Chocolate is probably one of the most beloved substances on the planet, not just for eating but for its aroma as well. And since very few people in the world haven't heard of or experienced the taste of chocolate melting on their tongue, it's equally as popular, too. But did you know chocolate is a fruit? That's right; it's technically a fruit that's good for you! And a significant body of research proves just how healthy it is!
So, when you purchase your next Arriving in Style's curated gift basket full of decadent chocolate goodness, here are a few fun facts to raise your chocoholic IQ:
More than half the chocolate the world consumes comes from the West African countries of Ghana and Cote d'lvoire.
The cocoa tree only grows within the tracts of land 20 degrees north and south of the Equator, where the perfect mix of hot temperatures, shade, and rain exists.
Each cocoa bean or pod is between 5-12 inches long and contains 30-50 seeds.
Each cocoa seed is about the size of an olive.
The ripening cocoa pods are typically harvested twice per year.
Cacao pods are ripe when they turn a vibrant yellow/orange color.
According to a study in 2021, daily chocolate consumption may reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke in some high-risk patients. So, eat up!
The darker the chocolate, the better for your health because dark chocolate contains the most fiber, magnesium, and antioxidants.
The cocoa pods are harvested by hand, then cut open to remove the cocoa beans. The beans are then placed in covered trays where they ferment for several days; then, after fermentation, the beans are left uncovered and left to dry thoroughly.
Dark chocolate is made with chocolate liquor, cocoa butter, lecithin, sugar, and vanilla. Milk chocolate adds milk fats and milk solids. White chocolate is made with the same ingredients as milk chocolate, except it does not include the chocolate liquor.
The lack of chocolate liquor in white chocolate has led chocolatiers to debate whether it's truly chocolate.
The final aroma and flavor is accomplished by "Conching," a careful rolling, kneading, heating, and aeration process. A conche is a large agitator that stirs and smooths the mixture under heat. This is an important step in the process of producing consistent, pure, and delicious gourmet chocolate.
Borrowing terminology from popular media, cacao seeds should be considered a "Super Fruit," and products derived from cacao seed extracts, such as natural cocoa powder and dark chocolate, can be referred to as "Super Foods."
There you have it: That dark chocolate candy bar you are eating can now be referred to as a "Super Food." So, try our Chocolate Bliss and Taking Care of Business luxury gift boxes and bestow the gift of chocolaty-good health on your employees, family, and friends. You'll find chocolate tucked away in some of our other gift boxes as well.