Advance Praise for The Healing Powers of Chocolate “The powerful polyphenols in dark chocolate are a 21st-century health food—your Rx for longevity!” —Karlis Ullis, M.D., Medical Director of the Sports Medicine and Anti-Aging Medical Group, Santa Monica, CA “A fascinating read full of amazing anecdotes and edgy information. Orey’s book entertains while sharing new ways to pair fine chocolate and quality extra virgin olive oil in homemade recipes, from appetizers and entrees to sauces and desserts.” —Gemma Sanita Sciabica, author of Cooking with California Olive Oil “Fine chocolate is about taste, style, and integrity, and fine chocolate is the medium for our message. It is delightful to find an author who understands all this!” —John Down and Joe Guiliano, founders of Christopher Norman Chocolates “To appreciate the ultimate aphrodisiac, read this stimulating book.” —Dr. Ava Cadell, author and founder of Loveology University “Chocolate is a taste of divine ecstasy on Earth. It is our sensual communion. Orey’s journalistic style and efforts share this insight with readers around the world.” —Jim Walsh, founder of Intentional Chocolate “ This book blends my two favorite things: chocolate and romance (not necessarily in that order). This book will rev up your romance and titillate your sensibilities. Treat yourself and your partner to all the truth about chocolate that’s fit to print!” —Larry James, Wedding Officiant, Author, www.CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com
Books by Cal Orey The Healing Powers of Vinegar Doctors’ Orders 202 Pets’ Peeves The Healing Powers of Olive Oil Published by Kensington Publishing Corporation
THE HEALING POWERS OF Chocolate CAL OREY
KENSINGTON BOOKS www.kensingtonbooks.com
All copyrighted material within is Attributor Protected.
Table of Contents
Books by Cal Orey Title Page Foreword Preface Acknowledgments PART 1 - A TIME FOR CHOCOLATE CHAPTER 1 - The Power of Chocolate CHAPTER 2 - A Genesis of Chocolate PART 2 - CHOCOLATE CHAPTER 3 - A Historical Testimony CHAPTER 4 - Where Are the Secret Ingredients? CHAPTER 5 - Why Is Chocolate So Healthy? CHAPTER 6 - The French Attitude PART 3 - OTHER NATURAL FORBIDDEN FOODS CHAPTER 7 - Chocolateâ€™s Favorite Friends CHAPTER 8 - Nuts About Chocolate CHAPTER 9 - Matchmaking Chocolate and Wine PART 4 - YOUTH IN A CUP CHAPTER 10 - A Cuppa Coffee and Chocolat CHAPTER 11 - A Toast to Hot Cocoa and Long Life! PART 5 - CHOCOLATE CURES CHAPTER 12 - Home Remedies from Your Kitchen PART 6 - FUTURE CHOCOLATE
CHAPTER 13 - The Chocolate Craze CHAPTER 14 - Chocolate Beautiful CHAPTER 15 - Chocolatiers, Tasting Bars, and Tours CHAPTER 16 - Chocolate Is Not for Everyone: Some Bittersweet Views CHAPTER 17 - The Joy of Cooking with Chocolate PART 7 - CHOCOLATE RECIPES CHAPTER 18 - Chocolate Buon Appetito! PART 8 - CHOCOLATE RESOURCES Where Can You Buy Chocolate? Notes Selected Bibliography Copyright Page Notes
Foreword Cal Orey is amazing. In The Healing Powers of Chocolate, she takes you on a complete tour of our favorite dietary decadence. But don’t be fooled by the title. Yes, she does canvass all the nutritional reasons you need to treat chocolate as a health food on the order of broccoli and Brussels sprouts (as if you needed another reason). But she also delivers the history of this “food of the gods,” showing you chocolate’s many home remedies, how to cook with it, what wine to pair with it, and even where to buy it. If you’re still struggling with the fundamental question Is chocolate virtue or vice?, The Healing Powers of Chocolate will clear that up for you. Certainly, you may have to turn your thinking upside down, but that is something we, as a culture, are more than ready to do. For example, I give “chocolate eating lessons” for major U.S. corporations through my company, Mediterranean Wellness. I love saying that phrase. Slowly, clearly, with a matter-of-fact expression —“cho-co-late eating lessons”—and waiting to watch the face in front of me screw up sideways, wondering when I’m going to say, “No, ha-ha, just kidding!” These cognitive contortions are driven by our cultural assumptions about chocolate: it’s a candy, a decadence, an evil fattening siren that lures us daily into our personal and national obesity epidemic. People come up to me all the time and say, “If I could just give up chocolate, I’d be able to stay on my diet.” It turns out, however, that eating chocolate is not the problem; it’s the solution, hence, the lessons. In fact, when you observe eating behaviors of healthy cultures, like those of the French, you see that they eat chocolate all the time but don’t suffer weight and health problems. In my first book, The Fat Fallacy, I first detailed what these people are doing compared to Americans—who are living on cardboardflavored, low-fat food products, with three times more heart attacks, and a national obesity epidemic. Somebody, somewhere is on the wrong page. CHOCOLATE WILL IMPROVE OUR CULTURE OF HEALTH What we in the United States are missing is the fact that chocolate is a perfect metaphor for what healthy cultures are doing right and we, by contrast, are doing completely wrong. Rather than running from the chocolate, we should embrace it with both arms. First of all, chocolate is an incredible health food. When you think of Brussels sprouts, celery sticks, and spinach, add chocolate to the list. It is an antioxidant; it is an antiplatelet, like aspirin; it raises the good HDL cholesterol, lowers the bad LDL cholesterol; and it helps prevent tumors from spreading. You need chocolate every day. That said, keep in mind that the health benefits are conferred from the cocoa itself. Thus, the darker the chocolate, the more cocoa it contains, and the better it is for you. And this is particularly true if you’re concerned about your heart health. Diabetics also have a reason to cheer for dark chocolate, because the relative concentrations of cocoa are like buckets in a well—when one goes up, the other goes down. So a chocolate high in cocoa will be low in sugar. This is good news for those who are concerned about keeping insulin swings to a minimum. Yes, chocolate is perhaps a good choice for improving your heart health and insulin control, but what about the chocoholic? The average person who just likes ... loves ... fantasizes daily about ... chocolate? This person is likely most concerned about the effect chocolate can have on his or her weight.
Again, a cultural perspective sheds some much needed light. Americans eat roughly 10 pounds of chocolate per person per year. The Swiss lead the world in chocolate consumption per capita, at 22 pounds per person per year. The American obesity rate is roughly three times that of the Swiss, but we eat less than half as much chocolate as they do. Certainly, many factors conspire to produce our rampant obesity problems, but chocolate consumption is not a health liability for them. Perhaps the reason is that dark chocolate is low in sugar and includes healthy vegetable oils that help keep your insulin levels steady. When these levels are stable, you find that you’re just less hungry between meals. This makes you consume less, which helps you control your calories, which helps you control your weight. And all you did was “love on” some delicious, high-quality chocolate (which also is something of a food Casanova, containing a natural “love drug,” providing feel-good feelings similar to those when you are in love). HOW TO KEEP CHOCOLATE A HEALTH FOOD Even with all of this wonderful news about chocolate, there is a strong caveat. The biological benefits for your heart, blood sugar, weight, and mood are dose dependent, which pulls us back to “chocolate eating lessons.” You get the health benefits of chocolate only when you eat in control. There is nothing on this planet that you cannot overconsume, instantly changing a healthy food into an unhealthy one, including dark chocolate. So when you eat your chocolate, you must start with high-quality dark chocolate that makes you basically moan out loud. Audible groaning is a good thing. Then remember, no biting or chewing your chocolate. The way you make this love affair last as long as possible is to leave it on your palate for as many luscious, lingering minutes as you possibly can. We’ve adapted this sumptuous method of eating chocolate into a full curriculum—the Mediterranean Wellness PATH program (the book form is The French Don’t Diet Plan)—which lowers weight, cholesterol, and controls blood sugar for individuals and corporations nationally. Basically, eating this way controls portions for you as you become sated prior to working your way to the end of the 70 percent cocoa Belgian bar of wonderfulness. Controlling your portions in this way—by taking your time, choosing high quality, and savoring the flavor of your food—is how chocolate becomes a health boon, not a health disaster; a heart-healthy snack, rather than a contributor to a coronary. ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE (AND A LITTLE CHOCOLATE) Obviously, this kind of eating behavior generalizes very well to all foods, in all conditions. In fact, when you observe people from healthy cultures eating any of their wonderful foods at all, you notice these same themes coming through quite naturally. The thin people—the ones without the heart disease and diabetes—love their chocolate just like they love their food. This fact is exactly why we should not fear chocolate. We should change our way of thinking completely to recognize that chocolate is not a candy, but a health food. It’s not a sinfully sumptuous vice that you sneak from the jar when no one’s looking or treat yourself with because you’ve been “good” on your draconian diet, but a virtue you should encourage every day. When we do this in control, insulin is stabilized, calories are controlled, and the good cholesterol is boosted while the bad cholesterol is decreased. Therefore, all these realities of the physiological system make chocolate eating the solution to our dreadful weight and health concerns, and not the problem. —William Clower, Ph.D., author of
The French Donâ€™t Diet Plan and The Fat Fallacy www.willclower.com
Preface One summer morning, I woke up and had chocolate on the brain. I did brew a cup of fresh Italian Roast coffee splashed with organic chocolate milk and paired it with a warm dark chocolate muffin. And then, my creative juices were in high-octane gear. I got a craving to e-mail a query to my book editor. I wanted to write a new book on the healing powers of chocolate. But I hesitated and thought, “This is a crazy idea. Chocolate is a decadent food.” Later that day I pondered the topic like I would scrutinize a truffle. After all, I had gone to Vinegar World and Olive Land in my two books The Healing Powers of Vinegar and The Healing Powers of Olive Oil. Would my publisher at Kensington really be interested in sending me to Chocolate Nirvana? Or was my idea just a sweet pipe dream of a self-professed chocoholic? I decided I had nothing to lose, so I sat down in my study and wrote a quick query regarding writing a book on chocolate. A few hours later, I received a response from my editor, Richard Ember. I’d snagged his interest. Within a couple of weeks, the idea was sealed into a chocolate-book deal. At last, I was given the go-ahead to write the book I had wanted to pen for more than a decade. Back in 1999, I pitched the idea to another editorial consultant when I was writing those mini mags sold at grocery store checkout stands. My editor showed interest, but then there was a shake-up in the company and my chocolate-book idea fizzled like hot chocolate gone cold. Ironically, in both books on disease-fighting antioxidant-rich vinegar and olive oil, I did mention chocolate (also chock-full of disease-fighting antioxidants). And, as a health-conscious Californian and self-professed chocolate lover, I have touched on the once forbidden food—chocolate—in health articles for women’s magazines including Woman’s World and Women’s Weekly. But I noted only chunks of its virtues, from how the good-for-you fatty food can boost your energy to how it can rev up your libido (maybe). The amazing part is, I was assigned to write a book about my passion—chocolate—and this is how The Healing Powers of Chocolate became one of my favorite love affairs and was finally written by me, a health author who simply loves chocolate. By being a San Francisco Bay Area native (a popular home of experienced chocolate makers and artisans), I was given the opportunity to share the real chocolate world through my research of famous chocolate makers (three major companies: Guittard and Ghirardelli, part of the Lindt empire; and Scharffen Berger, part of the Hershey moguls). Also, olive oil, vinegar, and chocolate are linked to the traditional European diet and lifestyle, which continue to make headlines in research and news articles, and which I practice and preach to anyone who is interested in staying healthy and living longer by teaming health and indulgence. I immediately began my mission and set out in the real world and cyberspace to discover the past and present standout benefits of chocolate: heart health, weight loss, home cures, beauty uses, and so much more. And never did I imagine what a wealth of information is in the wide, wide world of chocolate. I took the holistic route to chocolate’s wonders and confirmed my instincts that chocolate is good for the body, mind, and spirit. I delved deep into the cutting-edge health benefits, original and edgy home cures, and anecdotes from both famous and everyday people, past and present. And that is why The Healing Powers of Chocolate will surprise you with its extraordinary surprises—like a box of healthful and heavenly chocolates, all natural, of course, and full of flavor. So make yourself a cup of hot (or iced) chocolate (depending on what season it is), sit down, and grab a pencil (you’ll want to take notes!). I’ll show you, page by page, how this ancient “food of the gods” can
be your best friend, too, for the end of time.
Acknowledgments I would love to thank the wonderful people who sent me on a seven-day chocolate cruise to the Mediterranean, where I visited Cannes, Florence, Naples, and Palermo, experiencing the choice chocolate shops in Europe, including the vintage shop in Rome called Confetteria Moriondo e Gariglio. But the truth is, I didn’t go on a sweet sojourn like that one. However, I can honestly tell you that because of some of the amazing chocolate makers and chocolatiers, chefs, and spa staff from Reno, Nevada; San Francisco; Vermont; and New York City, the chocolate world gave me a taste of European chocolate, one way or another. They fed my chocolate fantasies beyond belief, and it affected me from head to toe. Sure, I truly do want to go to Europe, especially Italy and France, and savor fine chocolate and hot cocoa amid an old-world ambiance. But the timing hasn’t been right. As I wrote this book, every day for many months, someone connected to the chocolate world made my day a little bit sweeter. It was like Christmas every time the UPS man delivered another box of chocolate surprises on my doorstep. I am grateful to each and every one of you, from the bottom of my heart, because I can now share what you gave to me with people from all walks of life in America and around the globe. I am touched by your knowledge of chocolate, from bean to bar, your passion for health and indulgence, and your generosity. Your diverse efforts gave me the energy and confidence to educate others on how quality chocolate—the fruit of the cocoa plant—can help feed the body, mind, and spirit. I also wish to acknowledge my intelligent and sensitive cat, Kerouac, and two fun-loving, comforting Brittanys, Simon and Seth, who give me the same mood-boosting, feel-good endorphins that chocolate does. During the research and writing of this book with a European twist, I learned that my pets (a trio with French roots) help me to chill, fight heart disease, stay happy and active, and provide comfort and companionship. But, most important, I discovered that each of them is like fine chocolate—a constant friend for life. Last but not least, I wish to thank the staff at Kensington for giving me this memorable assignment. While it was challenging to write a health book on chocolate (and maintain a size 4!), the total rewards— from the scented chocolate Jacuzzi bubble bath to tasting my first prestige French truffle—made up for the ups and downs during the creation of this book. Thank you for sending me to Chocolate Heaven—a dream come true. Grazie and merci.
PART 1 A TIME FOR CHOCOLATE
CHAPTER 1 The Power of Chocolate The superiority of chocolate, both for health and nourishment, will soon give it the same preference over tea and coffee in America which it has in Spain. —Thomas Jefferson
I remember my bags were packed and ready to go to France, Italy, and Spain—countries touted for chocolate—in the spring of 1962 when I was 10 years old. I was excited to experience real hot cocoa and rich chocolate cakes like Marie Antoinette is depicted making in a vintage Parisian poster. I heard my mother talk about trying Sicilian mole and chocolate mousse in an ancient restaurant in Madrid. I tried to imagine smelling and tasting Italian chocolates in a Roman chocolate shop. I’d love to share a genuine, nostalgic chocolate lover’s trip of yesteryear with you, but I cannot do that. Why? The truth is, I didn’t go to Europe. However, my mom, a hardworking legal secretary, was treated to a trip abroad by her boss, an attorney, who rewarded her with a round-trip ticket to chocolate paradise. And I stayed home in San Jose, California. There I was, for three weeks, in our house in the suburbs with my two siblings, father, and Dalmatian, Casey. Cocoa, candy bars, and chocolate milk shakes comforted me and were part of our American diet while Mom was living the good life in Europe, a place where people ate chocolate, the good stuff. But she did bring home tales full of sensory details of exotic and wonderful meals at bistros, and a large, picturesque restaurant menu chock-full of French chocolate delights with titles that I could not pronounce. That was 47 years ago, and today I can still find myself pondering about visiting quaint European bistros and cafés that create to-die-for chocolates and coffee. Countless people, like me, are fascinated and captivated by the power of chocolate in Europe and other countries around the world, past and present. Today, as a nature-loving baby boomer who teams health and indulgence while living and working in the Sierra at South Lake Tahoe, I was thrilled to rediscover that Northern California, especially the San Francisco Bay Area, my native home, is a hot spot for chocolate lovers. THE BEAN YIELDS A POWERFUL BAR Chocolate has been praised by people—foodies and health nuts—in Northern California and around the world as one of Mother Nature’s foods, especially dark chocolate. And now, chocolate shops and bars— and an array of quality chocolate in all forms, flavors, and types—are making the news around the globe and are popular in restaurants, beauty spas, and even our homes. People from all walks of life, from the West Coast to the East Coast and Europe—including some chocolate makers and contemporary medical experts—believe chocolate helps keep blood pressure down as well as heart disease at bay. Chocolate is also known to help curb cravings, to stave off overindulging in junk food, which can lead to excess pounds and body fat.
