From Cavity Care to Cold, Hard Cash: 15 Things You Didn’t Know About Chocolate

Chocolate’s a wonder. Recently elevated to superfood status, the world’s favorite luxury foodstuff (making up half the candy sold in the U.S.) is so complicated and versatile that we’ve barely scratched its surface. It’s a dessert? Tell that to anyone who puts dark chocolate in their chili. It’s unhealthy? In moderation, it’s good for your heart, your skin and your brain. If you think you know chocolate’s role in the world, here are 15 facts that might surprise you.

Once, money grew on trees in the form of cocoa beans. The Mayans (who are thought to have first discovered chocolate) used cocoa beans as a form of currency. The Aztecs did the same, even levying taxes in precious cacao…and of course producing the famous and no doubt expensive drink Xocolatl.

Mike Sowden

Mike Sowden is a freelance writer based in the north of England, obsessed with travel, storytelling and terrifyingly strong coffee. He has written for online & offline publications including Mashable, Matador Network and the San Francisco Chronicle, and his work has been linked to by Lonely Planet, World Hum and Lifehacker. If all the world is a stage, he keeps tripping over scenery & getting tangled in the curtain - but he's just fine with that.