Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Insights and Facts for being Chocoholics and its Advantages

Chocolates are really a kind of food that most people say as irresistibly sweet and delicious. Well, a huge part of chocolate aroma depends on its taste a rich and delicious chocolate which satisfies our desire and craving. But beyond that feeling, we don't know that chemical reactions are also working for the benefit of creating a good and satisfying taste. For example, we can feel a feeling of satisfaction and pleasurable sensation like the feeling of being satisfied after a long run or jogging n the field for several minutes.

Facts about chocolate are really much unreachable to produce a final statistic or data. Chocolate contains a so called neurotransmitter and a kind of substance known as serotonin. These compounds have an action similar to that of a Theobromine and Phenyethylamine that stimulates and works as an anti depressant. But the mere fact is still unknown for scientist to explain what and how these 300 compounds and substances can stimulate our body and gives a positive result in making us feel better and satisfied.

One thing that we are always concerned is a bad effect or being worried if there are any harmful substances that we may get from eating chocolate or for being one of the millions of chocoholics. A person who really loves chocolate is a lot worry to eat so much of it as to mention their need to lose weight and satisfying their craving would only lead to. Other worries would include rotting teeth to acne. However, through some good intentions of our scientist to prove something, their group and other group of researchers are beginning to unproved these theory and myths regarding this danger for loving and eating so much chocolate. For example it is not a fact that consuming chocolate is a threat to a healthy good teeth nor it is a false thought that eating this chocolate will only cause acne or even make it worse.

Even though both chocolate and cocoa contain sugar, they have a kind of antagonizing substance that tends to produce a kind of oral bacteria that will finally lead to a fear of having dental decay and any other dental problems associated to decays. According to a group of Researchers from the Eastman Dental Center in Rochester, New York, they have concluded based on their studies that milk chocolate can contribute a component that fights against any form of tooth decay. Through its composition of a substance known as Phosphate and other minerals that fight and prevent tooth decays.

Chocolates are said not to be the consumed as this is not a healthy snack. Nevertheless, its components are essentially high in magnesium and potassium. Chocolate also gives several vitamins such as Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin D, and Vitamin E. And if we mention about the calorie contents, a Nutritionist or even a Scientist can never claim that chocolate is a kind of diet food. But then, in a bar of chocolate, the average calorie is approximately 250 calories which far enough beyond level of a person on diet to suppress their craving. Some chocoholics wash the chocolate down with a glass of milk which really tastes good but researchers and scientists have studied that this could only prevent the antioxidants being absorbed or consumed by the body. It is advised that chocoholics must look for chocolates with nuts and/or orange peel, etc.  But not with caramel, nougat or other fillings since these flavored fillings are just adding fat and sugar that is not essential to the body anymore and these fillings only throws a lot of the benefits than can be obtain in chocolate eating.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Chocolate Heaven: Discover The Hidden Treasures Of Chocolate

Nowadays there are so many different types of chocolate on the market, that we are literally ‘spoilt for choice’.

With so much publicity on what we should and should not eat, many people are turning to plain chocolate. Not only does plain chocolate have less sugar than other types, but it also contains a high proportion of cocoa solids. These are formed of pure chocolate and cocoa butter - a hard, white fat. The percentage of coca solids is always listed on the wrapper of the chocolate. Some percentages are as high as 75% or even higher, indicating the chocolate is exceptionally smooth and of high quality.

The most popular chocolate of all is milk chocolate. Most children adore it. Sweeter than plain chocolate it has extra sugar, full cream milk, and vanilla added to it.

Then there is white chocolate, which contains only cocoa butter, milk, sugar and vanilla. Because of the added milk, both this type of chocolate, and also milk chocolate, need to be melted with care over a gentle heat. Otherwise they will thicken, and although edible, will not re-melt.

Chocolate drops (or nibs, as they are sometimes called) are easy to melt. The can be used as a decoration on cakes or as an ingredient in the popular chocolate brownie cakes.

Some firms sell chocolate for use in a current favorite ‘chocolate fountains’. These make an eye-catching image for a special occasion, with the melted chocolate continually flowing like a colored waterfall – just ready for guests to dip marshmallows, strawberry’s and other small fruits, into the ‘fountain’. It is a good idea to have plenty napkins around to catch the drips!

Those who are diabetic often complain about how restricted their diet is, but at least they can have a piece of chocolate. Diabetic chocolate is on sale in various outlets, and has a lower percentage of sugar than other chocolate.

Apart from chocolates and bars of chocolate, we can also buy chocolate flakes, these contain both cocoa butter and vegetable oil. The butter adds flavor, and the oil helps to give the flake its crumbly consistency.

Some specialist shops sell blocks of cocoa butter. This can be melted, mixed with cocoa powder and used to paint sepia colored pictures onto cakes or plaques.

Vermicelli is yet way another type of chocolate. These tiny strands are used for coating truffles and cakes. Occasionally the name can becomes confused with Italian vermicelli - fine strands of pasta!

A current fashion is to decorate a wedding cake with curls of chocolate like tall rods standing around the sides of the cake. They can be home made but it is a time-consuming job and not easy to make them all a similar size. So it is a good idea to buy from a specialist shop, when they will all be an equal length and thickness.

Another type of coating which is bought by confectioners is known as Ganache. This mixture of cream and chocolate is very versatile. Melted and flooded over cakes, it is delicious to eat, and sets with a gloss. The higher the quality of the chocolate used, the greater the sheen on the coating.
Alternatively, it can be left to firm and piped.

Modelling chocolate another commodity which can either be bought or home-made. This consists of liquid glucose and chocolate. The glucose makes the paste pliable and easy to model - chocolate roses are particularly popular.

And finally, we come to a type of ‘so called chocolate’ which can cause confusion. Packaged under various headings it is often called Chocolate flavor cake covering, or chocolate flavoured coating. They all have one thing in common - although they contain cocoa powder, the cocoa butter has been extracted and replaced with vegetable fat, which is why the manufacturers cannot call it chocolate.

The addition of vegetable fat makes the ‘chocolate’ easier to melt and work with. But it has a drawback – because of the lack of cocoa butter it does not have the same eating quality as pure chocolate.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

17 Popular Quotes about Chocolate

1. "Chocolate causes certain endocrine glands to secrete hormones that affect your feelings and behavior by making you happy. Therefore, it counteracts depression, in turn reducing the stress of depression. Your stress-free life helps you maintain a youthful disposition, both physically and mentally. So, eat lots of chocolate!" - Elaine Sherman, Book of Divine Indulgences

2. "Strength is the capacity to break a chocolate bar in four pieces with your bare hands--and then just eating one piece" - Judith Viorst

3. "Self-discipline implies some unpleasant things to me, including staying away from chocolate and keeping my hands out of women's pants." - Oleg Kiselev

4. "It's not that chocolates are a substitute for love. Love is a substitute for chocolate. Chocolate is, let's face it, far more reliable than a man." - Miranda Ingram

5. "Life is like a box of chocolates...You never know what you're gonna get." - Forrest Gump in Forrest Gump

6. "The superiority of chocolate, both for health and nourishment, will soon give it the same preference over tea and coffee in America which it has in Spain." - Thomas Jefferson

7. "Research tells us fourteen out of any ten individuals likes chocolate." - Sandra Boynton

8. "If one swallows a cup of chocolate only three hours after a copious lunch, everything will be perfectly digested and there will still be room for dinner." - Brillat-Savarin

9. "It has been shown as proof positive that carefully prepared chocolate is as healthful a food as it is pleasant; that it is nourishing and easily digested... that it is above all helpful to people who must do a great deal of mental work." - Anthelme Brillat-Savarin

10. "If you are not feeling well, if you have not slept, chocolate will revive you. But you have no chocolate! I think of that again and again! My dear, how will you ever manage?" - Marquise de Sévigné

11. "Chocolate is a perfect food, as wholesome as it is delicious, a beneficent restorer of exhausted power. It is the best friend of those engaged in literary pursuits." - Baron Justus von Liebig

12. "Nine out of ten people like chocolate. The tenth person always lies." - John Q. Tullius

13. "There are two kinds of people in the world: those who love chocolate, and communists." - Leslie Moak Murray

14. "Forget love... I'd rather fall in chocolate!" - Author Unknown

15. "There are four basic food groups: milk chocolate, dark chocolate, white chocolate and chocolate truffles." - Author Unknown

16. "My favorite thing in the world is a box of fine European chocolates which is, for sure, better than sex." - Alicia Silverstone

17. "After about 20 years of marriage, I'm finally starting to scratch the surface of that one. And I think the answer lies somewhere between conversation and chocolate." - Mel Gibson in What Women Want.