Leading scientists on health and nutrition point out in countless studies that research shows dark chocolate contains the same disease-fighting phenols, the same protective compounds that are found in red wine, fruits, and vegetables that fight heart disease. The author of the national best-seller French Women Don’t Get Fat (Vintage Books) praises chocolate, too. “French women eat chocolate (about twelve pounds a year on average). They also eat bread (we fought a revolution over it!). But: French women don’t get fat.”1 SuperFoods HealthStyle (Harper) author Steven G. Pratt, M.D., a world-renowned authority on nutrition, writes in his book: “Dark chocolate is a SuperFood. For many of us, this is a dream come true. The interesting thing is that many people have told me that once they think of chocolate as a food that’s beneficial to health, even though they still love and enjoy it, because it’s no longer ‘forbidden,’ they’re somehow less tempted to gorge on it.”2 And thank goodness “forbidden” is a word that no longer applies to chocolate—one of my longtime favorite foods. Approximately 4,000 years ago, in Central America, the Mayan Indians held cocoa beans, the fruit of the cocoa tree, as Mother Nature’s “food of the gods,” because of its medicinal benefits. Later, it became tagged a “taboo” fatty food. By the late 20th century, a twist of fate turned chocolate back into a health food. And these days, in the 21st century, stacks and stacks of studies show nutrient-rich chocolate is good for the body.
Health-Boosting Polyphenols in Dark Chocolate Medical researchers around the world continue to find new health-promoting nutrients— there are believed to be at least 300 to 400—in chocolate. Most important, like red wine, green tea, and certain fruits and vegetables, cocoa contains polyphenols, naturally occurring compounds that act as powerful antioxidants (disease-fighting enzymes that protect your body by trapping free-radical molecules and getting rid of them before damage occurs). One and a half ounces of chocolate boasts the same amount of phenols as a five-ounce glass of red wine, according to Andrew Waterhouse, Ph.D., a researcher at the University of California, Davis.3 Research also shows that eating antioxidant-rich foods, including cocoa and dark chocolate, may prevent and even reverse heart disease and some forms of cancer and may stall the aging process. Science continues to find new “cutting-edge” health-promoting nutrients in certain SuperFoods, and these are discovered in dark chocolate: Catechin: a powerful polyphenol that acts as an antioxidant and can help strengthen immune responses. Cocoa nibs (the meat of the cocoa bean) are an excellent source. Epicatechin: a smaller flavonol that is found in cocoa beans that may help stave off heart disease and diabetes. Flavonoids: powerful disease fighters that may help to fight viruses, allergies, carcinogens, and inflammation. In addition, these superantioxidants may help to reduce your cholesterol level and prevent oxidation of the “bad” LDL cholesterol. Flavanols and Flavonols: a group of plant compounds (from flavonoids, a large group of phytonutrients) that can be found in cocoa that have shown antioxidant effects that may help lower the risk of developing heart disease, some forms of cancer, and diabetes. Both flavanols and flavonols can be found in cocoa and chocolate. Proanthocyanidin: a flavonoid abundant in grapes and dark chocolate containing more
than 70 percent cocoa. Resveratrol : a compound that may have anticancer properties. It may also have substances that can protect against heart disease. Tannins: nutrients that may help inhibit the plaque obstructions that cause heart attacks and strokes. (Sources: The Healing Powers of Olive Oil and The Healing Powers of Vinegar.)
Chocolate with % Cocoa Content Keep in mind, if you’re a health-conscious person like I am, you’ll quickly ask, “Which chocolate has the highest cocoa content?” The popularity of premium and specialty chocolates is skyrocketing in the United States, and consumers are noticing the percentage of “cacao” (pronounced ka-cow, the second syllable like the animal) or “cocoa”—the two words are used interchangeably—on the labels of many products, from bars to cocoa beverages. So what gives? Simply put, this percentage refers to the total content of ingredients derived from the cacao (or cocoa) bean. This includes chocolate liquor, cocoa butter, and cocoa powder. So what do you do if you’re on a mission to get a chocolate that is disease-fighting polyphenol-rich? These days, the labeling of chocolate claims the percentage of cocoa content, which can range from 33 percent to 100 percent: 33 percent, 55 percent, 65 percent, 70 percent, 77 percent, and 100 percent. According to the National Confectioners Association, % cacao may suggest several other characteristics of chocolate: A high % cacao means more cacao bean–derived ingredients; therefore, less added sugar. Since a higher % cacao means more cacao bean–related ingredients, this generally means a more intense chocolate flavor. And there’s more. While it’s the disease-fighting antioxidants in dark chocolate that both makers and consumers care about, good-tasting chocolate is important, too. These healthful compounds are linked with nonfat cocoa solids, chocolate liquor, cocoa butter, and cocoa powder. And, the amount of nonfat solids in a chocolate can vary a lot, depending on its recipe. The selection, handling, and processing of cacao beans also play a part in flavonal content. This, in turn, means % cacao may not always indicate the antioxidant content of chocolates or guarantee great taste. Another interesting note I discovered about quality chocolate is that the higher % in cocoa content tends to be harsher, more bitter, and stronger flavored. It is not as sweet and mellow as milk chocolate. And as with other healthful foods, such as extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar, it sometimes takes a while to acquire a taste for real chocolate. And once you get there, it is hard to turn back to a mass-market milk chocolate candy bar versus a prestige gourmet 65 percent cacao dark chocolate truffle (especially one infused with herbs, spices, or fruit). CHOCOLATE ROOTS 101 Chocolate, one of the oldest foods, comes from the fruit of the cacao tree—native to South America and Central America and now mostly grown in West Africa. Coined theobroma, Greek for “food of the gods” by the Swede Carolus Linnaeus, it has been used since Aztec times as a medicinal agent for dozens of ailments.
These days, cacao beans are grown in several West African countries, South America, the Caribbean, Indonesia, and Hawaii. There are believed to be three chocolate bean varieties used by makers of chocolate. For centuries, scientists and chocolate experts, such as the Dagoba Organic Chocolate company, have noted that chocolate came from three types of cacao: Criollo, which is prized and rare and has thin, light-colored pods and amazing aromas; Forastero, which is more plentiful and has thick pods and pungent flavor; and Trinitario (a hybrid of Criollo and Forastero), which has good aromatic flavor and is easily grown. But recently, a study led by Mars, Inc., has shown that there are really 10 genetic groups of the chocolate group—Marañon, Curaray, Criollo, Iquitos, Nanay, Contamana, Amelonado, Purús, Nacional, and Guiana—which may help improve cacao taste as well as boost variety, plus increase the trees’ immunity to diseases and keep the cost down due to erratic weather conditions, which can destroy a harvest, which may result in slimmer pickings.4
HEALTHY CHOCOLATE TYPES TO TASTE Type
Finely ground and roasted cocoa beans made with chocolate liquor.* Does not include any sugar, but might be flavored with vanilla. Also known as bitter chocolate.
Also known as bitter chocolate liquor.
Sweet or Dark Chocolate
A general term for chocolate containing 15 to 35 percent chocolate liquor and less than 12 percent milk solids. Straight from the grinding mill, with ingredients like cocoa butter, sugar, and vanilla added to make it palatable. Includes bit tersweet and semi-sweet chocolate.
Deep to moderate chocolate flavor, ranging from fruity to earthy, with minimal dairy or milk flavor. Bean blend determines flavor more than milk ingredients.
Bittersweet or SemiSweet Chocolate
The darkest of eating chocolate with the high est percentage of chocolate
Tastes rich and smooth. Strongest chocolate flavor with
liquor that contains extra cocoa butter to make it melt easily. Contains at least 35 per cent chocolate liquor.
minimal dairy or milk flavor. Flavor depends on cocoa bean blend rather than dairy in gredients.
Dark Milk Chocolate
This is a milk chocolate with a higher than nor mal percentage of cocoa components (normal is 10 to 12 percent), up to 48 percent, which gives this chocolate deep flavor.
Often sweet and smooth. The blend of dark and milk chocolate is an ideal flavorful mix.
The powdery remains of chocolate liquor after most of the cocoa butter is removed. The least fatty form of chocolate. Includes Dutched chocolate.
Strong to mild chocolate flavor without the texture of cocoa butter. Colors range from light tan to red to black.
*Chocolate liquor is the paste that is produced when cocoa beans are roasted and ground. (Source: National Confectioners Association.)
THE ART OF PRODUCTION The time and tender loving care put into nature’s beans to make quality chocolate is a multiple-step process that contributes to the morphing of cacao beans into chocolate.
While the bulk of chocolate manufacturing is done outside the United States, Scharffen Berger, in Berkeley, California, for one (there are several major manufacturers in America), is known for its fine dark chocolate—made from bean to bar. (The Berkeley factory and store closed in 2009, but is still owned by Hershey, who purchased it in 2005.) My friend, Michelle McHardy, a magazine editor, attended the company’s factory tour. She dishes out the details of the amazing creation, which she observed with her own two eyes: • Cleaning Cacao Beans. The fruit grows on the trunk of the tree, making it low to the ground and easy to pick. And the bean cleaner removes dust to twigs from the cacao beans before they are roasted.... The seeds are small compared to the fruit and taste terrible. The fruit is harvested; the seeds and surrounding pulp are fermented and then the seeds are dried. We were shown a basket of seeds that had been fermented, which are about the size of an almond. You could still see some of the fermented fruit on the beans and they smelled a lot like vinegar. We were warned not to taste the beans; they are still terrible at this point. Next we were shown a basket with beans that had been dried. The dried seeds had brittle shells, were much lighter in weight, and smelled a little better than the first sample. Still, it did not smell like chocolate and they were not something I wanted to try. The third basket we were shown were the nibs, or what is left over after the seeds have been roasted and crushed. Now, finally, they smelled like chocolate. • It’s Roasting Time. Once the purchased cacao seeds are cleaned, they are placed in the roaster to be roasted. • Cracking the Shell. The third step is into the winnower, which cracks the bean into smaller pieces called nibs. At the same time, the cocoa dust and shells are sucked away and discarded. • Grinding the Dark Stuff. Next is the mélangeur (a French word that means mixer/grinder), which grinds and crushes the nibs ... causing the cacao butter to be released. • Mixing It Up. And it was time to observe the conche refiner, where the ingredients for a particular recipe are added; this includes additional cacao butter, sugar, vanilla, and soy lecithin (an emulsifier— a compound that is added to make all the ingredients blend together). The conche refiner is circular and has blades and teeth that mix everything together, creating a chocolate in liquid form. Due to the heat created by the machine, its top is encased with a jacket of cold water. The mix remains in the conche for 40–60 hours, depending on the recipe. • The Cooling-Heating Spin. Then the chocolate is moved to the holding tanks/agitators that keep it warm while awaiting its journey to the tempering units. The units are a series of tanks that heat and cool the chocolate appropriately in order to produce a product that is glossy, breaks crisply, and melts smoothly. • Shaping the Goods: Molding Machine. The chocolate is then sent to the molding line, where a precise amount of chocolate is pumped into rectangle molds or is hand molded. And it’s time for the finale: when the chocolates are packaged by hand. (Refer to Chapter 15 for more details to experience during a chocolate factory tour.) GRADES OF CHOCOLATE In a cocoa fruit shell, there are four grades of chocolate: mass market, mass-market premium, gourmet, and prestige varieties. Mass-market chocolate often contains less cocoa, and more artificial flavoring and additives, and cocoa butter is sometimes replaced with hydrogenated oils, which cost less for the chocolate maker. The price range for chocolate varies. Author Clay Gordon, who wrote Discover Chocolate (Gotham Books), has broken up chocolate grades into four groups, which I found to be an easy to follow quality
gauge. Here, I have decoded and translated his expertise into Cal-ese. And I have personally sampled from the groups—the grades are in working order; but note, chocolate preferences are often subjective, just like choosing a favorite purebred canine: Mass market: less than $15 per pound. Don’t get excited. Ingredients and production techniques are not to be compared with those of the higher-end chocolates. Sample: Hershey’s bar. Mass-market premium: $15 to $25 per pound. You are entering a healthier chocolate land. You will find some “no-no” fats in the chocolate, and the odds are that artificial flavorings will be part of it. Production will be done by machine, and the flavor will be in the Belgian and American styles. Sample: See’s Candies. Gourmet: $25 to $40 per pound. Welcome to chocolate semi-bliss. Some “bad” fats may be lurking in your chocolate, but it will be minus artificial coloring or flavorings. Sample: Lake Champlain Chocolates. Prestige: more than $40 per pound. You have entered chocolate bliss. Forget artificial stuff or non– cocoa butter fats, and hydrogenated fats. Also, prestige chocolates will entice your eyes with delicate detail and titillate your taste buds because they’ll be handmade with tender loving care. Sample: Christopher Norman Chocolates. “The price of a chocolate helps set expectations for quality, especially with respect to the ingredients that should be used,” Gordon notes.5 And chocolate is more than just fine chocolates—truffles and bars. Chocolate comes in many forms. Add beverages (e.g., cocoa to coffee lattes); baked goods (e.g., biscotti to cookies), frozen varieties (e.g., ice cream to sorbet), and candy (e.g., fudge to truffles).
A Taste of Chocolate Ingredients Some chocolate makers confirm that their dark and dark milk chocolate is all natural, and the claim is on the chocolate product labels. That means there are no preservatives, no additives. Also, the natural process includes nonalkalin-ized chocolate liquor or cocoa processed without alkaline treatment. Chocolate makers as well as myself—a “chocolatarian” (an individual who includes dark chocolate in the daily diet)—will also tell you that cocoa content doesn’t tell you much about the taste or quality of chocolate. Sure, the percentage will tell you how much of the chocolate is cacao solids—and it boasts health benefits. But the glitch is, the less fermentation that takes place, the healthier the chocolate may be, but the taste may not be tasty and might end up in the file cabinet or garbage. So, the flavor you crave and quality you want can depend on many factors: the quality of the cocoa bean, how the pods are fermented, exactly how long they are roasted, how the cacao is ground, and the amount and quality of the ingredients used in a recipe. One more thing: Chocolate lovers, like me, aren’t thrilled about the replacement of cocoa butter with vegetable oil.
THE CHOCOLATE LOVER’S LEXICON
Terms to Know
The Real Deal
The ground-up center (nib) of the cocoa bean in a smooth, liquid state
Contains no alcohol
The natural fat from the cocoa bean
Not a dairy product
The cocoa solids result ing from pressing cocoa butter out of chocolate liquor
May be natural or Dutched
Fair market wages and working conditions by producers
Fair market prices and habitats to cacao farmers
Cocoa beans that haven’t been sprayed with pesticides
Trees taken care of to enrich the forest
The center “meat” of the cocoa bean
It’s the good-for-you antioxidants
Single-Origin Cocoa or Chocolate
Made using cocoa beans from a select region
Provides a distinct flavor
(Source: National Confectioners Association.)
Chocolate and its cocoa beans have made a healthful comeback from their original roots, centuries ago. In fact, chocolate makers (the people or companies that make chocolate from raw cocoa beans) and chocolatiers (the people who purchase chocolate from the manufacturers and make chocolates using it and other ingredients) are noting the health perks on their products. And consumers are now learning what people knew centuries ago. Medical researchers, doctors, and nutritionists are discovering good news about chocolate every day. True, in the past it was not known exactly how or why chocolate had healing powers—but it did. It’s clear as a cup of hot chocolate that explorers to royalty knew that chocolate had versatile virtues, worked wonders, and was as good as money growing on trees. THE SURPRISING SECRETS TO SAVOR New research shows that quality dark chocolate, which is derived from a variety of cocoa beans in Africa, Latin America, and Southeast Asia—as well as other places 20° below the equator around the globe—may help you to: lower your risk of heart disease and cancer. enhance your immune system. stave off diabetes. fight fat. slow the aging process. add years to your life. Most important, the quality of chocolate matters—a lot—for your health’s sake. Chocolate makers to medical doctors recommend chocolate that is natural, organic, and has a low sugar content. In this book, I will show you how using chocolate (and other forbidden health foods) is one of the best things you can do for yourself—and your health. But note, many people will not want to reap the benefits of chocolate by indulging in the dark stuff. While chocolate candy is great solo, chocolate is also used in a great variety of foods. Chocolate has a vast number of uses in cooking and baking, and I’ve included
dozens of recipes—from entrees to desserts—to help heal your body, mind, and spirit. And versatile chocolate can do so much more when used both internally and externally. But first, let’s go way, way back into the past. Let’s take a close-up look at why and how chocolate is one of the world’s first—and most prized—natural medicines.
