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Chocolate Week is coming to New York next February 4 – 13, 2013 with support from Cacao Noel, Paris Gourmet. This is the perfect time for chocolate lovers to indulge in this sweet during this week-long event. Discover the craft … Continue reading
Have you ever wondered why chocolate is a common present on Valentine’s Day. Where does this common belief come from? Let’s talk about it…
Chocolate, called the love medicine, is good for your health and your heart. Indeed, cacao is rich in antioxidant polyphenols. Chocolate also contains a modest quantity of caffeine, which is beneficial for the central nervous system and stimulates the flow of blood to the brain. That’s why it also decreases fatigue.The power of chocolate doesn’t stop there. Actually, this treat helps to improve your mood and respiration functions as well.Let’s be more romantic now. As we explained, Chocolate has good effects on the brain. It increases serotonin levels, which is the feel good brain chemical. Serotonin improves mood and sleeping patterns. Increased serotonin in the brain increases feelings of desire and love. Also, women consume more chocolate than men, which could be one of the reasons why they have more serotonin.
If you think about it, men seem to have been aware of this fact for a long time. Why do you think Chocolate is often considered to be a perfect gift for romantic occasions?
Even if all of this information has been proven with studies, some people still don’t agree with these findings. The reason is simple; individual chemistry plays a major role in how we react to it. If your body does react to chocolate though, then just indulge in it…
Modern Chocolate is considered to be a dynamic element. Nowadays, it is not only a central attraction for cuisine, but it also plays an important part in movies, museums, expositions, etc.In 2000, the movie producer Lasse Hallstrom adapted the book “Chocolat”, by the author Joanne Harris, and made it into a film. In this movie, Chocolate is viewed as a dramatic metaphor for pleasure and freedom with Johnny Depp and the French actress Juliette Binoche.
The story is about a woman who moves to a small French village with her daughter to open a chocolate shop, which shakes up the rigid morality of the community. By the end of the movie, this woman ends up changing the moral of some of the town locals; thanks to her cacao recipes.
Throughout the world, museums dedicate their exhibitions to Chocolate. In United States, there are 4 museums where chocolate is the central piece.
Chocolate is also considered as a super model’s accessory. Indeed, shows are organized in several cities (France, Spain, Italy, United States, Japan, China…) around the world, called “Le Salon du Chocolat” (Chocolate Show). During this show, Chocolate is a central point of interest and it is used in many ways. In Shangai, models have paraded in front of the audience wearing sweet clothes: dresses, shoes and handbags, all made out of Chocolate. This treat definitely has something more to offer than any other on earth!
The success of the cacao bean begins with the Olmec, which was the first civilization to use it in beverage form by grinding down the cocoa beans and mixing the powder with water and spices.
Then it was the Mayan and Aztec civilizations turn to discover the cocoa beans. They used it as units of money and measure. They even paid taxes with cacao beans! For these civilizations, cacao was a symbol of abundance and wealth, as well as offerings for religious ceremonies.
The story of Chocolate goes on with the discovery of North America. Christopher Columbus returned as a hero after his huge excursion. He came back with a treasure. The King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella were the first to get a look at this strange product: a dark brown bean, which looks like an almond. They didn’t realize at that moment however, the importance of this, soon to be, favorite global flavor.
But another explorer did see its importance. Indeed, Hernando Cortez brought back to Spain those same cocoa beans, thinking about their commercial possibility. He discovered the cocoa beans with the Aztec Indians, but their chocolaty beverage didn’t suit the European’s taste. So Hernando Cortez decided to add cane sugar to the crushed beans and water.
They made several changes; more spices as cinnamon, vanilla…
At the beginning, Spain kept the secret of this discovery to itself, but by the 17th century, the whole world knew about this delightful treasure.