Wednesday, November 11, 2009


WHAT IS THIS THING CALLED CHOCOLATE? Think about a world in which it had never been discovered. Imagine that the ancient Mayans never climbed a forty foot tree on which grew a pod, and found in the pod, not a pea, but a bean they christened Cacao, which they eventually called," food of the spirits". Unthinkable!
The Mayans worshipped the cacoa bean as a heavenly gift. I'm not arguing against that...I do not worship false idols, and certainly am careful about what I place on a pedestal. Yes, I fell for chocolate a long time ago when it presented itself as a kiss. The beans were used historically to heal many ailments. The Mayans drank hot cocoa in its bitter state. Spices such as chili peppers were added. The Aztecs were the ones who added vanilla beans and honey.
Skipping ahead a bit, currently scientists are studying chocolate and how it changes the brain. In it's raw form, chocolate is more addictive than heroin. Recent research in Sweden shows victims of heart disease are 70% less likely to have cardiac problems if they eat chocolate. Even eating it once a week can help. Dark chocolate is rich in antioxidants, but there is a caution..and that's the sugar that helps to make it what we want it to be.
Let's pause here to give a nod to Christopher Columbus, who did more than discover the New World. He returned with the first cocoa beans. And by 1528 Cortes returned to Spain with the equipment to brew chocolate. Originally the "heavenly gift" was available only to royalty. Finally by the 17th Century, the beans became available to the masses, and Chocolate Houses became popular in England. In the 1800's Johannes Van Houten, in Holland, produced cocoa powder, and candy companies made fortunes producing chocolate candy, as well as cocoa powder for beverages. Van Houten still is known for their product.
I salute the first Mayan who decided to climb a forty foot tree, perhaps out of curiosity to find a pea, and instead discovered a universal obsession. And I want to leave it in your hands to choose your chocolate of choice recipes...just indulgence. Go ahead, melt some chocolate, lick a spoon..or pop a truffle, serve some double chocolate chip ice cream...have a slice of devil's food cake...just do it, do it, do it...I'm with you all the way...


Butternut Squash said...

I made a lovely chocolate mousse for my boys last night. The recipe is on the Hershey's website but I switch the vanilla for orange extract. Mmmmmmmmmmmmmm!

Lyn said...

Hi Butternut-
Thanks for the tip..yes, orange and chocolate are so yummy together!

A Cuban In London said...

'Food of the spirits'. They got it so right.

I love that image. It's so... intense.

Many thanks.

Greetings from London.

Lyn said...

Greetings to a Cuban-
One thing I'll never get tired fact I'm going for a dose of ice cream now...what flavor?hmmmm...

tattytiara said...

I resolved to go and make fudge the moment that graphic hit my screen.

Lyn said...

Hi tattytiara-
Very good choice..I definitely approve..Thank you!

Jeane Myers said...

bless the curious - they have given us bounty beyond belief and obviously the chocolate bounty is one of the best! I'll take mine in my coffee this morning! yum :)

Lyn said...

Hi Jeane-
Falling off the edge of the world..why? contents of Apt..painted yesterday! What saved me this AM..choc. in my coffee! Small world..

Deedee said...

Chocolate is my number one guilty pleasure! My favorite is the 70% cocoa...It tastes so much better with a little less sugar! It's wonderful to know that it is actually good for us in small doses.

Lyn said...

Hi Deedee-
I do like the very dark..have yet to try the one made with chili!

Unknown said...

Hi Lyn,

At this rate, before we know it they'll be classifying it as a class A drug!

Lyn said...

Hi Derrick-
Well, I'm addicted..hope I won't have to smuggle it in!

Aleks said...

Wahahahi,smuggle, yeah!Im an choc-junky so if we make an underground organization it will be all right,:O)
Lovely photo,greetings from the chocolate lover.

Lyn said...

Hi ALeks-
Chocolate lovers are the best...and funny too!! Thanks..


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