7 Reasons You Should Eat Chocolate This World Chocolate Day
In the world of sweets there is only one king - chocolate! With over 4,000 years of providing mankind the sweetest feeling, World Chocolate Day on the 7th of July should be one of the most celebrated for dessert lovers!
The question that many of us may be wondering is - how guilty should we all feel for consuming all that chocolate? Not very - and here are seven very good reasons why you should continue to eat chocolate!
1. Chocolate Tastes Amazing
Before we jump into any of the other reasons, there is one that doesn't need any explanation - chocolate simply tastes amazing!
In whatever form it is consumed, chocolate gives us all that initial great taste in the mouth that stays there until the very end. No matter what your tastebuds desire, chocolate finds a way to satisfy even the harshest of requirements with the variations available.
Whether you enjoy white or milk chocolate or love to indulge with some dark chocolate we can all agree that it tastes bloody amazing.
2. It Gives Energy Kick
Sometimes we all need a little boost after a tough day! The best thing that can help you satisfy that little craving or feeling is none other than chocolate.
Chocolate is rich in calories, caffeine and theobromine which all stem from the raw product of chocolate - cacao! The little energy boost you need can all come from a small dose of our favourite sweet.
3. Chocolate is Nutritionally Beneficial
As young children our adult counterparts led us to believe that eating too much chocolate is not good for you. However, tests conducted by multiple research facilities say otherwise.
Chocolate in its various forms have a number of health benefits that can keep you going for much longer; such as keeping your heart healthy, lowering blood pressure, preventing liver damage and much more!
4. Love, Love, Love
Getting that feel good love feeling has never been easier and chocolate is here to help on all levels. The serotonin levels increase in our brains once we consume chocolate, giving us that warm and fuzzy feeling whenever consumed.
With a higher level of serotonin, the overall health benefits and mental wellbeing drastically increases giving us another reason to continue to eat chocolate.
5. Our Ancestors Enjoyed It
Chocolate has been around from almost the very beginning, with ancient civilizations such as the Mayans and Aztecs enjoying the fruits of the cacao bean. Over 4,000 years ago, chocolate was considered as valuable as gold by some civilizations and used for trade throughout history.
If our ancestors enjoyed it back then, we can continue to enjoy it now!
6. Celebrating Good Times
Valentines Day, Easter, Halloween and Christmas. Some of the biggest celebrations in the calendar all focus heavily on chocolate.
Whether it is one of the four mentioned above or any celebration at all, chocolate is always there to provide in these situations. And like many of us, we can determine that a celebration is needed on any given day to consume our favourite sweet!
7. Variations and Choice
Capping off the seven reasons is the variations and choice available to us in the chocolate space. There is an endless supply of different ways of consuming chocolate.
Making a conscious effort to become a connoisseur and expert in field of chocolate is by no means an easy task, so continuing to try all the different forms is just another reason to keep your chocolate consumption at a high!
Looking back at all seven points, one area that we need to look at to complete our journey for the chocolate experts out there is the variations and choice factor in chocolate.
On basic terms, chocolate can be divided into two types - couverture and compound. Let’s take a brief look at the key difference between the two!
Couverture Chocolate vs Compound Chocolate
When it comes to using chocolate in creating the confectionary items that we all dream of, it is crucial to know the key differences between the two variations to ensure that your masterpiece can be completed in the best way possible.
Both couverture and compound chocolate have similar compounds but slight variations and have their own place in your creations.
Couverture chocolate is considered to be of higher quality (and is often described as "real chocolate") than compound chocolate due to its higher concentration of cocoa butter in relation to the other ingredients.
In order to be labeled couverture, chocolate must contain a minimum of 35% cocoa solids and 31% cocoa butter.
Like any quality product, the increased levels of quality produce mean an increased level of cost associated with the product. Generally, couverture chocolate is more expensive than its counterpart and can be used on any of your creations. However, reserving the use of couverture chocolate in crucial areas where the taste and the texture of your creation is critical will be most beneficial as the tempering process can be challenging for those who are not experienced in the area.
In our range you can find Callebaut coverture chocolate from Belgium that comes in 6 exciting varieties, all that we discuss below.
What is Chocolate Tempering
Tempering chocolate means melting and cooling chocolate. Sounds simple right? Not quite.
Proper “tempering" - heating and cooling chocolate to stabilise it for making candies and confections - gives chocolate a smooth and glossy finish, keeps it from easily melting on your fingers, and allows it to set up beautifully for dipped and chocolate covered treats.
In the tempering process, melted chocolate is first cooled to a certain temperature after what the temperature is raised again to keep the chocolate from solidifying.
There are few different ways to temper chocolate. Which ever way you may choose, all of them can be tricky to master and practicing may become very expensive, due to the cost of couverture chocolate.
If you're not brave enough, or haven't had good luck with tempering previously, you may consider using compound chocolate instead.
Compound chocolate is formed with the key ingredients of cocoa powder and various oils mixed throughout. Compound chocolate is definitely the easier form to work with for your creations and will continue to give you a high quality product even though it may lack the edge that couverture chocolate brings.
