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Everything you need to know
a person who is excessively fond of chocolate
You can inherit a 'sweet tooth' from your parents. Recent research at
New York University suggests there is a genetic reason why some
people crave sugary foods.
The study was based on two strains of mice, selectively bred
according to whether the parents preferred sweetened or
unsweetened water. The team located the gene that was different in
the two groups of mice and then searched for similar genetic
sequences in humans.
Facts about chocolate
• Chocolate is a Vegetable: Chocolate is derived from cocoa beans. Bean = vegetable.
• Sugar is derived from either sugar CANE or sugar BEETS. Both are plants, which places them in the
vegetable category. Thus, chocolate is a vegetable.
• To go one step further, chocolate candy bars also contain milk, which is dairy. So candy bars are a health
• Chocolate-covered raisins, cherries, orange slices and strawberries all count as fruit, so eat as many as
• If you've got melted chocolate all over your hands, you're eating it too slowly.
• The problem: How to get 2 pounds of chocolate home from the store in a hot car. The solution: Eat it in
the parking lot.
• Diet tip: Eat a chocolate bar before each meal. It'll take the edge off your appetite, and you'll eat less.
• If I eat equal amounts of dark chocolate and white chocolate, is that a balanced diet? Don't they actually
counteract each other?
• Chocolate has many preservatives. Preservatives make you look younger.
• Put "eat chocolate" at the top of your list of things to do today. That way, at least you'll get one thing done.
• A nice box of chocolates can provide your total daily intake of calories in one place. Now, isn't that handy?
• If not for chocolate, there would be no need for control top pantyhose. An entire garment industry would
be devastated. You can't let that happen, can you?
Mayan and Aztec Map
American Indian people of Yucatan and Belize and Guatemala who had a culture
Mayans: characterized by outstanding architecture and pottery and astronomy; "Mayans had a
system of writing and an accurate calendar"
A Native American people who ruled Mexico and neighboring areas before the Spaniards
Aztecs: conquered the region in the sixteenth century. Starting in the twelfth century, they built up
an advanced civilization and empire.
Brief History of Chocolate
Chocolate’s Roots in Ancient Mesoamerica
We tend to think of chocolate as a sweet candy created during modern times. But
actually, chocolate dates back to the ancient peoples of Mesoamerica who drank
chocolate as a bitter beverage.
For these people, chocolate wasn’t just a favorite food—it also played an important
role in their religious and social lives.
The ancient Maya grew cacao and made it
into a beverage.
The first people clearly known to have
discovered the secret of cacao were the Classic
Period Maya (250-900 C.E. [A.D.]). The Maya
and their ancestors in Mesoamerica took the
tree from the rainforest and grew it in their own
backyards, where they harvested, fermented,
roasted, and ground the seeds into a paste.
When mixed with water, chile peppers,
cornmeal, and other ingredients, this paste Mesoamerica - Mexico and
made a frothy, spicy chocolate drink. Central America
The Aztecs adopted cacao.
By 1400, the Aztec empire dominated a sizeable segment of Mesoamerica.
The Aztecs traded with Maya and other peoples for cacao and often required
that citizens and conquered peoples pay their tribute in cacao seeds—a form
of Aztec money.
Like the earlier Maya, the Aztecs also consumed their bitter chocolate drink
seasoned with spices—sugar was an agricultural product unavailable to the
Drinking chocolate was an important part of Maya and Aztec life.
Many people in Classic Period Maya society could drink chocolate at least on
occasion, although it was a particularly favored beverage for royalty. But in
Aztec society, primarily rulers, priests, decorated soldiers, and honored
merchants could partake of this sacred brew.
Chocolate also played a special role in both Maya and Aztec royal and
religious events. Priests presented cacao seeds as offerings to the gods and
served chocolate drinks during sacred ceremonies.
Chocolate goes to Europe
Until the 1500s, no one in Europe knew anything at all about the
delicious drink that would later become a huge hit worldwide. Spain’s
search for a route to riches led its explorers to the Americas and
introduced them to chocolate’s delicious flavor.
