Chocolate! We all love it, crave it, become obsessed by it, particularly at certain times of the month. (You know what I'm talking about, ladies.) Perhaps it's our inner child demanding to be let out. But chocolate and romance go hand in hand. Think Valentine's Day, so fast approaching. Think the research saying women who eat chocolate regularly have a better sex life. So no wonder romance writers are fascinated by the stuff. I thought I'd include some interesting facts about the substance here. And to find an erudite source, I went to the experts -- articles written for kids. I found the following tidbits in the National Geographic Kids magazine, February 2011 issue, so all the research credit goes to their staff.
Fact #1 Chocolate is made from seeds of the cacao plant, grown only near the equator.
Fact #2 Theobroma cacao is the scientific name for chocolate. It means "food of the gods."
Fact #3 The ancient Aztec believed chocolate had magical properties.
Fact #4 There are 30 to 50 seeds in each cacao pod, which is football-shaped. That can make seven bars of milk chocolate.
Fact #5 Average Americans eat roughly 12 pounds of chocolate per year.
Fact #6 As early as 1000 B.C., the ancient Olmec are believed to be the first people to use the cacao plant.
Fact #7 Just one whiff of chocolate can make people feel happy. A chemical in cacao releases "feel-good" vibes in the brain.
Fact #8 Chocolate has a natural chemical in it that helps suppress coughs, so eat up next time you have a cold.
Fact #9 It would take 15,133,852,800 Hershey bar squares laid end to end to reach the moon.
The magazine lists more interesting facts, but I thought I'd stop here. I need to go now. I've gotten a bit hungry, go figure. If you can resist impulsively searching for chocolate of your own for a few more moments, let me know what else you've come across about this "food of the gods."Michelle