Savour World Chocolate Day!

World Chocolate Day

From the small chocolate bar you can find in most shops to extravagant works of art, chocolate is beloved across the world. July 7 2017 officially marks World Chocolate Day; a day dedicated to this much beloved food item.

Chocolate is a perfect snack in the workplace when you’re having a quick break and on OPInfo we have plenty of delicious products that will suit the office including hot chocolate and chocolate bars! As such, we thought it was only fair that we take a look at some interesting facts about one of the world’s favourite snack foods.

The Humble Cocoa Bean

This may not be a surprise to many people, but the base of both dark and milk chocolate is the humble cocoa bean. These beans come from cocoa trees and are native to Central and South America, though they are cultivated across the world now.

Cocoa beans are quite bitter and must be fermented to develop the flavour that you may be more used to. According to Cadbury Australia, there are two basic methods that are used to ferment, using heaps or ‘sweating’ boxes.

It Was Originally A Drink

While we may be more familiar with physical bars today, the original way used by many Central and South American cultures was to drink it. It was bitter and strong, but had been drank this way for thousands of years until the conquest of Mexico by Spain.

Spanish conquistadors discovered this popular drink and brought it back to Spain. The addition of cane sugar resulted in a sweeter drink that very quickly became popular with the aristocracy. It began to spread to the rest of Europe by the early 17th century.

The World’s First Bar

It is astonishing to think that it was only in 1847 that the first chocolate bar was actually created. It was created by the English chocolatiers Fry & Son found a way to make it mouldable, resulting in a bar similar to what we see today.

It was created thanks to the addition of cocoa butter into the mixture of cocoa powder and sugar. This revolution meant that it could be shaped and even poured over fruit-flavoured centres. Fry’s is still being sold today with Fry’s Chocolate Cream and Fry’s Turkish Delight.

White Chocolate Contains No Cocoa

We may have said before that chocolate comes from the cocoa bean, but it may surprise you to find out that white chocolate is not technically real chocolate. That is because it contains no cocoa solids, instead it is usually made from sugar, milk solids and cocoa butter.

The cocoa butter is what gives it the pale appearance, though it should be noted that if the chocolate is pure white then it is likely to be made with something other than cocoa butter.

Dark Chocolate Contains Beneficial Minerals

In complete contrast to white chocolate, dark chocolate contains the most cocoa out of the family. It can be found in bars with up to 85% cocoa, and the more cocoa it has the healthier it actually is for you.

The great benefit of this is that according to the Authority Nutrition, dark chocolate is packed full of positive nutrients and there have been studies that have shown it can even lower the risk of heart disease. As well as this, is contains plenty of soluble fibre and is packed full of minerals, though it should be clear that it should only be eaten in moderation as with all chocolate.

 

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Sarah Jubb
Sarah Jubb

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