Government researchers in Miami are working on research to protect the world’s chocolate supply. Right on! According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture website, fungal diseases cause an estimated $700 million in losses annually to cocoa crops.
The scientists are trying to develop disease resistant cocoa trees. Also, researchers will be attempting to unlock all the secrets of the cocoa bean — including keys to its ability to deliver that divine chocolate flavor — which some of us cannot seem to get enough of, sigh.
The Mars candy company, the world’s largest manufacturer of chocolate-related products, and IBM are involved in the research project as well.
Chocolate Facts from http://www.waynesthisandthat.com/chocolatehistory2.htm
In 600 A.D. Mayan Indians who migrated to South America created the first known cocoa plantations on the Yucatan.
Chocolate was first consumed as a beverage and usually by men.
Chocolate came to the U.S in 1765, when John Hanan brought cocoa beans from the West Indies into Dorchester, Massachusetts, to refine them with the help of Dr. James Baker. The first chocolate factory in the country was established there.
The U.S. leads the world in chocolate production; however, the Swiss eat the most chocolate.