CHAPTER 2 A Genesis of Chocolate The greatest tragedies were written by the Greek Sophocles and English Shakespeare. Neither knew chocolate. —Sandra Boynton1
The deep roots of using chocolate for medicinal purposes, which vary from physical stamina to mental well-being, go back centuries. While the cacao tree may have been introduced by the Mayans, it was actually cultivated in South America by the Olmec Indians in 1,500 B.C. to 400 B.C., then by the Totecs and later by the Aztecs.2 As early as A.D. 600, the Aztecs made a nutritious paste that could be mixed in water. They added spices and tagged this drink “chocolatl,” or “bitter water,” and believed it induced wisdom and knowledge. Chocolate was used as a health remedy for many ailments. Chocolate was more than just a drink or food to the Mayans and Aztecs and Europeans—it became a medicinal agent and even provided promises of vitality, strength, and much more. Century after century, people discovered that chocolate works wonders for health. In Europe, more than 100 medicinal uses for chocolate have been documented from the 16th to the 20th century.3 Today, nutritionists and researchers in Europe, America, and around the world continue to find more and more powerful uses for this forbidden fruit known as chocolate. History shows that people since the Mayans and Aztecs have taken advantage not only of the internal benefits of chocolate, but of its external perks as well. And we are (again) finding out that the popular forbidden fruit’s healing powers are timeless and universal. COCOA BEANS: FOOD OF THE GODS The Mayan Indians gave good kudos to cocoa beans and for good reason. As history tells it, drawings of cocoa pods were carved into the walls of their stone temples, and Mayan writings link cacao to “food of the gods.” What’s more, it was the Mayans who first concocted a drink from crushed cocoa beans, which was praised by royalty and played a role at sacred ceremonies. Like the Mayans, the Aztecs also recognized and recorded chocolate. The Aztecs named the beneficial beverage “chocolatl,” which means “warm liquid.” They, too, turned to the drink during ceremonies. As time passed, in the early 16th century, explorer Christopher Columbus brought the dark, almondshaped cocoa beans back to Spain from his voyage to the Caribbean islands. He shared the food of the gods with King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella, but their reaction was not a standing ovation, and the cocoa beans were not a standout commodity in their eyes. Thus, Columbus did not get the much deserved credit for his amazing find.
The Royal Emperor of Chocolate The divine drink, which builds up resistance and fights fatigue. A cup of this precious drink (cocoa) permits a man to walk for a whole day without food. —Montezuma II, Emperor
Remember Montezuma, the legendary royalty of Mexico? Montezuma II, a royal monarch of the Aztec Indians, was a genuine “chocoholic.” Blame it on Spanish explorer Hernando Cortés, who paid the court of the emperor a visit. Some folks claim Montezuma drank only the chocolatl. One historian, however, believes the emperor flavored the drink “with vanilla and spices, and so prepared as to be reduced to a froth of the consistency of honey, which gradually dissolved in the mouth and was taken cold.”4 Whether Montezuma drank the chocolate warm or cold, the chocolate-loving emperor was rumored to maintain great storehouses filled with cocoa beans and allegedly consumed 50 or more portions of the beverage daily from a golden goblet. Plus, some say he also dished up another 2,000 cups of the chocolate and served the drink to his royal household. Most intriguing, it is said that mighty Montezuma indulged in his chocolate beverage before entering and enjoying his harem—boosting the idea that drinking this beverage each day can be a potent natural aphrodisiac or “love food” to enhance virility and lovemaking. CHOCOLATE SWEETENS UP SPAIN While Columbus tried to make a splash with cocoa beans, it was Hernando Cortés who paved the way to show the monetary benefits of the ignored fruit. Once Cortés arrived in Mexico in 1519, he and his explorers joined Montezuma in a feast complete with cups of the powerful but unsweetened chocolate beverage. During a power struggle between the Azetcs and the fall of the Aztec empire, Cortés discovered the potential wealth of the bittersweet cocoa beans. The savvy explorer dabbled with chocolatl, adding cane sugar to make it more palatable to the Spanish taste buds. Plus, he established more cacao plantings in the Caribbean before he headed back to Spain. The new and improved sweetened chocolatl made its mark with the prominent in Spain, thanks to Cortés’s sweet touch. In fact, the chocolate beverage was made even more special with imported spices —cinnamon and vanilla. Better still, it was also discovered that the drink would be even tastier if served hot, thus the creation of the first hot chocolate, which sweetened the Spanish aristocrats. Spain planted more cacao trees in its colonies in Ecuador, Venezuela, Peru, and Jamaica to ensure its piece of the profitable pie. And amazingly, the Spanish kept their sweet-cocoa plantations and hot drinks a secret operation for almost an entire century. It has been said that because of the healing powers of chocolate, it was given to monks in a Spanish monastery who hid the sacred stash and processed the cocoa beans. COCOA BEANS ARE SPILT IN EUROPE Once the word got out about cocoa (a sacred commodity) some folks believe it was the Spanish monks who were to blame for spilling the cocoa beans secret. Then, in 1580, once the first cocoa-processing
plant was established in Spain, chocolate quickly gained a reputation as a healthful drink throughout European countries. Initially, it was the beverage of choice at the posh Court of France. Chocolate drinking became a popular pastime and made its way across the English Channel to Great Britain, and in 1657, the first English Chocolate House was established, which led to more chocolate houses to make their name in history. Sadly, chocolate was a mainstay for the rich, and the poor had to work hard to make the cocoa drink; they even turned to coffee to provide extra energy for themselves to prepare it for the noble. Chocolate was coined as a beverage only for the elite—and it cost 10 to 15 shillings per pound. In the 1600s, cocoa was good enough to use as currency and was even used in bartering for other desired goods. For example, a rabbit cost 10 cocoa nibs.5 In 1772, people still had money and sex on the brain—and chocolate played a role in both. The Marquis de Sade proved chocolate to have aphrodisiac powers. Whether real or in the imagination, no matter—it worked like a charm. As the legend goes, he gave a ball in Marseilles and spiked the dessert with chocolate pastilles. Guests who ate the chocolate fare seemed to show their affections to one another. Whether this tale is true is hard to prove, but it has also been reported that the marquis was arrested after his legendary chocolate party.6 In the 1800s, two more legendary chocolate happenings took place. The first was in 1847, when an English company debuted the first solid eating chocolate made by combining cocoa butter with sugar and cocoa powder. The second chocolate landmark hit in 1876 in Vevey, Switzerland, when Daniel Peter created milk chocolate. It’s reported in chocolate history (including the Encyclopedia Britannica) that he used dried milk to create milk chocolate. Today we know dark milk chocolate does have its health benefits.
Holy Mole! In the 19th century, another chocolatey concoction was created by circumstances. As the story goes, nuns at a convent in Pueblo, Mexico, were told that they would be paid a visit by a VIP of the church. Unfortunately, economic times were tough, so they had to be resourceful and make do with what they had on hand: one turkey. Rather than just serve the poultry plain, the nuns cooked up a “mole” sauce that included a healthful mix of chilies, onion, sesame seeds, nuts, and unsweetened chocolate. The Holy Mole saved the day and spiced up the turkey dish despite a lack of funds.7
CHOCOLATE SOARS IN THE USA While chocolate was making progress in Spain, France, and England, the United States didn’t ignore the almighty chocolate hoopla. In fact, during the pre-Revolutionary New England era in 1765, the first chocolate factory was founded in America. During World War II, the U.S. government took note of chocolate’s nutritious merits for its Allied Armed Forces, and made way for shipping space for imported cocoa beans. History shows that soldiers, much like earlier explorers centuries ago, appreciated the chocolate bars, which provided physical energy.
In the 21st century, the U.S. Army’s Meals, Ready-to-Eat contain chocolate bars, and chocolate has even been shuttled into space as part of the diet of U.S. astronauts discovering new horizons—much like the cocoa bean once was in history.
OTHER PAST MEDICAL USES OF CHOCOLATE Historical Chocolate User
Formulation/ How Used
Ailment or Benefit
Aztecs, Mayans, Early Europeans
Provided feelings of alertness
Relieved diarrhea; gave warriors strength
Montezuma II (1466–1520)
Mixture of cocoa beans and water
Provided an aphrodisiac
Badianus Codex (1552)
Cacao flowers in perfumed baths
Samuel Pepys (1633–1703)
Soothed upset stom ach from hangover
Dr. William Hughes, an English doctor (1672)
Nourished and preserved entire health; was good for sleep and rest
Physician Christoph Wilhelm Hufeland (1762–1836)
Relieved nervous ness, excitability, weakness, debilita tion; treated chronic diseases of the digestive organs
Harvard physician James Baker and Irish immigrant John Hannon—founders of America’s first chocolate factory in 1765
Cured common cold, fever, tuberculosis; invigorated the body; reduced belching
Napoleon I (1769–1821)
Chocolate, carried with him on mili tary campaigns
Supplied quick energy
Relieved mental stress
Chocolate concoc tions
Aided the sickly, scrawny, nervous, and overweight
(Sources: Chocolate Fads, Folklore & Fantasies: 1,000+ Chunks of Chocolate Information; National Confectioners Association; and a wide variety of Web sites and books.)
CHOCOLATE MILESTONES Year
What It Did
250– 900 C.E.
The Mayans made an unsweet ened drink from cacao beans and chilies mixed in hot water.
They made it exclusive to society’s elites, making it a forbidden fruit.
The Aztecs were introduced to the beverage by the Mayans, and royalty taxed it.
The “xocalatl,” or warm liquid, grew more in demand.
Christopher Columbus noted that cacao beans were being used as money.
This fascinated Hernando Cortés, who founded a plantation to capital- ize on the cacao beverage.
Cortés goes back to Spain; Spaniards sweeten the bitter cacao drink with sugar, vanilla, nutmeg, clovers, allspice, and cinnamon.
The improved cacao beverage raised demand for cacao beans; Spain savored chocolate.
Physicians prescribed chocolate.
Chocolate was used as a cure-all for health problems.
The first chocolate house was established in London.
Chocolate houses were a hot spot for prominent society.
Solid chocolate made its debut.
Chocolate pastries were born.
Swede Carolus Linnaeus coined cocoa “theobroma.”
Cocoa became known as “food of the gods.”
Conrad Van Houten invented the cocoa press; lessens price, ups quality.
Cocoa butter cost less, and the bever age was smoother.
The first brownie recipe was created.
The chocolate brownie recipe became available to the masses in the Sears, Roebuck and Co. catalogue.
(Sources: Chocolate Fads, Folklore, & Fantasies: 1,000+ Chunks of Chocolate Information, and a variety of Web sites.)
THE SUPRISING SECRETS TO SAVOR Indeed, versatile chocolate has been used for centuries—in the United States, and around the world— for its amazing healing powers. Chocolate lovers, past and present, believe that chocolate, with its high cocoa content, can fight disease and add quantity and quality years to living life as good as it gets by: enhancing physical energy and stamina. boosting the immune system. aiding in vitality. acting as a safe and effective aphrodisiac. Yes, centuries ago chocolate had a wide array of powerful health attributes. And despite the bad rap the forbidden “fruit” got centuries later for its “bad” fat content, sugar, and calories, it’s come full circle. It’s time to get the facts straight on how the good stuff—quality chocolate—then, and now, has made a big difference around the world.
PART 2 CHOCOLATE
CHAPTER 3 A Historical Testimony Caramels are only a fad. Chocolate is a permanent thing. —Milton Hershey
Recently, I paid a visit to San Francisco, a place where I have longtime roots and adore its environment, culture, people, food, and chocolate. I love the melting pot of Mediterranean restaurants such as Frantoio Ristorante & Olive Oil Co. in Mill Valley, a place where I order and savor Torre Di Cioccolato, a moist Valrhona chocolate cake. The city, praised for its new hot chocolate spots (Chocolat, a chocolate shop in the Fisherman’s Wharf, and Michael Recchiuti, located at the Ferry Building, make incredible confections), is a utopia for health nuts, like me, who have mastered the art of teaming chocolate and indulgence for its health benefits. Not only did I leave my heart and chocolate cravings in San Francisco, but it is the heart of chocolate activity, past and present, because of the continual, moist climate, according to John Scharffenberger, founder of Scharffen Berger Chocolate Maker. After all, if it’s too hot or too cold, like at Lake Tahoe, it wouldn’t be the perfect atmosphere to make perfect chocolate. Chocolate was healthy centuries ago, and it is healthy in the 21st century, too. While its uses are versatile and unbelievable—both inside and outside the body—its healing powers are due to its healthful ingredients. And now, research shows promising benefits of the nutrients in chocolate (teamed with a healthful diet and exercise) more than ever before. But these new findings would not be surprising to the folks who have turned to chocolate through the decades in the 20th and 21st centuries. CHOCOLATE PIONEERS IN THE 20TH CENTURY I find it intriguing that some of the noteworthy chocolate kings of the world made history and paved the way for the 21st-century chocolate makers in the San Francisco Bay Area, my home. Also, what is so interesting is that these pioneers are still tied together today, one way or another. But first, let’s go back to the 1800s and take a look at how these entrepreneurial spirits came alive in the chocolate world. In 1849 Domingo Ghirardelli of Italy started creating his chocolates in San Francisco. In fact, he deserves credit for his patent on the process for making powdered chocolate. Ghirardelli’s first chocolate factory is known as Ghirardelli Square, a potpourri of shops that line Fisherman’s Wharf, a place I often frequent for its artsy and natural ambiance—and its candy. During the Gold Rush, Etienne Guittard made his gold from his chocolate know-how, which he learned from his uncle’s chocolate factory in Paris. In 1868, the Guittard Chocolate Company was established in San Francisco and opened on Sansome Street. Etienne operated it for more than three decades. It didn’t take long for San Francisco to become one of the noteworthy chocolate-manufacturing centers in America, where ships from all over the world brought their cacao beans to market. And note, Guittard is a family-owned, fourth-generation corporation and is respected around the globe. While Milton S. Hershey wasn’t linked to the San Francisco Bay Area in the past, later his company
did come alive on the West Coast. In 1876, before Milton was an adult, he started a confectionary shop in Philadelphia. And his hard work ended up being connected to one of the most well-known chocolate companies in the nation. As the author of The Man Who Predicts Earthquakes: Jim Berkland, Maverick Geologist (Sentient Publications), who coined and predicted the 1989 World Series Earthquake, which rumbled through the San Francisco Bay Area, I find it fascinating that Horace C. Guittard, who succeeded his father, Etienne, was ambitious to move forward despite the challenge of the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake, which destroyed the family business. Without hesitation, Horace rebuilt on Main Street, near the Embarcadero, where he introduced coffee, teas, and spices to the family’s fine chocolate. Then, in 1950, two years before I was born, Horace’s son, Horace A. Guittard, became president of the company. He relocated to Burlingame in 1955, where it became and still remains one of the prime suppliers of fine chocolate to professionals in pastry, confectionary, and ice cream trades. One of Guittard’s earliest and perhaps most noteworthy innovations was its Guittard Sweet Ground Chocolate, which was used by San Francisco’s Cliff House at the turn of the 20th century. Cliff House vanilla may have been the forerunner of today’s café mochas. Since 1921, See’s Candy Shops have been popular landmarks in the West. Mary See is the woman behind the West Coast chocolate company, and her face is seen on each and every box of chocolates. In 1987, at 25, Chuck (Charles) Siegel, founder and president of Charles Chocolates, started his first premium chocolate company, Attivo Confections, in San Francisco. For several years he devoted his passion to re-creating childhood favorites with a gourmet twist. He created “the Apple,” a giant Granny Smith coated with fresh cream caramel, dipped in bittersweet chocolate, and coated with Macadamia nuts or crumbled biscotti. Siegel took time off from the world of chocolate but it didn’t last. “I knew that I wasn’t going to be happy behind a desk and I longed to return to the candy kitchen so I could create the confections that I kept dreaming up,” said Siegel. These creative chocolate moguls in the Bay Area of Northern California are a sweet handful of people behind standout chocolate companies throughout the Golden State, country, and world. However, I chose to single these folks out because of my link to San Francisco; and I am amazed how these companies moved into the 21st century—and teamed health and indulgence, the two keys of chocolate that I note in this book. (Sources: Chocolate Fads, Folklore, & Fantasies: 1,000+ Chunks of Chocolate Information, www.guittard.com.) CONTEMPORY CHOCOLATE MOGULS: SWEET SUCCESS SWEEPS THE WORLD As a nostalgic San Francisco Bay Area native (who has fond memories of eating chocolate bars or sipping hot chocolate in between classes in graduate school at San Francisco State University), I cannot help but admire and praise the original chocolate makers of the 1800s and 1900s as well as the new chocolate moguls—some with longtime ties to the chocolate world who are making new chocolate history in my home away from home, and around the globe. Ghirardelli Chocolate Company: In 1998, Ghirardelli, the large-scale chocolate manufacturer based in San Francisco at Ghirardelli Square, known as “the home of the chocolate maker,” became part of the Lindt and Sprüngli chocolate empire of Switzerland. I tried to get a one-on-one phone chat with the people behind these top manufacturers. There was no word, but ... I was sent a big box of Ghirardelli chocolate bars—with high cocoa content ranging from 48 to 100 percent.
