Chocolate–Everything about Chocolate

March 11, 2009 by  
Filed under Chocolate

Chocolate is a very popular food that is processed from the seeds of a cacao plant. Being a very popular flavor, it is an ingredient of several types of foods like ice cream, cookies, cakes, candies and many more. It can also be made into a beverage like hot chocolate and chocolate milk.

Historically, chocolate came from the Americas; Mexico and Central America to be exact. The Aztecs and the Mayans have long been cultivating cacao, using it for hot chocolate as one of its benefit. With the Spanish conquest of the Aztecs, it was introduced to Europe and quickly gained popularity.

There are several types of chocolate. These types differ due to the variations in the quantities and kinds of ingredients used. Varying the roasting time and temperature of the cacao beans will also result to the variations of flavor of the resulting product. The most common types are:

• Dark chocolate – also called plain chocolate, this is produced by adding sugar and fat to cacao. No milk is added in the process.

• Milk chocolate – this is basically dark chocolate added with milk. The milk could either be powdered or condensed.

• White chocolate – a chocolate processed without cocoa solids. This results in a whitish color, thus the name.

There are several other types that are used mainly for ingredients in making other foods.

Chocolate is known to contain antioxidant properties which lowers LDL level and thus lowers the risk of a heart disease. It is also known that chocolate can help in proper blood circulation. Flavonoids, which can be found in dark chocolate, decrease the risk of cancer. It also contains serotonin which is an anti-depressant.

Being a pleasure food, chocolate is a mild stimulant. It lightens the mood and makes one feel good about one’s self. This can be attributed to the hundreds of chemicals found in chocolate, though it’s hard to pinpoint which particular chemical achieves this.

Consumption of large amounts of chocolate, though, can lead to weight gain. It is also said to increase acne. It also contains a significant concentration of lead which can prove unhealthy in large quantities in the body. As with other foods, the consumption of chocolate, no matter how beneficial, must be done in moderation.

Chocolates will definitely make a good gift come special occasions. And they indeed are popular gifts, especially on Valentine’s Day and Easter. You can actually check online for stores catering to gifts and treats that are made up of chocolate.

Some really good gift choices are special chocolate gift basket and gourmet chocolate gift basket. For added convenience, these stores can deliver it for you, to your loved one or to yourself, in case you’ll need to succumb to your craving.

Being easy to make and process, people have an access to a wide variety of choices that will surely be to his or her liking. Aside from being sinfully delicious, chocolates also have good benefits up its sleeves. Unlike other comfort and pleasure foods, it will provide a fan with a dozen of good excuses to indulge.