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5 bizarre but tasty facts for National Chocolate Day

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Posted at 7:23 PM, Oct 28, 2015
and last updated 2015-10-28 21:23:04-04
By CNN Staff

CNN

(CNN) — It’s hard to find someone who doesn’t like chocolate.

From the Aztecs to Willie Wonka to comic-strip Cathy, the confection has been seducing taste buds for centuries. There are few treats — from fondue to mousse to s’mores to milk shakes — that can’t be made better with chocolate.

In honor of National Chocolate Day, here’s a quick roundup of strange but tasty facts about the intoxicating fruit of the cacao bean.

1. You can pay $260 for a chocolate bar.

In the pantheon of fine chocolates, there are gourmet boxes, handmade bonbons and now: a $260 handcrafted bar that you eat with wooden tongs. It’s from To’ak Chocolate, and it’s handcrafted from Ecuadorian cacao beans.

It also is the most expensive chocolate in the world, according to To’ak Chocolate co-founder Jerry Toth. But why the tongs?

“Our fingers have their own smell and natural oils,” Toth says. “We don’t want anything sullying or altering the smell and taste of the chocolate before you eat it.”

2. M&M’s are a snack staple for NASA astronauts

First packed on the space shuttle in 1981, M&M’s have now flown in space more than 130 times. NASA, which does not endorse commercial products, calls them “candy coated chocolates.” M&M’s have shown an ability to stay in one piece in very extreme conditions and are a favorite for “acrobatic microgravity dining feats,” NASA says.

3. The chocolate chip cookie is the official state cookie of Massachusetts

Recognizing that the cookie was invented at the Toll House restaurant in Whitman, Massachusetts, in 1930, the state designated it as its official cookie in 1997. Massachusetts is one of only three states with official state cookies — the others being New Mexico and Michigan, whose Michigan Treasure Cookie also contains chocolate chips.

4. The Aztecs considered chocolate to be an aphrodisiac

Their emperor Montezuma reportedly consumed some 50 cups of xocolatl, a chocolate beverage, every day to help fuel his sexual trysts.

5. Someone once made a chocolate bar that weighed 6 tons

Thorntons, a Derbyshire, United Kingdom, candy company, created a chocolate bar in 2011 that weighed more than 12,770 pounds and set a Guinness World Record. It took workers 10 hours to pour liquid chocolate into a mold that measured some 13 feet long.

Afterward, it was smashed into pieces and sold to raise money for charity.

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