October 15 to November 10, annually
Celebrating all things chocolate. And all things that pair with chocolate, cooking with chocolate, thinking outside the chocolate box… and more

Chocolate and More

Chocolate Helps to Prevent “Bad” Cholesterol

Chocolate is rich in phenolics, the same heart protective antioxidants found in wine. In fact, 1.5 ounces of chocolate -the amount of a typical chocolate bar - has as many phenolitcs as a glass of red wine. These chemicals help lower the risk of heart disease and prevent clot-like substances from clogging arteries.

Stearic acid, a saturated fat found in red meat and chocolate, does not raise cholesterol levels compared to other saturated fats. Cells treated with stearic acid, which are normally found in beef and chocolate appear to cut the liver's output of fat and work to help pull "bad" cholesterol out of the blood.

Chocolate is Low in Caffeine

Chocolate is comparatively low in caffeine. For example a one-ounce piece of milk chocolate contains approximately 6 milligrams of caffeine, while a five-ounce cup of decaffeinated brewed coffee contains 3 milligrams of caffeine, and a five-ounce cup of caffeinated instant coffee contains 65 milligrams of caffeine. A five-ounce cup of brewed coffee can have upto 115 milligrams of caffeine. Tea is also high in caffeine - ranging from 30-60 milligrams for a five-ounce cup.

Another Reason for you to Enjoy Chocolate, guilt free

Dark chocolate has been identified has high in Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity. ORAC is a method of measuring antioxidant capacity, and has been applied to vegetables, spices, fruits and berries. There is a high correlation between high antioxidant capacity and the free-radical theory of aging - meaning foods high in ORAC help combat the effects of aging due to free-radicals. In every 100g of dark chocolate there are 13,120 ORAC, compared to 5938 in one cup of strawberries or 13,427 in a cup of blueberries.

Chocolate Makes You Feel Great

Chocolate is part of a healthy, balanced diet and it makes you feel great! A substance in chocolate called theobromine triggers the release of endorphins, which are chemicals, produced by the brain, that act like a natural antidepressant and can temporarily relieve the blues.

Chocolate Helps You Live Longer

Research proves that candy eaters live almost a year longer than those who abstain.

Chocolate is Good for You

Research has confirmed that chocolate is a good source of the kind of antioxidants found in tea. But actually, the antioxidant content of chocolate is four times that of tea. Plus, the fat in chocolate can help your immune system and it can also help outwit cytokines by reducing your susceptibility to infections and inflammation.

Chocolate Won't Cause Acne

Scientists have concluded that pure chocolate won't cause acne.

Chocolate Can Aid in Whiter Teeth

A dark bar, with its high cocoa-to-sugar ratio, may actually discourage tooth decay and lead to fewer cavities and whiter teeth.

Ease a Cough With Chocolate

One of chocolate's active ingredients, Theobromine, suppresses activity in the vagus nerve, which causes coughing. According to a study published in a recent issue of The Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology journal, it was one-third more effective at stopping a persistent cough than a placebo.

Suggested serving size: One 50-gram bar of dark chocolate or two cups (500 mL) of hot cocoa (made with real cocoa, not hot chocolate mix) per day.

Why Women Need Chocolate — Eat What You Crave to Look and Feel Great

Written by Debra Waterhouse, M.P.H., R.D, this book explains the important gender differences in food cravings, why the female biology triggers a need for chocolate and other foods, and how women can enhance emotional and physical well-being by responding to their vital food messages.

Chocolate Facts from Best Health Magazine Published March/April 2009

·         Chocolate May Improve Skin - Researches at Germany’s Heinrich Heine University exposed chocolate eaters to ultraviolet light and found that after 6 weeks, they had 15% less skin reddening than those who didn’t eat it. After 12 weeks, the chocolate eaters’ skin was 16% denser and 42% less scaly. “We believe that compounds in chocolate act as UV filters,” says study leader Wilhelm Stahl.

·         Checks Cancer - Georgetown University researchers found that when breast cancer cells were treated with chocolate flavanols, the cells stopped dividing.

·         Boosts the Brain - A brain imaging study on healthy women at Britain’s University of Nottingham found flavanol-rich cocoa increased blood flow to their brains for two to three hours. Researchers believe cocoa could benefit older adults with dementia and Alzheimer’s.

·         Relieves Fatigue - Chronic fatigue syndrome patients who ate 1.6 ounces (45 g) of dark chocolate daily for eight weeks were less tired than when fed placebos. Researchers think it boosts the neurotransmitters regulating sleep and mood.

 

Cacao and Chocolate Facts

·         The seed of a cacao tree contains the parts of the tree in miniature, the stem of the seed will grow into the trunk of the new tree.

·         Cacao pods grow on the trunk of the tree instead of from the branches.

·         Cacao was first consumed by the Mayans as a beverage during religious rituals.

·         Cacao or Cocoa? Cacao is generally used to refer to raw, unprocessed cacao beans, while cocoa refers to processed cacao materials.

·         Pure cocoa solids are bitter because the fat content, cocoa butter, have been removed and taste buds require fat to carry flavour.

·         Cocoa butter is used in cosmetics and also as a coating in pharmaceuticals.

·         Chocolates are rich in antioxidants which lower your chances of heart disease, stroke, cancer and etc.

·         Chocolate contains antioxidants called flavonoids which promote skin hydration and also decrease sensitivity to the sun.

·         In the process of making chocolate, the liquid chocolate must be tempered, the temperature kept constant and stirred so that the molecules will line up in a way which creates a shiny uniform appearance when cooled.

·         Conching is the process by which liquid chocolate is stirred to remove unpleasant flavours.

·         Chocolates with added nuts and fruits produce blended flavors.

·         For the best chocolate-tasting experience, store these delicacies at 60°F to 70°F to avoid sugar and fat bloom (the grainy and greasy white "film" on the chocolate).

·         The white film on chocolate does not mean that the chocolate is inedible… that’s just the cocoa butter rising to the surface.

·         Store chocolates away from any strong smelling items.

·         For high quality chocolates, select chocolates with high cocoa content, which promises the least sugar content!

·         For all the dieters out there, the primary fat content in chocolates is cocoa butter, so choose darker chocolates to avoid any needless calories!

Steps in Chocolate Production

1.     Cacao pods grow on trees called Theobroma Cocoa.

2.     Harvest the pods which contain the beans inside.

3.     Roast the cocoa beans.

4.     Crush and break cocoa beans (at this point they are still bitter!).

5.     Crush into a paste called Chocolate Liquor (no actual alcohol content).

6.     Process chocolate liquor: add sugar, cocoa butter, vanilla, milk.

7.     After the Taste Enhancement, the Texture is not quite ready.

8.     The mixture will be mixed further with a machine called the Conch: to add more cocoa butter to create a smoother complexity.

How to Enjoy Your Chocolates Like a Pro

·         Chocolates should be sampled at room temperature.

·         Clean your palate with sips of water before tasting.

·         Pay attention to the packaging detail – this is a good indicator of chocolate quality.

·         When unwrapping the chocolate package, is there a pleasant chocolate aroma?

·         Chocolate that is properly produced will snap when broken.

·         Place a small piece of chocolate on the tongue and press it between your tongue and the roof of your mouth and let it melt.

·         When tasting, note the smoothness, richness, and texture (easy-to-chew, rather than being chalky or gooey).

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FUN CHOCOLATE FACTS, RECIPES AND MORE

Cocoa and Chocolate has an amazing history, lots of great stories and recipes - Discover Now, and link to the Chocolate and More page http://www.festivalofchocolate.ca/en/facts/