Eventually, the Spanish conquest of the Aztecs made it possible to
import chocolate back home, where it quickly became a court
favorite. And within 100 years, the love of chocolate spread
throughout the rest of Europe.
For hundreds of years, the chocolate-making process remained relatively
unaltered. But by the mid 1700s, the blossoming Industrial Revolution saw
the emergence of innovations that changed the future of chocolate.
A steady stream of new inventions and advertising helped set the stage
for solid chocolate candy to become the globally favored sweet it is today.
The Cacao Bean
Ripening pods on the cacao (kah KOW) tree
contain the seeds from which chocolate is
Cocoa beans are the product of the cacao tree.
The origin of the cacao tree is in dispute.
Some say it originated in the Amazon basin of
Brazil, others place it in the Orinoco Valley of
Venezuela, while still others contend that it is
native to Central America.
Wherever its first home, we know the cacao
tree is strictly a tropical plant thriving only in
hot, rainy climates. Thus, its cultivation is
confined to lands not more than 20 degrees
north or south of the equator.
All the chocolate we eat comes from one rather
special plant—the cacao (kah KOW) tree. These
trees produce pods containing pulp-covered seeds.
The seeds, once fermented and dried, are
processed into chocolate.
Cacao trees thrive beneath the shady branches of
taller trees in the rainforest. They won’t begin to
bear fruit, however, until they are at least three to
five years old.
Cacao trees produce flowers year-round. Tiny flies
called midges pollinate these small flowers.
Eventually, cacao pods will sprout from the trunk
and branches of the tree.
A cacao pod contains about 30-50 almond-sized
seeds—enough to make about seven milk
chocolate candy bars!
Cacao Vs. Cocoa
The official name of the chocolate tree is Theobroma cacao but, some experts
say, over the years the word ―cacao‖ became Anglicized, and probably
through error, people started replacing it with the word ―cocoa‖. (Most of us
grew up saying cocoa bean, not cacao bean.)
Now, with the rebirth of old-style, artisan chocolate there is a movement to
reclaim the bean’s rightful name: cacao (pronounced Ka-Kow). It is very
common to see the words used interchangeably.
Cacao: pronounced Ka-Kow. Refers to the tree, its pods and the beans
Cocoa: pronounced Koh-Koh. Refers to two
by-products of the cacao bean – cocoa powder
and cocoa butter. Both are extracted from the
bean when it is processed in the factory.
Anglicize: To make English or similar to English in form, idiom,
style, or character: Some immigrants anglicize their names
when they move to the United States.
Understanding the Label
Often you will see packages labeled
now with "% cacao." What that refers
to is the percentage of cacao bean
solids present in the bar. There is an
inverse relationship between the
percentage of cacao in a bar and the
amount of sugar. So:
• A 75% cacao bar has 25% sugar.
• A 65% cacao bar has 35% sugar.
• The higher the % cacao, the less sweet the bar and the stronger
the chocolate taste.
Rodolphe Lindt was probably the most
famous chocolate-maker of his day. In
1879 he developed a technique by which
he could manufacture chocolate which was
superior to all others of that period in
aroma and melting characteristics. Using
the "conche" he had invented, he produced
chocolate with the wonderfully delicate
flavor and melting quality which we know
and love to this day. His "melting
chocolate" soon achieved fame, and
contributed significantly to the worldwide
reputation of Swiss chocolate.
For 90% of its history, from about 1500
B.C. when it was made as a drink by the
Olmecs in Mesoamerica, chocolate was
only a beverage. Solid chocolate was not
created until 1847. Then, Arthur Fry, the
great-grandson of the founder of Joseph
Fry & Company, then managing the
family business, discovered a way to mix
some of the cocoa butter back into the
―Dutched‖ chocolate (cocoa powder). He
added sugar, creating a paste that he
molded into the world’s first chocolate
bar, which was called chocolate for eating to distinguish it from drinking
chocolate. It was rough and gritty, not the smooth, velvety bar we enjoy
today. It took another 32 years for Rodolphe Lindt to invent the conching
machine to improve the texture of chocolate.