Hershey’s: Another top chocolate manufacturer, Hershey’s has grown, too, and is linked to both Oregon-based Dagoba, touted for its serious organic chocolate, and Scharffen Berger, which was purchased by Hershey’s in 1995. While the Pennsylvania native Hershey’s is not in San Francisco, it’s made its way to the Golden State and there is a gift shop in Oakdale, California, near Yosemite. It boasts longtime favorites, including Hershey’s Kisses and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. Guittard Chocolate Company: Born and raised in San Francisco, Gary Guittard got what kids dream of: a rich family history and plenty of hot cocoa. In an old four-story brick factory building on Main Street, Gary spent time as a boy tasting, observing, and learning the workaday chocolate business while inhaling the scent of cacao beans roasting on the third floor. His hands-on experience was preparing him to be a chocolate maker who strives for perfection. In 1975, fate took hold of Gary’s hand and reeled him into the family business. His job was to take charge of developing specialty chocolates. The icing on the chocolate cake was traveling abroad with his father, Horace A., absorbing the ins and outs of chocolate making. By 1989, he became president and CEO of the Guittard Chocolate Company and was ready to go the extra mile to maintain the business—a sweet success. In the 21st century, Guittard Chocolate Company is one of only several chocolate makers in America, and one of a few that work one-on-one with growers before harvesting begins. And Gary is often on the quest to find that special blend or single-origin bean to develop a new and improved chocolate experience. What’s more, the process of morphing the dried cacao beans into an American chocolate is created in Guittard’s Burlingame facility, where recipes and techniques, handed down from generations for more than 135 years, are still put to work. Gary Guittard treasures it all, from French roasting to conching formulas created by his great-grandfather, Etienne. And he is without a doubt maintaining a family-run business and world-renowned legacy. (Source: Courtesy of www.guittard.com.) Charles Chocolates: In 2004, Chuck Siegel, who, like Gary Guittard, was hooked by chocolate, started another chocolate company. Charles Chocolates in Emeryville, California, is one of the most notable superpremium chocolatiers in the country. It’s complete with a retail store and kitchens, so it has also become a popular place for chocolate lovers around the world. Siegel is fulfilling his dream by redefining the world of fine chocolate confections by using no artificial ingredients or preservatives. Charles Chocolates includes some of the world’s best chocolates, organic herbs, fruits, and nuts, as well as the freshest cream and butter. It’s this man with the infinite imagination of a child’s spirit who has put his artistry and culinary skill together to make Charles Chocolates what it is—one more extraordinary chocolate company in the Bay Area. Scharffen Berger: Scharffen Berger, once in the San Francisco East Bay, was a U.S.-based company that was started in 1997 by John Scharffenberger and physician Robert Steinberg. The company originally opened in South San Francisco, then moved to Berkeley in 2001 (the East Bay factory and store closed in 2009). The Hershey Company still uses the same recipes originally created by Robert and John but now produces much higher volumes of chocolate. See’s Candies: In the 21st century, See’s Candies is headquartered in South San Francisco with kitchens in both Los Angeles and South San Francisco. The company boasts more than 200 stores dotted throughout the West Coast. A typical See’s Candy store is a clean black and white shop with candies—
including dark chocolates—to be packed to order per your selection. (Source: Chocolate Fads, Folklore, & Fantasies: 1,000+ Chunks of Chocolate Information.) Many of these companies have ties to countries around the world and have made a splash in chocolate land. There are countless chocolatiers, but I singled out several for their quality chocolate and quality reputation. Refer to Chapter 15, “Chocolatiers, Tasting Bars, and Tours,” to read about top chocolate people in America, from the West Coast, Midwest, and East Coast.
The Picasso Behind Recchiuti Confections Is chocolatier Michael Recchiuti a genuine chocolate person? You can count his handmade chocolates on it. Born a few miles west of Philadelphia in a town called Upper Darby, Michael worked at top restaurants from 1979 to 1985. He focused on pastry rather than cuisine throughout his career. In 1997, Michael wanted to bring creations to a larger audience and introduce Americans to “real chocolate.” “This was the first part of a long journey into the world of chocolate,” says the modest 48-year-old creator of Recchiuti (pronounced re-KYOO-tee) Confections. While working at a boutique resort nestled in a small town located in Barnard, Vermont, it gave him the opportunity of having guests taste and critique his confections. “The response was challenging at times,” admits Michael, “which eventually enabled us to nail down a collection of our first eight flavors, which we now call the Rust Box Collection.” Later on, in the spring of 2007, Jacky (wife/business partner) and Michael moved back to San Francisco to begin peddling their chocolates at various chocolate shops, gourmet food markets, and a local farmer’s market. “The farmer’s market was a perfect way for me to chat with locals and tourists—people looking for something new and exciting,” he recalls, adding that is how they began getting their chocolate in the hands of serious chocolate lovers. Speaking of hands, Michael, the Picasso behind Recchiuti Confections, often translates into his chocolates some of his favorite things. Some boast drawings, etchings, and paintings of his favorite San Francisco artists, and others are adorned with Japanese block prints. These days, Recchiuti Confections is a standout company from the crowd of competitors because of its skill, as well as its sourcing of the best chocolate, herbs, spices, teas, nuts, and fruits. And putting it all together with classic French techniques provides an unforgettable product with class that is a cut above others. Michael once said, “One bite of these handcrafted morsels will change the way you think about chocolate forever.” And yes, healthy chocolate is part of the confections— savored in moderation, of course. “We try to source the best ingredients and pay attention to our relationships with our chocolate suppliers, and ensure positive, sustainable conditions with cacao farming practices. I have developed relationships with local farmers when sourcing herbs we use for creating our infusions for our chocolates. It’s very important for us to understand, and identify, where our product is coming from,” he explains.
Also, Michael was invited to present his chocolate to Danielle Monteaux, founder of the French society Le Club du Chocolat aux Palais. “I made sure to have a selection of confections for her to taste. She was extremely gracious, and wanted to invite us to be the first Americans to present our chocolates in front of a group of serious chocolate lovers, and founders of chocolate companies,” he recalls. “My favorite little story,” adds the chocolatier and author of Chocolate Obsession (Stewart, Tabori & Chang), “is when Robert Linxe, of La Maison du Chocolat, tasted one of my confections, and made a comment that the chocolate was too good to be made by an American. And then he retracted his observation, and said, ah ... Recchiuti is Italian, that’s why they are so good.”
OTHER 20TH-TO-21ST-CENTURY HEALTH MILESTONES It is no surprise that in the last decade of the 20th century, chocolate was a successful business—and it swept the world with its virtues, including culinary and beauty uses to health benefits.
Hershey Foods put nutritional data on its labels.
One hundred forty-four thousand heat-resistant candy bars were sent to soldiers serving in the Gulf War.
The first organic chocolate bar was made.
Green & Black’s
The first Fair Trade symbol was set by the TransFair USA.
Green & Black’s
The book Why Women Need Chocolate: Eat What You Crave to Look and Feel Great was published.
Debra Waterhouse, M.P.H., R.D.
Chocolove was the first com pany to offer Strong Dark 70 percent cocoa content bars.
Chocolove was the first com pany to offer Extra Strong Dark 77 percent cocoa content bars.
Hershey’s put an antioxidant seal on its dark chocolate.
Milton S. Hershey
Chocolove introduced its ultra-premium Chocolatour line and becomes the first company to offer single-origin, vintage chocolate.
(Sources: Chocolate; other chocolate history–related Web sites.)
CHOCOLATE IS TIMELESS Past and present, chocolate is a food that stimulates the minds of entrepreneurs and creative artisans in
America and around the world. Chocolate and its health benefits were making the news in the late 20th century and continue to do so in the 21st century. While its benefits are plentiful—both inside and outside your body—its healing powers are due to its healthful ingredients. And today, people in the chocolate world, like those in this chapter, show the ambition of the new generation of chocolate explorers who are still going the extra mile to discover what makes chocolate better in both quality and taste. THE SURPRISING SECRETS TO SAVOR The San Francisco Bay Area is still a hot spot for chocolate makers and chocolatiers, and its healthconscious nuts and foodies as well as tourists enjoy the progressive chocolate highlights. Old-time chocolate companies, including Ghirardelli, Guittard, and Hershey’s, are mighty manufacturing moguls in the chocolate world, past and present. Other well-known major chocolate companies, including See’s Candy Shops, Charles Chocolates, and Scharffen Berger, have made their mark in both the 1900s and 2000s—and are standout competition in their own unique way in the chocolate industry. The San Francisco Bay Area’s chocolate moguls not only are praised for the quality of their chocolate products, but are also noted for maintaining healthful ingredients in their chocolate.
CHAPTER 4 Where Are the Secret Ingredients? Chocolate is a perfect food, as wholesome as it is delicious. —Baron Justus von Liebig, German Chemist (1803–1873)
I remember one birthday when I was living in San Carlos, California. My friend, a surrogate-like grandmother, took me out on the town to celebrate. First stop was the local candy shop, which made its own fudge. One pound of dark chocolate fudge with walnuts was ordered, boxed, and given to me. (This was a test to learn how to eat chocolate in moderation.) Next stop was one of my favorite Italian restaurants. As usual, I ordered a tossed dark green salad with olive oil and vinegar, warm French bread with real butter (it was my birthday), and eggplant parmigiana (yes, cheese was part of it). These are my favorite foods, and I enjoyed every bite. After dinner, I remember sipping a cup of hot herbal tea and heard the familiar tune “Happy Birthday” sounding louder and louder until a group of waiters stood at our table. I blushed, but my eyes feasted on a dark chocolate cake with 40 candles on it. It was another gift. I brought the dessert home and ate one piece at a time throughout the week. Years later, I realized that all of these treats—even the dark chocolate—not only tasted delightful but did have many nutrients that were good for me. In other words, the entire food fiasco was rich but it also had nutritious benefits, from the salad to the cake. No kidding. And I didn’t even know it. When you check out a chocolate product label, whether it be fudge or cake you make from scratch or purchase at a chocolate shop or grocery store, it will surprise you that it may read: no trans fats, no cholesterol, low sodium, fiber, and protein. And when I read the nutrition label for Chocolove’s Strong Dark Chocolate Bar, I did see calcium, fiber, iron, and protein. So, how much do you get of these nutrients in chocolate, anyhow?
Nutrition Facts: Strong Dark Chocolate Bar—70% Cocoa Content Serving Size
bar (30 g)
Servings 3 Amount per Serving:
Calories 160; Fat Cal. 110 Total Fat 12 g—18% Sat. Fat 7 g—34% Trans Fat 0 g
Cholest. 0 mg Sodium 23 mg Total Carb. 15 g—5% Fiber 4 g—15% Sugars 8 g Protein 3 g Vitamin A 0% Vitamin C 1 % Calcium 2% Iron 10% *Percent Daily Values (DV) are based on a 2,000-calorie diet. Ingredients: Cocoa Liquor, Sugar, Cocoa Butter, Soy Lecithin. May contain traces of milk and nuts.
But I had heard that chocolate contains plenty of good-for-you nutrients, so I went to the USDA’s Web site and other Web sites to compare their information with Special Dark chocolate bar data. The nutrition facts seem to vary from source to source, but most of the information is similar.
SPECIAL DARK Chocolate Bar (Hershey’s) 1.45 ounces, 41 grams 218 calories 2.27 grams protein 13.28 grams total fat 24.36 grams carbohydrate 19.5 grams sugar Minerals 12.3 milligrams calcium 0.87 milligrams iron 12.7 milligrams magnesium 20.9 milligrams phosphorus 205.82 milligrams potassium 2.46 milligrams sodium Fats 2.05 milligrams cholesterol
(Source: Based on USDA National Database, Quite Healthy Technologies, and other Web sites.)
According to Quite Healthy Technologies (www.quitehealthy.com), a serving size of one bar (1.45 ounces) contains 120 calories from fat, 97 calories from carbohydrate, and 9 calories from protein. Or, another way to look at it is 55 percent fat, 45 percent carbohydrate, and 4 percent protein. The fact remains, dark chocolate contains some good fats, good minerals, and good compounds. It has been reported that 300 up to 400 nutritional components are inside chocolate. The important thing, however, is that researchers, nutritionists, and chocolate companies know chocolate contains amazing antioxidants—powerful polyphenols (also found in fruits, vegetables, nuts, red wine, and tea) that deserve the biggest bow and are getting attention from health-conscious consumers, like you and me, chocolate lovers who have found another reason to indulge in a past forbidden food. For instance, in 2005, the Hershey Company put a seal on its dark chocolate label “Natural Source of Flavonal Antioxidants” and “Enjoy in moderation.” And that isn’t all.... DARK CHOCOLATE, AMAZING ANTIOXIDANTS You wouldn’t think of chocolate being part of a healthful group of foods such as broccoli, green tea, blueberries, and strawberries. Surprise. Chocolate does contain the same amazing antioxidants—and even more of these mighty disease fighters. According to the ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity— the amount of a food’s antioxidant power), dark chocolate’s ranking is about as good as it gets.
ORAC* Values of Top Antioxidant Foods (per 100 grams) Unprocessed Cocoa Powder
(Source: Data from U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Journal of the American Chemical Society.)
