Exploring Why Everyone Loves Chocolate

There truly is a science behind why chocolate can be so addictive and appealing. According to the Washington Post article, “Why chocolate is so delicious, according to science,” when chocolate first meets the tongue, a type of “chocolate sensation is set into motion,” the article states. After the chocolate begins melting, solid cocoa particles in the chocolate are released and digested, alongside the well-known rush of happiness-boosting endorphins. It is the happiness-boosting endorphins that set the brain into a short span of euphoria. Numerous studies report how specifically consumption of dark chocolate is known to reduce odds of clinically relevant depressive symptoms. 

Since it is reported that dark chocolate has the greatest effect on lowering depressive symptoms, what are the other types of chocolate, and are they beneficial? According to the Cacao.com article, “Types of Chocolate: The Ultimate Guide,” there are three main categories of chocolate, however, within these three categories lie many smaller subcategories. Dark, milk and white chocolate are the three main types of chocolate. True dark chocolate is supposed to only have three ingredients, which would include “cocoa mass (which includes ground cocoa nibs and any added cocoa butter), sugar, lecithin and sometimes vanilla,” the article states. Dark chocolate also has the highest mass of cocoa, which ranges from around 65-99% cocoa. Milk chocolate “is made of between 35-55% cocoa mass, about 20% milk powder and 20-25% sugar.” Finally, white chocolate has the addition of “30-45% cocoa butter, 25-40% milk powder and 25-55% sugar,” the article defines. 

While knowing about the types of chocolate and the science behind it can be interesting, in the end, the most important aspect of chocolate is that it is incredibly delicious! Read on for five innovative ways to enjoy this delicious desert, especially since May 15th is National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day!

Chocolate Appreciation Tip #1: Chocolate is not only for dessert, try it for breakfast, too! There are plenty of recipes which feature chocolate as one of the key ingredients for breakfast. Try delicious zucchini bread, featuring chocolate chips, or chocolate pudding. Both recipes were featured within the article, “18 Chocolate Chip Recipes to Try,” from the website “Eat this, not that!” 

Chocolate Appreciation Tip #2: Make it a CHALLENGE to try and add chocolate to everyday recipes. During this month, have fun with chocolate! Most foods taste better with this delicious addition. For example, try adding chocolate chips to regular banana pancakes for a savory delight. Mix up your coffee by adding a few chocolate chips to your regular cup of joe. 

Chocolate Appreciation Tip #3: Chocolate is not just kid friendly; it is friendly for adults, too! Some of the best alcohols feature chocolate. Have a fun night in, or out, and try one of these delicious alcoholic drinks which feature chocolate as a key ingredient. For example, “The Grasshopper” is a delicious combination of crème de cacao, crème de menthe and heavy cream. This combo creates a drink that is delicious, and low in alcohol, so it can also be an after-dinner drink.

Chocolate Appreciation Tip #4: Chocolate is not only good for the palate but also the mind. Enjoy reading a new book featuring chocolate as one of the heroes, or villains. A quick search yields countless genres which feature chocolate. From young adult fantasy, “The Dragon with the Chocolate Heart,” to romance, “The Girl with No Shadow,” there are many savory books out there to dive into and enjoy the sweet sensation of chocolate without the calories. 

Chocolate Appreciation Tip #5: Have a chocolate-themed night in, enjoying chocolate cuisine while also watching a movie featuring chocolate. There are plenty of movies that feature chocolate as a key character within the plotline. Many know about the movies, “Chocolat,” as well as “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory.” However, there are countless movies which feature chocolate as a key ingredient. Try watching “Romantics Anonymous,” a French film which features two strangers working through their anxiety within a support group. In one, Jean-Renê Van Den Hugde (Benoît Poelvoorde) is an owner of a failing chocolate business called the Chocolate Mill, while the other, Angélique Delange (Isabelle Carré), is a young woman with formal training as a chocolate maker.


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