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Chocolate: Food Of The Gods…

14/02/2012
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“All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.” Charles M. Schulz

Chocolate: Food Of The Gods... Truffles...

Chocolate: Food Of The Gods... Most expensive Chocolate Truffle - $250 La Madeline au Truffe from Knipschildt

Chocolate: Food Of The Gods... Whiskey Chocolate cake

Do you love Chocolate? Before you take another bite of that delectable treat you’re holding in your hand, ask yourself: Where does chocolate come from? Early this afternoon, I listened to Michel Martin of  npr.org‘s  Tell Me More interview Diana Xochitl Munn, a botanist, and her mom, Natividad Estrada, a member of the indigenous people from northern Oaxaca in Mexico, on the origins of Chocolate. The word “chocolate” comes from Spanish and there are complicated explanations on its genesis. Chocolate is made from the Cacao plant and goes through a four step process. What caught my attention during the interview was Diana’s explanation that the official name of the cacao tree; its scientific name is Theobroma cacao – Food Of The Gods… How appropriate for a treat that many consider an aphrodisiac, a sugary, heaven sent delight, and always a lovers treat. Theobroma cacao is a name to consider the next time you reach for the world’s most expensive chocolate truffle: the $250 La Madeline au Truffe from Knipschildt.  Let me know when you do, okay?✿♡✿Happy Valentine’s Day!✿♡✿

“Strength is the ability to break a chocolate bar into four pieces with your bare hands – and then eat just one of those pieces.” Judith Viorst

Chocolate: Food Of The Gods... Theobroma cacao

Chocolate: Food Of The Gods... Hot Chocolate

Chocolate: Food Of The Gods... Box of chocolates

The seeds of the cacao tree have an intense bitter taste, and must be fermented to develop the flavor. After fermentation, the beans are dried, then cleaned, and then roasted, and the shell is removed to produce cacao nibs. The nibs are then ground to cocoa mass, pure chocolate in rough form. Because this cocoa mass usually is liquefied then molded with or without other ingredients, it is called chocolate liquor. The liquor also may be processed into two components: cocoa solids and cocoa butter. Unsweetened baking chocolate (bitter chocolate) contains primarily cocoa solids and cocoa butter in varying proportions. Much of the chocolate consumed today is in the form of sweet chocolate, combining cocoa solids, cocoa butter or other fat, and sugar. Milk chocolate is sweet chocolate that additionally contains milk powder or condensed milk. White chocolate contains cocoa butter, sugar, and milk but no cocoa solids. How Chocolate is processed – Wikipedia

In pre-Colombian civilization, the Cacao seed was used as money and as a healing drink (xocolātl, a Nahuatl word meaning “bitter water”) served up by a curandera/healer. It makes you wonder about why we find hot chocolate so satisfying. When we enjoy our chocolates, we ought to know that the fruit/seed it is made from is a plant product and most of our chocolate comes from many other regions in the world; the top ten producers of cacao are Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Indonesia, Nigeria, Brazil, Cameroon, Ecuador, Colombia, Mexico, and Papua New Guinea – mostly African, the Americas and countries in the tropics. While the ancient Maya and Aztec royals used chocolate/cacao as an ingredient in cooking food, an offering to the gods, and as a special drink during sacred ceremonies, others cultivated the habit of treating it as a confectionery; a dessert with milk, sugar and other sweet ingredients added to the cacao powder.

“My therapist told me the way to achieve true inner peace is to finish what I start. So far today, I have finished 2 bags of M&M’s and a chocolate cake. I feel better already.” Dave Barry

Chocolate: Food Of The Gods... Chocolate variety sampler

Chocolate: Food Of The Gods... Chocolate fountain

Chocolate: Food Of The Gods... Different types of chocolate


[Soul, R&B, Jazz Music] Maxwell- Urban Theme from Urban Hang Suite( HQ) (Here’s some music to sooth your mood as you enjoy your chocolates)

In the 19th century, John Cadbury, a British chocolate business owner from  Birmingham, England, created the modern chocolate bar by developing an emulsification process to make solid chocolate. The Cadbury company remains one of the world’s largest makers of chocolate products. All chocolate goes through a four step process:  Processing/Harvesting the cacao beans to make chocolate liquor. The liquor is then made into two components: cocoa solids and cocoa butter.   Next is Blending the liquor with the cocoa butter in measured quantities to make different types of chocolate or couvertures.

