Did You Know Chocolate Is Really Good For You? 

In Journeying to Australia: Better than a Kick Up The Backside, my new book, My Boots Are Made For Walkin,’ The First 3,000 Miles, I feature chocolates in Chapter 4, as a wonderful location to tour.

But, before I share with you this magnificent business, I would like to tell you about the history of chocolate, so that you may understand what’s behind such a nutritious treat.

Chocolate’s history dates back to 350BC., when the Aztecs believed that the cocoa seeds were a gift from the God, Quetzcoat, the God of wisdom. The seeds were felt to have value and used as a form of currency. It was originally prepared only as a drink, with aphrodisiac powers, providing strength to the drinker.

The word chocolate came from the classical Nahuatl word chocolātl, becoming part of the English language coming from the Spanish language.

In the 16th century, Europeans added sugar to it, popularizing it first to the ruling classes and later to the average person.

It was Christopher Columbus, who came across the chocolate bean on his fourth mission to the Americas on August 15, 1502. His son and crew that had seized a large native canoe carrying goods, amongst them the cacao beans used for trade.

Later in time, the beans were said to have power over women, but that theory was never really proven.

In the 20th century, during the war, chocolate was considered to be a viable part of a soldiers rations.

Spring boarding through the 17th and 18oo’s, chocolate became well known with chocolate companies developing uses and products all over the world.

An interesting fact about chocolate that I found was when I researched which country consumed the most chocolate per person. It was researched by the Chocolate Manufacturers Association, and discovered that Switzerland leads the world in chocolate consumption with 22.36 pounds per person. Following them, was Austria and Ireland are not far behind with 20.13 pounds and 19.47 pounds!

Ahhh…Now, who doesn’t like chocolate? That would not be me and a very good reason why walking is a magnificent idea for anyone that indulges in this fine confection. In actuality, dark chocolate is very good for you! Haigh’s Chocolates, opened their door in May of 1915. Alfred E. Haigh, opened the doors of his first store in Adelaide. His business went well and he grew rapidly in those two years forcing an expansion. In 1917, Haigh bought his family home and land where he built a small factory at Parkside South Australia. In 1922 he moved shops to the Beehive Corner – still our Adelaide flagship store but sadly, in 1933, Alfred passed away.

The Haigh Chocolate Company has a very impressive history and one I would encourage you to explore yourself so that you have a better understanding of what’s behind the closed doors of a candy company.

Our friends in Bremerton, Washington we visited shared about the candy company company they had owned and their candy stories they collected in memories for twenty years. Some of the tales sounded quite unbelievable as they described how the candy centers were coated with chocolate. By chance have you ever watched the television series I Love Lucy? If so, did you watch the one in 1952, where Lucy and Ethel were catching the chocolate coming off a conveyer belt? Well, our Bremerton friends shared how they would put the caramel, toffee or other centers through what looked like a rainfall of chocolate as it then traveled down a conveyer belt. When it got to the end, they had to catch it, place it on a cookie tray, and then it had to be transferred to the refrigerator for setting up. Now, imagine what a mess it would be if you were not fast enough to catch it, as they came steadily down the belt, all piling up at one time. If you can’t see it in your own mind, here is a link to the YouTube of that television episode with Lucy and Ethel.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WmAwcMNxGqM 

The above photograph shows where the sheet of product such as chocolate or caramel comes down coating with centers for your chocolates. I can surely imagine many delicious bites…can’t you? 

The story our friends told us was as fun to hear with chocolates piling up…mistakes good enough to eat! So, if you have the opportunity to visit a candy company and see it for yourself, be sure you do.

Finally, I researched to see which countries had the best chocolates and again, I learned that there are seven countries considered to be the best. 

  • Belgium: These chocolate are due to the processing of them at the end.They are only cooled at the end of the processing, holding on to more of its aroma. It is what makes the Belgian chocolate amongst the most expensive, plus being almost entirely handcrafted. There are more than 2,000 chocolate stores in the country.
  • Switzerland: Lindt, is the most popular Swiss chocolate. The Swiss claim to have the most consumption with the average person eating more than 10 kilos of chocolate per year!
  • Ecuador: Ecuador is home to some of the best cacao beans in the world. Only approximately 5% of cacao in the world is labeled as “Fine Aroma,” and Ecuador produces nearly 63% of it.
  • United Kingdom: The brand, Cadbury, originated in the United Kingdom. But oddly enough they originally sold tea, coffee, and drinking chocolate in the 1820s.The Cadbury brothers supplied Queen Victoria with chocolate in the 1850s and developed the popular Dairy Milk chocolate, famous for having a higher milk content, in 1905.
  • Ivory Coast: Africans consume less than 4% of chocolate sold globally, but one company, Instant Chocolat, was launched in 2015, and has experienced tremendous growth in its first few years. Their chocolate, ranging from pralines to bars, is popular both locally and internationally, particularly with corporate clients like Air France and Citibank.
  • Italy: From Italy comes the combination of espresso and chocolates such as truffles. They purchase their chocolate beans direct from the growers so they know everything about the freshness of the bean.
  • United States: The USA is the world’s biggest producer of chocolate. One thing that sets American chocolate apart? The frequent use of peanuts and almonds. Of Course, there is Hershey’s which also has a town named for them in Pennsylvania! 

Now, if consulting other research, you will find a difference in the order of best chocolates in the world, some even with different countries which included Japan and Mexico and France.

Here is a sneak peek at my new cover design. I am launching my new book in time for the holidays. Soon to be available on Amazon. Pre-Order your book now at c.ambrose.mamieauthors@gmail.com.

My Boots Are Made For Walkin’

The First 3,000 miles

by

Chris Ambrose 

Leave A Response

* Denotes Required Field