Interesting Facts about Chocolate

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Selection by: Noor Khan

•  More than two thousand years ago, the Mayan Indians in Central America and Mexico used ground cocoa beans to make themselves a drink. This is something you probably already knew. However, did you know that before actually consuming cocoa beans, the natives of Mexico and Central America used them as currency to facilitate trade? The beans were only ground when they looked worn out from extensive use.
•  The name or word ‘chocolate’ traces its origin to the Aztec word xocolatl. The Aztec word xocolatl means ‘bitter water’!
•  If you know a thing or two about chocolate and dogs, you would probably know that chocolate is poisonous to dogs. This is mostly because of the theobromine found in chocolate. Theobromine is a stimulant, the effects of which can be too much for dogs to counter.
•  Makers of chocolate all over the world use up to around 40% of the world’s total supply of almonds and around 20% of the world’s total supply of peanuts.
•  Have you ever wondered why a piece of chocolate melts the way it does in your mouth? Well, this is because the melting point of chocolate is just a little below the normal temperature of your body which causes it to melt the way it does in your mouth.
•  Chocolate, apart from appeasing your taste buds like few other foods can, comes with the added advantage of providing you with high-quality antioxidants. Antioxidants can go a long way in protecting you from cancer and also keeping heart diseases at bay.
•  Your body needs magnesium and iron, and this is something that you will not find a dearth of in chocolate.
•  Most people falsely believe that chocolate contributes to the occurrence of acne. This, however, is absolutely untrue. If there is one thing that contributes to the occurrence of acne, it has got to be the milk found in milk chocolate. However, to overcome this shortcoming of chocolate you can always have your fill of ‘dark chocolate’.
•  Chocolate is one of the best natural antidepressants known to man. It contains tryptophan which helps in the production of serotonin. Serotonin is your body’s very own antidepressant. So together, serotonin and tryptophan are like a double whammy against depression.

 

How to Make Chocolate At Home
Chocolate! Is it possible to find a single living human being who absolutely abhors chocolate and all the sugary treats that can be made out of the same? Mostly no, and this is only because chocolate and its ‘derivatives’ are almost impossible to hate. It has always been loved, is still loved, and will always be loved. People all over the world can fight for land, power or not look eye to eye over a particular issue, but bring them all together and ask them to discuss chocolate. You wouldn’t be disappointed. Chocolate is that one good thing that can honestly boast of enjoying ‘loyalty’ that pervades all boundaries and discriminations. Give a five-year-old kid a chocolate and you’ve made a friend for life right there. Give a fifty-year-old man a chocolate and you’ll see that he’ll enjoy it just as much as the kid did. Such is the universal appeal of chocolate. If you agree with this opinion, you probably know how to make yourself some chocolate. However, if you’re not familiar with making chocolate at home, don’t worry. There is a way out, just step forward! Read on to know how to make yourself some delectable and hearty chocolates.

 Homemade Chocolate Recipe
You Will Need
•  Cocoa powder – 3 tablespoons
•  Sugar – 1 cup
•  Milk powder/milk – 11/2 cups
•  Butter – 100 grams
•  A sieve
•  A greased plate and a heavy bottomed pan or pot
Instructions
•  Start off by sieving together the milk powder and cocoa powder into a clean and dry bowl. Sieve twice. This will result in milk and cocoa powder that’s fine and smooth to the touch. You can skip the milk powder if you’re using milk.
•  Heat the heavy bottomed pan over a low flame. Once the pan is hot to the touch, pour in half a cup of water and add the sugar to it. Stir in the sugar and wait for it to melt. Be patient during this step. Do not raise the flame. Wait for the sugar to melt when on the low flame while stirring as and when required. The sugar syrup should reach a one-thread consistency. Any later or any earlier and your chocolate is ruined.
•  To the sugar syrup, add the butter, the milk powder, and the cocoa powder. Wait for the ingredients to melt while stirring continuously. Take the pan off the heat once you see that the ingredients have turned into a well-mixed liquid. You basically should have a mixture that resembles thick and almost gooey syrup.
•  Pour the chocolate/chocolate syrup onto the greased plate. Wait for it to cool or turn into a delicious solid. Once this ‘metamorphosis’ becomes a reality, cut the chocolate into bite-sized pieces, and serve.