Hello everyone and happy almost chocolate day! Today’s blog post is going to be a little different because instead of giving advice or sharing fun and insightful stories, today is all about celebrating the delicious sweet treat that is chocolate. Chocolate is something that I believe everyone loves, in at least one of its many forms. Even for those who can’t eat chocolate because of lactose intolerance reasons, the world has created a solution with the invention of dairy-free chocolate, vegan chocolate and other types of variations. In honour of chocolate day tomorrow, today I would like to share some of the many wonders of chocolate and a few fun facts so if you like chocolate (and I think there shouldn’t be a person out there who says no) then I highly suggest you get comfortable, grab a chocolatey snack and keep reading. I hope you enjoy this blog post!
White versus milk versus dark
In case you aren’t aware of this, there are three different types of chocolate that are common all around the world. White chocolate, milk chocolate and dark chocolate. Even though the names are different, they don’t indicate quite how different these three different variants can get and for anyone who has tried all three, you will certainly be in agreement about how different they are. Dark chocolate is the most ‘natural’ chocolate variant because it has the highest proportion of cocoa beans out of the three types. It is also very popular because it doesn’t have a milky or creamy flavour to it, making it more favourable for people who don’t have a huge sweet tooth, and it has less sugar and added calories than the other two types of chocolate. So if you are dieting and couldn’t give up chocolate, dark chocolate might be your solution (fair warning it is more bitter than the other two types). Next, we move on to milk chocolate, which was invented in Switzerland due to the addition of condensed milk. Milk chocolate is the most commonly consumed type of chocolate, most likely due to its sweet and creamy taste and texture, without being too overwhelmingly rich and sweet. It is by far my favourite type (Cadbury dairy milk if I’m really specific) and can go with just about anything. The last kind of chocolate we get is white chocolate, which is considered to be the sweetest and most milky of them all because it is mainly cocoa butter instead of cocoa solids. There are many opportunities to buy white chocolate, even though it is not as popular as milk and dark.
Different uses of chocolate
Now that we know the three main types of chocolate, here is where you get to use your imagination. In the early days of chocolate consumption, it was either a drink or a piece of candy and didn’t have too many other features in other products. Now though, that couldn’t be further from the truth. There are so many ways to include chocolate in a dish that I sometimes do a double take and think how on earth that is possible. Chocolate is an excellent addition to just about any dessert (I mean chocolate cakes and cupcakes, chocolate chips in cookies and pastries, chocolate spread and filling in just about anything), there are chocolate flavoured drinks, all sorts of things you can dip in chocolate and that is only in the dessert sphere. Did you know that there is such a thing as chocolate pasta? You can also put chocolate with steaks, in risotto, even in a salad. Chocolate is just such a diverse creation that we have been able to transform it into just about any dish you want. Please tell me another substance that is as diverse and still delicious in every form because I can’t think of anything.
Why chocolate is amazing
Now I’m going to move on to tell you why chocolate is so amazing if my earlier points haven’t already convinced you. Chocolate isn’t merely a fantastic treat just because it can be used in so many different ways and happens to be delicious in all its many forms. No, there are actually many other benefits of chocolate that go far beyond just tickling your taste buds. Dark chocolate is actually said to reduce risks of heart disease, improve the function of the brain, lower blood pressure, and it is a powerful source in antioxidants. People also say that chocolate is bad for your skin and your health in general (increasing risks of high cholesterol and diabetes), but the chocolate part isn’t what does this. The heavily processed chocolate that we find in many stores are filled with sugar, creams and chemicals, and this is what is bad for you. Chocolate also releases endorphins and serotonin, which is why chocolate always seems like such a great idea when you are stressed or feeling down. These chemicals released in the brain act as a natural stress and pain relievers and as an antidepressant. Just be careful though – chocolate still isn’t the greatest and can increase many health risks if you consume too much so just because chocolate has numerous benefits, don’t take that as an excuse to binge eat chocolate all day and turn it into your only source of nutrients.
Ooh here is the fun part. Just to make this blog post a little more interesting for those looking for fun facts, here is some interesting information that I wanted to share about chocolate. Now I know that you may already know these facts, but I thought that they would be interesting to share and might increase your reasons as to why you should celebrate chocolate and appreciate and enjoy eating it.
There are so many days to celebrate chocolate
Besides July 7th, which marks the day when chocolate was first brought to Europe, there are actually many days throughout the year to celebrate this delicious treat. There is National Milk Chocolate day on July 28th and International Chocolate day on September 13th. Besides the official days, there are also plenty of holidays that don’t necessarily celebrate chocolate but encourage the eating of chocolate. Easter is a day where we literally eat as many chocolate eggs and bunnies as possible. Halloween is another day all about eating candy, and we are even encouraged to eat chocolate on Christmas and Valentines Day with all the themed sweets that got sold. Basically, the world wants us to celebrate chocolate all year round.
Technically, kind of, a vegetable
If we are technical, milk and dark chocolate both come from the cacao bean, which grows on an evergreen tree. So, since the cacao bean is the most critical part of the chocolate, therefore the most critical part of the sweet treat is a vegetable. How cool is that?
White chocolate isn’t chocolate
If we are super technical, white chocolate isn’t really chocolate in the strict sense of the word because it doesn’t contain cocoa solids or chocolate liquor. However, the reason why it is still classified as chocolate is that it still includes parts of the cacao bean (predominantly cocoa butter). Who knew a type of chocolate wasn’t really chocolate?
The first chocolate bar
Many companies around the world were involved in the production of chocolate, even though it was more a beverage than a sweet snack in the early days. However, the first chocolate bar was only made in 1842 by quite a well-known chocolate company. Anyone ever heard of Cadbury? That’s right! The Cadbury company of England made the very first chocolate bar in 1842 and is now considered to be in the top five most popular and well-known chocolate brands in the entire world.
More compounds than red wine
Okay, I know that this might sound strange but hear me out on this first. There are roughly 200 flavour compounds in red wine, which is why it is considered such a complex taste because it has so many different flavour compounds combined and giving it a beautifully mixed and diverse taste. Well, if we are technical, chocolate has more than 600 flavour compounds. That’s more than three times the amount of compounds in red wine. You wouldn’t think that chocolate could have so many flavour compounds, but there it is – just goes to show that chocolate is not merely a bite of flavoury sweetness.
Voila! I hope that by now, I have convinced you or proven to you why chocolate is fantastic, or at the very least gotten you into the mood to celebrate chocolate day tomorrow. As you can see, chocolate is so much more than a bar of sugar that you can get at the grocery store. It is a beautifully intricate food item that has evolved into something we use in so many diverse ways and has health benefits for us. Please again remember though that this is not me encouraging you to eat obscene amounts of chocolate and potentially damage your health, more just reminding you why chocolate is so amazing and that spoiling yourself to the occasional square (or bar) isn’t necessarily a bad thing. For my question of the day:
- What is your favourite type of chocolate or chocolate dish?
I think mine would have to be chocolate covered strawberries. They are just so mouth-watering and addictive I can’t get enough of them. I hope that you have all enjoyed this blog post today and will treat yourself this weekend to a little bit of chocolatey goodness. You guys are all fantastic and are sweeter than chocolate for your continuous support. Happy chocolate eating everybody!
Lots of Love
Blondey on a Mission xxx