Choclate from Fragrant Earth

Chocolate - Never Understimate the Power of Chocolate!

Chocolate is one of life's passions as is  wine for a great many people. Quality is at the heart of both chocolate and wine. The assessment is made by smell then taste. Remember that smell of chocolate - yummy! You just love the Aroma. So its no surprise that the best Aromatherapy Company offers the best in Chocolate for taste and aroma!

The cacao tree (Theobroma cacao) is native to South and Central America and is the source of chocolate in its raw form. Ancient native people such as the Mayans knew the attributes and even medicinal value of cacao long before the Spanish who brought it to Europe in the 17th century.

Chocolate is made from from the ripe beans from the tree the beans are then fermented when the natural sugars turns the natural bitter taste to classic cocoa flavor we are familiar with. Dried then roasted, the hull (outer case) is removed and what is inside is called a nib. The nibs are then ground into a fine powder, which contains cocoa solids and cocoa butter. The cocoa butter usually liquefies from the frictional heat while grinding the nibs. This liquefied form of pulverized nibs is referred to as cocoa liquor. The nibs like wine have different origins say Peru or Guatemala and like wine areas have different characteristics.

Cocoa liquor is then poured into blocks or moulds. These blocks are known as unsweetened or cooks chocolate. Alternatively, cocoa liquor can be separated into two products, cocoa powder, and cocoa butter.

After this the magic or horror begins, creating taste and quality.  Cocoa liquor is combined with extra cocoa butter (for smoothness and mouthfeel), sugar, milk, and for industrial chocolate vanilla, emulsifiers, or stabilizers. The ratio of sugar and milk to cocoa creates varying degrees of milk or dark chocolate. The specific ratio in which ingredients are blended creates signature recipes, which specialty brands often guard closely.

Specialty brands and Vegan, Vegetarian, Hand made and Aromatherapy brands are the Fragrant Earth's chosen partners for taste and quality.

Most chocolate falls into one of three categories: milk chocolate, dark chocolate or white chocolate. Chocolate's darkness is determined by the proportion of cocoa solids made from cocoa beans, mixed with cocoa butter and sugar.

Health Benefits?

Milk chocolate, the most popular type, typically contains about 10 percent cocoa liquor compared with a minimum of 35 percent found in dark chocolate. Shoppers can tell how much cocoa liquor is in a dark chocolate bar by looking for the "percent cacao" figure on the label. Cacao is the raw form of chocolate, while cocoa is the heated version of cacao.

The amount of cocoa solids in dark chocolate is important because it can be an indicator of the amount of dietary flavonoids, which are antioxidants found in fruits, vegetables and certain drinks. Research shows consuming more dietary flavonoids is linked to a lower risk of coronary heart disease for it may also help lower blood pressure and improve vascular function. In addition, some research has linked chocolate consumption to reduced risks of diabetes, stroke and heart attack. But more research is needed to confirm such results.

The bioactive compounds in dark chocolate may also be ood for the skin. Flavonols can protect against sun damage, improve blood flow to the skin and increase skin density and hydration.

Moderation in all things is the key to good health. Enjoy your chocolate