Chocolate: the most delicious source of happiness, a delightful accompaniment to coffee, indispensable for children, and the world’s favourite sweet snack! And today is the day for chocolate lovers – Happy 7 July, World Chocolate Day!
July 7, the date when cocoa beans were first brought from South America to Europe in 1550, is celebrated annually throughout the world as Chocolate Day. Chocolate, a luxury consumer product solely attainable by the aristocracy, became more accessible to the wider population in the 17th century, and quickly became an indispensable flavour. Considered among the most delicious snacks in the world, chocolate comes to consumers after a long and challenging process. The cocoa beans go through a fermentation stage and are then dried. The beans are roasted and ground, and then used in various products, to the delight of consumers.
Delicious and healthy at the same time
The place of chocolate in history and popular culture is often discussed, as is its use in kitchens and special occasions. In recent years, chocolate has also been a subject of research in terms of health – and studies indicate chocolate has several positive effects on health. Cocoa beans contain chemicals called polyphenols, which plants secrete to protect themselves against external dangers. These same chemicals show a positive impact on human health. Cocoa also contains a significant amount of iron. While plant-based iron is known to be difficult to absorbe, the iron in cocoa is absorbable by humans. Cocoa is believed to strengthen the immune system, provide benefits for the intestines, and protect the heart, brain and nerve cells. As well it is believed to have regulating effects on blood sugar levels.
The most delicious source of happiness
Tryptophan – the raw material of serotonin, the “happiness hormone” – is found in significant amounts in cocoa. Serotonin transforms into melatonin, the sleep hormone. Chocolate with a high percentage of cocoa can also improve sleep and stimulate joy.
Chocolate in kitchens and presentations
Chocolate is a unique flavour beloved among all age groups. Chocolate can be found in desserts, snacks and even savoury dishes; it can be used as a sweetener, in alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, and as a satisfying bite with coffee. Today, chocolate can be used as an accompaniment to Turkish coffee, in a twist on the traditional presentation of Turkish delight.
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