Chocolates! Even thinking of them can make us crave for them. Despite their delicious taste, chocolates have certainly much more to offer. Almost everyone loves chocolate! It is enjoyed in every corner of the world, be it as a beverage, candy bar, cake or powder. Chocolate is used as a key ingredient in many recipes that are chocolate based. Many people tend to stereotype that eating chocolates is just going to make you fat. This may be true for eating excess amounts of chocolate. But if consumed moderately, chocolates have many health benefits.
Chocolate is manufactured using cocoa solid or cocoa fat. As we all know, there are many varieties of chocolates available in market. How manufacturers create these varieties is by using different amounts of cocoa in the production. Chocolates with lesser cocoa are generally cheaper and do not taste as good as those produced with higher amount of cocoa. The quality of the cocoa also plays a crucial role in the varieties of chocolate.
The first step in the production of this delicious treat starts at extraction of beans from cocoa trees which then undergo several manufacturing steps before attaining the final product. First evidences of cocoa beverages by early civilizations date back to 1900 BC by the Mokaya and pre-Olmec people. Some research also suggests that chocolate was first used in Central America more than 2500 years ago. The Mayan gave chocolate a high level of importance and considered cocoa to be a divine gift. They Mayans gave it the name ‘Cacao’ which means ‘god food’. After it was introduced to Europe in the 16th century, the Latin named the Cacao tree ‘Theobrama Cacao’ which means ‘food for the god’. The word cocoa that we use today is thought to have come about due to miss-spelling to Cacao.
Here are some fun facts about chocolates:
- The shelf life of chocolates is approximately one year, which means you can leave your chocolate in the freezer for a year without having to worry about it!
- Consuming chocolate can improve your memory and lower blood pressure.
- Those are not the only health benefits. Many studies have been done and they reveal that chocolate contains healthy antioxidants that lower your chances of getting cancer and heart diseases. These are only a few amongst the many health benefits that chocolate can offer.
- Chocolate is poisonous to dogs. Theobromine that can be found in chocolates can be too much for dogs or other domestic animals to handle. Now since your dog can’t eat the chocolate, you can have more for yourself!
- It contains chemicals that when consumed make us feel happy.
- The largest chocolate bar that was ever made was 5,026 pounds heavy and produced by Elah-Dufour United Food Companies in Italy, March 2000.
- Although there is high fat content, chocolate does not appear to raise the blood cholesterol levels.
- America consumes almost half the chocolate that is produced in the world.
- Allergies amongst people to chocolate are rare.
Not only does chocolate serve as a health benefactor, it can brighten up anyone’s day. A box of chocolates is all you need to pacify your angry girlfriend, unless of course she doesn’t like chocolates then a rose would do the job. The wide varieties of recipes that are available today cater to the taste buds of everybody. If you prefer chocolates that are not that bitter or you prefer them coated around biscuits, you can always find them at a store near you. To describe them in two words, simply delicious!