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WHY SHOULD WE EAT CHOCOLATE

 So why should we eat chocolate?
Chocolates bad boy health image has changed. Besides having many proven health benefits, it is a delicious source of energy!

 

My first real friendship with Chocolate:
began in Caracas Venezuela where I was the chef and owner of a Michelin star restaurant for 10 years
A regular customer of mine was Jorge Redmond who’s talent, combined with his perseverance and faith in Venezuela, makes him a public and respected figure. 

As the president of Chocolates El Rey, he is an example of progress and common sense. His father used to define him, as an “Optimistico” chocolate lover who likes doing things right.
He taught me much on the vast topic of chocolate.

Venezuelan cocoa is highly famous worldwide thanks to its excellent flavor and aroma
Although cocoa originated in the Americas, West African countries, particularly ,Côte d’Ivoire
and Ghana, are the leading producers of cocoa in the 21st century, accounting for some 60% of the world cocoa supply.
I intend to write many more articles on this fascinating topic as well as many of my recipes

When was chocolate first made

The earliest signs of use are associated with Olmec sites (within what would become Mixico’s post-colonial territory) suggesting consumption of chocolate beverages, dating from 19 centuries BCE. The majority of Mesoamerican people made chocolate beverages, including the Maya and Aztecs
The word chocolate is derived from the Spanish word chocolate, deriving in turn from the Classical Nahautll word xocolātl.


Chocolate beverage vendor in Peru 

Homemade chocolate drink:

Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés may have been the first European to encounter it, as the frothy drink was part of the after-dinner routine of Montezuma.
Jose de Acosta, a Spanish Jesuit missionary who lived in Peru and then Mexico in the later 16th century, wrote of its growing influence on the Spaniards:

“Loathsome to such as are not acquainted with it, having a scum or froth that is very unpleasant to taste. Yet it is a drink very much esteemed among the Indians, where with they feast noble men who pass through their country. The Spaniards, both men and women, that are accustomed to the country, are very greedy of this Chocolaté. They say they make diverse sorts of it, some hot, some cold, and some temperate, and put therein much of that ‘chili’; yea, they make paste thereof, the which they say is good for the stomach and against the catarrh”

Introduction to Europe:

Until the 16th century, no European had ever heard of the popular drink from the Central American people
Chocolate soon became a fashionable drink of the European nobility after the discovery of the America

The morning chocolate by Pietro Longhi; Venice, 1775–1780

What are the health benefits of chocolate:

Quality dark chocolate is rich in fiber, iron, magnesium, copper, manganese and a few other minerals.

Cocoa and dark chocolate have a wide variety of powerful antioxidants. In fact, they have way more than most other foods.

The bio active compounds in cocoa may improve blood flow in the arteries and cause a small but statistically significant decrease in blood pressure.

Dark chocolate improves several important risk factors for disease. It lowers the susceptibility of LDL to oxidative damage while increasing HDL and improving insulin sensitivity.

Chocolate today:

Chocolate is one of the most popular food types and flavors in the world, and many foodstuffs involving chocolate exist, particularly desserts, including caked, mousse, chocolate brownies, chocolate chip cookies and Finally, my chocolate nemesis of chocolate recipe.


Nemesis of chocolate recipe from London’s River Cafe

Before I leave you I will share an amusing little story.

When I was running my Michelin star restaurant in South America, a young Haitian man came along looking for a job.

He spoke to me in French claiming that he was an expert chocolatier (a chef that works exclusively with chocolate)

I agreed to give him a trial run. When I went to see how he was getting on he was covered with chocolate from his face down to his shoes. I exclaimed “what the hell are you doing?” and his sheepish reply was “sorry chef, I lied, I am actually a car painterI gave him a job as a dishwasher as a reward for his bravery. He turned out to be a star and was with me for many years.

See my review on worlds best chocolates

about Patrick

Please feel free to mail me for any help or advice: patrick@mykitchenhealth.com

 

 

 

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