The best sweet, bar none

By the numbers Chocolate. Tastes good. Good for you, too (in moderation; read on). February, with Valentine’s Day, is the month for it. There is even a local chocolate festival. Chocolate by the numbers:

10,000 People expected to attend the Garfield Park Conservatory’s annual Chocolate Fest, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Feb. 12 and 13, featuring cacao trees, family activities, educational workshops and chocolate samples from more than a dozen manufacturers. ($1 donation).

20-30 Seeds from a cacao tree needed to make a 16-ounce chocolate bar.

1 Number of states where cacao trees are grown (Hawaii).

12 Pounds of chocolate eaten by the average American each year.

21 Pounds of chocolate eaten by the average Swiss.

46 Percent of children ages 6 to 8 who say chocolate is their favorite flavor.

59 Percent of children ages 9 to 11 who say chocolate is their favorite flavor.

52 Percent of adults say chocolate is their favorite flavor.

43,000 Number of Americans who go to work each day to manufacture chocolate and cocoa products.

12,000,000,000 Dollars’ worth of chocolate products Americans produce each year.

1569 The year Pope Pius V declared cocoa liquid so vile-tasting (it was used unsweetened for medicinal benefits) that drinking it would not break the communion fast.

1859 The year the chocolate bar was invented.

5,000 Pounds, the weight of the largest chocolate bar ever made (in Italy in 2000).

3½ Ounces of dark chocolate a day that can help lower blood pressure, according to a study (told you it could be good for you).

Zay N. Smith

Kids Eat Chicago

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