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Trivia Teaser

In Judo, which colour-ranking belt follows the yellow?


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Yes, I thought that might catch your attention. I've always been a big fan of chocolate though I do try to be a bit disciplined in eating it. I focus on small amounts of good quality dark chocolate, which is delicious and enjoyable, but I also remember the bliss of pigging out on an entire bar of Old Jamaica. Oh yes, the unbeatable appeal of fat and sugar in one yummy package.
The interesting thing about chocolate is that, though we all know what it is and where it comes from, the actual words we use to describe its origins and processing are almost universally 'wrong', to the extent that any word can be 'wrong' when it's the term everybody understands and uses.
Cacao. The name of the plant from which the pods (oops, more on that one later) are harvested is Theobroma cacao and we should probably call the plant cacao and all its products cacao. But we don't. In fact, the product we know is cocoa, the darkly delicious powder added to cakes, or used to make a hot drink, or used in a savoury dish such as the 'mole'. This powder when mixed with sugar becomes 'drinking chocolate'.
There's no agreement on how cacao became cocoa. It's possible that it was a spelling error that became so entrenched in English that it simply can't be 'corrected' now. I put quote marks around the 'corrected' since, for me, if the term is entrenched to that degree, then it must be correct on grounds of functionality at the least.
So the name itself is questionable to some. Then there's the plant and the pods from which the cacao beans are harvested. No, again. From a strict botanical perspective, they are 'fruits', not 'pods', and the bits in them which contain that delicious cacao butter and solids are, in fact, 'seeds' and not 'beans' at all.
I think I'm going to need at least a bar of my old favourite to cope with this.
Are you a chocolate lover and, if so, what sort do you prefer?

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