Unique Chocolate Science

Chocolate is almost unique as a food in that it is solid at normal room temperatures yet melts easily within the mouth. This is because the fat in it, which is called cocoa butter, is mainly solid at temperatures below 25C when it holds all the solid sugar and cocoa particles together. The fat is, however, almost entirely liquid at body temperature, enabling the particles  to flow past one another, so  the chocolate becomes a smooth liquid when it is heated in the mouth. Chocolate also has a sweet taste that is attractive to most people. Strangely chocolate began as a rather astringent, fatty and unpleasant tasting drink and  the  fact that it was developed at all is one of the mysteries of history.

Chocolate As A Drink

The first known cocoa plantations were established by the Maya in the lowlands of south Yucatan about 600 AD. Cocoa trees were being grown by the Aztecs of Mexico and the Incas of Peru when  the Europeans discovered central America. The beans were highly prized and used as money as well as to produce a drink known as chocolatl. The beans were roasted in earthenware pots and  crushed between stones, sometimes using decorated heated tables and mill stones. They could then be kneaded into cakes, which could be mixed with cold water to make a drink. Vanilla, spices or honey were often added and the drink whipped to make it frothy. The Aztec Emperor Montezeuma was said to have drunk 50 jars of this beverage per day.

Christopher Columbus bought back some cocoa beans to Europe as a curiosity, but it was only after the Spaniards conquered Mexico that Don Cortez introduced the drink to Spain in the 1520s. Here sugar was added to overcome some of the bitter, astringent flavours, but the drink remained virtually unknown in the rest of Europe for almost a hundred years, coming to Italy in 1606 and France in 1657. It was very expensive and, being a drink for the aristocracy, its spread was often connected to
connections between powerful families. For example the Spanish princess, Anna of Austria, introduced it to her husband King Louis XI11 of France and the French court in about 1615. Here Cardinal Richelieu enjoyed it both as a drink and to aid his digestion. Its flavour was not liked by everyone and one Pope in fact declared that it could be drunk during a fast, because its taste was so bad.

The first chocolate drinking houses were established in London in 1657 and it was mentioned in Pepys’s Diary of 1664 where he wrote that ‘jocolatte’ was ‘very good’. In 1727 milk was being added  to the drink. This invention is generally attributed to Nicholas Sanders. During the 18th century White’s Chocolate House became the fashionable place for young Londoners, while politicians of the day went to the Cocoa Tree Chocolate House. These were much less rowdy than the taverns of the period. It remained however, very much a drink for the wealthy.

One problem with the chocolate drink was that it was very fatty. Over half of the cocoa bean is made up of cocoa butter. This will melt in hot water making the cocoa particles hard to disperse as well as  looking unpleasant because of fat coming to the surface. The Dutch, however, found a way of improving the drink by removing part of this fat. In 1828 Van Houten developed the cocoa press. This was quite remarkable, as his entire factory was manually operated at the time. The  cocoa bean
cotyledons (known as cocoa nibs) were pressed to produce a hard ‘cake’ with about half the fat removed. This was milled into a powder, which could be used to produce a much less fatty drink. In order to make this powder disperse  better in the hot water or milk, the Dutch treated the
cocoa beans during the roasting process with an alkali liquid. This has
subsequently become known as the Dutching process. By changing the type of alkalising agent, it  also became possible to adjust the colour of the cocoa powder.

Eating Chocolate

Having used the presses to remove some of the cocoa butter, the cocoa powder producers were left trying to find a market for this fat. This was solved by confectioners finding that eating chocolate could be produced by adding it to a milled mixture of sugar and cocoa nibs. If only the sugar
and cocoa nibs were milled  and mixed together they would produce a hard  crumbly material.  Adding the extra fat enabled all the solid particles to be coated with fat and thus form the hard uniform bar that we know today, which will melt smoothly in the mouth.

Almost twenty years after the invention of the press, in 1847, the first British factory to produce a  plain eating chocolate was established in Bristol in the UK by Joseph Fry.

Unlike Van Houten, Fry used the recently developed steam engines to power his factory. It is  interesting to note that many of the early chocolate companies, including Cadbury, Rowntree and  Hershey (in the USA) were founded by Quakers or people of similar religious beliefs.
This may have been because their pacifist and teetotal beliefs prevented them working in many industries. The chocolate industry was, however, regarded as being beneficial to people. Both  Cadbury and Rowntree moved to the outside of their cities at the end of the 1890s, where they
built 'garden' villages for some of their workers. Fry remained in the middle of Bristol and did not expand as quickly as the other two companies. It eventually became part of Cadbury.

With the development of eating chocolate the demand for cocoa greatly increased. Initially much of the cocoa came from the Americas. The first cocoa plantation in Bahia in Brazil was established in 1746. Even before this, the Spaniards had taken cocoa trees to Fernando Po (Biyogo), off the coast of Africa, and this soon became an important growing area. In 1879 a West African blacksmith took  some plants home to the Gold Coast (now Ghana). The British Governor realised its potential and encouraged the  planting of trees, with the result that Ghana has become a major source of quality  cocoa. Other European powers also encouraged the growing of cocoa in their tropical colonies, e.g. France in the Ivory Coast (Cote D’Ivoire), which is now the world’s largest producer of cocoa.

The chocolate made by Fry was initially a plain block and it was only in 1876 that the first milk  chocolate was made by Daniel Peter in Switzerland. Chocolate can not contain much moisture,  because water reacts with the sugar and turns melted chocolate into a paste rather than
a smoothly flowing liquid. As little as 2% of moisture can give a product a poor shelf-life as well as an inferior texture.
This meant that Daniel Peter had to find some way of drying the plentiful supply of liquid milk that he found in his own country. He was helped in this by the recent development of a condensed milk  formula by Henri Nestle. This meant that he had much less water to evaporate. Also he was able to  remove the remaining moisture using relatively cheap water-powered machines. In most countries milk chocolate products are now much more popular than plain chocolate ones.

In order for the chocolate to feel smooth on the tongue, when it melts in the mouth, the solid non-fat particles must be smaller than 30 microns (1000 microns  = 1 mm). The chocolates made by Fry and Peter were ground using granite rollers, which could not mill as fine as this, so they
still had a gritty texture. Groups of particles also joined together to form agglomerates, and some of  the fat did not coat the particles very well owing to poor mixing. All these effects gave the chocolate a poor texture. In addition the chocolate tended to taste bitter because of the presence of
some acidic chemicals.

In 1880 Rodolphe Lindt, in his factory in Berne in Switzerland, invented a machine which produced a smoother, better tasting chocolate. This was known as a conche, because its shape was similar to that of the shell with  that name. It consisted of a granite trough, with a roller, normally constructed of  the same material, which pushed the warm liquid chocolate backwards and forwards for several days.This broke up the agglomerates and some of the larger particles and coated them all with fat. At the same time moisture and some acidic chemicals were evaporated into the air, producing a  smoother, less astringent tasting chocolate.

