is covered in this news article by the bbc
Q18. Which country consumes the most chocolate per capita per annum?
Returning to the birthplace of the chocolate bar, it’s Switzerland!
- The UK
- The USA
People in Switzerland consume an impressive 8.8kg of chocolate per capita! Here in the UK, we’re in 4th position at 7.6kg.
See the full rankings here
Q19. How much is the average MALE cocoa farmer’s daily wage in West Africa
- US$3.00 (ie the living income benchmark)
According to research by Fairtrade International, cocoa farmers in West Africa (where most mass-produced chocolate sources cocoa) earn less than a dollar a day; less than a third of the ‘living income’ benchmark.
Read more here
Q20. How much is the average FEMALE cocoa farmer’s daily wage in West Africa
- US$3.00 (ie the living income benchmark)
Female cocoa farmers are working for as little as 23p a day. A staggering 60% of the world’s cocoa is grown in West Africa, and still workers are unfairly paid, this cocoa is exported and combined into the global chocolate industry, mass producing confectionery designed for supermarket shelves.
Q21. How many craft chocolate bars did we taste and evaluate at CocoaRunners in 2021?
The Cocoa Runners team have tried well over 1000 bars this year!
We taste the submissions from new makers, as well as new bars from existing makers. We review our existing library contents. And we participate in judging for competitions/awards.
Good work if you can get it!
Explore some of the bars that passed our tests: https://cocoarunners.com/shop/by/bars/
Q22. Why should you select and savour craft, as opposed to mass produced, chocolate?
- It tastes better and has more flavour
- It’s better for you (simple ingredients, not ultra processed, etc.)
- It’s better for the farmers and the planet
- All of the above
Craft chocolate offers all of these things. Chocolate which tastes better, is better for you, and better for farmers and the planet.
Come explore a whole world of craft chocolate, and join the revolution!
*Image Credit: World Bank Photo Collection