Food - Drink
This Country Consumes The Most Chocolate
By NATASHA BAILEY
Almost everybody loves chocolate, and its popularity can be chalked up to its creamy texture, sweet and decadent flavor, or perhaps its trace amounts of “happy” chemicals like caffeine and anandamide. While chocolate is popular the world over, there's one country that consumes more than any other.
You might not be surprised that Switzerland, home of Toblerone and Lindt chocolate, is the leader in chocolate consumption. Annually, Switzerland's citizens consume 11.6 kilograms — over 25 pounds — of chocolate per capita, and the country produces 180,000 tons of chocolate, 39% of which is sold in its country of origin.
Switzerland's chocolate obsession began in the 19th century, when Francois-Louis Cailler opened the world’s first mechanized chocolate factory, allowing him to mass-produce more affordable chocolate. Fellow Swiss chocolatier Rudolphe Lindt invented chocolate “conching,” a technique that creates a creamy, smooth texture.
While consuming too much chocolate can cause problems like weight gain, tooth decay, increased migraine risk, and low bone density, moderate consumption may help lower cholesterol and regulate blood pressure. Dark chocolate has the most nutritional benefits of any kind, with a high content of anti-inflammatory flavanols.