Bite into a bar of chocolate. Nibble at a chocolate chip cookie. Slurp a chocolate drink. Sink your teeth into a chocolate cake. Let a scoop of chocolate ice cream melt on your tongue. Whichever way you have it, chocolate simply makes you sigh with pleasure and transfers you into a world of ecstasy.
Come find out more about this yummy food (and drink)!
A Brief History :
• The word chocolate is a combination of the Nahuatl words xocol , which means bitter and atl , which means water.
• Its origins are traced to the cacao beans cultivated by the Mesoamerican people.
• A blend of grounded cocoa beans and water resulted in a slightly bitter drink that was spice up a bit and consumed by the higher gentry. Thus was sipped the first chocolate drink.
• The ancient Aztecs worshipped the Goddess of Fertility, with whom they linked chocolate.
• In order to offset the presence of cocoa butter in large amounts, drinking chocolate was at one time blended with maize or potato starch.
• It is not very clear when chocolate was first taken in its eatable form, but the very first milk chocolate bar made with powdered milk is credited to a Swiss resident, Daniel Peters.
• The well-known Cadbury brothers introduced a dry chocolate milk bar to the public in the late 1800s.
• A Frenchman established the very first chocolate house in London. Here, people exchanged views over a few swigs of chocolate.
Composition of Chocolate & Types:
Chocolate can have a combination of various ingredients, sugar and cocoa butter being the main basic ingredients. These are generally blended together with vanilla, milk or milk powder, and cocoa liquor, thereby resulting in different types of chocolate plain, milk, white, etc. Every form of chocolate has its own distinctive taste due to the various forms of blending and roasting at the processing stages.
• Milk chocolate is slightly sweet and is generally used in cookies.
• Dark chocolate is literally dark it contains hardly any milk and lots of cocoa solids. Its semi-sweet version is the main ingredient in baking cakes.
• The bittersweet form of dark chocolate obtains its bitter taste due to the low presence of sugar.
• Unsweetened bitter chocolate is absolutely bitter. Eating even a small piece will have you scrunching your face at the unpalatable taste and very likely you will just spit it out!
• White chocolate is so-named because of its pale off-white color. This is due to the fact that it has a lesser amount of cocoa solids present in it.
• Many health professionals recommend a drink of chocolate to battle drooping energy levels and reduce tiredness.
• Research studies continue in an attempt to seek the benefits of chocolate on the cardiovascular system.
• It supposedly reduces blood pressure to a small extent.
• Some health experts state that milk chocolate increases cholesterol levels.
• However, eating unreasonable amounts of chocolate contributes to weight gain, due to its sugar content. This, in turn, can negatively affect the cardiovascular system.
• It contains essential vitamins, like Vitamin A, Vitamin B1, B2 and B3, and others.
• Vital minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, and others are to be found in cocoa beans.
• Studies researching the effects of eating chocolate on the skin have rubbished the notion that chocolate cause acne.
• Chocolate supposedly triggers off the feeling of being in love.
Books on Chocolate :
• The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Chocolate It includes a history of chocolate, and recipes it is in hardcover.
• by Christine McFadden, Christine France
• Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
Films on Chocolate:
• Chocolat (2000) directed by Lasse Hallstrom; starring Juliette Binoche, Alfred Molina, Carrie-Anne Moss and Judi Dench in the main roles.
• Charlie and the Chocolate Factory directed by Tim Burton; starring Johnny Depp as Willy Wonka and Freddie Highmore as Charlie.
Chocolate Companies :
Swiss or Belgian, French or American, chocolates are consumed in billions around the world. Here are some well-known companies that tempt us with their delicious products:
Cadbury Schweppes: Its most famous product is the Cadbury Crme Egg, which, as advertised on their website, as a thick Cadbury chocolate shell filled with an irresistibly gooey centre . Other products include: Snaps , which are in curved forms in a packet; Heroes these are individually wrapped miniatures of their different products; Picnic - this is a wafer and chewy caramel with peanuts, raisins and milk chocolate. Their Hot Chocolate drink comes in a multitude of flavors, including just chocolate, mint, orange, fudge, espresso, toffee, and lots more!
Tip: See their website for some unusual Christmas greetings that you can send via email!
• Hershey Their most famous products include the cutely-named Hershey's Kisses , Twizzlers licorice, Mounds, etc. They also make a variety of other chocolate related products, such as baking chocolate, ice cream toppings, chocolate syrup, cocoa mix, etc.
• Mars Snickers , and the Mars bar are the more popular products. Its other products include 3 Musketeers, Milky Way, Skittles, Twix, and Starburst sweets.
• Nestl They are well known for coffee (under the name of Nescafe ). Besides chocolate, its other major business is in the field of dairy products, baby food and pet food, not to mention Perrier bottled water.
Check out the websites of the above-mentioned companies they not only list products, but also have fun facts, interesting information, and maybe a quiz or two.
Hey! Dont eat or drink a chocolate product alone! Share it with someone you love its double the enjoyment!
Note to the Reader: This article is neither extolling the benefits of chocolate nor criticizing it as being unhealthy. It is up to the reader to consume it in a reasonable quantity and not go to the extent of ruining his or her health! It is also to be noted that this article is not endorsing any of the chocolate manufacturing companies mentioned, nor their products. It is merely giving information to the general public.