THE DISCOVERY OF CHOCOLATE
Aztecs were the first people to use the cocoa bean. Following the discovery of cocoa in America, in the 1590s, the product was brought to Spain and was kept in secret for a while. Then, it was used as a beverage adding spices and hot water.
In 1828, the first step was taken to produce chocolate by grinding the cocoa bean, reducing the fat inside and even by alkalizing. In the 1860s, the first chocolate factories went in operation using the basic inputs of chocolate-cocoa butter, cocoa mass and cocoa powder. In Turkey, the first chocolate factory was founded on foreign capital in Feriköy in 1927. Considering that production started in the 1860s in Europe, it is possible to say that like the printing press, chocolate came to our country after a delay of a century.
Especially, when our blood sugar level goes down, meaning when we are hungry, chocolate is rapidly taken in blood and absorbed. Good chocolate has a particular smell, color, shine and velvety texture. It is neither too bitter nor too sweet. In the mouth, it should melt easily and should not feel coarse on the tongue.
CHOCOLATE AND HEALTH
Chocolate is not only a tasty food but also has health benefits such as preventing cancer and heart disease, and strengthening the immune system. It also makes us feel better emotionally.
For years, the issue of whether chocolate is good for health has been controversial. But by now the benefits of chocolate has been proven by scientists one by one.
- Chocolate and Acne: Research of the past two decades has revealed that chocolate neither causes nor aggravates existing acne.
- Chocolate and Caffeine Measurements of caffeine in people who consume normal levels of chocolate show that their level of caffeine is as much as those who drink decaffeinated coffee.
- Chocolate and Dental Illness It is known that food substances with fermentable carbohydrates can cause tooth decay. These are present in chocolate but chocolate cannot be held responsible for tooth decay as once supposed.
- Chocolate and Weight Problems Contrary to common misconception, overweight people gain weight not because of excess food-especially desserts-but because of lack of movement. The amount of calories in a bar of chocolate is only 210 Kcal. Hence chocolate does not "violate" low-calorie diets.
- Chocolate, Cocoa and Cholesterol It has been verified that cocoa butter does not increase the "existing" level of cholesterol because of its high stearic acid content. Although cholesterol is found in animal cells, many people mistakenly think that chocolate contains cholesterol, which is one of the most misconstrued notions about chocolate.
- Chocolate for Coughs On 23 November, scientists from the British Imperial College claimed that theobromine in chocolate is good for chronic cases of coughing.
- Milk chocolate for brainpower: If you would like to jack up your brainpower, don't give up milk chocolate. Research from the Wheeling Jesuit University in the USA demonstrates that certain substances in chocolate stimulate the brain.
- Dark chocolate good for the veins: A study by Swiss scientists displays that dark chocolate is good for the veins. While there was no change in the veins of white chocolate consumers in terms of clot formation and the level of antioxidants in blood, the veins of those who consumed the dark chocolate of the same brand had improved circulation after eating chocolate, which continued for 8 hours. Their level of antioxidants went up, as well.