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Production Note: Happy World Chocolate Day

We apologize for a small hiccup in our usual production schedule. While normal operations are on hold, please enjoy the global celebration of nature's superfood.

Note: The first Friday of each new month on GoCertify is typically reserved for Ed Tittel's report on the latest U.S. employment summary.

 

WCD pieces with bean shapeSometimes the universe throws you a curve ball just when you were all set to turn on a fastball a knock it into the right field bleachers, or step into a sinker and blast a line drive to deep center. Once in a while, we don't have a contingency plan here at GoCertify world headquarters.

 

Our intrepid Friday columnist, the peerless Ed Tittel, was unexpectedly detained this week and it just so happens that there's nothing in the hopper. Nothing, that is, except World Chocolate Day. So, year, here's one more thing that we're hoping can chocolate can fix.

 

Since it actually is World Chocolate Day today — a for-realsies true thing that we did not just make up — we're doing an abbreviated version of that thing we do on more normal holidays. The ones where nobody is here because we've all taken the day off.

 

So, yeah, pop quiz, hotshot. How much do you know about the history of chocolate?

 

1) True or False: Chocolate was a beverage before it was a solid food.

 

2) Who was the first European to discover the Mesoamerican consumption of chocolate?

 

3) Who developed the first solid milk chocolate?

 

4) Where did the "Hershey process" for making milk chocolate come from?

 

5) How many M&Ms are made each day?

 

ANSWERS

 

1) True. The earliest evidence of chocolate is as a beverage made from the seeds of the cacao tree. The earliest consumers of chocolate were Mesoamerican peoples who are believed to have brewed cocoa drinks as early as 1900 B.C.

 

WCD Cortes meets Aztecs2) Christopher Columbus brought back cacao beans from his fourth expedition to the Americas in 1502. Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés is believed to have encountered chocolate in beverage form after invading Mexico in 1519,

 

3) Swiss confectioners Daniel Peter and Henri Nestlé created the first solid milk chocolate, using condensed milk, in 1875.

 

4) American confectioner Milton S. Hershey, after early success with caramel, purchased land in Philadelphia near Derry Township and there developed the milk chocolate formula which bears his name (and is a trade secret) through trial and error. He sold his first chocolate bars in 1900.

 

5) There are more than 400 million M&Ms produced worldwide each day. The world's perhaps best-known chocolate candy was created in the United States (at least copied from British Smarties in the United States) in 1941.