Then comes Conching in which the chocolate is placed in a container filled with metal beads, which grind the chocolate to a smooth texture.  Fine quality chocolate is kept longer in the conche. Finally, the product goes through Tempering; the chocolate is processed to create consistently small cocoa butter crystals giving the final product its uniform sheen, crisp bite, and the smoothness of properly processed chocolate.  When we buy expensive chocolates for Valentine’s Day or any other important occasion, we are paying a premium price for the longer conching and tempering process our chocolates endured.  Bon Appétit!  Here’s a chocolate truffle recipe to make your own. Hi All, Thanks for your patience. I’ll catch up with your blogs and commenting soon.  More below! 😉

“There always seems to be someone looking over your shoulder – just waiting for an opportunity to lecture on The Darker Side of Chocolate” Sandra Boynton

Chocolate: Food Of The Gods... Nutella Spread

Chocolate: Food Of The Gods... Schokolade - caffeine and cocoa

Chocolate: Food Of The Gods... Chocolate couverture...

There are potentially many health effects, both negative and positive.  Cocoa or dark chocolate may positively affect the circulatory system.  Other possible effects under basic research include anticancer, brain stimulator, cough preventor and antidiarrhoeal activities. An aphrodisiac effect is yet unproven. Dark chocolate appear to help prevent heart disease.  Consumption of large quantities of any energy-rich food, such as chocolate, without a corresponding increase in activity, is thought to increase the risk of obesity.  Chocolate absorbs lead from the environment during production, and there is a slight concern of mild lead poisoning.  Chocolate is toxic to many animals because of insufficient capacity to metabolize theobromine. Research on elderly people showed chocolate might cause osteoporosis.However, more research has shown that it will boost cognitive abilities.  Dark chocolate can help reduce the risk of cardiovascular problems and also reduce blood pressure in both overweight and normal adults. Finally, studies have shown dark chocolate as part of a low-fat diet can lower cholesterol levels in adults. Wikipedia


Maxwell – Urban Theme (Extended Version) from the Til The Cops Come Knockin CDS (Here’s some more of that music to sooth your mood as you enjoy your chocolates)

In terms of variety, chocolate is made into so many edible products from cakes, truffles, bars, samplers, cookies, beverages, to spreads and dips. There are several types of chocolate; Unsweetened chocolate, Dark chocolate, Milk chocolate, Semisweet chocolate, Bittersweet chocolate, Couverture, White chocolate, Cocoa Powder, Compound chocolate, Dutch process chocolate, Scho-Ka-Kola – a chocolate brand containing coffee and cola nut. Couverture chocolate is a very high quality chocolate, (smooth and delicately flavored) that contains extra cocoa butter  between (32-39%). Top quality chocolate products are made from it. As for health matters, chocolate has good and bad effects on our system. The block quote above shares from the good, like the antioxidants and mood/mind boosting effect of chocolate, to the bad, lead poisoning, artery clogging  and weight gain. Eat chocolate in moderation and all will be well.

♥What are your thoughts?  Did you know Chocolate cake is good for you? Do you have a favorite chocolate product? If yes, when do you like to indulge your favorite chocolate treat?  Do share! ♥Happy ♥Valentine’s ♥Day ♥To ♥You! 🙂 Thank you. 😉

Positive Motivation Tip: Chocolate treats give us a chance to indulge our sweet tooth…and can cheer us up. Share the goodness.

PHOTO CREDITS/ATTRIBUTIONS: All Photos Theobroma Cacao, Whiskey Chocolate Cake, Chocolate Truffles, Knipschildt’s La Madeline au Truffe, Hot Chocolate, Chocolate boxScho ka kola, Couverture chocolate, Chocolate Spread, Chocobars, via Wikipedia Or  Chocolate Treats by J Paxon Reyes, via Flickr

Until Next Time…
Ask. Believe. Receive. ©
Elizabeth Obih-Frank
Mirth and Motivation
Positive Kismet

32 Comments leave one →
  1. Goz permalink
    15/02/2012 4:42 am

    Yummy pictures! Thanks for educating us… Now to your question? I love ALL types of chocolate..belgian chocolates, ferrero rocher, dark, chocolates with nuts, ganache, etc etc I’m probably a chocoholic…or maybe just a great chocolate lover..;)

  2. 15/02/2012 7:20 am

    Chocolate is definitely one of my favorite foods, Eliz…so thanks for the beautiful and informative post!
    I love the Dave Barry quote about his therapist telling him to finish what he starts…so he finishes the bag of M&M’s and the chocolate cake…priceless!
    Maybe I’ll use chocolate as the theme for my next picture book idea. 🙂 Did you see that I was a finalist in Susanna Leonard Hill’s Unlikely Valentine Story Contest?
    http://susannahill.blogspot.com/2012/02/happy-valentines-day-contest-finalists.html
    I don’t think any of the stories were about chocolate…but you might enjoy reading them. 🙂

  3. 15/02/2012 7:41 am

    Mmm . . . chocolate. One of my favorite treats. 😀

  4. Nandini permalink
    15/02/2012 7:51 am

    I love chocolate! 🙂 This is a very informational post. Great work! Thank you. 🙂

  5. 15/02/2012 9:37 am

    Love chocolate! 🙂 It’s very appropriate that the scientific name for chocolate is Theobroma cacao – Food Of The Gods…
    A scrumptious post!