Chocolate Crumb

In the early part of the 20th century the milk used to make chocolate had poor keeping qualities. This caused problems for the chocolate industry, whose major sales were at Christmas, a time of the year when there was a very limited supply of fresh milk. In the UK and some other countries this led to the development of an intermediate ingredient called chocolate crumb.
The cocoa nibs contain substances known as antioxidants. These restrict the breaking up of the fats, which would normally make the milk fat turn sour. In addition sugar was known to extend the shelf-life of foods (it is used in jams etc.). The chocolate manufacturers therefore added sugar and cocoa to  the milk and dried them together. This produced chocolate crumb, which had a shelf-life of at least a  year. Milk produced during the spring peak could then be used to make chocolate the following Christmas. The drying process, however,  introduced some cooked flavours into the chocolate and it  is for this reason that many UK & US chocolates taste different from some continental European ones, which are made from milk powder.

White Chocolate

The first white chocolate was made in 1930. It was made from sugar, milk powder and cocoa butter.  The preserving qualities of the cocoa antioxidants are mainly in the dark cocoa material. This means  that white chocolate does not keep as well as milk chocolate, and also that it should be kept in a non-transparent wrapper, as light will speed up the decomposition of milk fat.

Healthy Chocolate

There is no denying that cocoa has played a major role in the development of both Mesoamerican and European History. Even today, fortunes are won and lost on the price fluctuations of this highly sought-after commodity, as traders bet on the moves of cocoa futures. Cocoa is produced in mass amounts in only a handful of countries around the world, many of which are not always politically or economically stable.

Recent discoveries in Honduras showed traces of cocoa on cups and plates dating back to 2000 B.C. Between 200 and 900 A.D., the Mayan culture celebrated cocoa as a central part of their agriculture, economy, medicine and religion.

While cocoa was a celebrated and valued part ofancient Mesoamerican society, ancient records have also revealed more than 150 uses of cocoa for medicinal purposes.

Europeans were first introduced to cacao by the Spanish conquistadors around 1505 A.D. 
By the mid-1600’s, European healers were “prescribing” cacao as a medicine to stimulate the health function of the spleen and digestive tract, as well as a cure for all manner of ailments and diseases. Cacao was valued as a means to heal colds and coughing attacks, enhance mental acuity, fight inflammation, and improve overall nutrition.

Advertisements in the late 1800’s touted cocoa’s benefits for patients with asthma, bronchial, and lung trouble.

Cocoa was a mainstay in medical recommendations throughout Europe, North and South America until the third decade of the 19th century.

By the 1950s, chocolate had completely lost its association with health and healing. Many of today’s most famous chocolate companies got their start during the Great Depression, known to those in the business as the “hungry thirties” due to the popularity of this cheap diversion from the doldrums of everyday life during the economic crisis. Are we experiencing the “hungry 2000s” today?

Most of us have only an improper diet to blame for our  obesity, low energy, mood swings and other health problems. Of course, this can be corrected by changing what we eat, and by consuming more of the foods listed below:

1. The Acai Berry
2. Blueberries
3. Unprocessed Cocoa

The cocoa bean contains several minerals and vitamins which are useful. Dark chocolate contains magnesium, which is necessary for muscle relaxation, nerve conduction, energy production and bone and teeth development and overall health.  Magnesium deficiencies intensify the effects of PMS (premenstrual syndrome). Copper found in rich supply in dark cocoa is involved in many of the chemical processes in the body. Dark cocoa also contains high levels of potassium, which is vital for cardiovascular health.

Even though we are taught that saturated fats are harmful to the cardiovascular system, the saturated stearic acid fat from the cocoa bean does not elevate blood cholesterol like other saturated fatty acids. Fat from cocoa butter is not absorbed well by the intestinal tract, and is considered “neutral” in terms of its effect on weight gain and impact on cholesterol. 
Research shows that these cacao fatty acids may modify LDL-C, making it more resistant to oxidation.

There have also been studies showing that dark cocoa can help reduce dental cavities, decrease the plaque on teeth, and prevent gum disease.

In several studies, dark chocolate has been shown to decrease blood pressure, which in turn decreases the damage to heart vessels.  Cocoa is thought to be a renin-angiotension enzyme
inhibitor, which is the same principle on which many blood pressure pills work (ACE inhibitors).


Cocoa has been found to help with liver damage, and can help repair liver cells after long term exposure to alcohol.

Research proves that flavonoids from ingested cocoa are being utilized by the body, and positively affect the body’s immune system.

High levels of flavanols found in chocolate can improve mental acuity when taken in the proper amounts.

Cocoa contributes to decreased isoprostane levels in the body, proving the absorption of cocoa antioxidants.

Flavonols and other compounds of cocoa improve the body’s natural ability to fight cardiovascular diseases.
Cocoa appears to be more effective than black tea, wine and grape juices in helping reduce high bloodpressure.

The epicatechins in cocoa can protect the heart muscles after a heart attacks.

Cocoa can help slow the effects of Parkinson’s.

Cocoa may delay, or even prevent, dementia.

Cocoa has indeed come full circle from a Mesoamerican medicinal drink to a modern-day functional food that provides significant health benefits. Reports continue to come in regarding the wide range of benefits from cocoa, including powerful protection against cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and neurodegenerative diseases.Cocoa is the “long-lost secret” that represents a solution to so many health problems that the world’s population faces today.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Health And Chocolate

Cocoa and chocolate are consumed throughout the world, as they provide instant enjoyment and pleasure. Chocolate is one of the most popular examples of foods consumed during comfort eating.

Cocoa and chocolate, on the other hand, are also correctly viewed as highly caloric foods and their use is often restricted by primary care physicians and dieticians, especially when weight loss is needed.

Moreover, it is now clear that cocoa and chocolate do not contain addictive substances in amounts high enough to cause cravings. Indeed, cravings are the result of an unhealthy relationship with the food, resulting from attributions displayed in newspaper and magazine headlines such as “chocolate is addictive”, but the alleged craved-for chemicals are merely myths.

In terms of health benefits, cocoa indeed has the highest polyphenolic contents of all foods on a per-weight basis and markedly contributes to the total dietary intake of flavonoids. The main subclasses of flavonoids found in cocoa are flavanols, particularly the flavanol monomers catechin and epicatechin, and their oligomers, also known as procyanidins. Although the precise mechanisms responsible for their purported health benefits are unclear and likely to be manifold, flavonoids and flavanols have been shown to possess a range of cardiovascular-protective properties, including antioxidant and antiplatelet effects, immunoregulatory activity, and vasorelaxation.

What is the History of Chocolate?

 The sweetest mystery revealed by mankind in history is probably that of chocolate. Nearly everyone loves chocolate, but do you know the history of chocolate? How it is made? What are its types? What are its benefits?

The name chocolate is somewhat a corrupted form of the original word Xocolatl, which literally means 'food of Gods'. Chocolate was found by Mayans and the Aztecs got it from the Mayans. It was Cortéz who brought it in Europe. The process used by Aztecs to prepare chocolate was considerably changed by the Spaniards. They guarded this sweet secret for nearly 100 years until when a Frenchman revealed this secret of chocolate making. Then onwards the industry of chocolate making grew by leaps and bounds and the chocolate making nearly attained the status of an art.

Chocolate is made from the beans of Cocoa. From the cocoa bean pods the beans are separated after fermentation. These beans are cleansed and then blown in a process to remove foreign particles and the husk. Then the kernel of the seeds is broken in small bits which are called as nibs. These nibs are ground finely to obtain what is called cocoa liquor. This liquor when crystallized produces the dark chocolate which is the mother of virtually all other chocolates that are prepared. Sometimes by grinding the nibs fat from the resulting mass is separated which is called as cocoa butter. This along with sugar is used to make sweet chocolate.

Depending upon what goes into it there are many types of chocolates available now. These types of chocolates include cocoa powder, dark chocolate, bittersweet chocolate, semi sweet chocolate, sweet dark chocolate, milk chocolate, white chocolate, Couverture chocolates, and Gianduja chocolates. The chocolate percentage of these types varies according to types. Generally dark chocolates are rich in chocolate percentage.