Chocolate is mostly machine-
made, not handmade.
Converting cacao seeds into
chocolate has now evolved into a
complex and time-consuming
mechanized process that includes
In assembly-line fashion, varieties of cacao from around the world are
blended, roasted, cracked, winnowed, ground, pressed, mixed, conched,
refined, and tempered into rich, creamy candy bars.
Types of Chocolates
Produced by grinding the cocoa bean nib (center) to a smooth, liquid
state. The chocolate liquor can then be cooled and molded into blocks
also known as unsweetened baking chocolate. The liquor and blocks
contain roughly 53 percent cocoa butter.
Semi-sweet (Bittersweet) Chocolate
Chocolate liquor to which sweeteners and cocoa butter have been
added. Also known as dark chocolate. According to government
standards, it must contain at least 35 percent chocolate liquor. Its fat
content averages 27 percent.
Cocoa butter, milk, sweeteners and flavorings are added to chocolate
liquor. Lends itself to good use for garnishes and candy coatings. All milk
chocolate made in the U.S. contains at least 10 percent chocolate liquor
and 12 percent whole milk.
Types of Chocolates
Contains more sweeteners than semi-sweet chocolate and at least 15
percent chocolate liquor. Sweet chocolate is used mostly for decorating
and garnishing. The fat content is similar to semi-sweet.
White chocolate contains cocoa butter but no non-fat cocoa solids.
Mostly used as a coating, it contains sugar, cocoa butter, milk solids and
Hundreds of new chocolate
factories and flavors have come
Over the years, many creative
confectioners developed lots of new
varieties and flavors of chocolate. A
few icons of the early 1900s still
Hershey got his start making
chocolate-coated caramels in 1893.
And his competitors, the father-and-
son team of Mars, created the malted-
milk-filled Milky Way after an inspiring
trip to the local drugstore soda
Myth or Truth?
Many of the old myths about chocolate and health are crumbling under the
weight of scientific fact. The once-prevalent believe that something that tastes
so good just can't be good for you has given way to a more balanced picture
of chocolate and cocoa products and their relation to health and nutrition.
Here are brief reviews of recent findings that correct common misperceptions
of the effects of chocolate on health.
Myth: Confectionery is a major cause of tooth decay.
Truth: Tooth decay is primarily the result of poor oral hygiene. Dental caries
(another word for cavities) are caused by any foods containing fermentable
carbohydrates that are left on the teeth for too long. In fact, there are
ingredients found in chocolate products that may retard the tooth decaying
Myth or Truth?
Myth: Chocolate is high in caffeine.
Truth: The amount of caffeine in a piece of chocolate candy is significantly
lower than that in coffee, tea or cola drinks. For instance, a 5 oz cup of instant
coffee has between 40 and 108 mg of caffeine, while a one oz milk chocolate
bar contains only 6 mg and many confectionery items have no caffeine at all.
Myth: Confectionery has a high fat content and will lead to weight gain.
Truth: "Candy, in moderation, can be part of low-fat eating. In fact, an
occasional sweet treat helps you stick to a healthy eating plan." - Annette B.
Natow, Ph.D., R.D., author of The Fat Counter and The Fat Attack Plan.
Chocolate is good for your health
Chocolate reduces blood pressure. The flavonoids found in cocoa help
in the control of the arterial tension, by increasing the amount of nitric
oxide in the blood. Studies showed that dark chocolate is as effective
as the antihypertensive drugs are.
Dark chocolate can decrease by 50% the risk of a heart attack,
coronary disease by 10%, and premature death by 8%.
It improves blood circulation to the brain for two to three hours after
you eaten chocolate. The flavonoids dilate the blood vessels in the
brain, allowing a larger blood flow (implicit of oxygen). This way, the
brain fights off exhaustion, insomnia and aging, improving memory and
Chocolate is good for your health
Chocolate fights off chronic fatigue. Eating 50 grams of chocolate (85 %
cacao) daily decreases the symptoms of this disease.
