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Chocolate and Christmas go Together Like a Biscuit and Scrumptious
With seven days to go to Christmas, we’ve stocked up on our favourite chocolates and are enjoying the little squares of chocolates we find each day behind the windows of our advent calendar. And we are just a little obsessed with chocolate!
Part of the fun of doing a Treasure Trail is what you learn along the way and we’ve found that chocolate can help with all sorts of important educational lessons as well as being just great stuff to have in your pocket!
Simple economics lessons start when you are very young and need to work out whether to spend your pocket money on chocolate and sweets or toys and games! And those lessons continue as you balance the books at Christmas.
The history of chocolate in the UK is fascinating and as well as the industrial side of factory production; the topic covers the birth of paternalistic companies such as Rowntree’s and Cadbury!
Use chocolate as a basis for learning about world geography – the Ivory Coast produces more cocoa than any other country at 37% of the world’s total with Ghana second at just under 21% and Indonesia almost 14%. That only leaves 28% split between the other cocoa producing countries. (Source)
Science lessons can be based around chocolate as it changes its state from solid to liquid and back again. Apparently, tempering chocolate is a very scientific process!
I recently learnt that chocolate contains over 300 chemicals including vitamins and minerals (calcium, iron, potassium and magnesium) which every chemistry teacher must surely include in a lesson plan. (Source)
Natural science may not be an obvious subject taught separately, but nevertheless is relevant to our quest for educational topics! Chocolate is made from cocoa beans and there are around 40 cocoa beans in each cocoa pod.
Nutrition and chocolate are not easy bedfellows, but there is evidence that dark chocolate reduces the risk of heart disease, and the flavonoids in cocoa products have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-clotting effects – so any lesson topic about healthy eating could include the dark stuff. (Source)
Latin language lessons may be few and far between these days, but did you know the Latin name for the cocoa tree is Theobroma Cacao which means Food of the Gods. And on the subject of languages, in most European ones the word chocolate is very recognisable. In France, Germany and Spain they call it le chocolat, Schokolade, and chocolate respectively. Similarly chocolade, choklad and shokolad are the Dutch, Swedish and Russian words for it.
Did you know the UK chocolate industry is worth £3.96 billon (Source Mintel 2012) and must surely figure highly in any careers advisory talks.
English teachers could suggest a reading list that included Charlie & the Chocolate Factory, (Roald Dahl, 1964); amongst many others.
And guess what, those of you who live in or near York will already know this, but others may not. Treasure Trails has its very own Chocolate and Sweet Trail around York which finishes at the Chocolate Museum – YUM!
Happy Chocolaty Christmas everyone and keeeeeeep Trailing!