For The Love Of Chocolate

Oh yes, for the love of chocolate! Chocolate might be the number one favorite food in America. Are you a chocolate lover? Even if you aren’t chances are that you have given someone that you love chocolate as a gift. There are chocolate lover clubs, websites and mailing lists. It has been proven that chocolate enhances your mood and does reduce depression. Dark chocolate contains healthy antioxidants. Like we NEEDED a reason to eat chocolate?!? And, of course, what goes amazing with chocolate? (…yes, wine does go perfect…) But milk is a close tie! You can feel good about eating your chocolate and drinking a glass of milk that is packed with nutrition. If you love chocolate try chocolate milk, which has the same nine essential nutrients as white.

It would be PERFECT if chocolate grew on trees wouldn’t it? Well an important ingredient used to make chocolate does grow on trees, the cacao bean. These valuable beans grow inside of large pods that sprout from the trunk of a large tree.

This summary of chocolate terminology will familiarize you with some of the most common chocolate varieties.

Milk Chocolate: This consists of at least 10% chocolate liquor (“raw” chocolate pressed from carob nibs) and 12% milk solids combined with sugar, cocoa butter and vanilla.

Sweet and Semi-Sweet Chocolate are made from 15-35% chocolate liquor, plus sugar, cocoa butter, and vanilla. Vagueness of the two terms causes them to commonly be called “dark” or “plain” chocolate.

Bittersweet and Bitter Chocolate: Bittersweet usually contains 50% chocolate liquor and has a distinct “bite” to the taste. Bitter or unsweetened chocolate liquor also is used in baking and is also referred to as “bakers” chocolate.

White Chocolate: White chocolate gets its name from the cocoa butter it contains, but does not contain chocolate liquor or any other cocoa products. By law, white chocolate must contain a minimum 20% cocoa butter, 14% milk solids, and a maximum of 55% sugar.

Hershey’s is one of the chocolate ‘greats.’ You can learn how they make chocolate and much more on their site!

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