What Makes Chocolate Special
What makes chocolate special is not only the way it melts in the mouth or its near-magical effect on the taste buds, or the look of it but its history; the dynamic shapes it can take, the various types that exist, and the love it naturally attracts from its consumers.
Chocolate owes its founding origin of 4,000 years to the first Latin American settlers in Mesoamerica (Present-day Mexico) called Olmec. A popular dark drink used as medicine by the Olmecs and drank during their ancient ritual was made from the Cacao plant commonly found in that region.
Chocolate did go through an interesting evolution. This evolution leads us to the first ‘bar’ created by mixing Sugar, Chocolate liquor, and Cocoa butter into a paste. The British Chocolatier in the year 1847; Joseph R. Fry credited as the creator of this paste, further molded it into the hard chocolate bar popularly consumed today.
As exciting as it was, the evolutionary journey is not the only aspect of this magnificent cocoa product that makes it special.
Worthy to note is that the different types of chocolate all come down to the percentage of cocoa butter and chocolate liquor each contains, as compared to the percentage of sugar, milk solids, and other ingredients.
- The white,
- The dark,
- The Milk,
- The Unsweetened,
- The Bittersweet,
- The Semi-sweet,
- The Ruby,
- The Couverture,
- The Cocoa powder and
- The sweetened German Chocolate
A few of its medicinal benefits
The Cocoa seed also comes in handy in the treatment of some infectious intestinal diseases such as diarrhea, asthma, bronchitis. It is also used as an expectorant for lung congestion.
Commonly used in the treatment of bladder, Liver and, Kidney ailments is the Cocoa seed coat.
Favorably rumored to be highly advantageous due to its medicinal benefits; dark chocolate contains more flavonoid(an antioxidizing agent) than the milk type.
There is ongoing research to see if cocoa flavonoids can help reduce age-related memory decline. As a matter of fact, Mars Inc. is seeking a health claim from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). In the next few years based on research, they sponsored the potential role of cocoa flavonoids in cardiovascular health.
Some people apply cocoa butter to the skin to treat wrinkles and to prevent stretch marks during pregnancy.
Cocoa butter is a favorite of many drug companies; they use this as a base product for various ointments.
Other Fun Benefits that makes Chocolate special
This cocoa end-product contains Anandamide; a neurotransmitter in the brain called the Bliss Molecule that is responsible for making you feel good and happy.
It does contain sugar and fat that makes chocolate really tasty, fun and maybe, just a little addictive. Other substances are Tryptophan, a precursor amino acid to Serotonin that regulates mood.
It additionally has two other neuroactive drugs, caffeine, and theobromine.
In general, Chocolate not only releases neurochemicals in the brain’s pleasure centers but also stimulates the opiate receptors in the brain.
While you are biting into your favorite bar, take a moment to savor the blend of all the good chocolate brings