Last month I sampled my 5,000th chocolate. Thank you to all who have made this possible.
To put the number 5,000 into perspective, I've included some thoughts below.
Many chocolates, many hands - The 5,000 different chocolates I've featured, were products from more than 1,500 different companies or suppliers--ranging from large corporations to small craft chocolate makers.
5,000 cocoa beans - It takes approximately 5,000 cocoa beans to produce 10 pounds of chocolate. The 5,000 chocolates I've sampled weighed more than 313 pounds (141 kg.), meaning I may have consumed more than 156,000 cocoa beans over this past 13+ years.
Busy Bees - Since I've been talking about bees and honey this week, here's an interesting statistic that puts this my milestone number in perspective: Bees can visit up to 5,000 flowers--in one day.* It's mind-opening to think these important pollinators work this hard. By comparison, I look like a slow-moving slug. It took me more than 13 years to track down and eat 5,000 different chocolates.
Chocolate exports - Shipments of chocolate have gone up and down across the globe in the last few centuries, mostly up, as the shift from drinking chocolate to finished chocolate bars and confections progressed. Exports of chocolate from Switzerland to France increased from less than 1,200 tons in 1913 to nearly 5,000 U.S. tons by 1917.
A century later, Switzerland's chocolate exports (to the world) are north of 132,000 U.S. tons; 2018 estimate). In 2019, France still had a healthy trading relationship with its chocolate neighbor...France imported $106.4 million (USD) worth of chocolate(s) from Switzerland, despite growing imports from other European countries in this area over time.
5,000 pound candy bar - Earlier this year (Jan. 2020), Hershey's Chocolate Co. announced a record-setting chocolate-nut (Reese's Take 5) bar that weighed 5,943 pounds (2,695 kilos). It was 2.74 meters long--or 9 feet x 5.5 feet in size. That's a lot of chocolate, any way you slice it. I'm sure another large chocolate producer is already working to break this chocolate-nut bar record, if they haven't already.
$5,000 bills - Trivia item - At one time the U.S. printed $5,000 dollar bills. They are now collector's items. I am hoping I find one. That would almost cover a year's worth of daily chocolates and chocolate-related expenses. (Craft chocolate bars range from $8.00 - $14.00 each.)
*Source for the up to 5,000 bee visits per day to flowers number: beehealth.bayer.us website - Bee Facts - Bee Health.