Nutritionists tell me that it’s the antioxidants in dark chocolate that are the key ingredient to its healthy reputation. Keri Gans, R.D., says, “Dark chocolate on a per-weight basis has the highest concentration of flavonoids of any food. Dark chocolate is loaded with a variety of phytonutrients, making it extremely high in antioxidants.” She adds, “What good are flavonoids? Scientists are finding that higher blood levels of flavonoids create good cardiovascular effects and may lead to a lower risk of heart disease.” And they may be able to do much more than that, according to ongoing studies. (See Chapter 5, “Why Is Chocolate So Healthy?”) And don’t forget that chocolate’s strong substances can do remarkable things for your mind as well. CHOCOLATE’S COMPOUNDS, MOOD ENHANCERS Amazing antioxidants beating disease is something to write about, but does chocolate’s compounds work wonders? Yes! Chocolate does boast serotonin and phenylethylamine (PEA)—two substances that can uplift your spirits. So, what exactly do some of chocolate’s noteworthy compounds do for you? Here, take a quick look at how you can get a quick mood booster from some of the most talked-about compounds in chocolate: Anandamide: Touted as the “bliss chemical,” it occurs naturally in the brain and when released to our brain receptors can provide good feelings. Caffeine: This ingredient has a stimulating effect on the central nervous system. But note, both chocolate and cocoa contain minimal amounts of caffeine. Did you know that there isn’t a whole lot of caffeine in any kind of chocolate? A 1-ounce piece of dark chocolate contains 10–20 milligrams of caffeine. Milk chocolate has less than half that amount. Cannabinoids: Chemicals that are found in marijuana (perhaps why it is used for medicinal treatment) are also in chocolate and may trigger the brain to make natural painkillers. Endorphins: Dark chocolate, like exercise, helps release endorphins, natural painkillers in your body that act on the nervous system to alleviate pain. PEA: Another brain chemical known as the “chocolate amphetamine” can increase blood pressure and feelings of excitement and alertness. It also has been called the “love drug” because it can mimic feelings of falling in love. Serotonin: This is a neurotransmitter (brain chemical) that can make you feel happier and improve brain power and memory. It is another compound in chocolate (3 milligrams per 100 grams) that can provide a calming effect. When your serotonin level is low, you may feel down. Theobromine: Like caffeine, this ingredient (450 milligrams in 1 ounce of dark chocolate) has a stimulating effect on the central nervous system, and the heartbeat. It also can cause mental and physical
relaxation, which can relax muscles. Tryptophan: This essential amino acid may react like mood-boosting, calming serotonin, helping to alleviate feelings of anxiety and stress. (Source: Doctors’ Orders: What 101 Doctors Do to Stay Healthy, The Great Book of Chocolate, and a wide variety of books and Web sites.) GOOD GRIEF! GOOD FATS, GOOD CHOCOLATE! Yes, good chocolate contains good fat. Dark chocolate also does contain saturated fat—the bad stuff we all want to stay clear of, right? But, nutritionists will tell you although chocolate does contain some bad fats, it’s not all bad. And the good news is, all the fat content in chocolate is not as harmful as it has been reputed to be in the past. When you divide the fats into thirds, you can do the math and see how the different bad and good fats in chocolate can be beneficial to your good health. “ The fat in chocolate, from cocoa butter, is comprised of equal amounts oleic acid (a heart-healthy monounsaturated fat also found in olive oil), stearic acid, and palmitic acid. Stearic and palmitic acids are forms of saturated fat,” explains Keri Gans. “However,” she adds, “research indicates that stearic acid appears to have a neutral effect on cholesterol, neither raising nor lowering it. Palmitic acid, on the other hand, does affect cholesterol levels but only comprises one-third of the fat calories in chocolate.” While dark chocolate is the chocolate of choice for health benefits, milk and white chocolate are not ignored. While we’re talking good and bad fats, in the United States, some chocolate manufacturers began to use less expensive hydrogenated vegetable oil in the place of cocoa butter to be sold as “chocolate” (which was reported by ABC News in April 2007). In June 2007, consumers won the battle of “Is it real or fake chocolate?” thanks to the FDA, and labeling will note whether chocolate contains vegetable oil or the real stuff—cocoa butter. CHALKING UP CHOCO CALORIES If people aren’t saying chocolate is full of fat, they may attack it by saying it’s high in calories and will make you fat. Not true. Chocolate does contain calories, like anything you eat, but it’s not superhigh in calories, like many people think it is. For instance, if you’re about to indulge in a snack and your choices are a cheeseburger and French fries or a truffle or two, think again. That burger and fries packs more calories, cholesterol, and sodium than one serving of a premium dark chocolate bar or two dark chocolate truffles infused with nature’s fruits, herbs, and spices. Hershey’s Special Dark mildly sweet chocolate, for example, contains a mere 180 calories per serving size of 5 blocks (38 grams). If you control your serving size of other chocolate edibles, including dark chocolate brownies and fudge, their calorie content shouldn’t be more than 250–300 calories. So, if chocolate has good fats and isn’t high in calories, then it must have a lot of caffeine, right? Wrong. THE PERKS OF MILK AND WHITE CHOCOLATE While dark chocolate is getting a lot of kudos in the health world, milk and white chocolate are still a
big favorite for many people (of all ages), especially children. Milk chocolate is the sweetest of eating chocolate (but that can change once you adopt an acquired taste for the darker counterpart). It’s a mix of chocolate liquid, cocoa butter, milk or cream, sweetening, and flavoring. And white chocolate doesn’t contain chocolate liquor, but it does contain cocoa butter, milk, and sugar. (Milk and white chocolate pair well with dark chocolate.) Milk chocolate contains protein, essential for kids (as well as adults), and both milk and white chocolate contain essential bone-boosting calcium (good for teeth) as well as proteins (good for muscle mass). And yes, chocolate milk is not a bad food, because you are getting even more nutrients from chocolate and calcium-rich milk fortified with vitamin D. And that’s not all.... Milk chocolate also boasts vitamin A and vitamin D, which play a role in healthy teeth and bones, the absorption of calcium and phosphorus, the creation of red blood cells, and the growth of muscles and tissues. But note, dark milk chocolate is better for you than milk chocolate, especially if the cocoa content is 48 percent or higher. My first experiences with the dark milk combo (Omanhene and then Green & Black’s chocolate bars) were two events I won’t forget. It was like blending the best of two worlds—taste and health—pure and simple. This combination is one that is not to be ignored; it’s a great way to slowly enter the dark chocolate world. (See Chapter 15, “Chocolatiers, Tasting Bars, and Tours.”) CHOCOLATE’S VITAMINS, MIGHTY MINERALS Sure, it’s the amazing antioxidants in dark chocolate that are the big rave for people who eat the good food for its disease-fighting healing powers. But don’t overlook dark chocolate’s vitamins and minerals, because they are good for you, too. Vitamins: Cocoa and dark chocolate contain small amounts of B-complex vitamins (thiamin, or B1; riboflavin, or B2); niacin; vitamin B6; and folate), needed for releasing energy and creating the body’s building blocks. Bone-enhancing vitamin D and antioxidant E are found in dark and milk chocolate, which are important nutrients, too. Minerals: Dark chocolate is plentiful in magnesium, important for brain functioning. It also boasts other nutrients, such as copper, iron, manganese, and zinc. ENHANCED “HEALTHIFIED” CHOCOLATE Dark chocolate, with its antioxidants, good fats, minerals, and vitamins, is believed to be a SuperFood —solo. But despite its new, improved good reputation, some companies are enhancing the good stuff and believe they are making it even greater. Welcome to the nutritional chocolate world. Xoçai (pronounced show-sigh), for one, makes a healthy chocolate, from nuggets to bars, that is claimed to be cold pressed, has no added sugars or fillers, and is naturally sweetened with acai berry (a disease-fighting, longevity-boosting antioxidant-rich fruit) and blueberry powders. It’s also praised for being diabetic friendly. Personally, I am trying to graduate from 48 percent dark milk chocolate to 59 percent dark chocolate— and am gaining an acquired taste for the dark stuff (especially infused with fruits, herbs, and spices). Still, enhanced chocolates do have less sugar and less fat than other gourmet chocolates I’ve tried. I decided to give a Xoçai nugget a chance. It’s another acquired taste—and I haven’t yet acquired it. It was too bland for my craving for the rich and healthful chocolates I have tasted. I am a health nut but I’d rather savor a piece of Lake Champlain’s organic chocolate, luxurious ganache truffles (such as the Aztec chocolate with cayenne and cinnamon with a touch of lime or the ginger lemon with dark chocolate) than swallow one
more enhanced, healthy chocolate nugget. Gary Null’s Nutritious Chocolate isn’t all chocolate either. A cat’s tail list of ingredients are promoted on a bar’s label, including raw cane sugar, cocoa mass, cocoa butter, lecithin (emulsifier), vanillin, soy protein, green algae powder, wheat grass powder, green barley powder, alfalfa leaf, oat grass, broccoli, parsley, kale, aloe vera, cranberries, strawberries, apples, cherries, red raspberries, peaches, pears, papayas, mangoes, watermelons, red currants, nectarines, pink grapefruits, oranges, pomegranate, pineapples, lemons, limes, tangerines, and apricots. A bar also contains 20 grams of high-quality soy protein and is rich in antioxidants, phytonutrients, and heart-healthy phytosterols. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that Gary Null’s chocolate is chock-full of healthful ingredients. But quality dark chocolate with a high cocoa content has its own wealth of health-promoting nutrients, right? So, I’m confused. Why infuse good chocolate with a big bushel of good ingredients? But, I admit it. I have bought and eaten chewy chocolate protein bars for natural disasters, including the millennium pre-Y2K days, snowstorms, and earthquakes. And yes, I feel this nutritious chocolate has a place in my home—in my emergency kit. While other companies are busy injecting their dark chocolate with omega-3 oils and vitamin B12, can nonenhanced dark chocolate help lower the risk of developing heart disease and other diseases? In the next chapter, medical researchers, nutritionists, and I will show you how quality dark chocolate can help you get and stay healthy. THE SURPRISING SECRETS TO SAVOR Chocolate contains plenty of healthful nutrients. The quality of chocolate matters. Natural, organic processing and the best ingredients are recommended by medical researchers. Cocoa, the miracle worker of chocolate, is chock-full of polyphenols, which are touted in today’s health world. The total ingredients of quality dark chocolate can help prevent health ailments such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.
CHAPTER 5 Why Is Chocolate So Healthy? A true chocolate lover finds ways to accommodate his passion and make it work with his lifestyle. —Julie Davis1
I used to write those mini magazines you find at the grocery store checkout stands. I was often assigned to write a quick-fix, weight-loss diet plan such as Lose Those Last 10 Lbs!; From Fat to Firm: At Any Age!; Cool Ways to Fight Fat!; and Lose 12 Pounds in One Week! The ironic thing was, as I’d crank out these little books meant to help people lose unwanted pounds and body fat with these jump-start diets, I didn’t diet. I’d eat whatever I’d want. In fact, I’d treat myself to a chocolate bar, a chocolate shake, a chocolate brownie, or fudge as I’d meet my deadline, time after time. And now, as a baby boomer, I have maintained my weight of 120-ish pounds (I’m 5 feet 5 inches), size 4–6 for more than 20 years. How? By eating right—following the Mediterranean diet and lifestyle (see Chapter 6, “The French Attitude”)—and keeping physically active (walking two Type A Brittanys does the trick as well as swimming three to four times per week). But, the most important thing I learned is that developing a good attitude about food will take off the unwanted weight and fat—and keep it off for good. Most importantly, I learned throughout the years that keeping lean is one secret to also staving off heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and other culprits that research shows are linked to diet and lifestyle that seem to be affecting people of all ages. And yes, chocolate can and does help fight health woes that affect folks who do not eat healthful food or get a move on. (In Chapter 11, “A Toast to Hot Cocoa and Long Life!” age-related diseases such as arthritis, bone loss, impaired memory, and more ailments will be discussed.) HEALTH VIRTUES OF CHOCOLATE For thousands of years people in the European countries, from Italy to France, have shared lower rates of obesity and heart disease. The consensus is diet and lifestyle—which includes chocolate—is the common thread. But it’s important that these folks in the 21st century stick to the traditional ways of eating and exercise because it seems as they get off track and adopt the American diet and lifestyle, health problems become an issue. These days, I am seeing doctors on the news tell folks to use dark chocolate as a home cure, for preventing high blood pressure to curbing a cough. And stacks of studies are showing that scientists are discovering that eating a small amount of quality dark chocolate or drinking cocoa may help lower the risk of developing other health problems including heart disease, diabetes, and even some cancers, too. But before you stock up on the sweet milk chocolate truffles and white chocolate candy bars, keep in mind not all chocolates are equal in good health perks. It’s the cocoa content of dark chocolate—at least 48 percent or higher—that has the disease-fighting antioxidant power to provide you with the healing powers of chocolate.
To reap the health benefits of chocolate, you want to become good friends with good dark chocolate. I admit it—getting used to eating the darker stuff is difficult because it’s an acquired taste, like getting used to eating vinegar and olive oil versus salad dressing or drinking 2 percent low-fat milk versus whole milk. When you make the change from milk chocolate to dark chocolate, do it s-l-o-w-l-y and you’ll be surprised that you, too, will begin to like and later love the darker chocolate. And learning to like dark chocolate will help you in many ways to fight fat, too. CHOCOLATE FIGHTS FAT Do you sit at the dinner table watching your family eat chocolate for dessert? Do you gaze hypnotically as your friends or kids enjoy a piece of dark chocolate cake or a chewy brownie, then sadly say, “No, thank you—I’m trying to lose weight”? You deserve my sympathies. (And so does everyone who has sworn off chocolate.) Not because you’re dieting, but because it’s not necessary to swear off chocolate. Those tasty chocolate truffles, bars, moles, and cookies you crave and love are just what you should eat, like Diane Lane’s character in Under the Tuscan Sun. She makes homemade brownies, enjoys a forkful of a yummy-looking chocolate dessert at a restaurant with her friends, and includes chocolate on her list of must-haves to renovate a villa she is going to purchase. Yes, chocolate can play a role in your real life—and not just be something you see others enjoy in the movies. Can you really eat chocolate, like attractive Diane in the romantic film with an Italian backdrop, and lose or maintain your ideal weight? Yes! Yes, you can. Nutritionists know that chocolate can be a good weight-loss tool—and for a variety of reasons—if you indulge in moderation. How Chocolate Works: Okay. You’ve got a world of chocolate goodies that are calling out to you. How on earth do you resist? The word is, you don’t have to. You can have your chocolate and lose weight, too. Just go with your gut instinct and with what your body craves. Simply put, give yourself permission to savor one serving size of double dark chocolate ice cream or a small thick and creamy homemade chocolate shake (made with the dark stuff) and you will be satisfied, happy, and have eaten less food. A few years ago, I began purchasing Hershey’s Special Dark chocolate bars—the big bars. Each day when I craved something sweet, like chocolate, I would break off a small piece of the chocolate bar, which I kept cold in the fridge. I noticed almost immediately that my cravings were satisfied. Dark chocolate fed my sweet tooth, curbing my cravings for unhealthy sweets with unhealthy ingredients. Lynda Murray, a registered dietitian in Burlington, Iowa, confirms my experience with feeding my cravings. “Research shows,” she points out, “if you eat a small amount of what you are truly craving you will be satisfied with less food. Most dieters open the refrigerator and after they munch their way through the celery and carrot sticks, the cardboard rice cakes, and diet Jell-O they consume close to 500 calories. If they would’ve had what they were craving in the first place—a piece of chocolate—they would have been satisfied, content, and have ingested less food.” What You Can Do: Adjust your calorie and fat intake to allow for irresistible treats—in moderation, of course! Some recipes in this book do not include portion sizes or serving amounts. And some restaurants are too generous and provide two or three servings (i.e., chocolate cake) per person. Here is a sample guide to help you understand portion control: Grains: 1 slice bread, ½ to 1 cup pasta Vegetables: ½ cup cooked, 1 cup salad Fruit: 1 medium apple, banana; ¾ cup fruit juice Meat, Poultry, Fish: 2–3 ounces Milk, Yogurt, Cheese: 1 cup milk, 1 to 1½ ounces cheese
Desserts: 2 medium cookies, 1 slice cake While you’ll be eating nutritionally balanced meals, also include treats in your plan—because if you don’t feel deprived, you’ll be more likely to stick to a sound eating plan that works. And you can say good-bye to fad diets forever. HEART-HEALTHY CHUNKS OF CHOCOLATE A healthful diet and lifestyle are part of the arsenal to beat the battle of the bulge, which can often be linked sooner than later to heart disease—still America’s number one killer for both men and women, according to the American Heart Association (AHA). In a cocoa bean shell, chocolate is made from the cocoa plant, which means it contains many of the health benefits of fruits and vegetables. These good-for-you perks stem from flavonoids, which act as mighty antioxidants. We know antioxidants protect the body from bad-for-you free radicals (imagine little Pac-Men wearing T-shirts with the words “Antioxidant Fighter”) and gobble these harmful culprits in your body, lowering the risk of damage that can lead to heart disease. Heart-healthy chocolate has also been shown to lower blood pressure, and regulate cholesterol by reducing the bad kind (LDL) while maintaining the good kind (HDL)—two culprits for boomers and elderly folks. High Blood Pressure and the Chocolate Cure It’s the total diet and lifestyle package that may help keep blood pressure numbers normal—not just dark chocolate. But chocolate can come to the rescue and research proves it. How Chocolate Works: Turn to dark chocolate if you are one of approximately three American adults with high blood pressure. A past study conducted by Harvard medical researchers found that the Kuna Indians who reside on an island off the Caribbean coast of Panama are not plagued by hypertension or heart disease. Scientists say that the answer may be as simple as the five cups of cocoa they drink daily— and that may be what keeps the tribe immune to blood pressure numbers soaring out of control.2 What’s more, Yale University researchers discovered that solid dark chocolate and liquid cocoa can also help reduce blood pressure in overweight adults. In 45 healthy adults who consumed a solid dark chocolate bar or sugar-free cocoa, there were positive results. Systolic numbers were 2.3 to 5.8 points lower; diastolic numbers were 1.2 to 8.7 points lower. The conclusion: Both dark chocolate and liquid cocoa showed heart benefits. And note, these little numbers may play a big role in an individual’s life by lowering the risk of stroke or death due to heart disease.3 What You Can Do: Rather than drink five cups of cocoa per day (remember, moderation is key), 2 ounces of dark chocolate in a variety of forms, whether it be a bar or hot cocoa, may just be your secret to keeping those blood pressure numbers at 120/80—and even lower. Here’s more proof: Chris began eating 3 ounces per day of Xoçai healthy chocolate. “Funny thing,” the contented chocolate consumer recalls, “I stopped by the pharmacy where I always check my blood pressure, which runs, on my meds, about 130 over 85ish. This time it was 111 over 77. This is not right. Checked it again—111 over 77. After the third try with the same reading I believed it. That’s the lowest I have ever been in my life!” And, chances are, if you have high blood pressure you may have high cholesterol, too.