You will be surprised to know that apart from the pleasant taste, chocolate has some therapeutic uses also. Chocolates are rich in flavanols which is quite renowned as an antioxidant. These antioxidants are useful to minimize the risk of blockages in arteries. These antioxidants prevent the platelets in blood from forming plaque. This considerably reduces heart related risk. These antioxidants also have anti aging properties. But a word of caution is needed here. All these effects are shown by the study are of raw unprocessed chocolates and not for the chocolates we get in market.

The chocolate industry has undergone a sea of changes in past years. Advent of industrialization opened new avenues for chocolate industry. There are many famous brands available in chocolate industry. Some imminent brands in chocolate are Nestlé, Ghirardelli, Hershey, Mars, and Lindt. Apart from these chocolate giants there are many other brands available and are quite reputed to give quality chocolate for years.

The history of chocolate is more fascinating than the tales of the Arabian nights. The process of chocolate making is also quite interesting. The therapeutic uses of chocolates are established scientifically. Many international brands of chocolates are available worldwide. With all this in mind you will enjoy the beautiful world of chocolates, of course over a bite of your favorite chocolate.
Chocolate is something people love, and what better gift to give someone than those hand made truffles and chocolate delights. The problem is which one should you aim for? The best solution is to be part of a tasting club, where you can sample different chocolates.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Our Favorite Chocolates History

Chocolates, those sweet chocolates we were so crazy about as a child, and are crazy about until now, seemed to be staying with us as we grow old. The history of chocolates would tell us that these chocolates have always been there all our lives that is why we can probably name about 20 or more brands or kinds of chocolates in a matter of minutes. We may run out of names of chocolates we know, but the glorious taste that these chocolates give us will linger on.

Just about anyone who’s ever been a child knows what that dark, melts-in-your-mouth goodness tastes like. They came in different colors, in bags, in boxes, with nuts and shells and marshmallows and creams. They are molded practically into any shape you can just imagine. It is just about time we go down the memory lane and retrace our steps leading us to our top 5 brands of chocolates in the entire history of such delicacy sweets.


The company that brought us the well-loved Milky Way and the now more popular candy bar, Snickers was established in 1911 by Frank C. Mars whose love for cooking chocolates stemmed from his mother’s hand dipped candies he sold when  he was 19. His initial venture failed but with the help of his son, Forrest Mars, and the ingenious Milky Way, introduced as “Chocolate Malted Milk in a Candy Bar, Mars, Incorporated became one of the top-selling candy companies that time.

To this day, Mars, Inc. remains to be a family-owned business and is famous for being very private in their business and personal affairs. M&M’s, Milky Way, Twix, Maltesers, Snickers, Skittles, 3 Musketeers, Combos, Galaxy and Summit Candy bar are just some of the popular chocolates that Mars, Inc. has introduced to chocolate lovers all over the world.

Lindt Sprungli AG

The Lindt Chocolatier is known for Lindor, a chocolate with smooth filling that comes in a bar or balls introduce in 1955. Despite the seemingly young popularity of the Lindor, this company has been around since 1845. The father and son tandem of David Sprüngli-Schwarz and Rudolf Sprüngli-Ammann established a tiny confectionary store in Zurich. They eventually built a factory of hard chocolates.

Due to the financial crisis, company decided to close about 65% of its stores in the United States on March 17, 2009. Today, they factories in Switzerland, Germany, France, Italy, Austria and the United States.

Ghirardelli Chocolate Company

The second oldest manufacturer of chocolates in the United States was born in 1817 through the efforts of Domenico Ghirardelli. His humble beginnings saw Uruguay and later Lima, Peru where he opened a confectionary store. It was only in 1849 when he moved to California and sold confections to miners. After only a few years the Ghirardelli Chocolate Company was incorporated in 1852. His empire grew in San Francisco until they moved to San Leandro in 1965. 

On the other hand, it was in 1998 that Lindt Sprugli AG acquired the company while maintaining its full subsidiary status. Until now, millions of people all over the world are still so passionate about eating the Lindt chocolates, the kind of chocolate that when you put in your mouth, it melts and the sweet taste lingers. That is how I remember eating Lindt chocolates even when I was still a child. That first bite you will never forget! Really the history of chocolates has its own way of etching memories on our minds!

Two Giant Players In The History Of Chocolates

So many players abound in the industry of chocolates, and through the entire history of chocolates, they were Hershey’s and Nestle that more or less, monopolized the major market shares in the chocolate industry.


Where did the unique name of Hershey’s really come from? What is the relevance of the name to the chocolates, anyway? It has been said that it was after a man who made the delicious chocolates which we now call and popularly know as Hershey’s. That is why it is only fit to name a town in honor of the man who created one of the oldest and most stable chocolate companies in the United States. Milton S. Hershey began an apprentice confectioner in 1876, and braved to establish his own business which drastically failed in a matter of years. He returned to Pennsylvania from New York and tried his hand at selling caramel candies which he sold in 1900 to venture into chocolates once again. He then introduced the famous Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Bar which became a phenomenal success.

In 1907, chocolates dropped to form a flat bottom and cone shape with tips was introduced as Hershey’s Kisses which were painstakingly wrapped by hand one by one. It was only in 1921 that the packaging machine for Hershey’s kisses was invented and therefore, started making the process much easier. Then they soon added the signature white ribbon that we saw as a kid, and still see, as a guarantee of a genuine Hershey product.

And today, the company is not just famous for the bar and the little mounds of chocolate kisses. Chocolates such as Reese’s, Mr. Goodbar, Hershey’s Minatures and Cadbury are only few of the most popular brands that are original Hershey’s.


Unlike the other four companies, Nestle did not start as a chocolate manufacturer. In 1860’s, a pharmacist named Henri Nestle developed a food for premature babies which catapulted his popularity in Europe with the product called Farine Lactée Henri Nestlé.

In the early 1900’s, Nestle joined forces with a milk company and by the time World War I broke out, the demand for their products increased substantially. The same milk that they produced was used by Daniel Peter, a friend of Nestle, who used the found the correct ratio of milk to chocolates. Milk Chocolates were manufactured in 1904.

Nestle after World War II

When the Second World War broke out, Nestle was affected with sales on their dairy products dropping from $20million to just about $6 million in a year. Steadfast, Nestle introduced what they thought would be popular amongst the military currently waged against each other, Nescafe.

Year after the war, Nestle acquired many companies and ventured into other types of products. It is believed to be the first company ever to develop the right mixture of milk and chocolate and is now famous for products such as Nestle Crunch, Butterfinger and Nestle Toll Houses.

It’s been a century since men of great imagination found a way to mass-produce what was once only available to the nobles. They managed not only to give simple man a taste of the wonderful chocolate, but they also brought forth the brands we still enjoy today. The history of chocolate is truly as rich as its taste, and certainly more generations still yet to come shall continue to enjoy the tasty goodness of chocolates.

How To Pair Good Wine With Chocolate

Bring Out The Flavor of Both!

Wine pairing is pairing wine with foods to create a synergy and balance of tastes. Wine is paired with certain foods in order to bring out the taste in both the wine and the food. When pairing wine, the objective is to pair a wine with foods that share complimentary flavors and textures. The actual tastes that arise from wine and food pairings usually depends on one's individual likes. One main rule when pairing food and wine is to match wine with food of the same strength, meaning the food should not overpower the wine and vice versa. The wine should always compliment the food with which it is being served.

Pairing wine with chocolate can be difficult. Often times wine does not go well with any type of chocolate. A lot of people believe that wine should never be paired with chocolate, while others swear by the odd combination. However, pairing wine and chocolate can be done. When pairing wine and chocolate together, try to stay away from a wine that is too dry. Wines paired with chocolate should be sweet. A general rule for pairing wine with chocolate is to pair the chocolate with wine that is just as sweet, as or sweeter than the chocolate.

