Let me start out by premising this article with this question… who loves chocolate? Wait… scratch that… who “doesn’t” love chocolate? If you are not a lover of one of the greatest inventions on this planet, then this read will not be for you. Chocolate has been around. seemingly, since the begin of the world, in a galaxy far, far away… sorry, was waiting for the day I could use a Star Wars reference (I’m sure even Yoda loves chocolate). Chocolate used to be a decadent treat, or dessert, but over the years, has since taken the thrown as a “superfood”, reaching the echelon of culinary supremacy in countless ways and forms.
Is chocolate a food or a dessert? Well, call it a food to someone baking chocolate chip cookies and call it a dessert to someone who is sprinkling chocolate shavings in their salad or dish, and see how far you get. Chocolate is a revolutionizing culinary food, errr… dessert. You get it, I hope. It is multi-functioning, multi-purposed and loved by so many. And, to top it off, chocolate can be healthy for you! No, seriously, it does have health benefits. Don’t believe it? Keep reading!
Here are a number of things you may or may not have known about Chocolate…
Cash Crop – Yes, at one point in history, chocolate was used as a form of currency. In the day of the Mayans, chocolate grew on trees in the form of cocoa beans. These cocoa beans were extracted from trees and used directly as forms of currency. The Aztecs followed suit.
As Body Paint – Don’t think I need to go into much further detail… use your imagination, and please, keep it to yourself.
With Cheese – Nothing too new or bold here, but adding a sweetness to cheese, even chocolate, can heighten the flavor of both the cheese and the chocolate. And, as old school as it may be, chocolate-swirled cheese cake is an incredible dessert.
Chocolate and Bacon – If you are not aware of this amazing culinary marriage, it’s about time to familiarize yourself with the existence of this fine creation. Bacon coated in chocolate might be the best thing ever created by the people, and for the people.
Dental Health – You’ve got to be kidding, right? Actually, not so much. A cocoa extract has recently been found to be more effective than fluoride in maintaining a healthy set of teeth.
A Happy Heart – Dark chocolate, studies have shown, actually improved coronary circulation. If that isn’t incentive to eat chocolate, I’m not sure what is.
Happy Skin – Cocoa Butter is said to improve the rich, smooth qualities of your skin with an added aroma that will make you the center of attention, in a good way, of course!
Put an End to Hypertension – Studies have shown that consuming dark chocolate can actually lower your blood pressure due to its link with polyphenol-rich chocolate.
Increasing your IQ – Yes, dark chocolate contains higher levels of flavanols that are known to improve blood circulation throughout your body and even your brain. This helps combat mental fatigue, making you more alert and responsive.
Putting that Smile on Your Face – Feeling a bit down? It’s almost natural and a cultural habit to go for that box of chocolates to make you feel better. But it there merit to this? Studies have shown that eating chocolate has similar physiological effects as that of kissing. Chocolate improves bodily circulation and serves as a mild stimulant, making you become more euphoric, which essentially, turns that frown upside down!