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Chocolate is one of those anomalies in that it not only tastes delicious, but it also happens to have a variety of awesome health benefits. While there are many reasons to relish that daily piece of chocolate, here are 3 that show why dark chocolate is the perfect way to celebrate your love for that special someone, friend, coworker or yourself!
Dark chocolate is often touted for its cardiovascular benefits and for good reason. One study published in involving questionnaires from over thousand participants found that those who ate dark chocolate on a regular basis had reduced incidences of cardiovascular disease and strokes than those who avoided chocolate.
Stressed out about a project or exam? Eat a square of dark chocolate! Thanks to the combination of caffeine and a compound called theobromine, dark chocolate can increase alertness and memory by improving blood flow to the brain. Dark chocolate can also improve your mood. It contains tryptophan, which is a precursor to serotonin.
This is all the more reason to feel good about being a chocoholic. Dark chocolate protects the skin by helping block the sun and also reducing cell damage. In addition, moderate consumption of dark chocolate may be one of the only desserts that aid in weight management. The reason is partly because of the soluble fiber it contains and also because of its metabolic effect on the body.
However, the vast majority of people regularly consume mass-marketed candy-like chocolate akin to those handed out on Halloween to little kids. Occasionally, one may even venture to enjoy a Lindt or Ghirardelli bar as a guilty pleasure.
However, the real truth is that while these treats may be delicious they really do a disservice to the true potential of the cacao bean by masking the flavors with an overload of cocoa butter, milk, and sugar. The more expensive cacao bean is scarcely used in favor of cheaper ingredients which satisfy ones need for a sugary treat. True cacao connoisseurs know that cacao beans grow in many different equatorial climates around the world and possess deep, sometimes subtle complex flavor notes according to the climate and soil profiles of the particular region the beans are grown in.
These complex flavors are present in the cacao bean and only require a little sugar to be brought to life. Adding a plethora of other ingredients will only mask the great flavors the beans provide as previously mentioned. True cacao aficionados maybe even snobs will admit that dark chocolate, and particularly artisan dark chocolate, is the only real way to enjoy the full potential of the cacao beans. There are different methods of making artisan chocolate from stone grounding, to smoking beans, to intensely ground beans resulting in a smooth mouth feel.
Valentines day is about love and love tends to be a complex thing when you really think about it. Real chocolate is almost equally as complex and thus makes a great treat to enjoy yourself or with a loved one on valentines day.
We recommend finding a local artisan chocolate maker and trying some single origin chocolate bars or even those with added nuts, salt, oils, or other aromatics. Beware though, dark chocolate is not a beginners chocolate. Single origin bars or bars made with scarce bean harvests may cost significantly more than candy-like chocolate, but the complexity is definitely worth it. Let the chocolate melt in your mouth, as opposed to scarfing it down, in order to slowly let the flavors release and mingle on your palette.
If you like dark chocolate, there is a lot of possibilities out there to try as artisan chocolate making is trending in the U. Voted by many in our choosy group as the best quality of all the truffles, they were also highly rated for being prettily presented in an elegant deep-purple box.
With fives across the board one meaning "yuck" and five "to die for" , they scored high in taste, smell, appearance, mouth feel and inventiveness. Oliver Kita Fine Confections: These handcrafted artisan chocolates were rated by many guests as some of the prettiest of the bunch. One guest called the Salted Carmel "big and buttery," while another taster said of the lot "These are dark, earthy and robust.
If, like most people, you envision quinoa as a healthy grain designed to go with a nice veggie stir fry -- but not in a bar of dark chocolate -- think again. One of our tasters called this Fair Trade chocolate bar "Masculine, textured and luscious. As a bonus, it's gluten, soy and GMO free. Go forth, buy one and crunch your way to happiness. Created by Fritz Knipschildt, using single-bean cocoas from around the world, the dark truffles in this collection were highly rated among the tasters for their creamy texture, intense flavors and rustic appearance.
The Italian Sambuca, Italian Truffle Oil and Mocha Gianduja drew declarations of "totally amazing" and "excellent flavors where the chocolate is the backup, not the star.
With a 5 for taste across the board, these exotic dark chocolates, such as Sweet Curry with Saffron and Shitake Mushroom, made our tasters' mouths water. While not as pretty as some of the other truffles sampled, these gems hold their own in terms of rich taste and meltability. Divine 70 percent Dark Chocolate with Raspberries: The happy black, red and gold packaging surrounding this bar offers a hint of the perky chocolate to come.
While another said, "The aroma promises, and the taste packs the punch. They are coordinated like a symphony. Having sated ourselves on all makes, varieties and cocoa percentages of dark chocolate, the group sat back and passionately discussed our revelations. While debate at times was as heated as the chili in some of the chocolates, I think one guest summed it up when she said, "I never thought you could have too much chocolate -- now I know you can. News Politics Entertainment Communities.
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The 21 Best Chocolates To Give Your Valentine. Askinosie's dark bars are rich and excellent, but the white chocolate is still white chocolate, i.e. gross. Dude, sweet branding, but some. Our chocolate gift baskets include dark chocolate delights for those who desire the rich melding of bitter and sweet, while individual chocolate gifts, such as chocolate-covered strawberries, grapes, or bananas, are available for those who prefer to partake of their chocolate with luscious fruit. Apr 12, · To assist me in my quest to find the best dark chocolate choices for Valentine's Day, I enlisted 15 of my chocolate-chowhound friends to sample 42 brands of high-end dark chocolate .