When was the last time you had the pleasure to gulp a big bar of tasty chocolate. A few days back, or a few hours before Whatever may be your frequency of consuming this lip-smacking eatable; the actual time to go on an unlimited frenzy of chocolate has finally arrived with the Christmas and New Year round the corner.
There may be millions and billions of chocolate lovers across the globe, but there are only few who know how to get the maximum pleasure out of this delectable grocery.
Let me take you through an indulging chocolate journey, which will not only please your spirits but also educate you to its best use.
Lets start with the history first. Dutchman Conraad Van Houten can be called as the father of chocolate as he was the one who invented how to separate cocoa butter from cocoa mass in 1828. Yes my friends, the chocolates are this much old. But it was not before the 1847, that the first chocolate bar actually came into the scene. Its said that an English company Frys from Bristol produced it. And anyone who is hooked to milk chocolates may be informed that Swiss Daniel Peter invented the magical bar in 1875.
And did you know that Schaud Fils from Montreaux in Switzerland produced the first filled chocolate in 1913.
I am very sure, many of you swear by the taste of white chocolate, any guess about when was it invented Well, a Swiss company Nestle manufactured it in 1930s. We all know that Nestle today is a big brand.
Now if you are confusing with this nomenclature: White, Dark and all, well next classify the chocolates into various categories to tell you why they are called by a particular name.
Dark Chocolate: Cocoa mass, Cocoa butter, sugar, (lecithin, vanillin or vanilla). Good chocolate should contain at least 50% of cocoa solids. If it is less it is wrong and too sweet. Cocoa content vary between 35 - 99%.
Milk Chocolate: Cocoa mass, Cocoa butter, Sugar, Milk, (lecithin, vanillin or vanilla). Good chocolate should contain at least 30% cocoa solids, usualy between 14 -25% milk solids. Cocoa 18 - 55 %.
White Chocolate: Cocoa butter, sugar, milk, (lecithin, vanillin or vanilla). Good chocolate should contain at least 25% cocoa solids, 25% milk solids. Cocoa solids 18 -30%.
Compound Chocolate: Cocoa powder, vegetable fat, sugar, milk, (lecithin, vanillin). This product does not too much to do with chocolate. There is no cocoa butter and usually very little of cocoa (1 to 10%).
Flavored chocolate: Dark, milk or white chocolate flavored by coffee, mint, orange, banana, caramel, strawberry or rum aroma.
Aerated chocolate: Dark, milk or white chocolate with air bubbles.
Sugarfree chocolate: It doesnt contain sugar but other sweeteners like aspartam, maltitol or fructose.
Organic chocolate: Made by raw products from small farmers, bio.
Chocolate with additives: Contains also nuts, raisins, cereals, jelly pieces, dried fruits etc.
Filled chocolate: Fantasy of chocolate producers is never ending, there are hundreds of fillings used for chocolate bars most frequented are milk, cocoa, nut, yogurt or caramel fillings fondant fillings (usually fruit flavor) - contains sugar, syrup and aroma
liquid fillings with spirits
Now that you are comfortable with the terminology, Im very sure, you can now customize your own chocolate and get the maximum satisfaction out of it. Like tea and coffee, it is imperative that we choose our own flavor for chocolate. Isnt it pals
Everything is fine with the taste part of the grocery, but why things get complex when your parents say that you should hold on your chocolate craving because it is unhealthy. Many of you argue that several studies show that chocolates are actually good for health. Whats the truth behind all this Let us explore.
Well, studies suggest that chocolate contain theobromine and caffeine, compounds that provide a mental boost, and phenylethylamineor, which stimulates the nervous system, increases blood pressure and heart rate, and produces similar feelings equivalent to when a person is in love. Now that will help you discover why you craved chocolate more than other things and why eating this tiny little thing gives you so much pleasure.
Ever though that sometimes you feel hungry and instead of food you start craving for chocolate. The mystery would unravel itself here. Chocolate also is the perfect mix of sugar and fat. The fat in chocolate stimulates flavor and aroma which satifies a nerve chemical called galanin, this curbing our cravings for fat. So if falling in love gives us a high, consuming chocolates also does the same.
But remember, even falling in love has its own side-effects. Inspite of the positive studies, it is well known that anything which is taken is excess is actually detrimental to health. Remember the sugar does no good to your health beyond a point. Experts also say that it is the pure cocoa that it actually good for health and what we all consume in the form of chocolates if actually the processed one and which is not so good for health. They also say that it is the marketing strategy that is driving these positive studies on chocolates. But then there is always a flip side. If you consume the grocery intelligently, chances are that you will be benefited out of it, otherwise...
Some nutritionsits also argue that chocolate is no less than a junk food and does not provide any health benefit. Also that the impact of consuming large amounts of chocolates can actually add on extra kilos with its own difficulties of burning it out.
Now I can suggest you the mid-way. Pile up your chocolate stock and divide your consumption on weekly basis. Dont forget to count on the calory part as this would provide the basis for your diet-plan. You can actually combine taste with health.
But I would suggest, binge on chocolates this Christmas and New Year and we can watch for the fat afterwards. Afterall, it is the joy of festival that matters.