Cholesterol Ups and Downs Did you know that saturated fat is the main unhealthy culprit of high blood cholesterol? Surprise! Dietary fat content in chocolate is not all saturated fat. In fact, research shows chocolate can help lower your blood pressure and bad cholesterol. But let’s look at the good and bad numbers before you reach for the chocolate bar. In adults, total cholesterol levels of 240 milligrams or higher are considered high risk, and levels from 200 to 239 are considered borderline high risk, according to the AHA. Research proves that polyphenols can help you stay heart healthy. Studies show chocolate has positive benefits for the heart. Chocolate raised the “good” cholesterol, lowered the total cholesterol, and lowered triglycerides. The results proved that stearic acid, one of the fats in chocolate, contains benefits for your HDL cholesterol and may lower your risk of developing other heart problems. How Chocolate Works: The University of Illinois and Mars discovered that a daily dose of a cocoaflavanol-containing dark chocolate bar both improves blood pressure and helps regulate cholesterol levels. The study included 49 women and men who had elevated cholesterol levels and blood pressure. The findings: As part of a balanced, low-fat diet, chocolate bars consumed on a regular basis lowered total cholesterol by 2 percent and LDL “bad” cholesterol by 5.3 percent.4 What You Can Do: The fact is, medical doctors will tell you that the older you get and more sedentary you become, teamed with bad lifestyle habits (i.e., smoking, being overweight), the more your cholesterol and blood pressure is apt to go up, not down. While half a bar of quality dark chocolate per week may lower your risk of developing heart disease, it is the wholesome diet and lifestyle habits (including regular exercise) that can help you regulate cholesterol levels and blood pressure and keep heart problems at bay. So, eat fresh vegetables, fruits, whole grains, fatty fish (i.e. salmon, which contains heart-healthy fat) and poultry, eggs (in moderation), low-fat dairy, and antioxidant-rich extra virgin olive oil. And yes, you can add chocolate to your list and eat it, too. Medical researchers are discovering that past, present, and ongoing studies show that dark chocolate may indeed lower the risk of heart disease of all kinds, including heart attack. Heart Attacks and the Chocolate Cure Evidently, Johns Hopkins volunteers didn’t follow their dietary instructions for a heart-health study. The “chocoholics” strayed away from their special diet and succumbed to their chocolate cravings. “But instead of scientific failure, their disobedience led to an inadvertent and important discovery—dark chocolate mimics the effects of aspirin. Dark chocolate and cocoa were found to thin the blood just as well as low-dose aspirin does,” explains Murray. “The disobedient volunteers showed substantial anticlotting benefits after eating minimal amounts of dark chocolate. The chocolate sneakers snacked on tiny portions as small as 2 tablespoons (a few squares) per day.” While more research is needed, the flavonoids in cocoa are believed to stimulate the body’s production of nitric oxide, which works like aspirin to stave off heart attacks.5 And more evidence points to the possibility of a little chocolate lowering the risk of heart attacks. Researchers in Italy discovered that eating a serving of 20 grams every three days (which is 6.7 grams per day) may be the right amount for getting cocoa’s antioxidants to protect your heart. The findings of their study, which included nearly 5,000 healthy Italians, showed there may be a connection between eating dark chocolate and lowering the level of C-reactive protein (high levels of C-reactive protein may cause inflammation of the heart and blood vessels and up the odds of developing heart disease). Meanwhile, more research is needed, but eating a well-balanced diet, such as the traditional antioxidant-rich
Mediterranean regimen followed by healthy Italians, which includes regular exercise—and sweets in moderation—is recommended by doctors around the world.6 MORE CHOCOLATE, LESS DIABETES RISK? Individuals with diabetes may also face an increase in heart disease, sooner or later. According to the American Diabetes Association, more than 18 million Americans have diabetes—and the number is on the rise. An estimated 90 to 95 percent of Americans have type 2. As an aging boomer you can bet that I know people younger than me who have been hit by the news that they have this disease. The good news, however, I tell them is that most people who have type 2 diabetes can usually control the disease by diet and lifestyle changes. And, it looks like chocolate may be beneficial, too. How Chocolate Works: Scientists in Germany conducted a study of 41 people for type 2 diabetes who were randomly assigned to drink a specially formulated cocoa beverage with either high or low levels of flavonols within a 30-day period. The findings: flavonols seem to make the arteries expand—and this will help lessen the risk of heart disease that often comes with type 2 diabetes. More research is needed before the good news for diabetics is a done deal.7 What You Can Do: Meanwhile, every other day try eating a 2-ounce square of 70 percent cocoa content dark chocolate, which contains very little sugar but a lot of magnesium, an important mineral for heart function that can help reduce hardening of the arteries caused by diabetes. Also, eating more fiber-rich foods, and getting a move on to lose unwanted weight, are part of the antidiabetes package.
Real Chocolate In the film Chocolat, one of the characters, Armande (Judi Dench), portrays a grandmother, almost 70, with diabetes. She doesn’t stay clear of the decadent chocolate shop full of truffles to pastries. She gives in to her cravings and enjoys eating the chocolate goods. But, she overindulges, and her life ends from complications of the disease—which can often be controlled by diet and lifestyle. But chocolate doesn’t have to be excluded 100 percent. In real life, Kathy Moskal, founder and owner of Ver , gave birth to her company due to a desire to make a pure and delicious, sophisticated, healthful chocolate for a very ill chocolate lover. “In the fall of 2003, my dear friend, Carol Thompson, was hospitalized from the effects of diabetes. Ironically her only pleasure left was eating ... since she could no longer walk. She was a chocoholic, with a taste for the best,” recalls Kathy, who searched everywhere for a chocolate she could eat, but everything she found didn’t make the grade. She noticed that the chocolates were chock-full of poor-quality ingredients and loaded with chemicals, the very things an ill person should not have. “So, I decided to hire a chef, and make the chocolates myself.” In the process, she found that chocolate was an amazing foodstuff ... “a veritable pharmacy with the best delivery system on the planet.” And Kathy began her research looking for the best bean and other ingredients necessary to produce the authentic product. She found that the very choices she was making for health were the same choices she was making for flavor. The chocolate entrepreneur explains that the only way for her to achieve the results she
desired was to make her own chocolate. It took two and a half years of research and development to obtain this goal but her mission was accomplished. She discovered a single heirloom-flavor bean from Ecuador that has a short fermentation cycle (thereby preserving more of the disease-fighting antioxidants) and a mild fruity flavor (which requires less sweetening), and a prebiotic from Belgium that adds fiber, which supports the immune system. The end result: Kathy built her own factory to ensure quality, and keep her chocolate products real.
CHOCOLATE AS AN ANTICANCER FOOD According to the American Institute of Cancer Research, chocolate and its cancer-fighting polyphenols may help lower the risk of developing some cancers. But it’s the combination of eating little red meat and processed foods, and eating more fish, vegetables, and fruits—not just chocolate—that may keep cancer at bay. How Chocolate Works: Dark chocolate containing more than 70 percent cocoa provides a number of potent disease-fighting polyphenols. A square of dark chocolate boasts twice as many as a glass of red wine and almost as many as a cup of green tea. These molecules slow the growth of cancer cells and limit the blood vessels that feed them.8 A study shows that a chemical called pentamer may help fight breast cancer. It showed promise because when it was applied to breast cancer cells, the cells stopped dividing. More research is needed before eating dark chocolate is prescribed as an anticancer food for lowering the risk of developing breast cancer.9 What You Can Do: Treat yourself to one-fifth of a dark chocolate bar each day. Keep in mind, incorporating dark chocolate in moderation with other anticancer foods including antioxidant-rich fresh fruits, vegetables, fatty fish, and olive oil is beneficial, too. In the next chapter, “The French Attitude,” I will share my findings about the old Mediterranean diet and lifestyle and show how the “French paradox” can help keep people healthy in Europe, America, and around the world—and boost the life span, as it has done for Mediterranean people in the past. THE SURPRISING SECRETS TO SAVOR
CHOCOLATE KEEPS THE DOCTOR AWAY Disease
How Chocolate Works
Monounsaturated fats in dark chocolate satisfy your hunger and chocolate tends to a sweet tooth, so overindulgence in food and calories is not a problem.
Antioxidants in dark chocolate help to lower the risk of heart disease of all kinds.
Dark chocolate may cut the amount of “bad” LDL cholesterol in the blood, which may lower the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Phenols in dark chocolate act as disease-fighting antioxidants to hinder the cancer process and may reduce certain cancers. Dark chocolate in moderation lowers the risk of obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and cancerâ€”all diseases that can shorten life span.
CHAPTER 6 The French Attitude If you are not feeling well, if you have not slept, chocolate will revive you. But you have no chocolate! I think of that again and again! My dear, how will you ever manage? —Marquise de Sévigné, French writer and lady of fashion ( 1626–1696)
When I was in my thirties, I moved into a charming, rustic Spanish-style bungalow amid a round fish pond in the courtyard and splashes of violet-blue morning glory bushes. The building, with 14 units, was a Monet-type architectural masterpiece, which I later discovered was built in the 1930s. After several years, the well-traveled senior landlord-owner and I became dear friends. She often invited me to be her dinner companion at Mediterranean restaurants. While I wasn’t a foodie, I did enjoy her company, conversation, and fresh food—salads, bread, fish, and chocolate dessert such as strawberries dipped in bittersweet chocolate or chocolate cheesecake. But it wasn’t the dining that captivated me as much as it was her stories based in Europe. During every dining experience, the woman would share a tale about her life in Europe when she was a musician. One night she told me, “I miss my European friends. They are cultured, unlike Americans.” And then, it made sense to me. I thought, “No wonder the majority of her tenants are from France, Switzerland, Italy, and Germany.” If my friend couldn’t live in Europe because of ties to her inherited property, she brought a real-life European atmosphere to her property. But that isn’t all. In retrospect, I realize some of the women and men did have health issues. I believe the medical diagnoses may have been partly due to their lifestyle—it did not match the healthful traditional Mediterranean diet and ways. Two women in their late forties fell victim to breast cancer; one was overweight and the other indulged in alcohol—but not in moderation. Several of the middle-aged men were carrying unwanted pounds and did not get regular exercise. The point is, these Europeans adopted the American processed-food diet and lifestyle habits (i.e., lack of exercise and overindulging in food portions). And they let go of the Mediterranean diet and lifestyle. As a result, their lifestyle changes may have caused their battle of the bulge, cancer, and other health woes. THE FRENCH PARADOX So, the fun-loving, carefree European people whom I knew years ago did drink alcohol, but they drank too much, and they did eat processed food, but they ate too much, and they didn’t regularly engage in physical activity. The interesting thing is, while quality dark chocolate is a fat, it plays a role in the sweets category (sparingly) of the Mediterranean Diet Pyramid. Other foods in the Mediterranean diet are also high in fat, but heart disease is lower and the longevity rate is higher in European countries such as Italy and France than in America, where our fat intake is often lower. This phenomenon was tagged the “French paradox,” by Dr. Serge Renaud, a scientist from Bordeaux University in France in 1992, and it continues to fit for
people who follow the traditional Mediterranean-type diet. But for those who stick to the American diet and eat “bad” fats, unwanted body fat and heart disease, diabetes, and cancers can and do often come with it. When I was in my late teens, I switched from eating hamburgers and hot dogs at an all-American fastfood drive-thru, to being an all-natural Californian hippie teenager who preferred fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, whole grains, and bean sprouts—as well as chocolate. I remember one night my confession at the dinner table was an ordeal. “I’m a vegetarian,” I announced, and my new title upset my mother, who was a wonderful cook but believed in creating dishes that included pork chops, bacon, fried chicken, and spareribs, and some canned foods. But I had changed. I had a new French attitude (and didn’t even know it at the time). Rather than eat Mom’s once tasty dishes with fake fats and processed meats, I protested. It was the beginning of my turning to the pure Mediterranean diet and lifestyle, which includes fresh vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, nuts, olive oil, and sweets (in moderation). So, while my mother continued to bake heavenly pastries, from homemade chocolate éclairs to dark chocolate pie, I was there to show my gratitude and savor a small portion of her decadent delights. (Fortunately, I didn’t inherit her amazing knack for baking perfect sweets.) Yes, including quality chocolate—whether it is ice cream, pastries, cakes, or sauces with cocoa—in your lifestyle, as people have done and still do in the Mediterranean countries, plays a role in health and indulgence. The caveat is moderation, moderation, moderation. And, following the traditional Mediterranean diet and lifestyle is what will help both Europeans and Americans stay healthy and lean, and live longer, better lives. A LONG-LASTING MEDITERRANEAN FOOD AFFAIR In my forties, as I wrote a weekly diet for Woman’s World magazine, I still had the French attitude going on. Every week I’d whip up a new, improved quick-fix weight-loss diet—because that’s what dieters crave. The funny thing was, I’d eat a chocolate bar (for a physical energy and brainpower boost) as I cranked out the crash-diet text on deadline. Chocolate was like having a ghostwriter and editor—always there for me. And I maintained my fit and trim size. These days, I fancy European chocolate and cuisine. I just finished a plate of whole-wheat pasta, meatless marinara sauce with olive oil, and cruciferous vegetables and ate a tiny piece of Dagoba organic chocolate (dark chocolate, mint with a hint of rosemary). I haven’t changed my attitude or my size and weight. The fact is, I love Italian food and it’s been good to me, my waistline, and my blood pressure. Pasta, pizza, and eggplant parmigiana ... Ahh, Italian food can be good for you—if you are cautious with the portions. Minestrone soup, chicken cacciatore, pizza with fresh vegetable toppings, Italian bread drizzled with olive oil, fresh fruit, skim milk cappuccino, and dark chocolate cheesecake. You bet. Again, the secret is portion control—all in moderation. And for you who love French cuisine, no problem. Just choose your foods with French smarts. Endive and watercress salad (olive oil and vinegar), steamed fish, lightly sautéed vegetables, chicken in wine sauce, French bread, fresh fruit, dark chocolate cheesecake (a sliver or eat half a sliver and save the rest for later). And what do you get? Good French food. A MEDITERRANEAN DIET BOOSTS HEALTH American scientists based at the University of Navarra in Pamplona, Spain, found that following a Mediterranean diet helps lower the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. The Mediterranean diet is simple
and what I have used for 25 years. Think fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains, fish, low quantities of meat and dairy products, and olive oil. Alcohol is allowed (preferably wine), but only in moderation. The study, which was published online in the British Medical Journal, suggests that this type of diet may protect against developing diabetes. The researchers studied 13,380 healthy graduates between 1999 and 2007 and monitored their diet for four years. The results: the people who followed the Mediterranean diet as opposed to those who did not showed an 83 percent reduction in developing type 2 diabetes. The scientists gave credit to the antioxidant-rich wine but did not overlook the healthful foods.1 The Mediterranean diet not only helps beat diabetes (which is often paired with heart disease), but it may improve overall health and quality of life, according to another, larger study. Researchers at the University of Florence examined a dozen studies on the Mediterranean diet that followed 1,574,299 people for 3 to 18 years. The people who used the Mediterranean diet showed less heart disease, Parkinson’s disease, and Alzheimer’s disease.2 10 SECRETS TO THE MEDITERRANEAN DIET (PLUS CHOCOLATE TIPS) In my books The Healing Powers of Vinegar and The Healing Powers of Olive Oil—both of which have an underlying Mediterranean diet and lifestyle theme—I provide these secrets, straight from my friends at Oldways Preservation and Exchange Trust, which again will take you to a healthy way of life. Good chocolate in moderation is included in the sweets portion of the Mediterranean-based diets. But chocolate that contains little or no cocoa is not acceptable. What’s more, quality chocolate can be teamed with the traditional Mediterranean diet, and other Mediterranean-based diets, in an infinite number of ways.
SECRET 1: Eat plenty of food from plant sources, including fruits and vegetables, potatoes, breads and grains, beans, nuts, and seeds. Chocolate Tip: Sprinkle dark chocolate chips or pistoles on oatmeal. SECRET 2: Focus on a variety of minimally processed and, wherever possible, seasonally fresh and locally grown foods to get health-boosting and disease-fighting antioxidants. Chocolate Tip: Consume antioxidant-rich, all-natural, organic dark chocolate with a cocoa content of at least 60 percent. SECRET 3: Use olive oil as a primary fat, replacing other fats and oils (including butter and margarine). Chocolate Tip: Cook and bake with olive oil and dark chocolate to get the healthiest benefits from your food. SECRET 4: Aim for a daily total fat amount ranging from about 25 to 35 percent of energy, with saturated fat composing no more than 7 to 8 percent of calories. Chocolate Tip: Remember, less is more. Take note of your daily fat calories but go ahead and make room to incorporate a small amount of dark chocolate into your diet rather than getting too much. SECRET 5: Consume low to moderate amounts of cheese and yogurt (low-fat and nonfat versions are best). Chocolate Tip: Instead of eating artificially flavored chocolate yogurt, try all-natural, organic vanilla yogurt and put a spoonful of dark chocolate pieces on top.
