5 Things You Didn't Know About Chocolate
You would be hard pressed to find someone who doesn't enjoy rich dark chocolate, and we're pretty sure that you'll be enjoying plenty of it over the Easter holidays too! So, as you gnaw on the ear of your chocolate bunny why not read five things you probably didn't know about this beloved treat!
1. Chocolate is a product of fermentation.
When cocoa beans are removed from their pods they are coated in a white slimy pulp. These white coated beans are stored in large wooden boxes where they ferment for 3 to 7 days. The beans rise in temperature and excess liquid begins to drain. Beans eventually turn their signature brown tone and take on a true chocolate flavour. It looks like chocolate and wine have more in common than we thought!
2. White chocolate is not chocolate.
The magic of chocolate making happens when cocoa is combined with cocoa butter, the off-white coloured fat from cocoa beans. We then throw in sugar, various flavourings and usually milk fat to make the chocolate we are familiar with. A high quality white chocolate is basically sweetened cocoa butter. Most white chocolate (including the kind mixed with cookies) is often a blend of vegetable oils and sugar.
3. There is a difference between cocao and cocoa.
Some people believe that there is no difference between cacao and cocoa and that both can be used interchangeably, but in fact, there is a tangible difference! Cacao is completely raw and contains antioxidants along with nourishing minerals. Cocoa on the other hand is heavily processed and contains much less nutritional value. Find raw cacao at your local Kardish!
4. Chocolate may protect your skin from the sun.
The flavanols found in chocolate are plant-based nutrients that provide a number of health benifits. Among these benefits is its ability to improve the health of our skin. A study showed that a group of women fed a high-flavanol chocolate had a 25% reduction in sunburns after exposure to a solar simulator.
5. Chocolate can improve the efficacy of your probiotic supplement.
Our intestinal tract is filled with trillions of healthy bacteria that work hard to support digestion, and they get really hungry. Prebiotics are food for these bacteria, allowing them to thrive in the environment of our colon. The flavanols in chocolate (mentioned above) can be utilized as a source of prebiotics.
Learn more about the many types of chocolate sold at your local Kardish! Feel free to share your thoughts with us in the comments below, as well as on Twitter and Facebook.