Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Chocolatey Facts

Hi peeps!

Wasn't yesterday's chocolate recipes just amazing! Those truffles seriously made my mouth water! Got me thinking that there must be so much about chocolate that we don't know and that we should know! I went google surfing and found out these cool facts about the worlds favourite candy:

Chocolate. It's long been considered to be the "food of the gods." It's often given and received as a gift. A box of chocolates has been known to help cure a broken heart. Eating chocolate can also benefit your heart, lower your blood pressure and improve your memory. Here are 10 interesting facts about chocolate:

1. The Beginning of Chocolate

The "Theobroma cacao" is a tree that produces pods and beans that are turned into chocolate. It's believed to have been domesticated in South America where the Amazon Basin is located approximately 4000 years ago.

However, the earliest written account of using chocolate is attributed to the Olmecs tribes of Southern Mexico somewhere around 1000 B.C. At first, chocolate was made into a drink.

2. The First Chocolate Bars

The first time chocolate was made into a solid, edible food is believed to be in Mexico sometime in the 1700's. Later, two British companies, Cadbury, and Fry and Sons began to make edible chocolate in the 1840's.

3. Choose the Best-Tasting Chocolate Bar

The best-tasting chocolate bar looks shiny and even. It should only smell like chocolate too. Grab a corner of the bar and bend it. A piece should snap off cleanly with few crumbs. It should feel creamy and rich, and melt in your mouth too.

4. The Shelf Life of Chocolate

An interesting fact about chocolate is that the shelf life of a chocolate bar is approximately one year. You can place it in a freezer and keep it practically forever, but dark chocolate will turn whitish in color on the outside.

5. The First Box of Valentine's Day Chocolate

It's no surprise that Richard Cadbury came up with the idea for the first heart-shaped box of chocolates in the year 1861. Seven years later, John Cadbury began mass producing them, and, of course, several companies produce them today.

6. Chocolate Was Reported as Being "Healthy"

Henry Stubbe (1632-1676) was a physician who considered drinking chocolate once or twice a day an excellent cure for fatigue caused by hard work. He also believed that chocolate helped benefit the heart and that it helped increased breast milk production in women.

An interesting fact about chocolate is that, after much research, it's since been found to contain healthy antioxidants. These can help lower the incidence of getting cancer and heart disease. Eating chocolate can also lower your LDL cholesterol and add beneficial iron and magnesium to your body!

7. The Largest Chocolate Bar Ever Made

According to the Guiness World Book of Records, the largest chocolate bar ever made tipped the scales at 5,026 pounds. It was produced by Elah-Dufour United Food Companies at Turin, Italy, in March 2000.

8. Chocolate- The Food That Melts In Your Mouth

Have you ever wondered why chocolate, other than M&M® candies, that is, always melts in your mouth? It's because the lowest melting point of cocoa butter (according to Wikipedia.com) is 93 degrees Fahrenheit. That's why it melts in your mouth, which has a temperature of 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit.

9. America's Favorite Flavor Is Chocolate

An interesting fact about chocolate is that Americans choose this flavor over vanilla. In fact, Americans are having a love affair with chocolate. And not just on Valentine's Day either. In the year 2000 alone, 3.3 billion pounds of chocolate were eaten in the U.S.!

10. Chocolate Can Make You Feel Good!

Chocolate contains a chemical known as phenylethylamine. The phenylethylamine, in addition to the sugar, fat and caffeine that's found in chocolate has been shown to release serotonin and endorphins- two known chemicals that make us feel happy!

My favourite type of chocolate is Bourneville 80% Dark chocolate; the more bitter it is, the more I love it. I don't particularly like alcohol- or orange flavoured chocolate. Got an interesting chocolate recipe to share? Send it to me onshantsjlucas@gmail.com! Go on...you know you want to!

Eat some choc today!

Chef Shants xxxxx

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