There are very few people who will turn down any form of chocolate and why would they, there’s a reason that the cacao tree, Theobroma, is known as the tree of the gods. While many will not think twice about sinking their teeth into anything containing chocolate, they will probably admit that they could use a brush up on the origins of this great treat or where most of today’s chocolate comes from. So whether your chocolate of choice is a rich hot chocolate on a cool summer morning, a bite–sized creamy truffle in the afternoon, or a nightly nibble of some 71% cacao, here’s some noteworthy info about chocolate to elevate your chocolate IQ and impress your friends.
The origins of chocolate date back at least 2,000 years to a time when Aztecs referred to it as xocoatl when it was a bitter drink brewed from cacao beans, not the sweet chocolate bar that we know today. Additional research has uncovered that chocolate could date back as far as 1400 B.C. when Hondurans fermented it into an alcoholic beverage of the time.
Today most of the world’s chocolate comes from West Africa, about 70%. Ghana and Ivory Coast account for 60% of all chocolate production. Delysia’s chocolate comes ethically and sustainably sourced from Ghana.
Each cacao pod is about the size of a pineapple and holds thirty to fifty seeds. It takes between 400-500 seeds to make one pound of chocolate. So you would need as little as 8 pods or as many as 17 to make a pound of the stuff.
Add health benefits to your chocolate IQ
While the Mayan and Aztecs believed chocolate had many healing powers and chocolate has maintained a long reputation as an aphrodisiac, here are some more evidence-based health benefits to eating chocolate.
- The smell of chocolate increases theta brain waves which can trigger relaxation.
- Chocolate can stimulate your brain to make opioids that makes you feel happy.
- A little bit of dark chocolate every day can reduce your risk of heart disease and Type 2 diabetes. A study published in the British Journal of Nutrition revealed that 100g of dark chocolate a day reduced insulin resistance and improved liver enzymes.
- Eating chocolate can strengthen your teeth’s enamel. Researchers in Japan and England found that chocolate can also ward off tooth decay, fight cavities, and dental plaque.
- After exercise, drink chocolate milk to increase your endurance and relieve your sore muscles. Researchers at the University of Texas at Austin found that drinking a low-fat chocolate milk post workout not only helps endurance, but it can also help build muscle and improve performance more so than a no-calorie beverage or a carbohydrate drink with no protein.
However, it is important to take the news in stride and note that chocolate should be eaten in moderation to yield the full effects. Doctors recommend eating dark chocolate – which is considered the healthiest due to it being lower in sugar and fats and the least processed among all chocolates – to milk or white chocolate.
Congratulations you have successfully increased your chocolate IQ. Now armed with this new information, your next step is to follow doctor’s orders and indulge in some of Delysia Chocolatier’s Dark Chocolate Truffles. In addition to three dark chocolate truffles, this collection features three truffles with hazelnut and another three with raspberry. The earthy undertones and rich texture of the fruit and nut enhance the chocolate flavor. You can also try Delysia’s Coffee Dark Chocolate Bark if you’re looking for a more traditional chocolate bar experience. The locally sourced course coffee beans pair well with the 64% smooth dark chocolate giving each bite a refreshing crispness.