Chocolate Buying Guide

Chocolate be it in the form of cocoa or chocolate beverage or confectionary has been a great attraction through the ages. Known to have originated during the ancient civilization of Maya and the Aztecs it has a long and illustrious history.

Types of Chocolates found today:

The chocolates popularly available today in most parts of the world include the following:
  • White chocolate
  • Milk chocolate
  • Semisweet chocolate
  • Bittersweet chocolate
  • Un-sweetened chocolate
Chocolates are produced in two ways, the first being its mass production using ordinary cacao, this is a cheap product, while aromatic and expensive chocolates are produced with specialty cacao beans. The third type available is a combination of these two. The methodology of production, the quality of the cacao bean and its roasting and treatment has a major bearing on its final price.

White Chocolate: Ingredients and flavor

The ingredients of white chocolate include cocoa butter, milk, emulsifier, sugar, vanilla etc. It contains very low quantities of cocoa solids. Its flavor is mild and pleasing and is good to make desserts.

Milk Chocolate: Ingredients and flavor

Milk Chocolate contains cocoa and cocoa butter and good quantities of milk solids. It has a sweet flavor.

Dark Chocolate: Ingredients and flavor

It contains sweetened chocolate with major quantities of cocoa solids but very little or no milk solids. The darkened variety of chocolate is un-sweetened, bittersweet, semi-sweet or sweet.

Sweet Dark Chocolate

This chocolate contains about 40 to 50% cocoa solids and is difficult to differentiate from semi- sweet chocolates.

Semi-Sweet Chocolate

This chocolate is easy available in grocery stores and is the dark colored baking chocolate, used freely in baking of cakes and brownies. The semi sweet chocolate contains about 50% cocoa solids. Its flavor is sweet.

Bittersweet chocolate

It is a type of chocolate, which is dark and sweetened and consists of a minimum of 35% of cocoa solids and up to 80% of cocoa as per its quality. It is quite often used for baking and cooking purposes. The European bittersweet chocolates have very high quantities of cocoa making it considerably bitter in taste.

Unsweetened Chocolate

Unsweetened chocolate is a form of bitter chocolate, which is primarily used for baking purposes only. As its flavor is not good, so it is not suited for eating. It consists of about 100% cocoa solids.

Benefits of Chocolate to your health

Chocolate in its purest form is generally supposed to be good for your health if consumed in moderation. In other words, chocolates, which have a high content of cocoa, are good for you to eat. If the content of cocoa is high in your chocolate it simply means that the quantity of vanilla, milk, sugar , butter etc will be that mush less and will retain more of its vegetable traits.

The main benefits of chocolate are as under:
  • Chocolate is considered a great antioxidant, which help your body in discarding free radicals the stuff responsible for aging and many diseases.
  • Food rich in antioxidants are known to lower chances of heart attacks, strokes other cardiovascular diseases, blood pressure, cancer, cholesterol and even Alzheimer’s. As chocolate is one of the richest foods in antioxidants it is also good to fight of these health problems.
Chocolate contains some sugar and caffeine but if consumed in moderate quantities these ingredients being just about 10 to 12 % of the total quantity do not have too much of a bad impact.

Choosing the right chocolate the right chocolate to buy:

People buy and sell huge quantities of chocolates during the festive season like Christmas, Valentines day, etc. It has been discovered in a study that on an average an American person consumes up to 12 pounds of chocolates each year. Hence, choosing the right chocolate which is good for your health matters a lot.

Some chocolate types are actually good for your heart in many ways, while other chocolates may not good for your health at all.

The first step in buying the right chocolate, is understanding the difference between chocolate really good for health and the not so good for health candy which passes of as chocolate.

Chocolate, referred to as the Food of the Gods, is a translation directly from its scientific name, which is Theobroma Cacao. Cacao, which is now generally called Cocoa, comes from cacao tree flower seeds. It got its name as a super food because of the good qualities it is considered to contain until it is processed..

Cocoa contains very good quantities of sulphur, magnesium, copper, potassium, zinc, iron, calcium, vitamin C, chromium, B vitamins. Magnesium is considered useful for heart health; sulphur detoxifies the liver and aids healthy hair and skin. Bioflavonoid present in chocolate aid blood flow and blood pressure, decreases clogging of the arteries because of being strong antioxidants.

Chocolate has the best health affects if it contains up to 70% of cocoa solids and so dark chocolates are good for consuming and are easily available at most stores and shops.

Whenever you buy any packed food item, it is always useful to read the label to check on the contents and the same applies to chocolate as well. Therefore, by reading the label you will find the quantity of sugar contained in the bar of chocolate, if the sugar contents are high this chocolate will be detrimental to good health.

Hence chocolate, which is dairy free, dark in color and unsweetened is probably the best chocolate and will harm your health the least. While chocolate containing milk fats, lots of refined sugar as well as other hydrogenated ingredients should be avoided as they would certainly be harmful for consumption.

Another step to take in this regard is to use raw cocoa as far as possible wherever you presently use other chocolate to prepare oatmeal, protein shakes, brownies, fudge or any other food preparation using chocolate. In place of refined sugar as a sweetener, you could consider using agave nectar or brown rice syrup.

Related Appliances

  • Chocolate Dispenser
  • Chocolate Frother
  • Cocoa Maker
  • Chocolate Fountain
  • Chocolate Mug