Random Candy Facts

  1. The first recipe for brownies appeared in the 1896 edition of the Fannie Farmer Cookbook.
  2. Chocolate Manufacturers Association members use about 3,500,000 pounds of whole milk every day to make chocolate.
  3. First chocolate factory in the US, called the Walter Baker Company, was established in 1765.
  4. Cacao is a South American tree whose seeds are the source of cocoa and chocolate.
  5. Many botanists believe that the first cacao trees grew wild in the Amazon basin or in the Orinoco valley of South America. The Domestication of the cacao tree, however, did not begin until it reached the lush tropical lowlands of southern Mexico over 3000 years ago.
  6. The Olmecs, the oldest known civilization of the Americas (1500 - 400 B.C.), were probably the first users of cacao. Though few written records survived their swampy terrain environment, recent linguistic findings suggest the word "cacao" is derived from the word kakawa in Mixe-Zoquean, believed to have been their language.
  7. Cocoa powder was created in 1828. Chocolate became mass produced and widely available during Industrial Revolution of the nineteenth century.
  8. Dominbro Ghirardelli of Italy began making chocolate in San Francisco during the Gold Rush of 1849. His original factory still stands at Ghirardelli Square.
  9. Also during the Gold Rush, Etienne Guittard arrived in California from Paris, bringing with him the knowledge obtained in his uncle's chocolate factory in Paris. He started the Guittard Chocolate Company in 1868, which is still family owned and operated.
  10. After experimenting for eight years, trying to find a way to add milk to chocolate, Daniel Peter of Switzerland created milk chocolate in 1875. Peter sold his creation to his neighbor, Henri Nestle.
  11. Milton Hershey setup his confectionery shop in Philadelphia in 1871 at the age of 19.
  12. In 1879, Rodolphe Lindt also of: Switzerland, invented conching, a process that is still used today to further refine chocolate.
  13. Another Swiss confectioner, Jules Sechaud, introduced a process in 1913 for producing filled chocolates.
  14. That less than two percent of the fat and ten percent of the sugar in the American diet is supplied by candy. The main sources of sugar in the U.S. diet are sweetened beverages, baked goods and frozen desserts. Most of fat consumed actually comes from animal products.
  15. That a one-ounce piece of milk chocolate contains about the same amount of caffeine as a cup of decaffeinated coffee.
  16. That some candies, such as lollipops, candy canes and gummi bears, do not contain fat or cholesterol, making them a healthier treat than many people realize. Gum drops, licorice twists and sour balls are also free of fat and cholesterol. What's more, many of these candies are low in calories. A cup of candy corn, for example, has fewer calories than a cup of raisins.
  17. That most people are not allergic to chocolate. A recent study showed that only one out of 500 people who thought they were allergic to chocolate actually tested positive.
  18. During Easter children will dash through fields and yards to search for 60 million chocolate bunnies and 15 billion colorful jelly beans enough to circle the globe more than four times.
  19. Chocolate chips were introduced by Nestle in 1939, and they now produce about 250 million each day.
  20. The original 3 Musketeers Bar of the 1930s had three parts: chocolate, vanilla and strawberry. It became all chocolate in the 1940s.
  21. Americans consume 2.8 billion pounds of chocolate each year, or over 11 pounds per person.
  22. Americans eat an average of 22 pounds of candy each year, split almost equally between candy and chocolate. That's far less than most Europeans consume.
  23. The Midwest and the Northeast consume more candy per region than the South, Southwest, West or Mid-Atlantic states.
  24. The U.S. produces more chocolate than any other country in the world but the Swiss consume the most, followed closely by the United Kingdom.
  25. Hershey's Kisses were first made in 1907; today; Hershey makes about 20 - 25 million per day.
  26. That not all saturated fats raise blood cholesterol levels. The form of fat found in chocolate, cocoa butter, does not raise blood cholesterol levels even though it is saturated. That's because cocoa butter is derived from plants, cacao trees; whereas other types of saturated fats are derived from animals.
