Long before civilization, people have fostered a love affair with chocolate. Its earliest consumption can be traced back to the Aztecs of Mesoamerica. It is said Queen Marie Antoinette of France was a chocolate lover, even bringing her own chocolatier in Versailles. Who wouldn’t be? Everyone loves the comfort, innocence, or even indulgent pleasures of chocolate. It is a heavenly treat and a sinful delight.
- Ancient Aztecs worshiped the cacao pod, believing it to have magical powers. They were believed to be the first people who enjoyed drinking hot and cold, spiced beverages. Cacao beans were also used as form of currency to purchase goods.
- Don’t blame chocolate on your acne! In fact, flavonoids in chocolate improve blood flow to the skin and can help fight wrinkles.
- Researchers from Indiana University found out that drinking milk chocolate after a workout had better endurance and less fatigue compared to those who consumed energy drinks.
- The Hershey Company offers chocolate spas to its clients. You can book treatments such as the Hershey’s Cocoa Massage, Hershey’s Dark Chocolate Body Wrap, Dark Chocolate Immersion, Hershey’s Cocoa Massage, and other Hershey’s Chocolate Treatments.
Chocolate Buying Guide
While chocolates are enjoyed all year round, buying or gifting chocolates elevates any occasion. How about dark chocolate filled bonbons for valentines, chocolate cakes for birthdays, or a simple, milk-chocolate bar to gift a loved one. Whatever your occasion is, you can choose from the chocolate varieties to suit your taste.
Milk Chocolate is the most common type of chocolate noted for its velvety texture and creamy aroma. Major confectionery companies distributing milk chocolates include Ferrero Rocher, Hershey’s, Cadbury, and Toblerone.
Dark Chocolate is affectionately labeled as the healthy chocolate due to its rich, antioxidant properties. It also improves blood circulation, lowers blood pressure, and prevents heart disease. This healthy indulgence should be consumed moderately.
White Chocolate is not considered to be real chocolate by some people because it lacks cocoa. However, it’s a sweet, delicate treat loved by children and adults! White chocolate barks with red and pink hearts are enticingly popular especially on Valentine’s.
Ruby Chocolate is nature’s chocolate gem. Introduced by Barry Callebaut, Ruby Chocolate is the confectionary industries’ greatest innovation. Chocolatiers are drawn to its naturally pink color and berry infused taste. Bear in mind that it contains no food coloring or artificial flavoring. Truly the ruby gem of the chocolate industry.
Chocolate Production & Farming in Texas
Texas is home to bean-to-bar chocolate makers providing customers with ethically sourced cacao beans. Shop-owners work closely with farmers and other producers to advocate better wages and sustainability.
Preservatives and Chemicals
Synthetic food additives in chocolate may put you at risk if consumed regularly or in large amounts. Be sure to check the label for these harmful ingredients:
Sodium hydrogen sulphite – this preservative can trigger headaches, intestinal problems, and allergies
Sorbitol and sorbitol syrup – this sweeter and stabilizer acts as a laxative causing flatulence and diarrhea
Propyl gallate – this preservative causes allergies and increases hyperactivity
While commercially produced chocolates are everywhere, indulging in artisan chocolates is a healthier and more ethical option. You’re not only eating a healthy indulgence; you’re also supporting more ethical business practices.
Chocolate delights are usually wrapped in aluminum foil to ensure freshness and fend off moisture. Today, companies compete for special, limited-edition packages that excite consumers.
You can eat chocolates for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and a thousand more ways! Make a warm, chocolate porridge, get some chocolate-covered bacons, make a chili-chocolate ice cream, or how about add some berries, dried petals, and even spices to your chocolate bar.
There are endless flavor combinations. Your imagination is the limit.
Heat and humidity diminish the quality of chocolates. Keep it in a cool, dry, and dark place. Avoid storing chocolates in the fridge to prevent the sugars from blooming, although it doesn’t affect the flavor, it dulls the product’s visuals.
Chocolate ganache is a universal chocolate recipe that everyone should learn and master. It’s just equal parts cream and chocolate! Well, learning it is easy but resisting it is a pain. Don’t forget to lick the spoon. The warm chocolate ganache will send you to heaven.
¼ cup chocolate chips
¼ cup cream
In a double boiler over simmering water, add chocolate and cream. Stir until melted. When the chocolate ganache has cooled, store in a tight-lid container and refrigerate.
You can use this ganache to fill your cakes or frost your brownies, re-heat the ganache and drizzle it to your vanilla ice cream; form ganache into balls and dip in melted chocolate to make your own bonbons.