Chocolate increases "good" cholesterol and lowers the "bad" one, due
to the antioxidants, similar to those found in fruits, vegetables, tea and
This food can also be a remedy against coughing. A chemical from
cocoa can be more efficient against coughing than many medicines are,
and it doesn’t have the adverse effects that the latter have.
Improved circulation induced by flavonoids also boost...erection!
So ….what will it be: Viagra or chocolate?
Chocolate is good for your health
Studies have shown that chocolate impedes cell deterioration and
The bitterest chemical found in chocolate, theobromine, an alkaloid
similar to caffeine, was found to fight off tooth decay, being more
efficient than the fluoride in strengthening the crystalline structure of
teeth against erosion by acid-producing bacteria (linked to tooth decay).
The researches showed that chocolate consumers live almost one year
more than those who do not eat chocolate.
Around the world
The military introduced many people to chocolate.
Surprisingly, the armed forces helped spread the love of chocolate
worldwide. The trend first began in the late 19th century, when Queen
Victoria got her soldiers hooked on chocolate by sending them gifts of this
nourishing and delicious candy for Christmas.
But the popularity of candy bars really skyrocketed after World War I, when
chocolate was part of every United State’s soldier’s rations. By 1930, there
were nearly 40,000 different kinds of chocolate.
Although it’s now more affordable, not everyone chooses to eat chocolate.
Many Asian cultures have never really developed a taste for the sweet. In
fact, the Chinese eat only one bar of chocolate for every 1,000 consumed
by the British.
And in countries like Ghana and Ivory Coast, people rarely eat chocolate
because it is worth more to them as a trade product than as a food.
Fun Facts about Chocolate
Chocolate is America's favorite flavor. A recent survey revealed that 52
percent of U.S. adults said they like chocolate best. The second favorite
flavor was a tie (at 12 percent each) between berry flavors and vanilla.
U.S. chocolate manufacturers currently use 40 percent of the almonds
produced in the United States and 25 percent of domestic peanuts.
U.S. chocolate manufacturers use about 3.5 million pounds of whole
milk every day to make chocolate.
Sixty-five percent of American chocolate eaters prefer milk chocolate.
Fun Facts about Chocolate
The melting point of cocoa butter is just below the human body
temperature (98.6 degrees) ?which is why it literally melts in your mouth.
Older children are significantly more likely to prefer chocolate than
younger children (59 percent of 9-11year-olds prefer chocolate vs. 46
percent of 6-8 year-olds), according to an NCA survey.
Fun Facts about Chocolate
Chocolate syrup was used to represent blood in the famous 45 second shower
scene in Alfred Hitchcock's movie, "Psycho" a scene which took 7 days to shoot.
Once upon a time, money did grow on trees. Cocoa beans were used as
currency by the Mayan and Aztec civilizations over 1400 years ago. When they
had too much money to spend, they brewed the excess into hot chocolate drinks.
The Swiss consume more chocolate per capita than any other nation on earth.
That's 22 pounds each compared to 11 pounds per person in the United States.
Rumor has it that Napoleon carried chocolate with him on all his military
campaigns for a quick energy snack.
The word "chocolate" comes from the Aztec word "xocolatl", which means "bitter
The amount of caffeine in chocolate is lower than most people think. A 1.4 ounce
piece of milk chocolate contains about the same amount of caffeine as a cup of
decaffeinated coffee. There is an average of 6 mg. of caffeine in both an ounce
of milk chocolate and a cup of decaffeinated coffee, while a cup of regular coffee
contains between 65 and 150 mg. of caffeine.
U.S. and chocolate
Consumers spend more than $7 billion a year on
US consumers eat 2.8 billion pounds of chocolate
annually, representing nearly half of the world's
Annual per capita consumption of chocolate is 12
pounds per person.
American chocolate manufacturers use about 1.5
billion pounds of milk -- only surpassed by the cheese
and ice cream industries.
Man cannot live by chocolate alone - but woman can!
Life is uncertain - eat dessert first!