  27. Cacao beans were so valued in ancient Mexico that the Maya and later (Toltec and Aztec) civilizations used them as currency to purchase small household items and pay for various services; a large tomato was worth one bean, a rabbit 10 beans, and a slave 100 beans. Taxes levied against conquered tribes were also paid in cacao beans, but by the sack, each containing about 24000 beans.
  28. According to a recent survey conducted by Nation Confectioners Association and Chocolate Manufacturers Associations, candy is the number one choice among children for afternoon snacking.
  29. Over 60 million chocolate bunnies will be made in all sizes for Easter.
  30. Older children are more likely to prefer chocolate than younger children.
  31. About 65% of American candies have been around for more than 50 years.
  32. The Nestle Crunch Bar was developed in 1938.
  33. Everything you did not want to know about Pistachio’s… and more. The oldest archeological evidence was found at the Hashumite Kingdom of Jordon, north of Petra, where 40 pounds of carbonized pistachio nuts were found. They dated to 6760 B.C Almost 9,000 years ago! The recorded history, in the book of Genesis, the Sons of Jacob carried "nuts" with them to Egypt when they went to beg for food supplies from their brother Joseph, whom they had previously sold into slavery. It is believed these nuts were pistachios. The queen of Sheba is said to have monopolized the limited crop of Assyria, for herself and her court In Turkey, When the Pistachio split open slightly, they referred to them as "laughing" pistachios. When a crop of pistachios produced too many closed nuts, the Turks refer to this sorrowful occasion as "too bad, our pistachios are not laughing." Fast forward up to 1998… San Joaquin Valley, California. Using the same ancient seeds for pistachio trees, with ultra modern farming methods, in conjunction with some of the richest soil in the world. California produces the biggest most beautiful pistachios, with the LEAST AMOUNT of flavor in the world. WAIT A SECOND! Least Flavor? C’mon… your kidding…No we are not kidding. The older trees produced a much mature flavor. They also produce the least amount of tonnage per acre. Modern farming says to "rip out the trees, that are lacking in tonnage, and plant new ones". In effect, ripping out the delicate flavor that comes with age. Another Brilliant strategy that came out of the pistachios commission was, now ready for this one… to take all of the pistachios that were "not laughing", (remember this means closed), and ship them to China. Okay, got it so far, pay the Chinese to open EACH by pistachio nut by hand! That’s right! Hold on…it gets better. Ship them back to the USA, and blend these cheap, bitter, sour pistachios with good ones, so they can reduce the price to the large grocery chains and mass merchandisers. In the industry we refer to these pistachios as either, "A.O’s" (artificially opened) or "forced cracked open". The next time you see pistachios at your local grocery chain at a $1.99 per pound, you will know that they are taking good pistachios and blending in a A.O's, so they can make a good profit at $1.99 a pound.
  34. During World War II, the U.S. government commissioned Milton S. Hershey to develop a candy bar suitable for soldiers to carry as rations. Also during the more recent Persian Gulf War, Hershey Foods Corporation produced almost a million "Desert Bars," chocolate bars that could withstand the 140° degree Fahrenheit desert heat.
  35. Milk chocolate accounts for 80% of all the chocolate Americans consume on a daily basis.
  36. The melting point of cocoa butter is just below the human body temperature, which is why it literally melts in your mouth.
  37. Chocolate manufacturers currently use 40% of the world's almonds and 20% of the world's peanuts.
  38. King Louis XIV of France established in his court the position of Royal Chocolate Maker to the King.
  39. Some time during the 17th century, upper-class Spanish women of San Cristóbal de las Casas in Chiapas, Mexico, Became involved in a conflict with the bishop over their conduct during Mass. The ladies, it seems, suffered from such weak stomachs that they could not survive without a cup of very hot chocolate in the middle of the service. This disruptive practice provoked a ban on food and drink in the House of God. The women, unyielding, vowed never to attend Mass in the cathedral again, rather going to church in convents. Subsequently, the Bishop of Chiapas was found poisoned-with a tainted cup of chocolate in his hand and a little smile on his face. It was the first recorded case of "Death by Chocolate."
