- Education and Science
5 Alternative Uses for Chocolate From Currency to Sex
Chocolate is one of our favourite foods, some see it as a guilty pleasure, some stuff their faces unashamedly.
But whether it's a treat or a way of life, chocolate has a rich, interesting and varied history going back as far as the Aztecs.
Chocolate was originally made from ground and roasted cocoa seeds which were then made into a paste in the Mesoamerica regions in the 15th century.
Here, I look at some of the weird and wonderful uses for chocolate down the years.
According to Cornell University, chocolate was used as a form of currency in the Mexican region of Tlaxcala in the 1500s.
- 100 cocoa beans for one good turkey
- Three cocoa beans for one turkey egg
- One cocoa beans for one ripe avocado or one large tomato
As a Health Drink
In the 16th Century, chocolate found it's way out of South America and over to Europe by Spanish travellers. They added sugar, vanilla, honey and spices to improve the taste but the original recipe was referred to as “healthy chocolate” due to these additional ingredients upsetting people's stomachs.
A transcript of chocolate health benefits was translated by Diego de Vades-Forte in 1640, they include:
- Helps digestion
- Helps with constipation
- Cures consumption
- Aids in all manner of inflammations
In 2016, an article in UK newspaper The Telegraph listed a series of benefits eating chocolate can achieve and listed various studies. These included improved heart circulation, weight loss, and reduced cholesterol.
The National Health Service has urged caution with this, however, reminding people that increased chocolate consumption can lead to weight gain and an increased risk of developing diabetes.
As a Sex Aid
Yep, the term “making sweet love” has a different meaning for some people with Chocolate being used as body paint for sexual activities with online adult shops stocking chocolate body paint.
Chocolate also releases endorphins which make you feel good by releasing a rush of pleasure; it's the same chemical response that is attributed to a “runners high” or the drug ecstasy.
In November 2012, sculpture Andrew Farrugia entered Guinness World Records with a steam train made from chocolate which measured 34.05m (111ft 8 inches) long and 0.50m high (1ft 7 inches.)
A Maltese artist makes the longest chocolate train in the world in Brussels
Bosco Chocolate Syrup has claimed their product was used as fake blood in Alfred Hitchcock's genre-defining movie Psycho (1960) in the famous shower scene, and in George A. Romero's Night of the Living Dead (1968). As both films are produced in black and white, the brown colour of the syrup wouldn't have mattered when being used as blood.
Lower Stress Levels
Dark chocolate was used in a small study in Cologne, Germany to reduce blood pressure levels in participants. The chocolate was said to improve the formation of vasodilative nitric oxide. Stress can cause small spikes in blood pressure which, over a period, can result in high blood pressure