Chocolate is a Gal’s Best Friend
by Brenda K Oswalt
Lose a man or a job? Need to move or have lousy weather? Time to slip into a nice bubble bath with a glass of wine and then tuck in bed with some yummy dark chocolate.
See, it’s all better now.
Chocolate, Not Just a Breakfast Food
Chocolate is truly a legendary food. It’s been around a very long time and was first discovered over 2000 years ago growing happily in the South American rainforests.
Who knows what first led a local native to try to crack the hard shell of the cacao-tree pods, but we do know that the Mayas and Aztecs learned how to pulverize the seeds within and made foamy drinks out of them. They even grew the cacao trees near their huts.
By the 1400s, the Aztecs must have put a lot of value on the bitter tasting little seeds because they considered them “legal tender” and traded cacao seeds, as well as deeming them appropriate for paying the inevitable tax levy. The royalty drank cacao beverages and also used them in religious ceremonies.
Chocolate Conquers Spain and Europe
The Spanish invaded Mexico in 1521 and during the takeover Cortez watched the Aztec Chief Montezuma cheerfully down the foamy chocolate beverage and promptly shipped lots of it back home where it found its trade way to Europe. But, the Spanish added an important element. When they got it home, some innovative cook decided to toss in some cinnamon, spices and sugar and all at once this new sweetened version called chocolate took off like wildfire. Taste buds by the thousands exploded with the rich and heady flavor of this ebony-hued delicacy. History says the Spaniards managed to keep their seductively sweet chocolate power-drink a secret for around 100 years.
Everything’s Coming up Chocolate in Europe
Well, the jig was now up and chocolate became a real status symbol. Sugar and cacao seeds were very expensive and in France only the royalty was deemed fit enough to drink it and wealthy enough to indulge. Pricy goblets were used to serve it in. Spain and other European nations, realizing they were really onto something here and that the power people wanted more and more of it, started colonial plantations in South America to try to accommodate the lucrative chocolate market.
Chocolate Mass Produced for the Masses
For centuries, chocolate was a drink only shared by the rich and beautiful people. Then, with the invention of the steam engine, and the industrial revolution in general, there came a way to pulverize the stubborn little cacao seedpods by the millions in a fraction of the previous time the old hand stone and club method took. Hershey’s here we come. Katy bar the door. The rest of us gals finally got a whiff and a sip of what the beautiful folks were raving about. Milk was added to stretch the dark and exotically tasty dessert, chocolate candies were made and even the most common chick could get her chocolate kicks.
Chocolate is So Good for You, What’s Not to Love?
Chocolate was credited with longevity as far back as 1660 and today study after study has shown the healthy properties of dark chocolate, like the incredibly high antioxidant levels, skin and mood enhancing properties, as well as heart health and stroke reduction/prevention. A delicious chocolate treat will never let you down. So, with that said, there’s probably not much in life that can happen to a gal that can’t be helped by a good dark chocolate frosted cupcake or a great piece of the hard candy stuff.
Forget the diamonds, eat today’s economically produced dark chocolate... Enjoy, because life is good and you might even live longer too. What’s not to love?
More Fun Articles for Fabulous Women Over 40:
- Main Photo: Hotel Chocolat Prshots.
- Chocolate is a Health Food: Flickr creative commons webmink.
- Chocolate is Good for You - Go Eat Some: Hotel Chocolat Prshots.
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