Why do we love chocolate so much?
Chocolate is a favorite dessert for many and can be considered a comfort food. Not only is it a great tasting treat, but literally melts in your mouth. This is often described as a moment of ecstasy by chocoholics. According to scientific research chocolate contains naturally occurring chemicals that release triggers to your brain to feel that sense of euphoria. And to top it all off, chocolate is good for you! The flavonoids and antioxidants found in chocolate have health benefits that can lower the risk of cancer and heart disease.
Where does cocoa come from?
Cocoa is grown on trees within 15-20 degrees from the Equator. The trees require a lot of shade, a lot of water, and consistently warm temperatures. An established tree will grow to be 20-25 feet in height and bears fruit for many years. The fruit is encased in a pod that contains 30-40 seeds or cacao beans. It is thought that the trees originated in South America, most cocoa beans today are grown in West African countries.
What is the most popular type of chocolate?
The most popular type of chocolate is milk chocolate. Milk chocolate tends to be the go to choice for many because of it’s creamy texture and mild flavor. For those with more sophisticated tastes, dark chocolate has a different taste profile. Dark chocolates are bitter- or semisweet and vary in sweetness level which are defined by the level of cacao content.
What determines the cost of chocolate?
Gourmet, store brand, name brand…if it’s all chocolate why such the difference in price? The cost of chocolates are generally determined by the cost of the cocoa beans used to produce it. The method of production also can the cost to differ. A large company with an assembly line type process can make their products at a lower cost compared to a local confectionery shop.