No other food invokes such intense reactions as does this cacao - derived fare.
Whether we are talking about dark chocolate, milk chocolate, or semisweet chocolate, and whether it winds up as a cake, a cookie, candy, a brownie, ice cream, a pie, or as a drink, the passion for this stuff extends way beyond its flavor aspects and ventures into the psychological realm.
"Sensuous", "decadent", & "sinful" are just a few of the adjectives used to describe chocolate. Are we eating a candy bar here or engaging in some sort of illicit affair?
Although the chocolate lover has not yet been targeted by D.A.R.E., people do seem to prone to developing a compulsion for it. While not dismissing the appeal of other flavors, there are no wide-spread accounts of vanilla addiction...no one leaves the snug confines of their home at midnight to satisfy an insatiable craving for butterscotch.
To top it all off, the health benefits of the flavanol rich
been well documented.
shown that the cocoa phenols present in the dark variety, acting as antioxidants resulted in a
lowering of blood pressure. A small, 3.5 ounce bar of "candy", eaten daily was a sufficient amount to bring about these results.
Another benefit this dark delight provides to the heart are indications of it's ability to lower LDL ("bad") cholesterol, and raise HDL ("good") cholesterol!
On the psychological front, benefits include the ability to boost brain levels of endorphins (natural opiates), as well as serotonin (a mood-altering chemical that many antidepressants act upon).
'Doctor, please write me a prescription!'.