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Which country consumes the most chocolate? How was white chocolate created? Here are seven things you probably didn't know about your favourite cacao treat
1. The Olmecs of southern Mexico were probably the first to ferment, roast, and grind cacao beans for drinks and gruels, possibly as early as 1500BC.
2. The Aztecs reportedly banned women from consuming cocoa, because of its purported aphrodisiac properties.
3. The first cacao pods to reach Britain (on a Spanish boat that veered off course) were mistaken for sheep droppings, and burned.
4. Solid ‘eating’ chocolate was first produced in the UK by Joseph Fry in the 1840s.
5. Chocolate has more than 600 flavour compounds, whereas red wine has just 200.
6. The Swiss consume the most chocolate per capita, followed by Germany, Ireland and the UK (where we eat an average of 11kg each per year, or about 200g per week).
7. White chocolate was first created accidentally when cocoa butter was added to vitamin- enriched milk to persuade children in Swiss sanatoriums to drink up!