Today, you will hear a buzz everywhere that relates to the consumption of dark chocolate. It is supposedly healthier than milk chocolate. Moreover, some people also say that it has the power to enhance your mood. No matter, what it does, it does have a craze among the chocolate lovers in the market. You should know a bit about the humble origins of the same. Only then will you be able to unearth the myriad possibilities that it offers.
Origins of Dark Chocolate:
You can trace the origins of dark chocolate to Pre-Columbian societies. The Mayans and Aztecs used it for ceremonies and medicinal purposes in Mexico and South America. It was also considered to be a luxury for the elite. During colonization, the Spanish recognized dark chocolate and returned it to Spain. The royals kept the secret of the chocolate under wraps for a long time. It was a sort of expensive pleasure, which the royals could enjoy.
Slowly, Jamaicans introduced milk into the dark chocolate recipes. In the 19th century, many other civilizations got an inkling of dark chocolate and began commercializing it. The chocolate became available to everyone. Today, you will find most countries coming up with specific recipes. After the immense success of milk chocolate in the 20th century, dark chocolate is again back with a bang. Moreover, you will be amazed to know that dark chocolate is healthier than milk chocolate.
Processing Dark Chocolate:
Initially, as you might already know, it was not in trend. Most people choose to have milk chocolate due to its immense sweetness. However, slowly with time, people started realizing that dark chocolate can also taste beautiful when you pair it with fruits and nuts. Moreover, dark chocolate has intense benefits over milk chocolate.
The process of production is straightforward.
- It starts with bean harvesting. The chocolate, mainly that we see today comes from African countries. Cacao plants thrive in the climate of Africa. It takes the plants at least 6 months to mature. Once they mature, the growers harvest them with their hands. The pickers separate the beans and the pulp from the pods and leave them outside to dry. The fermented pulp is also removed after it has imparted sweetness to the beans.
- The beans are then carried to the factory, cleaned and sorted. The beans are transferred into big drums for roasting. The heating process loosens the shells of the beans. The kernels are exposed and often broken into smaller pieces, called nibs.
- The nibs are heated and ground into a paste in the next stage. It is called liquor at that point. The liquid is further pressed to separate it from the cakey part, from which cocoa powder is made. The remaining flowy liquid is called pure cocoa butter.
- After that, the chocolate undergoes heating, crushing, texturizing, and tempering. These processes give it a silky texture.
Benefits of Dark Chocolate:
Lower Blood Pressure –
One of the most significant benefits is that dark chocolate lowers blood pressure. If you incorporate a good amount of cacao into your diet, it helps to lower blood pressure. There are flavonoids present in dark chocolate that contain nitric oxide. The chemical causes the blood vessels to relax and lowers the blood pressure. You can indulge in this sweet treat even if you suffer from heart ailments. You can add chocolate if you are trying to maintain a cardiac diet. Chocolate has a plethora of benefits, apart from the above. You should also know about them.
Reduces plague in the arteries –
It is also filled with antioxidants. So, it can reduce the plague that is attached to your arteries. Such deposits often make the arteries narrow and restrict the flow of blood. Consumption of dark chocolate also reduces the occurrence of peripheral disease. If you consume dark chocolate regularly, it can also lower your stroke risk.
Lower LDL Cholesterol –
It also contains several compounds, like theobromine and polyphenols, that can lower the LDL cholesterol levels in the body. Moreover, it increases the quantity of HDL. It mainly increases good cholesterol and decreases bad ones. So this is why it is considered suitable for people with cardiac issues.
If you want to, you can not only have it directly as a bar but also as chocolates. There is a provision to use the same as ganache. You can also pour it into cakes and pastries. Glazing is considered healthier than other substances. So, these are reasons enough to love dark chocolate today.
You can have your fill today and enjoy the feeling. The feel-good factor also contributes immensely to the same. So, go for it!