Five hundred years ago whispers began to spread about the origin of chocolate. A handful of flakes believed the Aztec god Quetzalcoatl (Ketsa-ko-atl) had traveled to Earth via the Milky Way and gifted the cocoa bean to Man.
In truth, Man wasn’t overly bothered about the whispers. All he knew was that he got lucky. For the next few years he mashed up the bean, got drunk on it and used whatever was left to hire prostitutes.
These days the order of things hasn’t much has changed, except for the addition of milk. Our love of choccie is still childlike and the cocoa bean remains a valuable commodity (although ten beans will no longer buy you company for the night).
Cocoa is one of the most naturally chemical-laden foodstuffs on the planet. It has aphrodisiac properties, helps maintain a healthy cardio-vascular and digestive system and improves mental state. But any Aztec worth their salt will tell you that good old choccie isn’t just for eating! Its magical nature extends beyond the obvious.
Here are 5 things chocolate is used for other than as a food. Strap yourselves in for Local Bible’s calming cocoa countdown.
5. On Skin
As well as its obvious flirty uses, having a little choc painted onto our skin is becoming an uber-popular health spa treatment. With cocoa’s abundance of antioxidants, things like a chocolate milk bath, cocoa bean polish and fondue wrap are now sought after by the body conscious.
4. In Cheese
Americans have a bit of an issue with cheese which is why they like mixing sweet things into it like, well, choccie. Although we make good cheeses in the UK, Tesco once tried selling stilton made with one-third Belgian chocolate…
3. As Fuel
Back in 2006 scientists at the University of Birmingham were bored so they added a bacterium called E-coli to some of the brown tasty goodness! They discovered that as the choc fermented the E-coli gave off Hydrogen gas. According to some clever bods Hydrogen is the fuel of the future!
2. As Soap
There are plenty of recipes online describing how to make choc-choc soap as a novelty for the kids but if made with proper cocoa the product also boasts some serious health benefits. Theobroma cacao is an excellent emollient to soften your skin.
1. As Perfume
In 2015 contemporary scent artist Peter de Cupere got together with Boon the Chocolate Experience to produce a chocolate perfume bottled in the shape of a cocoa fruit. The bottle contains the scent “Cocoa 5 Senses”: an Eau de Cocoa that can be sprayed as an edible perfume on the skin, according to their website.
Ladies and gentlemen, Quetzalcoatl may have been thrown out of paradise for giving us the bistre bean but it’s likely he only had our best interests at heart.