  6. 15/02/2012 10:55 am

    Good information about chocolate!

  7. 15/02/2012 12:24 pm

    Chocolate!!!!!!

  8. 15/02/2012 12:35 pm

    m& M I’m on a diet!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  9. 15/02/2012 12:41 pm

    Now I’m craving chocolate. My favorite is dark chocolate. Have to get some after work!

  10. 15/02/2012 1:18 pm

    Oh I’m a chocolate lover……I love the extreme dark chocolate…usually between 75-90% chocolate. Leave the sugar out for me. I have my little taste of coffee mid-morning usually with my iced coffee. Thanks for the post!

  11. 15/02/2012 1:27 pm

    Interesting that chocolate is from a tree grown in the warmest climates and that it has come to be recognized as the best way to express warm love to someone! I really enjoyed all the erudition here, the far-too-tempting photographs, and the sayings from current times. Dave Barry’s quote is my favorite here! And dark chocolate being good for heart health is SO-OOO-OO convenient, is it not?

  12. 15/02/2012 1:37 pm

    Great posts. Two thoughts here. I must be a Goddess the way I LOVE Chocolate and I’m glad looking at your delightful photos doesn’t land on the backdoor. Yum! You have me drooling.

  13. 15/02/2012 1:59 pm

    I saw your title, and yet I still opened this post from work! Now I have to go the rest of the day craving chocolate! You DID warn with the title! Chocolate is excellent for promoting well-being! Debra

  14. 15/02/2012 4:26 pm

    Ohhh, now you’ve done it Eliz! I want, need, chocolate!!!!! 🙂

  15. 15/02/2012 5:33 pm

    That hot chocolate looks to die for! and nutella and I have had a secret love affair for over a year now… Tonight I decided to treat myself to a small bowl of Bryer’s Chocolate ice cream and I must say, it made my day so much better. 🙂

  16. 15/02/2012 6:08 pm

    how perfect! I just finished serving frosted brownies as my daughter’s birthday “cake” at our family party! 🙂 Everyone around the table agrees with you….food of the gods, and then some!!!
    great post as always, Elizabeth!! 🙂

  17. 16/02/2012 12:03 am

    I once asked my niece what she feared the most and, ever the joker, she answered, “A worldwide shortage of chocolate.”

  18. 16/02/2012 2:37 am

    Will you stop with the food articles????? Especially the chocolate ones! I’m drooling here and that is not a good thing.

    So delicious………………

  19. 16/02/2012 5:37 am

    Food of the gods, huh? Great shots and a very interesting history.
    However, I HATE chocolate and have never understood the passion people have for it. The smell alone makes my stomach lurch. It is one of two things my mom, who LOVED chocolate, couldn’t eat when she was pregnant with me.
    Hope you had a great Valentine’s Day.

  20. 16/02/2012 6:36 am

    your post is making my mouth water!! I love chocolate!

  21. 16/02/2012 7:51 am

    That was a delicious post—and the Judith Voirst quote is spot on!

  22. 16/02/2012 10:09 am

    Chocolate is good for me but not for my teeth.
    Yummy post. Once we had a small cacao farm, and during the weekends I and my sisters used to go there with our father to collect the ripe seeds. We would eat the fleshy coating on each seed. And later we would sell the seeds. Sometimes my mother even made home-made chocolates, a 3-4 day long process.
    The picture brought all those memories back. Thank you 🙂

  23. 16/02/2012 10:16 am

    I eat chocolate every time I feel down or tired. It’s one of my best friends 🙂

  24. 16/02/2012 2:11 pm

    Impressive collection of chocolatey goodness, but . . . honestly . . . I’d rather have a bowl of spaghetti!

  25. 16/02/2012 3:53 pm

    Chocolate…..

  26. 16/02/2012 4:52 pm

    Oh that looks like heaven on a plate! I think I will be having a cup of hot chocolate with a side of a chocolate covered strawberry…and anything else that comes dipped or soaked in chocolate.

  27. 17/02/2012 10:30 am

    mouth wateringly good 🙂

  28. 17/02/2012 2:35 pm

    Hmmm…all mouth-watering treats!

  29. 18/02/2012 5:46 am

    I love only specific chocolates, and I dislike chocolate cakes, drinks, ice cream etc.

  30. 20/02/2012 7:17 pm

    My favorite is dark chocolate, and your yummy pictures have me heading for my stash. 🙂 I’m a firm believer in having a little chocolate everyday.

  31. 26/02/2012 5:44 am

    I eat chocolate every day. I tell myself it’s good for my heart!

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