Chocolate is made from the beans of the cacao tree, which grows in tropical regions of the New World (i.e., North, Central and South America). When chocolate arrived in Europe around 1500, it was only consumed as a hot drink. In the mid-1800s, however, the Swiss invented a way to make chocolate into solid candy that people could eat. Today, millions more pounds of chocolate are produced for eating than for drinking.
Which of the following can be inferred from the statements above?
A. Today, the cacao tree cannot be grown anywhere else in the world besides the tropical regions of the Americas.
(A) is incorrect because there is nothing in the stimulus suggesting that the cacao tree ONLY grows in the American tropics. Even if it only grew there at the time it was discovered, it could be cultivated elsewhere today. Nothing in the stimulus suggests otherwise.
B. When chocolate was introduced to Europe, it was most commonly used in solid form.
(B) is incorrect because it directly contradicts the stimulus' claim that chocolate was only used as a hot drink in Europe until the 1800s.
C. The number of pounds of chocolate used to make solid candy today is greater than the number of pounds used to make chocolate drinks during the 1800s.
(C) is incorrect because there is not enough information in the stimulus to support this claim. We are told that more chocolate is made into solid candy than drinks TODAY, but we have no idea exactly how many pounds are made into candy today, nor do we know exactly how many pounds were made into drinks during the 1800s. No comparisons are made between the quantity of chocolate used for specific purposes then, versus now.
D. Chocolate was not eaten as solid candy in the New World during the 1500s.
(D) is correct because the stimulus suggests that solid chocolate candy was not invented until the 1800s by the Swiss. It can therefore be inferred that the North, Central and South American Indians of the 1500s did not know how to make it.
E. If the Swiss had not invented a way to make solid chocolate candy, chocolate would not have become as popular as it is today.
(E) is incorrect because the stimulus does not attribute chocolate's popularity to the invention of solid chocolate candy. Even though the candy is more popular today than the drinks, the drinks were made and consumed by Europeans for 300 years before the candy was invented. There is no reason to believe that chocolate drinks would not be just as popular today as the candy had the latter never been invented.