If a wine is not as sweet as or sweeter than the chocolate that it is being paired with, it can result in a bitter taste. Another factor to keep in mind is the type of chocolate that you are eating. Creamy flavored chocolates pair the best with light-bodied wines. Stronger flavored chocolates however, pair well with full-bodied wines. You can try and experiment with different chocolate and wine combinations. The most popular chocolates to pair with wines are dark chocolate, milk chocolate and white chocolate. You can always mix and match wine and chocolate pairings with different variations of these types of chocolates.

Here are some examples of wine and chocolate pairings that you can try for yourself.

Red Wines often pair well with dark chocolates, like the following combinations:

Cabernet Franc: Creamy milk chocolate

Cabernet Sauvignon: dark chocolate

Merlot: Dark chocolate, milk chocolate

Pinot Noir: Dark chocolate, milk chocolate

Sangiovese: Dark chocolate
Zinfandel: Dark Chocolate

White Wines are tough to pair with chocolates because of their dryness, but can taste great with milk chocolates:

Chardonnay: French vanilla chocolate
Riesling: Milk chocolate

Sauvignon Blanc: Milk chocolate

Dessert wines can also be paired with chocolate.

Port: Dark chocolate

Sherry: White chocolate

You can try the combinations above, or you can try matching some of your own favorite wines with your favorite chocolates. When you are pairing wines and chocolate it is important to match the strength of the two that you are matching. Remember to match light flavored chocolates with light-bodied wines and stronger tasting chocolates with full-bodied wines. It stands to reason that if you like chocolate separately and you like wine separately, you should like them together. This is true for many people, and for others, just the idea of the pairing is unfathomable. However, you should base you interest in wine and chocolate pairings on your own taste.


Thursday, March 28, 2013

Chocolate Info

 The story begins some two millennia ago in the tropical rainforests of the Americas. Although the cacao tree had been around for some time, the natives had never used the beans inside the pods for food. Upon discovering that the seeds could be processed and used as a drink, it quickly caught on with these primitive people. The first people known to make chocolate from the cacao beans were the ancient cultures of Central America and Mexico. They would grind the beans and mix them with different seasonings and spices and then whip the beverage by hand until it was both frothy and spicy.

The Olmec Indians are believed to be the first culture to grow the beans as a domestic crop, between 1500 and 400 B.C. From 250 to 900 C.E., the consumption of the beans was restricted to the elite class of the Mayan culture. Throughout these years, the drink was consumed unsweetened. Apparently the Mayan people valued the beans so highly that they planted them in their personal gardens so that they had easy access to them.

Around 600 A.D., the Mayans migrated into the northern regions of South America and began the earliest recorded plantations of cacao trees in the Yucatan. They used the beverage that they made in betrothal and marriage ceremonies.

Once the Aztec culture was able to abscond with some of the beans and learn how to make the beverage from them, they used them for medicinal purposes and in ceremonies such as weddings and religious rites. They believed that the beans were a gift from their gods. They are also the first known culture to tax the beans. Their name for the beverage that they made was "xocalatl", translated to warm or bitter drink. The beans also began, at that time, to be used as currency by the Mesoamerican cultures. They were not used to make chocolate until they were too worn to be used as currency.

The first European to learn of chocolate was Christopher Columbus. He encountered a huge Mayan trading canoe piled high with the valuable beans. When the Spaniards invaded the Yucatan in 1517 and Mexico in 1519, they quickly caught on to the monetary value of the precious beans. They were not fond, however, of the warm, bitter and unsweetened drink which they received from the local people. It took some time, but they learned to adapt their taste buds to the drink and began to enjoy it.
The most popular story of the introduction of chocolate to Europe is that which credits Dominican friars with taking a delegation of Mayan nobles to the court of Prince Philip of Spain. As one of the many gifts which the nobles presented to the Prince, they gave him several jars of already processed cocoa which was ready to drink. The Spaniards did not, however, share this much loved beverage with the rest of Europe for nearly a century!

Sometime during the 16th century, the Spanish people began adding flavoring like vanilla and sugar cane to the chocolate drinks. Thus, sweetened chocolate was invented. And recorded history shows that the popularity of the beverage grew to the point that regular shipments began from Veracruz, Mexico to Seville, Spain in 1582.

The records are not completely clear on how chocolate was introduced to the rest of Europe. It's thought that quite possibly it was distributed through monasteries and convents which were linked with Latin America. Jesuit Society members were major consumers of the drink and had become cocoa traders as well. A French Cardinal popularized the beverage in France and when Louis XIV married Maria Theresa of Spain in 1615 she, chocolate lover that she was, began a custom that spread like wildfire among the French aristocracy.

The English were introduced to the cacao bean through British pirates who targeted Spanish ships in the last half of the 1500s. They saw no use for the odd looking cargo and even burned several shipments before someone found out what the beans were good for making. It took about a hundred years for the chocolate to start making its mark in British history. Once it did though, it was not just reserved for the aristocracy. Anyone in England who could afford it was able to indulge. While it was more expensive than coffee, it was less costly that tea. "Chocolate houses" began to sprout up, with the first one being opened by a Frenchman in 1657. At that time, chocolate was 10 to 15 shillings per pound. So it was rather costly.

During the 16th and 17th centuries, the demand for chocolate grew so large that the cacao plantations had enslaved Mesoamericans to plant, grow, harvest and process the cocoa beans. By the end of the 17th century, only ten percent of the Native Indian population survived. It was then that slaves were transported from Africa to Ecuador, Venezuela, Paraguay and Brazil. For over two centuries, enslaved people and wage laborers were used to meet the demand for the all-enticing cocoa.

Around 1730, the price of cocoa has dropped to around $3 per pound. This made it more affordable to others besides the very wealthy. In 1732, a French inventor developed a table mill for grinding the chocolate. This simplified the process and made it possible to churn out larger quantities at lower cost. So production naturally grew.

In 1765, Irish chocolate maker John Hanan imported cocoa beans from the West Indies to Massachusetts in the American colonies. He teamed up with Dr. James Baker. They built the first chocolate mill in the Colonies and by 1780, that mill was producing the famous Baker's chocolate which is still widely used today.

Another revolution in production occurred in 1795 when Dr. Joseph Fry of Bristol, England used a steam engine to power the grinding wheel used to make chocolate. This catapulted the manufacturing process forward tremendously.

The man who is considered the pioneer of Swiss chocolate making, Francois Callier, opened the first Swiss chocolate factory in 1819. And in 1828, a Dutchman named Conrad Van Houton invented the cocoa press. His invention helped more with cutting the price of chocolate and by improving the quality of it by squeezing out cocoa butter thus making the consistency of the beverage smoother. Mr. Van Houton patented his invention in Amsterdam and his process became known as "Dutching".
In 1847, another innovation was made by Joseph Fry & Son when they discovered a way to add some of the cocoa butter back to the Dutch chocolate, add sugar and make a paste which could be molded into a bar and...Voila! the modern chocolate bar was born. Dr. Fry and his son teamed up with the Cadbury Brothers to display chocolates for eating at an exhibition in Birmingham, England in 1849. In 1851 Americans got their first taste of bonbons, chocolate creams, caramels and "boiled sweets" (hard candies) at Prince Albert's Exposition in London.

In 1861 Richard Cadbury created the very first known heart shaped box for Valentine's Day and seven years later in 1868, John Cadbury mass produced and marketed the first boxes of chocolate candy. In 1876 Daniel Peter, of Switzerland, introduced milk chocolate for drinking - a project that he worked on for eight years before he perfected it. In 1879 he paired up with Henri Nestlé, formed the Nestlé Company and they gave us a chocolate mix to which all one had to add was water and sugar.
Also in 1879, Rodolphe Lindt of Bern, Switzerland invented a new machine which heated and rolled the chocolate to refine it. The process was called "conching". After the chocolate was "conched" for seventy-two hours and had cocoa butter added to it the product was much smoother and creamier and could be formed into more tasty treats. Lindt Chocolates are still widely known and acclaimed around the world today.

