Thursday Trivia (on Friday!): Chocolate

Tom Waits during an interview in Buenos Aires,...

Tom Waits. A little bit off his nut. I respect that. (Image via Wikipedia.)

(Ed. Note: I’m cancelling today’s Stuff I Like post. Pesto’s awesome. Basil-ey, olive-oil-y goodness. I use walnuts instead of pine nuts, ’cause walnuts are cheaper and I like them better. I’ve had it four times in as many days – one serving more than usual, which makes me glad. That’s all you really need to know.)

I’ve previously noted here on the blog (and if you’re new to the blog thanks to Freshly Pressed/PopPressed/TedQuarters, welcome!) that Tom Waits is kind of a strange dude. So strange in fact that when I heard the song “Chocolate Jesus,” from his album Mule Variations, I thought he made the titular “immaculate confection” up. Apparently, though, it dates back to a larger, life-size sculpture of Christ done by Australian artist Richard Mandelson around Easter in Canberra in 1974, which in turn led to a 2007 work of a similar nature during Holy Week by Cosimo Cavallaro. While the latter work was not meant to be eaten, Mandelson’s was – in fact, 100 smaller Chocolate Jesuses were made for the public to eat along with the life-size sculpture.

Four more facts related to chocolate after the jump!

  • Cacao beans (technically seeds within a generally 1-pound fruit) are actually fermented for its chocolatey flavor; before then, it is quite bitter.
  • Ovaltine is made of malt, cocoa, sugar, and whey – except in the United States and Switzerland; in Switzerland, there’s no sugar, and in the US, there’s no malt.
  • Yogi Berra was a major investor in Yoo-Hoo (which, seriously, is like my crack) and appeared in ads for it in the 1950s and ’60s, saying, “It’s Me-He for Yoo-Hoo!”
  • A study by the BBC discovered that melting chocolate in one’s mouth brought an increase in brain activity and heart rate that was stronger than when kissing passionately. (Oh, what I wouldn’t give for being part of a study that combined making out and chocolate.)
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