  40. There are about 5 to 10 milligrams of caffeine in one ounce of bittersweet chocolate, 5 milligrams in milk chocolate, and 10 milligrams in a six-ounce cup of cocoa; by contrast, there are 100 to 150 milligrams of caffeine in an eight-ounce cup of brewed coffee. You would have to eat more than a dozen Hershey Bars, for example, to get the amount of caffeine in one cup of coffee.
  41. Chocolate has long been heralded for its value as an energy source. Think of it this way: a single chocolate chip provides sufficient food energy for an adult to walk 150 feet; hence, it would take about 35 chocolate chips to go a mile, or 875,000 for an around-the-world hike.
  42. Although chocolate is not an aphrodisiac, as the ancient Aztecs believed, chocolate contains phenyl ethylamine (PEA), a natural substance that is reputed to stimulate the same reaction in the body as falling in love. Hence, heartbreak and loneliness are great excuses for chocolate overindulgence.
  43. It is reported that Napoleon carried chocolate with him on his military campaigns, and always ate it when he needed quick energy.
  44. American chocolate manufacturers use about 1.5 billion pounds of milk -- only surpassed by the cheese and ice cream industries.
  45. It's a very common myth that chocolate aggravates acne. Experiments conducted at the University of Pennsylvania and the U.S. Naval Academy found that consumption of chocolate -- even frequent daily dietary intake -- had no effect on the incidence of acne. Professional dermatologists today do not link acne with diet.
  46. Ten percent of U.S. Recommended Daily Allowance of iron is found in one ounce of baking chocolate or cocoa.
  47. Lecithin is an emulsifier used to reduce the viscosity of chocolate. It serves to lessen the amount of cocoa butter required in the manufacturing process.
  48. Chocolate can be lethal to dogs. Theo bromine, an ingredient that stimulates the cardiac muscle and the central nervous system, causes chocolate's toxicity. About two ounces of milk chocolate can be poisonous for a 10-lb puppy.
  49. Consumers spend more than $7 billion a year on chocolate.
  50. US consumers eat 2.8 billion pounds of chocolate annually, representing nearly half of the world's supply.
  51. Most Americans prefer milk chocolate, approximately 92 percent, but dark chocolate's popularity is growing rapidly.
  52. Chocolate syrup was used for blood in the famous 45-second shower scene in Alfred Hitchcock's movie, "Psycho" which actually took 7 days to shoot.
  53. Chocolate has over 500 flavor components, more than twice the amount found in strawberry and vanilla.
  54. A cacao bean is about the size of a kidney bean. About 400 beans are needed to make one pound of chocolate liquor. They grow 20 to 40 to a pod.
  55. The largest U.S. ports of entry are Norfolk, VA (cacao beans) and Philadelphia, PA (semi-processed cacao.)
  56. Pennsylvania is the nation's biggest chocolate processing state.
  57. White chocolate has the highest levels of sugar and fat and contains no caffeine.
  58. Cacao trees are evergreen and never stop blooming. They are farmed primarily in West Africa, Brazil and Nigeria.
  59. Not really a candy fact but this is interesting never the less "STRESSED" spelled backwards is "DESSERTS"
  60. Chocolate is derived from cacao beans. Bean = vegetable. Sugar is derived from either sugar CANE or sugar BEETS. Both are plants, which places them in the vegetable category. Thus, chocolate is a vegetable.
  61. Conversation Hearts, originally called Motto Hearts, were created in 1866 by Daniel Chase, brother of Oliver Chase the founder of NECCO.
  62. The original Mary Jane Company was founded and manufactured in Paul Revere's former house in Boston, MA.
  63. Benjamin Franklin one of America’s founding fathers and Philadelphia native is said to have sold chocolate in his print shop!