What You Need To Know About Chocolates


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Chocolates are created from cacao beans, the dried and partially fermented seeds of the cacao tree (Theobroma cacao), a small (4–8 m (or 15–26 ft) tall) evergreen tree native to the deep tropical region of the Americas.

Chocolates come in several types:

Pure, unsweetened chocolate contains primarily cocoa solids and cocoa butter in varying proportions. Unsweetened chocolate is pure chocolate liquor, also known as bitter or baking chocolate. It is unadulterated chocolate: the pure, ground, roasted chocolate beans impart a strong, deep chocolate flavor.

Sweet chocolate combines chocolate with 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. It is formed from a mixture of sugar, cocoa butter and milk solids. Although its texture is similar to milk and dark chocolate, it does not contain any cocoa solids.

Dark chocolate is produced by adding fat and sugar to the cacao mixture. Dark chocolate, with its high cocoa content, is a rich source of epicatechin and gallic acid, which are thought to possess cardioprotective properties. It has also been said to reduce the possibility of a heart attack when consumed regularly in small amounts.

Semisweet chocolate is a dark chocolate with a low sugar content. Bittersweet chocolate is chocolate liquor to which some sugar (typically a third), more cocoa butter, vanilla and sometimes lecithin have been added. It has less sugar and more liquor than semisweet chocolate, but the two are interchangeable in baking.

Raw chocolate, often referred to as raw cacao, is always dark and a minimum of 75% cacao. Because the act of processing results in the loss of certain vitamins and minerals (such as magnesium), some consider raw cacao to be a more nutritious form of chocolate.

Source: Wikipedia: Chocolate

Why do we feel good when eating chocolates?

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One of the most pleasant effects of eating chocolate is the “good feeling” that many people experience after indulging. Chocolate contains more than 300 known chemicals. Scientists have been working on isolating specific chemicals and chemical combinations which may explain some of the pleasurable effects of consuming chocolate.

Caffeine is the most well known of these chemical ingredients, and while it’s present in chocolate, it can only be found in small quantities. Theobromine, a weak stimulant, is also present, in slightly higher amounts. The combination of these two chemicals (and possibly others) may provide the “lift” that chocolate eaters experience.

Phenylethylamine is also found in chocolate. It’s related to amphetamines, which are strong stimulants. All of these stimulants increase the activity of neurotransmitters (brain chemicals) in parts of the brain that control our ability to pay attention and stay alert.

Source: The Sweet Lure of Chocolate: “Feel Good” Food

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