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A CXP Brief on Chocolate Candy.

 
One of the most pleasurable foods to consume largely because of the fact that it melts in your mouth, Chocolate and Chocolate Candy !

Created in the Mesoamerican civilization and cultivated by the pre-Columbian civilizations, Chocolate has been used for sauces, beverages, served to only the highest nobility. The Maya and Aztec began fermenting, roasting, and grounding cacao beans but now it is cultivated throughout the tropics and Mexico.

Today, Chocolate is typically known as a candy bar, which has been created from a combination of cocoa solids, fat, sugar and various other ingredients. Imagine that Chocolate was used mainly as a drink for most of history. This fact was proven when residue of Chocolate was found in an ancient Mayan pot 2600 years ago. Much later on in 1689 a physician developed a milk Chocolate drink, which was later sold by the Cadbury Brothers. Chocolate was a luxury item often used as currency.

There Are three main cocao beans used in making Chocolate, Criollo, Forastero, and Trinitario. Criollo is the rarest and the most expensive variety of the bean. It can be found in Central America, the Carribean islands, and the northern areas of the South American states. Criollo is especially difficult to grow and is vulnerable to environmental threats therefore it produces a low amount of beans per tree.  It’s flavor is delicate, low in classic Chocolate flavor but is known for its long lasting effects.

Forastero originates in the Amazon in Africa. This variety is strong in classic Chocolate flavor but does not have the ability to enhance secondary flavors lke Criollo does. Trinitario is native to Trinadad, hence the name. It came from the combination of both the Criollo and the Forastero. This cocao has a wide variety of flavors, in other words, it is commonly used as a secondary flavor enhancer. So if creating a candy or dessert, use Trinitario cocao in combination with vanilla, mint, or caramel flavors and the end result will be most satisfying. Cacao trees are very difficult to grow. They will only grow 20 degrees north and south of the equator. If temperatures drop below 6o degrees, the tree will most probably become damaged.

Ideal temperatures for storing Chocolate are 59-63 degrees Fahrenheit or 15-17 degrees Celcius. Did you know that if Chocolate is toed near other foods, Chocolate will absorb the aroma of the nearby food. Ideally, Chocolate needs to be wrapped in a light paper or it should be stored in a dark place. "Blooming" effects can occur if Chocolate is stored improperly. This is when a whitish coloration appears on the Chocolate, which signifies that fat or sugar crystals have risen to the top of the surface.

Researchers are studying the effects of Chocolate, specifically the benefits and risks to our health. Chocolate releases seratonin and dopamine in the brain, which produces the feelings of pleasure. Dark Chocolate, with a high percentage of cocao content has been said to have cardioprotective agents because of its rich souce of flavanoids. These flavonoids have anti oxidants in them and after consuming 100g of DARK Chocolate daily can also lower blood pressure.

Nutritionally there is also concern that when Chocolate is consumed in sweet junk foods, health risks may occur. Obesity is the largest concern and with obesity other risks become prevalent such as diabetes, heart disease, and possibly certain cancers. Medically speaking, Chocolate is used for coughing. The ingredient the obromine is nearly as effective as codeine, the most widely used ingredient in a cough suppressant. Because it soothes the throat and keep it moist preventing a dry cough.

Slowing the process of dementia has also been linked to the use of Chocolate. The research of Flavonol is continually showing promise in developing a medication toward fighting dementia and other diseases. Cocoa has also been used to treat acne, much to the consumer’s surprise. The purer the Chocolate, the more anti oxidants, which is better for the skin and complexion overall. It is the milk Chocolate that leads to acne. Who knew?  Theobromine found in Chocolate is TOXIC to animals. Horses, dogs, cats, parrots, and small rodents are not able to digest Chocolate. Theobromine may stay in their bloodstream for up to 20 hours which has caused epilectic seizures, heart attacks, internal bleeding and DEATH..

CAN YOU REALLY BE A CHOCOHOLIC???  is it really addictive??? Yes it is…this is why. Chocolate contains a number of substances when mixed into CHOCOLCATE bars, which are addictive.Sugar-Theobromine-this substance is responsible for mood elevating effects. Anandaminde- an andogenous cannabinoid. Tryptophan-an amino acid that releases serotonin.  Phenethylamine-an amphetamine or " love chemical" causing endorphin release from the brain. Caffeine-although only traces of it are found in Chocolate it is a stimulant.

SOME POPULAR CHOCOLATES:

Dark Chocolate- containing at least 70% cocoa are beneficial for consumption.

Milk Chocolate- contains up to 50% of cocoa.

White Chocolate- only contains about 33% cocoa

Mass produced Chocolates- often contain as little as 7% cocoa

Read labels for cocoa content on each product.

THERE IS NO PROOF THAT Chocolate IS AN APHRODISIAC.The ingredients in Chocolate may serve as a mild sexual stimulant, but not enough to be considered any kind of aphrodisiac.

 

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