... thought would be nice, to have a really sweet day today!

Since today started out quite badly, it's now time to relax.

And relax we shall do... with a real interesting post, about chocolate...

But first, I'm going to mention that in the last two days I finally managed to talk to some old friends. It was such a pleasure, that I promptly managed to share my blog link with them. (Selfish, isn't it?)

Who cares, tho... I get more views! And since I'm not sure how well they would take it if I would mention them by name (one of them was already mentioned, but I hope no one caught it...), I'm only going to share that they are the ones to be blamed for today's topic.

Because, what's better than a peaceful afternoon spent with your friends, while (thinking about) munching on chocolates.

(Also, I hope no one is expecting me to write anything about Valentines Day in the future cause I find that holiday useless and boring)

And now let's return to the topic at hand.

I think it was Saturday, when I saw the second documentary about chocolate in a really short time. I'm not sure why, but it stuck me as quite a good topic to write about someday, when I feel a little bit down.

I managed to gather a couple of little facts about everyone's (beside Emő) favorite dessert, so sit back and enjoy!

First off, every single chocolate bar starts out somewhere in Latin America, where the best cocoa trees grow. (One pod contains about 20 to 50 cocoa beans)

The first documented users of chocolate were the Mayans (250-900 AD). They used cocoa beans as currency. If you had 10 beans you could buy a rabbit, or... a prostitute. It only cost 100 beans to buy yourself a slave, and there were people who actually counterfeited them too... by carving them out of clay!

In Latin America there were people using them as a currency till the 19th century.

The Mayans also used them in their rituals. The brides and grooms exchanged chocolates, and they used it in baptism too... also, they had a Cocoa God!

Though, the thing is, until the 1850's no one used solid chocolate, it was only prepared for drinking. But they prepared their chocolates really similar to how we do it nowadays.

After they harvested the beans, they fermented then dried them. After they were dry enough, they were roasted and removed out of their shells. What remained out of it was grounded until it turned into a paste, and then they mixed this with hot water and different spices.

The used chili, vanilla, annatto,

allspice, honey, and flowers, and the Mayans then used two containers to pour it in and out, until it became frothy.

And then something happened... The Aztecs conquered the Mayans, but they kept the cocoa as their currency. They mixed chocolate with chilies, cornmeal, and hallucinogenic mushroom.

When in 1502 Columbus and his son were in the area they even managed to capture a canoe that was full with all kinds of supplies - including cocoa. But if you think they were the ones to bring it back with them, you are mistaken.

While they were transporting back their capture to their ship some cocoa beans fell out and the natives ran for them “as if an eye had fallen from their heads" (According to Ferdinand).

And then it was another few years later when Cortez took in the Aztecs. He hated chocolate - at that time they didn't use sugar, so it was quite bitter. Fortunately they kept on using the beans as currency, though by his time because of inflation a rabbit already cost 30 beans.

Cortez then went on to conquer some other places... including islands that had sugar on them. Someone thought it would be nice to try to put sugar in their cocoa, and bob's your uncle!

When it first got to Spain, chocolate was only consumed as a medicine against fever, indigestion and pain.

But then - because chocolate was the first form of caffeine that reached Europe (There are about 5 to 10 mg of caffeine in one ounce of bitter chocolate, 5 mg in milk chocolate, and 10mg in a six-ounce cup of cocoa.) it started to get famous.

The first chocolate house was opened in London in 1657, where eventually cinnamon and milk was added to their mix too.

As the chocolate became popular, there was of course a bigger demand for it. New plantations were started, and thousands of people were enslaved to produce cocoa.

As I was saying, the first solid chocolate bar only came after this. In 1850 Joseph Fry added more cocoa butter to the powder and the sugar, instead of water. Then 25 years later Daniel Peter and Henri Nestle added condensed milk to the mix, and thus the milk chocolate was born.

By 1907 Hershey's factory produced 33 millions chocolates a day. Today, over 3 billion tons of cacao supplies a 35 billion dollar chocolate industry.

And how did the word chocolate come to life? It comes from the Aztec word, 'cacahuatl' or 'xocolatl', which means 'bitter water'. Also, cocoa was spelled cacao originally, it became known as cocoa because of a misspelling.

Oh, and before I leave you guys with a couple of pics... here is a warning!

Don't give chocolate to your dogs... Chocolate contains theobromine, which is poisonous to dogs. It can bring about epileptic seizures in some dogs, and in all dogs, can kill. (But what a way to go!)

And last but not least, if you guys ever think about how good it would be to make a career out of eating chocolate, here is a video you can start off with!