Here's another little tidbit of chocolate history to chew on...the chocolatier accredited with bringing mass production to the chocolate making industry is Milton Hershey of Pennsylvania, United States. Mr. Hershey was nicknamed the "Henry Ford of Chocolate Makers".

Although slavery was abolished in 1888, the use of slave labor continued into the early 1900s. In 1910, William Cadbury became a leader in boycotting those plantations who misused and abused their workers. He invited other English and American chocolate manufacturers to join him in his campaign. That same year, the U.S. Congress enacted a formal ban on any cocoa which proved to be produced using slave labor. These efforts did cause conditions on the plantations to improve. The same year that the chocolatiers came together in their formal protest against the cruelty found on cocoa plantations, a Canadian by the name of Arthur Garong introduced the first nickel chocolate bar.
In 1913, Swiss chocolatier Jules Sechaud gave the chocolate industry a machine process for filling hollowed chocolate shells. Then in 1926 Joseph Draps, a Belgian chocolate manufacturer, opened the doors of Godiva Chocolates.

Today, most cacao is grown and harvested by hand. But gone are the days when cruel plantation owners used slave labor to satisfy the world's need for chocolate. Today's cacao is produced by independent growers or cooperative groups around the world.
While there are a few companies which produce handmade chocolates, most of the production is done by machine. It is more cost effective and allows the companies to sell their product for less than those who handcraft their products.

Even today there are still cultures who believe that chocolate is for use as a form of currency and for medicinal and religious purposes. In fact the cacao bean has a chemical called theobromine which is used to treat high blood pressure, because it enlarges blood vessels. So it is used even in modern medicine. And cocoa butter is used in some beauty aids such as lotions and cream to treat skin. It's well known for its rich formula which moistens and softens. It's also good for treating sunburn. Plus, cocoa butter is used to coat pills so they go down one's throat more easily.

History Of Chocolate Cocktails

 High-class parties have to have two things to be called such: alcohol & chocolate.  There is nothing better than a sip of cocktail to calm your nerves when you need them, especially after a long week of hard and exhausting work. Then ultimately concluding it off with a delightful bite of your most loved and favorite chocolates that have made a name throughout the entire chocolate history. But first, it would be even more delightful to find out how chocolate cocktails really started in the first place!

Chocolates, a Commodity Exclusive to Nobility

As we know, chocolates started as a commodity restricted to the noblest of people. Chocolates in the earlier times were used as presents to give away during formal and serious engagements, especially when there are royalty figures participating in the event. Chocolates, on another angle, were considered an element that would promote love, passion and romance. And for a reason, chocolate drinks were made available to the mediocre as well. Restrictions and exclusivity of chocolates to nobility gas been lifted and therefore, stores opening up everywhere to offer the enjoyably luscious chocolate drink we love today!

Chocolate Drink's Journey to Spain

The chocolate or cocktail drink continued to develop in Spain. More than a few other flavor ingredients such as vanilla or cinnamon were eventually added to the chocolate beverage to improve its flavor. And because of the popularity of the chocolate drink, it motivated the Spaniards to plant several more of their cocoa trees and even kept the recipe a sweet hush-hush for a long time. However, as any excellent food, the recipe reached the other parts of the world including Europe and became a well-loved favorite satisfying drink!

The Magical Blend of Chocolates and Alcohol

For many people, eating chocolates has an effect of calming their spirits and you will notice how energized you will feel for next week or the rest of the week. Can you ever imagine how delicious a drink it will be to combine these two ingredients, alcohol and chocolates, to make a great cocktail drink? There are countless chocolate cocktail recipes you will surely love once you taste them, and for sure they are cocktails you will undoubtedly be proud of to serve on your party tables!

The Beginning of a Chocolate Cocktail Party
Now that we know how the early peoples of civilization started concocting mouth-watering chocolate cocktails, it is high-time we discover where and how chocolate cocktail parties all began! Etiquette says that party hosts should always keep a cocktail party brief and sweetie. It should only be about two hour tete-a-tete to catch up with peers, reconnect and celebrate with. Always go for the classic cocktail party when you are planning of setting up one. And you better make sure that you will never ever be oblivious to the best cocktail Martini, what with its sophisticated taste on the palates.

Partying on a Martini Night

You may even call it a "Martini Night" and set up your own Martini Bar serving chocolates, canapés, black olives, and some cheese bits. While others get too concerned about finding costumes for a chocolate cocktail party, others are too pre-occupied with concocting up cocktail drinks on their own in the cocktail mini bars and mixing up vodka with vanilla and chocolate. Hmm, how I wish I could get a shot of the Russian Vodka I loved in my younger years, the Stolichnaya, and mixing it up with vanilla and chocolate. I bet it is going to be even much better than Bailey's. Really, chocolate's history will never be complete without a chocolate cocktail party! Anyone giving out a chocolate cocktail party tonight?

The Richness in Chocolates and Its History

 Chocolates, rich in taste, rich in history. In the same manner that chocolates are rich in both taste and appearance, they are also known to have a very rich history.   

Chocolates for Centuries

For hundred of years, chocolates have been an integral part of the history of countless countries. And through those years, chocolates had several uses in the society. They were used as a type of money the early people could use when trading, buying or selling. Aside from being a currency, chocolates were also popularly known as indulgent drinks exclusive and available only to royalty. Today, people from all over the world enjoy chocolates which are presented in various kinds of forms and continue to play an essential role in many cultures.

Mayans’ Discovery of Crops and Wild Trees Ignited Discovery of Chocolates

The history of chocolates started out when archeologists discovered that the people Mayans planted and grew crops and wild trees in the Yucatan area of Central America during the 7th century A.D. The very pioneer trees that they were able to grow were the cocoa trees that cultivated in the hot and tropical rainforests situated within the Amazon and Orinoco basins about 4,000 years ago.

Chocolates as a Currency Used in Trading and Barter

In fact, historians have confirmed evidence that cocoa beans were initially used as a form of disbursement or expense. During those early times, another equally important role of chocolates is as a unit of calculating goods or items during the 1000 A.D. When people trade or buy or sell merchandise or goods, they used chocolates for trading and bartering in lieu of the money that we enjoy paying for goods during the modern times.

Paying Taxes with Chocolates or Cocoa Beans

And immediately after that period when chocolates were being used as currencies, even all their taxes, they had to pay in cocoa beans to Feudal Aztecs. And after hundreds of years, the first peoples who are now presently called the "Indians", prepared delectable chocolate drinks by brewing the cocoa beans to form a thick pasty mixture and eventually garnished with some roasted pieces of cocoa beans.

Spicing up Beverages with Chocolates

Adding water and various spices like vanilla as well as cinnamon, pepper and other strong condiments, these chocolates became a luxurious and classy, expensive yet very accepted beverage enjoyed exclusively by royalty and Kings. While the poor and economically challenged who till the lands growing and cultivating cocoa beans, are restricted from drinking the beverage. They are given allocation of the chocolates to be used as flavor for their boiled corn; however, very sparingly.

Cocoa A Divine Drink to the Early Peoples

Cocoa or chocolate drink was considered a beverage exclusive for the drinking consumption of the male elite and as a matter of fact, during the Aztec Emperor Montezuma’s regime, they called the chocolate drink, the “divine” beverage, which they believed could build up a man’s resistance and fight off stress or fatigue. In1480 until1520, Aztec Emperor Montezuma was even quoted saying this: “A cup of this precious drink permits a man to walk for a whole day without food." Truly, chocolates and chocolate drinks alike have been a well-loved and well-admired naturally grown commodity not only in the early years or olden times, or the modern times, but all throughout chocolates’ history!

The Origin of Happy Hormones: What is the History of Chocolate?

