Quick fun cocoa facts!
- The Swiss consume more chocolate per capita than any other
nation on earth: 22 pounds each compared to 11 pounds per person in the United States.
- Cacao trees range from 13-26 feet tall. Sometimes reaching 32 feet.
- The Guinness World Record for the largest chocolate bar by weight was recorded in 2011 in Derbyshire and weighed 5,792.50 kg, about as heavy as a T-rex!
Cacao: Bean to Beverage
From the first drink made by the Mayans 2000 years ago, hot chocolate has found its way to every kitchen cupboard and supermarket across every continent. But what makes this drink so popular?
When cocoa from the Americas first arrived in London in the 17th century, it was an instant hit with artisans, philosophers, thinkers, and even politicians. Hot chocolate was all the rage in drawing rooms of the nobles, parlour rooms heated with discussions of conquering the new world and pubs abuzz with the trend of artists and philosophers of the day.
Today, hot chocolate is consumed throughout the world and comes in multiple variations, including the spiced chocolate para mesa of Latin America, the very thick cioccolata calda served in Italy and chocolate a la taza served in Spain, and the thinner hot cocoa consumed in the United States.
Homemade Hot Chocolate Recipe
Prep Time: 5 minutes Cook Time: 10 minutes Total Time: 15 minutes
A rich and creamy homemade Hot Chocolate Recipe that is ready in minutes. Learn how to make real hot cocoa using staple kitchen ingredients.
Servings: 4 people
- 50g granulated sugar, (or add to desired sweetness)
- 25g unsweetened cocoa powder
- 950ml whole milk*
- 100g semisweet chocolate, (chips, chunks or shavings)
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- In a medium saucepan, whisk together the sugar and cocoa powder. Add milk, chocolate chips, and vanilla and whisk together.
- Place over medium heat and bring it to a light boil while stirring constantly. Be sure the chocolate is fully melted and incorporated.
- Set aside to cool to your desired temperature and serve with your favourite
*For a richer and creamier hot chocolate, replace 1 cup of milk with 1 cup of double cream.
Where does cocoa come from?
The cocoa tree only thrives in warm tropical countries. This is why cocoa is mainly grown in South and Central America, West Africa and the Asian island states. 70% of the worlds cocoa beans are obtained in the Ivory Coast. As in most states, the beans are sold here as a raw material and hardly processed in the country itself.
Although cocoa beans are one of the most valuable agricultural products, their price has fallen in recent decades. They are also subject to strong price fluctuations. As a result, cocoa farmers often find it difficult to earn a living, and child labor is widespread in the harvest. In order to support the cocoa farmers, one should therefore give preference to fair trade products.
So, you have eaten a bunch of chocolates or cocoa beans and want to know its benefits. Well, there are many health of benefits of consuming cocoa beans in any form e.g. powdered.
Here are few health benefits that may interest you the most:
- Antioxidant effects: Cocoa beans contains flavonoids and phenolic phytochemicals that are good in protecting your body cells from free radicals.
- Rich in Minerals: Cocoa beans have a wide variety of minerals that are required by your body to function normally. Some of the minerals with higher quantities are are calcium, iron, and magnesium.
- Good Source of Fibres: Fibre helps our digestive system, reduces constipation, and lowers LDL cholesterol. Fibers are also present in the beans – about 5 grams in each ounce of raw cacao beans.
- Enhances the mood and cognitive performance: Epicatechin is a substance in cocoa that enhances the cognition and preserves it in ageing. This substance also improves the mood of a person and regulates the glucose production – helps in diabetes.
- Protects the heart: Studies suggests that, antioxidants present in cocoa beans increase the antioxidant capability in our blood and reduces platelet reactivity, which results in a healthy heart.
- Lowers the blood pressure: A recent study suggests that, flavanols present in cocoa beans have the capability to lower the blood pressure