by Julie Stone
Chocolate is one of the most popular and recognizable flavours in the world.
|Chocolate, in various forms, is one of the most popular and recognizable flavours in the world. Its taste is sought after in chocolate bars, ice cream, drinks and desserts; a cook's larder is not complete without a packet of cocoa powder! I remember giving my son his first taste of chocolate in the form of a chocolate button when he was just under a year old. His eyes lit up so brightly and he gave me such a wonderful smile! Young and old alike enjoy the unforgettable flavour of chocolate. From the first moment that it touches your lips, you're hooked! 'Chocoholic' is a word which is commonly used and which has found it's way into our dictionaries.
Desserts made of chocolate are everyone's favourite after dinner and chocolate mints, especially in restaurants, are often served after a main meal with coffee. Chocolate and wine parties are not uncommon and chocolate fountains are often used at weddings and other important events. People love the taste of chocolate and I'm sure you remember the book "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" by the famous author Roald Dahl. The book was such a big hit that a film was made from it. Although this story was written for children, adults also enjoyed and associated with it.
The aroma and taste of chocolate seems to have a bonding affect on people. Sharing a box of chocolates with your family, work colleagues or loved one creates a friendly and happy atmosphere, possibly due to the fact that apart from containing sugar and caffeine, chocolate has been linked with the release of serotonin in the brain which produces feelings of pleasure. Chocolate is also known to be an aphrodisiac caused by the natural ingredient phenethylamine which is a mild sexual stimulant. This is probably why chocolates are traditionally given to a loved one on Valentines day and which are received with much pleasure. Cocoa and chocolate are also rich in minerals such as magnesium and iron. The body craves what the body needs which is probably why women crave chocolate during menstruation when the body needs more iron.
The consumption of chocolate has become part of everyday life for most people. There is an abundance of recipe books containing dishes made with chocolate; specialty chocolate shops known as chocolatiers seem to have become more popular in recent times. These connoisseurs of chocolate sell hand made products packaged in exquisite boxes covered with silk ribbon and which are, to say the least, very expensive.
All in all, chocolate is something that is enjoyed by millions worldwide whether in the form of a dessert, candy, snack or drink and as long as we have the cocoa bean, chocolate will remain popular for many years to come.