The Paradox of Chocolate.

Joseph Rego, Daylyn Niren, Shilpa Hinduja

Abstract


If any man has drunk a little too deeply from the cup of physical pleasure; if he has spent too much time at his desk that should have been spent asleep ; if his fine spirits have become temporarily dulled; if he finds the air too damp, the minutes too slow, and the atmosphere too heavy to withstand; if he is obsessed by a fixed idea which bars him from any freedom of thought: if he is any of these poor creatures, we say, let him be given a good pint of amber-flavoured chocolate and marvels will be performed” — Anthelme Brillat-Savarin (1755–1826) Scientifically proven to be a mood elevator due to its ability to promote serotonin in the brain, chocolate is popular for it s aphrodisiac, relaxing, euphoric and stimulating characteristics. Renowned as a universally craved food, a majority of chocolate cravers, or chocoholics, have failed to find any close substitutes that can replace this divine invention (Parker, Parker and Brotchie, 2006). Chocolate holds the ability to transcend beyond merely a food, stimulating irrational behavioural tendencies within people even turning them into addicts. The history of chocolate dates back to approximately 600 AD when the cocoa beans were discovered in the lowlands of south Yucatan in the Maya. It was initially consumed as a beverage known as chocolate only by the emperors until it was developed as edible chocolate. Chocolate had an unpleasant taste and its transformation to a desirable flavour is an interesting historical mystery. Chemically, chocolate is composed of cocoa mass, cocoa butter and added sugar. Cocoa mass forms the base product which is obtained by processing the cocoa bean while cocoa butter is the natural fat fro m the cocoa bean which melts at room temperature to provide the creamy “melt in the mouth” sensation. Sugar was added as a primary ingredient by Europeans to appeal to their palate when chocolate was introduced from America (Parker, Parker and Brotchie, 2006). The present day chocolate industry is a mature and vibrant one consistently generating sales

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.21153/dpibe2008vol1no2art201

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