Compound chocolate don't have to be tempered and can simple be melted and used straight away.
Compound chocolate comes at a much more affordable price tag than couverture chocolate, making it the most common form of chocolate used in the creation of confectionary products.
So now that we know the reasons why you should continue to consume chocolate and the differences between the two main forms of chocolate, let’s wrap it all up in giving you the differences between the types of base chocolate on the main market.
Milk vs Dark vs White
Chocolate gives us a great selection on offer in its various forms. The three main types of chocolate (milk, dark and white) all have their own niche in the market.
Flavour wise all 3 are very different from each other because of differences in the way each type of chocolate is produced.
Not many know though that there are two new players on the chocolate scene - Ruby and Gold. Find out what the differences are between all these variations!
Milk chocolate is the most common form used in a variety of different products and is generally sweeter than dark chocolate.
Milk chocolate contains milk and dairy fat, giving it creamy texture, and lighter colour. It is usually also higher in sugar content giving it sweeter flavour than dark chocolate.
Plenty of people associate milk chocolate as the cheaper variation than dark chocolate. This is actually true, as it is more expensive to produce dark chocolate than it is milk chocolate.
Callebaut 823 milk chocolate is finest Belgian milk couverture chocolate with well balanced taste. Callebaut 823 milk chocolate is one of the most favoured milk chocolates around the world. It is perfect for adding to your cakes and desserts such as ganaches, sauces, mousses and caramels.
Class and elegance are associated with dark chocolate and it is definitely the more elite variation of the three options. With a higher concentration of cacao solids throughout dark chocolate, it is universal belief that the texture and the feeling in the mouth of the consumer is at a higher standard when consuming dark chocolate.
Dark chocolate is made by combining cocoa solids, cocoa butter and sugar, but should not contain any milk, making it often suitable for vegetarians or vegans.
It is often thought that higher the cocoa solids % in the dark chocolate the better it is for you, and there are quite a few researches that do confirm this. Though it's a good idea to keep in mind that the higher the percentage of cocoa solids, the greater the bitter flavour.
Good example for this last statement is our Callebaut Dark chocolate, that we have in 2 different varieties.
Callebaut 811 dark chocolate has 54% cocoa solids. Callebaut 70-30-38 dark chocolate has 70% cocoa solids. Even though the difference is only 15%, both of these chocolates are very different in their taste.
Callebaut 811 dark chocolate has well balanced bitter cocoa taste, but it is still rather sweet and nice to eat as is.
Callebaut 70-30-38 dark chocolate has intense bitter roasted cocoa flavour and is perfect to boost rich chocolate flavour in your creations. If you're a bit of a sweet tooth though, you'd be disappointed as there is hardly any sweetness to this chocolate.
White chocolate is commonly referred to as the sweetest variation of the three types. White chocolate, doesn't contain cocoa solids like dark and milk chocolates do, but does have cocoa butter, milk and sugar in it.
Given that the price of cacao butter has increased over the years, many large manufacturers sadly have started using vegetable oil substitutes to make white chocolate, meaning there is sometimes no actual cacao in the chocolate at all.
Many enthusiasts don’t credit white chocolate at the level of dark or milk chocolate, probably because of the reason mentioned above, however it definitely has its own niche in confectionary production and supply.
We stock Callebaut white chocolate W2. It is one of Callebaut's original recipes and preferred chocolate for many chocolatiers and pastry chefs around the world. It's excellent all round chocolate that can be used for any of your baking or decorating needs.
The New Players - Ruby and Gold
In recent years, two new players have entered the conversation for their new additions to the chocolate game.
Callebaut Ruby Chocolate
Ruby is a chocolate introduced to us by Barry Callebaut and it has been marketed as "forth" type of chocolate alongside previous 3 we talked about. It's most noticeable feature is its pink colour, which is all natural and comes from Ruby cocoa beans and has not been coloured.
When trying to describe Callebaut Ruby flavour, the first thing that comes in mind is berries. The chocolate is sweet and has slightly sour aftertaste, thought Callebaut Ruby contains actually no berries, berry flavouring or colourings.
Callebaut Ruby stems from a specific "Ruby" cocoa bean found only in three countries around the world- Brazil, Ecuador and Ivory Coast.
Callebaut Gold Chocolate
Lastly, the most recent trend and player rivalling the big four is Callebaut Gold chocolate although it's not really a new type of chocolate all together. And even though the name suggest that it is Gold in colour, it is just a fancy expensive sounding name, and the chocolate itself is really caramel in colour.
That's actually exactly what Callebaut Gold chocolate is. A caramelised sugar and caramelised milk meaning it's a caramel chocolate. It has very rich toffee and butter flavour with a slight hint of a salt, making it almost salted caramel chocolate.
Callebaut Gold is our absolute new favourite and a must try at least once!
After all of that, rest assured that chocolate is here to stay for generations and new types will no doubt continue to come into the market for us to try and love each step of the way.