SECRET 6: Eat low to moderate amounts of fish and poultry, and zero to four eggs per week (including those used in cooking and baking). Chocolate Tip: Try a healthful and exotic spicy mole sauce (that includes dark cocoa) over a piece of grilled fish or poultry. SECRET 7: Enjoy fresh fruit as your daily dessert, and limit sweets with a sugar (often honey) or saturated fat to no more than a few times per week. Chocolate Tip: Nutritionists say eating a couple of ounces of dark chocolate each day is okay but sweets—pastries, ice cream, cookies—shouldn’t be eaten on a daily basis. When you do indulge, go for dark chocolate varieties (such as all-natural dark chocolate ice cream) and top it with fresh fruit or dip it into a dark chocolate fondue. SECRET 8: Consume red meat a few times per month. Lean cuts are preferable. Chocolate Tip: Refer to Secret 6 and try mole or chili dishes made with dark cocoa. (See “Chocolate Recipes.”) SECRET 9: Get regular exercise, which will help you maintain a healthy weight, fitness, and well-being. Chocolate Tip: Try eating a dark chocolate truffle before (for extra energy) or sip a cup of dark hot cocoa after (to maximize the feel-good endorphins) working out. SECRET 10: If you drink alcohol, opt for moderate consumption of wine, normally with meals. Limit intake to about one to two glasses per day for men and one glass per day for women. Note: Alcohol should be avoided during pregnancy and whenever it would put the individual at risk. Chocolate Tip: Opt for a flavorful dark chocolate truffle—chocolate infused with wine. (Source: Oldways Mediterranean Diet Pyramid.)
FRENCH-STYLE FOODS OF THE MEDITERRANEAN DIET • Bread, pasta, grains: Bread, pasta, rice, couscous, polenta, potatoes • Fruits: Olives, avocados, grapes • Vegetables: Spinach, eggplant, tomatoes, broccoli, peppers, mushrooms, garlic, capers, beans, legumes, nuts, pine nuts, almonds, chickpeas, white beans, lentils, olive oil (base every meal on these foods) • Cheese and yogurt (moderate portions, daily to weekly) • Fish: Shellfish, sardines • Poultry: Chicken (moderate portions, daily to weekly) • Eggs • Sweets: Pastries, ice cream, cookies (less often) • Meat: Veal, lamb (less often) TEAMING UP CHOCOLATE AND EXERCISE Imagine, after you engage in a good swim or walk you drink what you crave—chocolate milk—and it’s good for you. Well, past research shows that chocolate milk can help refuel tired muscles after exercise and help athletes exercise at a high intensity during subsequent workouts, according to Joel M. Stager, Ph.D., professor of kinesiology at Indiana University.
Thanks to the carbohydrate-to-protein ratio, chocolate milk and exercise are a good team. In a small study, nine male cyclists rode until their muscles were depleted of energy. They stopped for four hours, then biked again until they were tired. During the break, bikers drank low-fat chocolate milk, Gatorade, or Endurox R4. The results? Cyclists who drank the chocolate milk were able to bike about 50 percent longer than the ones who drank the other beverages. So, combining carbs and protein—which are in chocolate milk—after physical activity seems to increase one’s ability to work out.3
Exercise with a French Twist You don’t have to be a serious cyclist or regular swimmer to get the benefits of staying lean and healthy. There is an easier way to get and stay lean and fit, as do the people in France and other European countries. Simply walking throughout the day works wonders for both the body and mind. Check out this list of activities that work like a quickie workout—without the work.
Calories Burned per Half Hour
Watching a film
Watch the film Chocolat and feed your mind instead of your body.
Taking a power nap
Put chocolate foot balm on your feet—and wake up energized.
Raking the leaves
Enjoy your cleanup efforts and savor a hot cup of Aztec dark chocolate cocoa during and after.
Walking the dog(s)
Walk quickly to rev up your metabolism; then, savor a dark chocolate fruit -flavored truffle with a cup of herbal tea. Don’t forget to give water to the pooch.
The stories about chocolate in Like Water for Chocolate can entertain you while you burn off calories simply sitting.
Bowling with a friend
Treat yourself to hot chocolate and enjoy the lift of your body and spirit.
At a health spa, hop into the Jacuzzi, and afterward treat yourself to a chocolate pedicure.
GO, MEDITERRANEAN, GO DO IT!
According to a variety of associations, the Mediterranean diet has variations but overall it has fewer differences and more things in common—like incorporating quality chocolate in moderation. At least 16 countries border the Mediterranean Sea. Diets vary among these countries; for example, French cuisine is different from Italian fare. However, the people of these various European countries share these diet components: high consumption of fruits, vegetables, bread and other cereals, potatoes, beans, nuts, and seeds; olive oil as an important monounsaturated fat source; dairy products, fish, and poultry consumed in low to moderate amounts and little red meat eaten; eggs consumed zero to four times a week; and wine consumed in low to moderate amounts. While the Mediterranean-style diets are similar to what the American Heart Association recommends, they are not identical. The fact is, the diets of the Mediterranean region do contain a high percentage of calories from fat. But, the rate of heart disease and life span in the Mediterranean countries are still lower than in the United States. Still, this is similar to the traditional Hawaiian diet (natural foods, such as fruits, vegetables, and fish). Once native Hawaiians adopted the American lifestyle, they gained weight. If the Mediterranean people are to stay lean and heart healthy, the key is to follow the old style of the Mediterranean diet and lifestyle. Most importantly, you can eat food that contains good fats—like chocolate fudge in moderation—but small portions, and getting a move on regularly before and after are part of the sweet package that works to keep you lean and fit whether you reside in Europe or America. French Silk Fudge 2 cups powdered sugar cup cream or 1 small can (5 fl. ounces) evaporated milk ¼ cup butter 2 cups miniature marshmallows 3 cups (18 ounces) semi-sweet chocolate chips 2 tablespoons vanilla 1 cup chopped nuts In large glass bowl, combine sugar and milk. Microwave on full power for 3 minutes; remove and stir. Return and cook an additional 3 minutes on full power. Add butter, marshmallows, chocolate, and vanilla. Mix well. Stir in nuts. Pour into a buttered 8” x 11” pan. Chill and cut into small pieces. Makes 2 pounds. Conventional Method: Combine powdered sugar and milk in a heavy bottom pan. Stir constantly and bring to a boil. Boil for 1½ minutes. Stir in butter, marshmallows, chocolate chips, and vanilla. Mix well. Stir in nuts. (Source: National Confectioners Association) While good chocolate is good for you, imagine how much better it can be if it’s infused with healthful herbs, spices, citrus, other fruits and vegetables, nuts—as well as antioxidant-rich red wine. Take a look at Part 3, “Other Natural Forbidden Foods,” to see how “forbidden” foods paired with chocolate can help your body, mind, and spirit in other amazing ways, too. THE SURPRISING SECRETS TO SAVOR
Remember to follow the traditional Mediterranean diet and lifestyle if you want to reap the health benefits and lower your risk of developing obesity, type 2 diabetes, cancer, and heart disease. The French paradox works and it can work for you. Go aheadâ€”eat fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains, and enjoy good fats, including nuts, fatty fish, olive oil, and chocolate.... Donâ€™t forget to get a move on daily. Walk, walk, walk. Eat like royalty and savor rich foods, even wine, but practice portion control. Remember, you can incorporate quality dark chocolate into your diet and lifestyle, especially if you incorporate daily physical activity, too.
PART 3 OTHER NATURAL F ORBIDDEN F OODS
CHAPTER 7 Chocolate’s Favorite Friends My momma always said, “Life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.” —Forrest Gump
Citrus chocolate truffles—lemon, lime, and orange—are intriguing to me. I have enjoyed the thrill (yes, it was exciting) of tasting an all-natural dark chocolate Orange Cream Leaf. An editor once told me, “If you can remember an anecdote in a story, it works.” As I look at the empty green Lake Champlain Chocolates box with the words “passports to chocolate heaven” on it, I believe the phrase rings true. Once it’s in my mouth, the pairing of orange and chocolate lingers in my mind. And the good news is, you’ll discover that quality chocolates infused with other citrus and fruits can be healthful and heavenly experiences. Flavored chocolate is known as infused chocolate. These popular chocolates are teamed with antioxidant-rich herbs and unsweetened fruits such as spices and citrus. Premium chocolate boasts a variety of flavors that offer a double dose of good-for-you ingredients and a special pizzazz to your taste buds. And chocolatiers are getting more and more creative with new flavors. Good dark chocolate is sometimes sweet, sometimes bitter (depending on its style)—and good solo. But when good chocolate is combined with good flavors, such as spicy cayenne and cinnamon or evergreen mint, to create a sensational out-of-the-box taste and even more health virtues, it’s great and something to write home about. HEALING HERBS AND SPICES Here, take a look at some of the edgy and exotic cutting-edge herbs and spices that are infused in allnatural and/or organic chocolate—from truffles and bars to baked and frozen chocolate delights and more —as well as some information and news about their healing powers, some forms of chocolate they are found in, and “Best Choco Blend” with types of chocolate and other herbs and spices used to enhance their powers and healing ability. ANISE (Pimpinella anisum): An ancient spice, anise has been used as a mild painkiller. It is also believed to have a calming effect for both coughs and colds. German and Italian bakers use this spice in bread, cake, sweet rolls, Best Choco Blend, and in chocolate truffles. CARDAMOM (Elettaria cardamomum): Like anise, cardamom is another healing herb that may help soothe a stomachache and relieve indigestion and flatulence. Best Choco Blend: It is infused in chocolate bars, truffles, and baked chocolate desserts. CAYENNE (Capsicum): This healing herb can boost feel-good endorphins and enhance your mood. Plus, cayenne may be beneficial for lowering both blood pressure and cholesterol, and help blood circulation.
Best Choco Blend: It is used in exotic dark chocolates and chocolate truffles. CINNAMON (Cinnamomum zeylanicum): Cinnamon, like anise and cardamom, the tummy helpers, can also be used to treat colds and ease gas and diarrhea, which often accompany the flu. Best Choco Blend: Truffles, cakes, cookies. It is included in chocolate baked goods, hot chocolate, and exotic chocolates and truffles. GINGER (Zingiber officinale): Ginger root is another digestive aid, like tasty cinnamon, that can be soothing medicine for the stomach and intestines, relieving indigestion, cramps, and nausea. Best Choco Blend: It is used in dark chocolate bars and combined with lemon, in truffles, and in baked chocolate goods. LAVENDER (Lavandula angustifolia): This fragrant herb is used in aromatherapy for relaxation. Also, you can drink lavender tea, which acts as a mild sedative. It is also used to help heal scars, minimize stretch marks, and soothe insect bites. Best Choco Blend: A hint of this herb can be paired with blueberry and is found in dark chocolate bars and truffles. LICORICE (Glycyrrhiza glabra): Another healing herb, licorice may soothe a sore throat. Also, ancient Egyptians, Chinese, and Indians used the “love” root of the licorice plant as one of nature’s aphrodisiacs to enhance sexual arousal and stamina. Best Choco Blend: Dark chocolate truffles. MARSHMALLOW (Althaea officinalis): Like licorice, marshmallow is a favorite of herbalists to recommend for relieving a sore throat, and settle stomach woes. Best Choco Blend: Marshmallows topped on hot cocoa, dark chocolates with marshmallow. MINT (Mentha piperita and Mentha viridis): Both peppermint and mint can soothe tight muscles, but they can also be used to cure an upset stomach. It’s a great way to end a meal. Ever notice how restaurants provide mints on the table or by the door? And some choice hotels leave chocolate mints on a turneddown bed. Best Choco Blend: Chocolate bars, truffles, hot chocolate, body wrap. NUTMEG (Myristica fragrans): This spice releases a culinary scent that elicits pleasant memories and sensations of baked desserts in the kitchen (i.e., often sprinkled on comforting homemade custard pie or mixed into a pumpkin or apple pie). Best Choco Blend: Dark chocolate bars, truffles. ROSEMARY (Rosmarinus officinalis): This ancient therapeutic herb contains calcium, magnesium, sodium, and potassium, all of which help balance fluids surrounding nerves and heart tissues. In fact, rosemary may help lower blood pressure. The rosemary leaf may have other positive heart-healthy benefits thanks to its rose-maricine content, and the flavonoid pigment diosmin. Best Choco Blend: Dark chocolate bars, cakes, tortes. VANILLA (Vanilla): Sweet vanilla enhances the flavor of a variety of foods, like cinnamon, especially in ice cream, chocolate, and coffee. In folklore it was believed vanilla had aphrodisiac qualities. Also, the Spaniard Cortez is given credit for introducing both the spice and chocolate to Europe. Today, it is used in aromatherapy, including the use of candles, incense, and even perfume. Best Choco Blend: Milk and dark chocolate truffles, cookies, cakes. (Sources: Herb Glossary, www.yogitea.com; The Healing Powers of Vinegar; and The Healing
Powers of Olive Oil.)
Herbal Tea and Luxury Chocolate Medical doctors and scientists are now confirming what herbalists have been touting for years: herbal teas have healing powers. These days, both creative chocolatiers and chefs are infusing dark chocolate (from truffles and bars to brownies and cakes) with a wide variety of herbal teas for an exotic flavor, and health benefits may be part of the package. And it’s the luxury dark chocolate and tea collection that hooked me. A well-crafted blend of herbal teas, such as I tasted in a box of Christopher Norman Chocolates, paired with chocolate is an exciting combination for the palate. The handmade truffles with hand-painted chocolate tiles I experienced included framboise (a kind of raspberry popular in Japan), orange-caramel, lemon thyme (also light citrus flavors favored in Asian countries), and green tea—two teas with healthful properties that are popular in Japan, past and present. Lemon balm is a flowery, soothing herb. It has a history of being a “happy herb” and is most often used for stress and sleeping woes. Green tea is rich in antioxidants, which may help boost the immune system and lower the risk of cancer, according to past research in Japan. “And yes, the Japanese love our tea-infused chocolates,” notes the New York City– based luxury chocolate company’s president Joe Guiliano. The Luxury Tea Collection, another delightful hand-painted creation made by Christopher Norman Chocolates, boasts another grouping of teas, blended with chocolate ganache, enrobed in dark chocolate, and featuring hand-painted tiles like the ones I experienced. These teas include titillating tastes such as fragrant China rose, smoky Lapsang Souchong, tropical mango, and (again) sensuous green tea. Savoring these tea-infused chocolates is a delightful treat. Teaming a couple with a cup of hot green tea (or your favorite herbal tea) can make it even more of a sensual and healthful interval.
HEALING CITRUS AND OTHER FRUITS While herbs and spices teamed with chocolate are fabulous matches, here, take a look at some of the facts, past and present, about good-for-you fruits found in chocolate, whether it be a truffle, a bar, a cookie, hot chocolate, or other form of chocolate infused for your health and pleasure. ACAI BERRY (Euterpe): This 21st-century popular berry was found in the Amazon rain forest in Brazil. Rich in antioxidants, the immune-boosting berry is also rich in omega fatty acids. It also contains protein; fiber; potassium; magnesium; calcium (all good nutrients for the heart); iron; and vitamins B, C, and E. Best Choco Blend: With its chocolate taste it teams well with dark chocolate for an antioxidant feast. But note, acai berry has been touted for potential weight loss perks. Remember, there is no single magic bullet to take off unwanted pounds.