Chocolates, chocolates, chocolates! Delicious, delectable, sweet, bitter, nutty, creamy, soothing, calming... how else can we describe chocolate? Who wouldn’t love these sweet confections?! Chocolates are easily accessible at any grocery stores world wide. People of all ages and gender definitely love chocolates. Not only is it delectable, it also has its share of health benefits for its patrons. But do you know where that bar of chocolate or that cup of chocolate drink came from? Here is something that can let you catch a glimpse of chocolate’s history.

Remnants of Chocolates Found in Mexico

History knew the existence of chocolate due to the remnants found in some jars in Mexico. This dates back to as far as 1100 B.C. It wasn’t a bar then as we know it now. The ancients used chocolate as alcoholic beverage to combat fatigue. Yes, very different from what we know chocolate to be is now.

In the latter part of chocolate history, cocoa beans from cacao plant were introduced by Christopher Columbus to the King of Spain. Decades after, Aztec Indians were found to use these cocoa beans in making chocolatl—a drink being served to guests of the King in ceremonial glasses. Chocolatl, at this point, was treated as a divine drink. It is also seen to fight fatigue. It used to be bitter and later on honey and cane sugar was added to sweeten it.

Chocolate Drink Evolved in Spain

The drink continued to evolve in Spain. Several other spices such as vanilla or cinnamon were added to improve its flavor. The popularity of the drink motivated the Spaniards to plant cocoa trees and kept the recipe a secret for a long time. However, as any good food, the recipe eventually became known to other parts of Europe.

Chocolate, at first, was restricted to the noble people. It was even used as an engagement present to some royalty figures. Chocolate was seen to promote romance. Eventually, the drink was no longer restricted to a few. Stores were opened that offered drinks to the public.

The Very First Chocolate Factory

The first Chocolate Factory was hailed in New England. Manual labor has been the main creator of chocolate until the Industrial Revolution came. It was not far from this point when mass production of chocolate began with the invention of the cocoa press that made the grinding of beans faster, easier and more improved.

In the 1800s several improvements made chocolate better and better—chocolate in solid form was born and milk was added to make chocolate creamier. This was the start of the more common chocolate bars and milk chocolates.

Chocolate through the Years

Innovative people, who have found their passion in improving chocolate, has added more variations, flare and spice to our good old chocolate bar. As we know today, chocolate takes many different forms, shapes, flavors and additives. Chocolate, as a flavor, is no longer confined to bars or drinks. We can find an endless array of products with chocolate such as ice creams, cakes and candies.

As it is, chocolate has been one of the biggest industries in the very corporate and global world that we have now. It has established a stable market that doesn’t know age. Now that you know the history of chocolate, next time you grab a bar of chocolate or drink a cup of chocolate drink, imagine first that what you are enjoying was once just for the nobilities and royalties.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The History Of Chocolates And Dieting

Looking at the history of chocolates, countless people would look at chocolate as a delectably and irresistible sweet dessert invented during the modern times. But they are all wrong! It was actually during the ancient Mesoamerican civilizations where they started using bitter or dark chocolate drinks in some of their religious formal procedures and ceremonies as well some social events and settings. And since that time, there have been several significant chocolate inventions to make the chocolates we love even get better and better in the wonderful world of chocolate making!

Chocolates All the Way from History to Dieting

Now, looking from the history of chocolates to the various uses of chocolates nowadays, we could see how far chocolates have successfully journeyed on Earth. Tell me, would you ever believe if I tell you that no “one chocolate diet” exists anywhere in this world? However, there are quite a lot of unusual diets where they recommend using chocolate as a helpful supplement to lose weight! If this sounds too good to be true, it is because you can't just simply shovel back 3 candy bars everyday and call it a diet! No, the technique is to concoct your own special chocolate diet or diets by integrating small amounts of dark chocolate and cocoa with healthy, low-fat meals.

History of the Loved Chocolates

Who would ever think we have an ongoing recession today, what with the volume of people buying loads of chocolates in the local grocery stores, chocolate shops and the shopping malls? Yes, a 2013 sales projection for American chocolates had been released and it amounted to a total of about $20 million. It seems that the plunging market has not even affected a single bit the craving of consumers when it comes to these delicate sweets. History of chocolates has always been documented from its very beginnings until present times. And until today, the popularity of these famous sweets called chocolates has never waned nor questioned. Truth is, if my logic will serve me right, people are now finding more ways to develop the use of chocolates, other than merely satisfying themselves with these wonderfully tempting sweets of delight!

Food for the Gods

Chocolates were said to have originated from the Amazon were the first cocoas were discovered in 2000 BC. Largely used by the Maya Culture, the word chocolate came from xocoatl meaning bitter water. The Mayas love for cocoa was imprinted in history thru the wood carvings discovered dating  all the way back to about 300AD, showing pictures of cocoa pods. The Mayan territory expanded in 600AD and they took their cocoa with them to the northern parts of South America until their wanderings took them to the Guatemalan shores.  This area became birthing soil to large cocoa plantations where the pods are often presented as holy matters in rituals. They believe cocoa to be food exclusive for the consumption of gods.

Dark Waters in Gold Goblets

The hot chocolate drink was considered in the earlier times as a dark drink that is sweet to the palate. They were regarded by both Aztecs and Mayans as a real health-energizing drink and even used it for several therapeutic purposes. They also believed that drinking the dark juice or eating the fruits would bring them wisdom. Even then, the natives believed in the chocolate’s nutritious benefits. The influential and privileged quenched their thirst with several gallons of dark chocolate dyed in red. Those were served in gold goblets.

In Exchange of Cocoa Beans

Because of chocolates’ fame and significance, the cocoa beans were even used as a form of payment among Mayans and Aztecs. The early peoples used these cocoa beans to sell or trade and buy commodities during the earlier times. In 1492, Columbus presented King Ferdinand and his Queen with cocoas upon his return but very little attention was given to them and even on his journey in search for spices in India, Columbus didn’t realize the great potential of the chocolate. Otherwise, he could have been the one who discovered and proclaimed the enormous potential of such sweets.

And with this, more and more people have begun using the sweet chocolates as an important currency signifying wealth depending on the vastness of plantations owned. In fact, an explorer by the name of Hernando de Oviedo y Valdez claimed to have bought slaves and prostitutes using cocoa pods.

And in 1519, some parts of Mexico were eventually conquered by Hernando Cortez mainly because he was so fascinated by xocolat more for its currency value than its taste. At that time, the taste of the chocolates was a little bit bitter sweet and spicy. Leaning further that cultivating the cocoa tree is obviously a great business, he established multiple plantations thereby cultivating money for Spain.

The Journey of Chocolates

And regardless of the controversies, it is interesting to know how the history of chocolates has prevailed, and how chocolates have struggled and captured the hearts of mankind today. Chocolates are made from the mature seed pods of the cacao tree which are then soured for several days to make the Chocó tang evident. Thanks to these cacao tree pods, if not for them we would not have discovered the wonderful gift of chocolates!

History Of Chocolate Recipes To Keep You Warm

There is nothing else that will surely perk you up on a cold and rainy day than a cup of hot and creamy chocolate drink. Thanks to the Aztecs who discovered and gave us this wonderful gift of sweet delicacies that we just love! The Aztecs, during the earlier times of chocolate history, believed that consuming large amounts of chocolate would bring one's health and power. That is why they did not only call it in "energy drink" but a very strongly defined "divine drink".

Chocolate Drink Shops Growing Like Mushrooms

And I believe this still holds true until today. No wonder hot chocolate recipes have popped up everywhere, every chocolate shop claiming to have the best chocolate drink ever! But that is highly expected since they must be chocolates experts to be putting up a chocolate shop, in the first place! Home made hot chocolates are most intriguing, though. For how do you turn a simple chocolate drink into something sumptuous, tempting and tantalizing?

Another natural chemical of chocolates that is responsible for that rushing feeling and tingly sensation of homey goodness began many years ago just like a cup of chocolate drink. They started out liquid, would you believe? Now, here are some hot chocolate drink recipes that you may want to try at home for you and your loved ones to enjoy!

