Chocolate; what’s not to like?
Chocolate, one of the best-loved foods in the world didn’t start out that way.
Chocolate was once viewed only as food for the Gods and Royalty…it was said that if a commoner ingested it he’d be cursed, maybe die from it or terrible events would befall him and his family. It was kept hidden away, so only the top echelon had access to it.
Since now we all know that silly rumor was just to keep all the good stuff for themselves, I’ve given you a whole page of chocolate facts, including that it’s actually good for you.
The Curse of Chocolate?
Oh, and the only terrible events we’ve suffered from eating the “food of the Gods?” It’s created a long-lasting craving for chocolate. Come to think of it, for some of us that may be the curse!! But with all the chocolate varieties in the world, we can still feel some of that “royal privilege” when we taste that luscious flavor.
Fortunately for our sake, recent studies have shown that there are certain benefits to be had in eating or drinking our favorite flavor. For us chocoholics that’s good news; just what we need to be able to indulge in our favorite flavor without guilt. Have a taste, or two, or three…or ?
How Wonderful For Us!!
According to the Harvard School of Public Health, chocolate consumption has been scientifically linked to longer life (YAY!! for chocolate lovers), with the consumption of a few pieces one-three times a month. Chocolate is considered to be a major source of dietary copper, a daily requirement of the human body, plus it is also rich in magnesium and iron. Chocolate is a short term source for energy due to antioxidants and phenolics it contains. Phenols have been shown to be a positive source of dietary antioxidants, which have been proven to reduce the risk of developing cancer or heart disease.
Some facts about chocolate consumption…
You may be glad you’ve read these chocolate facts…
Don’t want to bore you with facts, but here’s a few you might like.
- The cacao bean naturally contains almost 300 different flavors and 400 separate aromas.
- Chocolate is so important to cacao farmers in Indonesia that they built a 20-foot statue of a pair of hands simply holding a cacao pod.
- 71% of North American chocolate consumers prefer milk chocolate, which contains 2300 calories in each pound.
- In one year, the world can produce 3 million tons of cacao, less than half the coffee crop.
- The country whose people eat the most chocolate is Switzerland, with 22 pounds eaten per person each year. Australia and Ireland follow with 20 pounds and 19 pounds per person, respectively.
- The United States comes in at 11th place in chocolate consumption, with approximately 12 pounds of chocolate eaten by each person every year.
- Approximately 40% of almonds produced in the world are made for chocolate products.
- Madame de Pompadour, one of Louis XV’s mistresses, became a famous chocolate addict who used it as a treatment for her sexual dysfunctions.
- The Marquis de Sade, possibly the world’s first sexologist, was also hooked on chocolate.
- The largest and oldest chocolate company in the U.S. is Hershey’s. Hershey’s produces over one billion pounds of chocolate product annually.[
- Mayans gave sacrificial people chocolate to drink before they went to their death, because they considered it a bridge between heaven and hell.
- Research suggests that dark chocolate boosts memory, attention span, reaction time, and problem-solving skills by increasing blood flow to the brain. Studies have also found that dark chocolate can improve the ability to see in low vision circumstances (bad weather) Those studies also indicate chocolate promotes lower blood pressure, and positive effects on cholesterol levels, platelet function, and insulin sensitivity.
Truffles, the King of Chocolate Candies
Truffles are the chocolate candies that took the world by storm the past few years. Truffles first consisted of a chocolate ganache center, then coated with chocolate, or cocoa, or nuts. History says N. Petrucelli in Chambery, France in 1895 first created this melt-in-your-mouth candy. Since then, it has spread all over Europe, and then to the United States. Of course, we have to put our own twist on it, so we’ve begun filling it with other centers including cream, melted chocolate, nuts, berries, caramel, nougat, fudge, and more recently, various liqueurs. Godiva truffles, an upscale maker of chocolate is noted for being a favorite for giving between sweethearts for special occasions.
Here are my suggestions of great chocolate gifts from Godiva.