All About Yummy Chocolate

Don't forget to share!

If your are even the least similar to me you just love chocolate. You are not alone. Ever wonder where and why Chocolate exists and is a big part of the human diet? Read all types of information below.

Chocolate may be the “food of the gods,” but for most of its 4,000-year history, it was actually consumed as a bitter beverage rather than as a sweet edible treat. Anthropologists have found evidence that chocolate was produced by pre-Olmec cultures living in present-day Mexico as early as 1900 B.C. The ancient Mesoamericans who first cultivated cacao plants found in the tropical rainforests of Central America fermented, roasted and ground the cacao beans into a paste that they mixed with water, vanilla, honey, chili peppers and other spices to brew a frothy chocolate drink.

Olmec, Mayan and Aztec civilizations found chocolate to be an invigorating drink, mood enhancer and aphrodisiac, which led them to believe that it possessed mystical and spiritual qualities. The Mayans worshipped a god of cacao and reserved chocolate for rulers, warriors, priests and nobles at sacred ceremonies.

When the Aztecs began to dominate Mesoamerica in the 14th century, they craved cacao beans, which could not be grown in the dry highlands of central Mexico that were the heart of their civilization. The Aztecs traded with the Mayans for cocao beans, which were so coveted that they were used as currency. (In the 1500s, Aztecs could purchase a turkey hen for 100 beans.) By some accounts, the 16th-century Aztec emperor Montezuma drank three gallons of chocolate a day to increase his libido.

In the 1500s, Spanish conquistadors such as Hernán Cortés who sought gold and silver in Mexico returned instead with chocolate. Although the Spanish sweetened the bitter drink with cane sugar and cinnamon, one thing remained unchanged: chocolate was still a delectable symbol of luxury, wealth and power. Chocolate was sipped by royal lips, and only Spanish elites could afford the expensive import.

Spain managed to keep chocolate a savory secret for nearly a century, but when the daughter of Spanish King Philip III wed French King Louis XIII in 1615, she brought her love of chocolate with her to France. The popularity of chocolate quickly spread to other European courts, and aristocrats consumed it as a magic elixir with salubrious benefits. To slake their growing thirst for chocolate, European powers established colonial plantations in equatorial regions around the world to grow cacao and sugar. When diseases brought by the European explorers depleted the native Mesoamerican labor pool, African slaves were imported to work on the plantations and maintain the production of chocolate.

Chocolate remained an aristocratic nectar until Dutch chemist Coenraad Johannes van Houten in 1828 invented the cocoa press, which revolutionized chocolate-making. The cocoa press could squeeze the fatty cocoa butter from roasted cacao beans, leaving behind a dry cake that could be pulverized into a fine powder that could be mixed with liquids and other ingredients, poured into molds and solidified into edible, easily digestible chocolate. The innovation by van Houten ushered in the modern era of chocolate by enabling it to be used as a confectionary ingredient, and the resulting drop in production costs made chocolate affordable to the masses.

In 1847, British chocolate company J.S. Fry & Sons created the first solid edible chocolate bar from cocoa butter, cocoa powder and sugar. Rodolphe Lindt’s 1879 invention of the conching machine, which produced chocolate with a velvety texture and superior taste, and other advances allowed for the mass production of smooth, creamy milk chocolate on factory assembly lines. You don’t need to have a sweet tooth to recognize the familiar names of the family-owned companies such as Cadbury, Mars and Hershey that ushered in a chocolate boom in the late 1800s and early 1900s that has yet to abate. Today, the average American consumes 12 lbs. of chocolate each year, and more than $75 billion worldwide is spent on chocolate annually. ~ Christopher Klein at History.com

Types of Chocolate 🍫

Types of Chocolate – Facts About Chocolate

Some chocolate is Healthier than others

Besides being delicious, dark chocolate offers health benefits. Cocoa beans, its basic ingredient, are rich in flavanols, which are antioxidants that ward off damage to your cells and organs. Dark chocolate thus provides flavanols that help guard the body against conditions such as heart disease.

Dark chocolate has higher cocoa content than milk chocolate. Dark chocolate products have 30% to 70% cocoa, with extra dark varieties containing over 80% of it.

Research studies indicate that flavanols in dark chocolate keep cholesterol from accumulating in the blood vessels, and improve blood flow. As per a study reported in “The Journal of the American Medical Association” August 2003 issue, dark chocolate can help lower blood pressure in those with hypertension. Besides flavanols, dark chocolate has the stimulants theobromine and caffeine, in small amounts.

Despite its benefits, dark chocolate should be eaten in reasonable amounts. It contains sugar and fat, so overindulgence could cause weight gain. Eat a smaller portion of dark chocolate to get the antioxidants, while limiting the calories.

A medium-sized bar from a leading chocolate company contains 180 calories and 21 grams of sugar. It has 2 grams of protein and 12 grams of fat, of which 8 grams are saturated fat. However, the calorie and fat content can differ between brands; some dark chocolate bars contain 200 to 250 calories, and 17 to 24 grams of fat per serving.

Dark chocolate contains the fats: oleic acid, palmitic acid and stearic acid. Oleic acid is a mono-unsaturated fat, the wholesome kind present in olive oil. Palmitic acid is a saturated fat that tends to raise low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. Stearic acid is a saturated fat that does not increase or decrease cholesterol levels.

Compare the cocoa, calorie and fat content of a few brands, as nutritional facts of dark chocolate products vary. Look out for ingredients such as nougat and caramel that add to the calories. When buying dark chocolate it is better to choose the plain kind, or one with almonds, preferably with 70% or higher cocoa content.

Roger Keyserling


All About 😋 Yummy Chocolate 🍫 was originally published in eCom Tips on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

from eCom Tips – Medium https://ift.tt/2merfsg
via IFTTT

Don't forget to share!
Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.

  • Gift Cards From Keywebco