However, let us clarify something first. You must know that there is a very huge difference in ordering for hot chocolate and hot cocoa in your favourite local chocolate shops. The chocolate you drink is made out of pure chocolate compound while the cocoa drink you order is prepared using cocoa powder and mixing it with water. An expert would know right away even if blindfolded which drink is served to him, by merely smelling. Indulge in these recipes below and you will surely be delighted and satisfied with the warm and fulfilling sensation these concoctions will give you!

Warming Chocolate Recipes for the Sweet-Tooth's

If you are born a sweet tooth, then you will surely adore this warm Coconut Hot Chocolate drink! Instead of putting milk on your warm chocolate drink, you can put coconut milk instead. Nothing could taste better than this. It actually tastes like chocolate daiquiri!

Chile Hot Chocolate Beverage

But if you are fonder of eating spicy food and drinking spiced-up beverages than drinking and eating sweets, well, the Chile Hot Chocolate beverage is the right warm chocolate beverage for you! Just add up a little of cayenne, about half a teaspoon, to get the kind of kick in the taste you want. Rest assured the spice will never overpower the sweet taste of the chocolate giving you that tangy and delightfully sweet flavour till the last drop!

Double Anise Hot Chocolate Drink

Or you can also try the Double Anise Hot Chocolate if you still want to keep that spicy tang on your drink! Don't get surprised though if you get too buffed up about it, everyone else who tried this warm chocolate drink got addicted and never got off the hook! The sweetness of the licorice combined with the bitter taste of star anise is actually the culprit why so many fall into the pit of addiction to this drink!

Peppermint Hot Chocolate Drink
For those who like their chocolate drink minty, get a hold of the Peppermint Hot Chocolate drink where chocolate is blended with compressed peppermint candies for the holiday seasons!

Caramel Hot Chocolate Drink

And last of all, for kids who just adore chocolate drinks, energy drinks, as they call them.

Let them try the delightfully sweet Caramel Hot Chocolate drink. This caramel hot chocolate drink is a must for everyone who wants to feel like a kid once again! Because these heart-warming chocolate drinks just taste so great, they will undoubtedly leave an sweet indelible etch on the history of chocolates!

Chocolate History during the 18th Century

Looking Back at Chocolate History during the 18th Century

The chocolate drink was luxurious, classy and exclusive to noble men; thereby, has really made its way to being a popular treat in the elite class. The 18th century made out the commercialization of the popular chocolate drink and the costs of such chocolates began to plunge in Bristol in England.

The First Chocolate Factory Built in 1728

It was in 1728 that Fry set up the first ever commercial chocolate factory recognized and respected in New England. A labor-intensive work force has been the main inventor of chocolates until the Industrial Revolution arrived. It was almost at this point when accumulated manufacture of chocolates began with the innovation of the well-acclaimed cocoa press which made the pulverizing of beans much faster, simpler and more enhanced.

Chocolate Improvements during the 1800s

Also it was during the 1800s that several improvements were made to give chocolates better and better taste as well as texture and appearance. Chocolates in solid form, that is the bars we know today, was born and milk was added to make chocolate creamier, the milk chocolates that we just can’t resist to nibble! This is how the journey of these sweet delectable chocolates started, leading to innovations of the more popular chocolate bars and delectable milk chocolates.

Chocolate Innovations through the Years

Novel people, who have so much love and passion in improving chocolates, have concocted more and more of chocolate variations, coming out up with the good old chocolate bars we have known as a child and love as adults. Until today, chocolates seize several special kinds, shapes, flavors and sizes.

Chocolates Not Bar-Bound nor Drink-Bound Anymore
And modern times had it that chocolates were not merely used as a flavor, no longer confining chocolates to just the usual chocolate bars or chocolate drinks available in the local grocery stores or chocolate shops. Nowadays, there is an endless selection of products with chocolates such as ice creams with a wide assortment of chocolate flavors, cakes as well as candies.

Chocolate Industry Getting Bigger and Bigger

It is good to know that chocolate have become truly one of the biggest manufacturing industries in the consumer and corporate global world that we currently enjoy as of now. The chocolate industry has already established a constant market that doesn’t choose any age. Now that you are knowledgeable about the history of chocolates, maybe next time you take hold of a bar of chocolate or drink a cup of chocolate beverage, you will feel more satisfied to know that the chocolates you are enjoying at present were once limited to the nobilities and royalties alone!

Discovery of Solid Chocolates

The breakthrough of the well-known solid dice of chocolates is not very, very old. It was an English company in 1847 that was fortunate enough to get accredited with the production of fondant chocolates using some smooth and velvety appearing chocolates.

Full-Grown Manufacture of Chocolates

However, the full-grown manufacture of chocolates can be traced back to 1765 in New England when during that time; it was the grained chocolates that dominated the chocolate world market. One noteworthy improvement happened in Vevey in Switzerland in the year 1876. It was when Daniel Peter, a natural Swiss discovered a brilliant way of how to add milk to some chocolates. Thanks to Daniel peter, he has concocted the basic version of today’s well-liked milk chocolate that I personally, love and enjoy so much!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The History of Chocolates

It is believed that the Aztecs were the first ones to have grown the cocoa crops the entire history of chocolates. And that they turned out to be the chocolates we love and just can’t resist until now! They began using these cocoa beans using a very distinct way of preparation which they called Chocolat. These cocoa beans together with many treasures triggered the curiosity of the people; however, the cocoa beans that appeared like almonds did not even stir any interest among the early peoples. Now, these cocoa beans are our main source of the chocolates and cocoas we enjoy today!

Prominent Characters in the History of Chocolates

History would tell us a story about a myth that everyone knows. It is about an emperor who drank 50 or more servings of the bitter sweet Chocolat each day and became so strong and energetic as well as a very happy man! Another written proof of chocolates would also lead us to the times of Columbus, saying that Isabella from Spain had their first glance of chocolates when Columbus returned from the Americas and gave her presents of brown delicious chocolates.

Chocolates Through the Mayan Civilization of Yucatan

Another proof of the existence and history of chocolates is the story of chocolates during the historical times when it was said that chocolates originate from the Mayan civilization of Yucatan. Information points to cacao trees as the real source of chocolates we just adore. They are believed to have been discovered 2,000 years ago by the early peoples who were at that time in the tropical rain forests of the Americas.

Introduction of Cocoa Beans to Europe

It is common knowledge to all that Don Cortez documented the profit-making value of cocoa as a mouth-watering drink. Cortez was the one who introduced the cocoa beans to the whole of Europe. And the Europeans have eventually discovered how to make the best concoctions ever using chocolates! Europe enjoyed Cortez’ concoction of chocolates sweetened with natural cane sugar.

Linnaeus’ Contribution to the History of Chocolates

Linnaeus was a botanist from Sweden who in his own time, was also recognized for having grown acres of plantations of cocoa. He named the genus of the cocoa plant, the “obroma” which means food for the gods. Linnaeus shared the same advocacy as the Aztecs of Mexico in believing the mystical origin of the cocoa tree.

Cocoa Drink in Spain Recognized

The Spaniards, on the other hand, did not find the bittersweet version of Chocolate tasteful enough for their palates. And so what the Spaniards did was to sweeten the chocolate drink using cane sugar. This recognition of the cocoa drink in Spain eventually led to its secret crop growing and groundwork. And this led to further historical evidences pointing at the Spaniards as a great contributor of the cocoa in an isolated area in Trinidad. The Spaniards grew such cocoa crops in an effort to keep it a secret from the rest of the world.

Cocoa Growing in Spain Kept A Top Secret

The Spaniards then later continued growing cocoa in the Western Indies and also in Philippines. Really, isn’t it so interesting to discover that Spain kept the art of the cocoa cultivation a total top secret from the rest of Europe for about a hundred years! Then, of course, eventually popularity of the said chocolate drink immediately reached the corners of Italy, France and some other parts of Holland until it finally reached England during the1600s and became an integral part of the successful history of chocolates!

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