I'd give up chocolate, but I'm no quitter....
There is nothing better than a good friend - except a good friend
A balanced diet consists of items from the five major food groups:
dairy, grains, meats, fruits/vegetables, and chocolate.
Chocolate and Pets
Protecting Your Pets
While chocolate may help protect
the human heart, lower bad
cholesterol, and even provide a
quick energy boost, it can be
dangerous to your pets.
Chocolate contains chemicals
that dogs and cats cannot
Dogs and cats can’t metabolize or excrete theobromine, a mild stimulant
found in chocolate. In some pets, theobromine can trigger seizures,
cardiac irregularity, and internal bleeding, and can even lead to death.
Chocolate and holidays
You know the drill in the U.S.A.: it’s the men who go
a-wooing with heart-shaped red velvet boxes of
chocolate. But on February 14 in Japan, Korea and
Taiwan it is the custom for women to bestow gifts of
chocolate upon the men. Like being the only kid in
grade school who doesn’t get a Valentine card, it is
a source of embarrassment to Japanese men if they
don’t receive any chocolates on Valentine’s Day
(and Mom doesn’t count). To help them save face,
Japanese women tend to give small gifts of giri-
choco to most of the men around them—friends,
co-workers, neighbors, relatives. Their special men
receive a more elaborate gift of chocolate—
sometimes homemade—called honmei-choco
(honmei means ―prospective winner,‖ and derives
from the courting ritual). Giri means obligation and
like Christmas gifts in the U.S., the obligation can
be a financial burden. American ladies: adopt this
custom wisely. (By the way, choco, which you’ve no
doubt picked up as chocolate, is the shortened form
of the Japanese word for chocolate, chokoreeto.)
Chocolate Dipped Fruit
July-August: Chocolate Dipped Fruit
and Fondue Day in the U.S.
A floating day in July or August to
celebrate chocolate and summer by
enjoying sweet seasonal berries dipped
in chocolate; and berries and other fruits
and sweets dipped chocolate fondue.
Yes, we made this holiday up; but only
because the large chocolate companies
aren’t on the ball like the Japanese
Chocolate for Christmas
December 25: Christmas Day, Everywhere
Instead of more things that you don’t need and
don’t have space for, this is your opportunity
to ask for one or two boxes of luxury bonbons
(not too much—remember, they have a two-
week shelf life), a collection of fine bars for
tasting and study (they’ll keep a year or more),
and a variety of fine hot chocolates to keep
you warm for the winter (a $25 and more per
box, they’re something you may feel better
about receiving than buying for yourself). While
others will have forgotten their gifts by mid-
January, you’ll be happy with yours through
spring, at least.
This a great way to make the best hot
chocolate, cappuccino or frothy milk drinks at
home without having to buy any expensive
machinery. All you need is a good-sized
thermos flask or a plastic jug with a screw-
top lid. This takes around 3 or 4 minutes to
1 pint milk
2 tablespoons the best hot chocolate powder
A handful of marshmallows
Firstly, put a pan of milk on to the heat. Bring to a simmer, not a boil, and
while it's heating, put a tablespoon of chocolate powder into each mug. Add
a little warmish milk from the pan to each mug, you just need enough to
dissolve the chocolate powder.
At this point, plunk a few marshmallows into each mug. When the milk is at
a simmer, carefully pour it into a plastic jug or flask. I normally do this over
a sink as I always end up spilling a bit (the trick is to have a big enough jug
or flask so the milk only half fills it: you need the extra space for shaking
Screw the lid on tightly, place a cloth over the lid for safety, and shake hard
for a minute. Remove the lid, minding the steam, and pour into your mugs.
A little stir and you can slurp your way to heaven!
The nickname given to now NBA
star point guard Jason Williams of
the Memphis Grizzlies. He had the
street flava in his game so was
Take a look at that pass! White
chocolate just embarrassed that
A white guy who plays like he's
About as useful as a
Someone or something that is of
no practical use is about as
useful as a chocolate teapot.
In the cookie of life...friends are the
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