Things You Didn’t Know About Hershey’s Chocolate In honor Of National Chocolate Caramel Day

Chocolate and caramel is one of the best dessert combinations known to man – ice cream, candies, confections, and other sweet treats come from this ooey gooey marriage made in heaven. Celebrate National Chocolate Caramel Day on Saturday, March 19 to give these two ingredients the love they deserve.

Indulge yourself in your favorite chocolate and caramel candy and check out this list of interesting not-so-well-known facts about Hersey's chocolate.

1. Milton Hershey got his start in caramels, not chocolate

In 1876, Milton Hershey went to Philadelphia and used his skills he acquired as a confectioner's apprentice to open up his first business, Crystal A. Caramels. When this venture failed, Hershey found another apprenticeship in Denver. He then started yet another company in New York City, which also failed. The third time around was the charm for Hershey when he opened up his third company, the Lancaster Caramel Company.

2. The Hershey empire was built on a fourth-grade education

When Hershey was a child, his family moved around a lot. He switched from school to school, but as soon as he finished the fourth grade his parents decided that it was time for him to learn a trade. He then began an apprenticeship with a painter, but soon realized painting wasn't for him. In 1872 Hershey began working for a confectioner in Lancaster, Penn., and the rest, as they say, is history.

3. At one time, the Hershey company made gum

When Hershey thought that the Beech Nut Gum company was planning on producing chocolate to run him out of business, Hershey decided to put his cousin Clayton Snavely in charge of buying the equipment and gaining the knowledge on getting his company's gum off the ground. Hershey's "Easy Chew" was introduced in 1915, but was unfortunately discontinued in 1924.

4. The 1893 World's Fair inspired Hershey to delve into the sweet world of chocolate

Hershey didn't become interested in chocolate making until 17 years after he opened his first failed caramel business. During the 1893 World's Colombian Exposition, Hershey was so intrigued in the German chocolate display that he bought the exhibits machinery after the exposition closed. The very next year, he opened the Hershey Chocolate Company.

5. Hershey's kisses used to be wrapped by hand

The machines that wrap the individual sweet little treats we know as Hershey Kisses weren't developed until 1921, 14 years after Kisses were introduced.

6. The Hershey logo used to be a baby inside of a cocoa bean

For seven decades, Hershey chocolate lovers knew the company by the "Cocoa Bean Baby."

7. Heat-resistant Hershey's chocolate has actually been to the moon

Hershey worked with the military to create a heat-resistant "Hershey's Tropical Chocolate Bar." The bars lasted up to an hour in 120 degree temperatures, and were given to hungry soldiers entering warmer climates. In 1971, the bars were given to astronauts aboard the Apollo 15.

8. The Hershey company holds the Guinness world record for the "World's Largest Piece of Chocolate"

Hershey's made a giant Kiss that weighed more than 30,000 pounds as a part of its 100th anniversary celebration in 2007.

9. The Titanic almost sank the Hershey company

Hershey and his wife Kitty had tickets to board the Titanic, but for one reason or another, the two decided to go home instead.

10. Hershey is the largest buyer of almonds in North America

Hershey keeps California's almond planters busy with products like Almond Joy, Hershey's Pieces with Almonds, Hershey's Nuggets, and Hershey's Kisses white Chocolate with almonds.

[Photo Illustration by Scott Olson/Getty Images]