APRICOT (Prunus armeniaca): Heart healthy gems, like acai berries, and low in calories, apricots paired with dark chocolate make a winning combination. Its potassium and beta-carotene, two friendly nutrients, may help lower the risk of heart disease. Best Choco Blend: Dark chocolate–covered apricots. CHERRY (Prunus): Cherries are sweet and tart, plus they boast antho-cyanin, an antioxidant that can reduce inflammation and lower risk factors for heart disease, too. Best Choco Blend: Dark chocolate bonbons, bars, truffles, baked goods, ice cream. COCONUT (Cocos nucifera): This is a fruit, not a nut. It contains fiber, vitamins, and minerals. It is believed to have a wide variety of healing powers, but its ability to strengthen the immune system is most noteworthy. Best Choco Blend: Both healthy dark chocolate and dark milk chocolate bars, chocolates, and baked goods, as well as nuts, such as almonds, are popular friends of coconut, a sweet ingredient not to ignore when savoring chocolate. CRANBERRY (Vaccinium): Touted as a superfruit, this little berry is packed with immune-boosting vitamin C, dietary fiber, manganese, and flavonoids, such as the heart-protecting flavonoid rhamnoside. Best Choco Blend: Dark chocolate bars, barks, and baked goods. FIG (Ficus): Heart-healthy figs, like acai berries and apricots, contain calcium, magnesium, and potassium—three important nutrients that can lower the risk of developing heart disease. Best Choco Blend: Dark chocolate baked goods, exotic truffles. GOJI BERRY (Fructus lycium): If you’re looking for an antiaging berry, you’ve found it. “Also known as lycium berry or wolfberry, goji is a delicious fruit native to China that has long been known for its tonic effects, especially on vision and the brain,” notes Dr. Maoshing Ni, in his book Secrets of SelfHealing (Avery). “Goji also has the highest concentration of carotenoids, especially beta-carotene, of any plant in the world and is thus a powerful antioxidant.”1 Best Choco Blend: Dark chocolate bars, nuggets, and cookies. GRAPEFRUIT (Citrus paradisi): Once called a “forbidden fruit,” this citrus delight contains phytochemicals, lycopene, and is a source of vitamin C—which is a superb immune-boosting nutrient. Best Choco Blend: Dark chocolate pairs nicely with this sweet and tangy fruit. LEMON (Citrus limon): This fresh, light, and cool flavor is a nice pick-me-up, whether you’re feeling blue or tired. It’s also used to ease headache pain and stress. And lemon peel contains flavonoids, which help declump your blood to keep heart attacks and strokes at bay. Best Choco Blend: Dark chocolate bars, truffles, chocolates, and baked goods. ORANGE (Citrus sinensis): Another immunity-enhancing citrus fruit, oranges (also blood oranges— streaks of red in the fruit) are rich in vitamin C, vitamin B1 (thiamine), fiber, and potassium. Best Choco Blend: Dark chocolate bars, dark chocolates, and truffles, and some dark chocolate baked goods. RASPBERRY (Rubus idaeus): A healing fruit, scientists have found its beneficial leaf ingredient fragarine can stimulate and relax uterine muscle tissue. This, in turn, may help relieve diarrhea, which is not uncommon during PMS AND MENSTRUATION. BEST CHOCO BLEND: DARK CHOCOLATE BARS, DARK CHOCOLATE TRUFFLES, AND DARK CHOCOLATE ICE CREAM. STRAWBERRY (Fragaria): This is a sweet, juicy fruit plentiful in vitamin C. It also contains two
flavonoids, quercetin and kaempferol, which may help keep blood platelets from clumping together, and stave off heart disease. Best Choco Blend: Fresh strawberries dipped in dark chocolate fondue, bars, truffles, chocolates. (Source: Doctors’ Orders: 101 Miracle Foods That Heal Your Heart)
THE CHOCOLATE-FLAVORED GLOSSARY Chocolate Term
Flavored mixture of butter, sugar, and eggs
Cream, butter, sugar, and vanilla
(pronounced koo-vehr-TYOOR)—a French term meaning a glossy, coated chocolate
(pronounced gahn-AHSH)—a blend of the finest Belgian chocolate, cream, sweet butter, and natural flavorings
Milk, dark, or white chocolate chips
Velvety smooth, incredibly flavorful ganache centers enrobed in chocolate
(Source: Lake Champlain Chocolates.)
Creating Chocolates with Chunks of Care Charles Chocolates in Emeryville, California, offers a public tour to show people exactly how chocolates—a variety of flavors—are made. Charles Chocolates makes both candies and confections. It makes three types of candies: molded, enrobed, and handmade. Here, take a glance at how the pros do it. Nevada editor Michelle McHardy (again) shares her keen observation of the work done at the San Francisco East Bay chocolate factory: Molded Chocolates: Charles’s molds are made of polycarbonate. The molds are filled with chocolate, which is then poured out, leaving a thin layer of chocolate inside the mold. Molds are used when candy fillings are too soft to hold a shape of their own. A filling, either ganache, caramel, or marmalade, is hand filled into each individual mold. Finally, an additional layer of chocolate is added to the bottom of the mold to encase the filling. After the explanation of how molded chocolates are made, we were given a sample of a dark chocolate raspberry truffle in a heart shape with gold shading. Caroline, our tour guide, explained that a gold-colored cocoa powder is sprayed into the molds prior to the chocolate and the powder adheres to the chocolate as it cools, creating a unique goldcolored chocolate. The dark chocolate heart was slightly bitter and the filling had a bold creamy raspberry taste that almost burst onto the tongue. Enrobed Chocolates: Confections with a firmer center are cut into shapes and laced by hand on a conveyer belt. They slowly travel through a pool of chocolate as a “waterfall of chocolate” completely coats them. As the chocolate pieces pass through and leave the
chocolate waterfall they are vibrated and blown by a fan, so as to provide an even, thin layer of chocolate. Texture sheets, sheets of plastic with raised textured designs, are placed on top of each piece of candy. After cooling, the reusable texture sheets are removed, leaving the design. Transfer sheets, pieces of plastic with colorful designs, are placed on the chocolates. The designs are made with colored cocoa butter, which adheres to the chocolate as it cools. The sheets are then removed. Lines are then hand drawn into each chocolate piece. Handmade Chocolates: Confections, such as caramelized almond clusters, are hand mixed and placed on tables to cool. Charles Chocolates is currently making more than 30 different chocolates, with different items being added or removed depending on the season. Five pieces were offered to me: Raspberry Truffle, dark chocolate with a creamy raspberry ganache; Fleur de Sel Caramel, dark chocolate with caramel filling; Myler Lemon Marzipan (marzipan is a combination of almond, almond flavoring, and sugar); Caramelized Almond Cluster (almond slivers are carefully roasted to bring out the richest flavors, then dipped in sugar and mixed in milk chocolate); and bittersweet Peanut Butterflies, Chuck’s gourmet version of the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup.
EXOTIC FOODS INFUSED IN CHOCOLATE Chocolate goes well with herbs, spices, and fruits—but it doesn’t stop there. Creative chocolatiers are infusing dark chocolates and truffles with good-for-you foods, too. Not only do the pairings add an extra exotic touch, but they add texture and irresistible flavor, too. BALSAMIC VINEGAR: For 1,000 years, balsamic vinegar, coined “Aceto Balsamico,” has been considered for its medicinal properties. As with red wine vinegar, it’s grape-filled counterpart, it contains powerful antioxidants that protect against heart disease—and may even fight cancer. Best Choco Blend: Balsamic vinegar can be infused in exotic dark chocolates and truffles, baked desserts, and topped on dark chocolate ice cream. CHEESE: Like other good fatty foods, cheese does have its nutritional benefits, including calcium and protein. Best Choco Blend: Italian cheeses, including taleggio, are teamed with dark chocolate in truffles, and sauces such as a mole. MUSHROOMS: Mushrooms offer flavor to many foods, including chocolate. Low-cal and high in hearthealthy potassium, mushrooms are another one of chocolate’s favorite friends. Best Choco Blend: Mushrooms are used in exotic dark chocolate bars with walnuts, and in moles. OLIVE OIL: From ancient times to present day, olive oil, like balsamic vinegar, has been used for health (to relieve arthritis, to promote heart health, and for home cures). Extra virgin olive oil contains healthboosting nutrients, including vitamin E, essential fatty acids, phenol compounds, and disease-fighting polyphenols. Best Choco Blend: Olive oil is infused in exotic chocolates, truffles, and baked goods, including biscotti, cake, and cookies.
PEANUT BUTTER: This good-for-you fatty food, like cheese, olive oil, and chocolate, is high in hearthealthy monounsaturated fats and resveratrol. It also contains protein, vitamins B3 and E, and magnesium. Best Choco Blend: Chocolates, truffles, cookies, ice cream with dark chocolate, and dark milk chocolate. POPULAR CHOCOLATE PAIRINGS: HERBS, SPICES, AND FRUITS Dark chocolate tastes better with herbs, spices, and fruits. If you’re wondering which types of infused chocolates, bars, and truffles match up, it’s time to think outside the chocolate box. This sampling, which I have personally tried, may give you a good idea of what’s great and in store for you in the exotic chocolate world.
Sicilian Fig Cookies (Cucciddata) On Christmas Eve, a large box from Gemma Sciabica arrived on my doorstep. While she allowed me to share some of her recipes in this book, I hadn’t yet told her about including this one—and I was surprised when I read her note about the cookies. I screamed out loud, “How did she know?!” I was amazed she selected Sicilian Fig Cookies out of all of her wonderful recipes. These sweet jewels are delectable treats stuffed with healthful ingredients. As you know by now, herbs, spices, and fruits make good partners with chocolate. I love sweets and I love this Italian recipe. It contains figs, raisins, vanilla, orange, cinnamon, chocolate—and nuts (which you’ll discover are another great chocolate chum). FILLING
¾ pound dried moist figs 1 small orange (juice, peel, pulp) 1 cup raisins ½ cup almonds or hazelnuts ¾ cup walnuts 1 teaspoon cinnamon ½ teaspoon ground cloves 1 teaspoon allspice
½ cup honey ½ cup jam of your choice ½ cup mini chocolate chips
3 to 3½ cups flour 3 teaspoons baking powder 1 teaspoon salt ¾ cup sugar ½ cup Marsala Olive Oil 1 teaspoon vanilla 2 or 3 tablespoons milk if needed to hold dough together 3 eggs slightly beaten 1 teaspoon almond extract grated peel of 1 orange
Filling: In a food processor or food grinder, add fruits and nuts; grind until desired consistency. Place in mixing bowl; add remaining ingredients. Dough: Combine dry ingredients in a mixing bowl; make well in center, then add remaining ingredients. Stir until dough holds together. Divide into 4 pieces. Roll each piece about ¼ inch thick and about 4 inches wide by 8 to 10 inches long. Spoon filling along center lengthwise, leaving 1 inch on both sides to fold over and seal well. Cut logs into 1-inch-wide slices; use a crinkle cutter if desired. Place on lightly greased cookie sheets 1 inch apart. Bake at 350° F for 15 minutes or until golden. When cool, spread with thin frosting. [Optional: Decorate with chocolate sprinkles.] Thin Frosting: Combine in mixing bowl: 1 cup confectioners’ sugar, 1 teaspoon Marsala Olive Oil, 1 tablespoon Galliano or rum, and 1 or 2 tablespoons orange juice or milk. Blend until smooth. Makes 70 to 80 cookies. (Source: Baking with California Olive Oil: Dolci and Biscotti Recipes by Gemma Sanita Sciabica) Now that I’ve infused some flavored chocolates into your mind, whether it is chocolates, bars, truffles, or ice cream in your kitchen, in the next chapter you’ll discover the wide world of nuts, why this is another “forbidden” fatty food that is good for you, and which ones go best with chocolate. THE SURPRISING SECRETS TO SAVOR
Good dark chocolate gets even better when infused with good herbs, spices, and fruits. Not only do these extra ingredients help with flavor and texture, they can add an extra health boost of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Herbs, spices, and fruits can enhance your immune system, aid in digestion, fight pain, and do much more. Making fine chocolates is a fine art and takes a lot of tender loving care, whether it is using the molded, enrobed, or handmade method. Plain dark chocolate is good for youâ€”infused dark chocolate can be great for your mind, body, and spirit.
CHAPTER 8 Nuts About Chocolate Chocolate truffles are the black gold of candydom. —Jane Salzfass Freiman, writer
A few years ago, I often visited a neighbor who shared many perks: an outdoor hot tub; cable TV; highspeed Internet; a frisky dog pal for my oldest Brittany, Simon; hot tea; dark chocolate; and nuts—many kinds. I spent a lot of time at her home in between writing because it offered comfort and fun. Then, I began to add these creature comforts at my own home, one by one—including the good fatty nuts and chocolate. And finally, I started buying Hershey’s Special Dark chocolate bars. At first, I thought these would be foods that would trigger me to eat too much of a good thing. Not so. In moderation, I enjoyed both nuts and chocolate—a healthful team. Nuts, like herbs, spices, and unsweetened fruits, are often paired with dark chocolate. A variety of nuts are often found in dark chocolate bars, truffles, baked goods, and frozen desserts. And this is a good thing. NOTHING NUTTY ABOUT NUTS Too many people who struggle with unwanted pounds and body fat are too quick to say, “No, thank you” to eating nuts with or without chocolate. This is a mistake. I do eat nuts and I do eat all-natural peanut butter—in moderation. Both are high in monounsaturated fat (this is the good stuff like in chocolate and olive oil), which can help satisfy cravings for empty calorie junk food while they boast essential nutrients. Nuts, like chocolate, also contain disease-fighting polyphenols, and much more. These crunchy nuggets, like chocolate, have gotten a bad reputation for being a “bad” forbidden food. Today, we know they include arginine, plant-derived omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, vitamin E, magnesium, melatonin, protein, plant sterols, potassium, resveratrol (like chocolate), and vitamin B6.1 “The power of nuts to improve your health is extraordinary. Rich in vitamins, antioxidants, fiber, trace minerals, and a bounty of healthy fat, just a handful of walnuts a day can reduce your risk for heart disease and may help ward off Alzheimer’s disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancer. There’s also evidence that nuts could play a role in reducing inflammatory diseases like asthma and rheumatoid arthritis as well as eczema and psoriasis,” writes Steven G. Pratt, M.D., in his book SuperFoods HealthStyle (Harper).2 Here, take a look at what walnuts and their knockoffs do solo and imagine what they can do mixed with chocolate.
HEALTHY NUTS Type
What It Contains
May Help Prevent
High in flavonoids and vitamin E, fiber, monounsaturated fat, zinc
Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease, diabetes
Rich in selenium, a mineral that, like vitamin E, is a disease-fighting antioxidant
High in monounsaturated fat, copper, magnesium, and protein; no cholesterol
Vitamin E, oleic acid, phenols
Rich in monounsaturated fat, protein
Heart disease, obesity
Boasts niacin and folate—two B vitamins
Cancer, mental disorders
Antioxidant-rich like peanuts and Brazil nuts
Cancer, heart disease
Rich in monounsaturated fat
Big on phytosterols, which may lower HDL “bad” cholesterol
Cancer, heart disease
Rich in omega-3 fatty acid
When I tasted a Ver dark chocolate 75 percent cacao almond cluster, I was pleasantly surprised by the fact that it was healthful and tasted good. On the label it reads: “Low Sugar, Gluten Free, Rainforest Chocolate, Single-Origin [made using cocoa beans from one country for a distinct flavor].” And it gets better. The nutrition facts—more good stuff: A mere 210 calories per 2 pieces, no cholesterol, only 5 milligrams of sodium, 7 grams of protein, 4 grams of fiber, 6% Daily Value of calcium, 15% Daily Value of iron, and 2% Daily Value of vitamin C. Ingredients: Dark Chocolate (Unsweetened Chocolate, Crystalline Fructose, Inulin, Cocoa Butter, Non-GMO, Soy, Lecithin), Slivered Almonds. Allergen info: Created on equipment that handles nuts, soy, eggs, and milk. Expiration date: May 2009. It doesn’t get much better than that. One more thing: The flavor of the chocolate cluster was complex because it was crunchy, nutty, and chocolatey. Yes, I was (again) in the zone of chocolate heaven, and it’s a task to come back down to Earth. NUTTY CHOCOLATEY COMBINATIONS Years ago, my landlord-friend, a sophisticate who loved Europe and loved good food, was like a good teacher (like the senior in the film Harold and Maude). During our dining experiences she, in her eighties, always ordered one glass of red wine and said to the waiter, “It’s good for my heart.” And one night I remember we were sharing our tales of chocolate love. She told me without hesitation, “My favorite chocolate candy is the dark kind with nuts.” And note, my longtime food-savvy friend is now in her nineties. Nuts are used in candy—like truffles—for both extra flavor and texture. Here are some popular nut and chocolate combos you will find in chocolates, truffles, baked goods, and even hot cocoa: • Almonds—combined with hazelnuts. Dark and milk chocolate. Chocolate bars, chocolates, clusters, truffles.
• Cashews—combined with dark chocolate. Chocolate clusters. • Hazelnuts—combined with almonds. Balsamic vinegar with dark chocolate and Sicilian hazelnuts. Dark chocolate. Chocolates, truffles, baked and frozen goods, hot chocolate, and coffee. Also, hazelnuts are used in Nutella (an Italian chocolate and hazelnut spread used in desserts). • Macadamia nuts—often solo. Dark, milk chocolate, and white chocolate. Chocolates, truffles. • Peanuts—often mixed with caramel. Dark and milk chocolate. Chocolate bars, chocolates, truffles. • Pecans—often solo. Dark and milk chocolate. Chocolates, truffles. • Pine nuts—combined with chocolate in baked desserts, chocolates, and coffee. • Walnuts—often mixed with fruits including apricots. Taleggio cheese and walnuts with Tahitian vanilla bean and dark chocolate. Dark and milk chocolate. Chocolates, truffles, baked and frozen goods. Andrew’s Nutella and Peanut Butter Biscotti
2¾ cups flour 1 teaspoon salt 1½ cup sugar 2 teaspoons baking powder 3 eggs Sciabica’s or Marsala Olive Oil cup Nutella cup peanut butter 1 teaspoon vanilla ½ teaspoon Danish pastry extract (Watkins) 1 cup milk if needed to hold dough together 1 cup dark mini M&M’s
In a mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients; make well in center. Add eggs, olive oil, Nutella, peanut butter, and flavorings. Stir until blended. Add milk if needed and M&M’s. Knead dough on lightly floured surface, but only until fairly smooth—do not over knead. Cut dough into 4 or 5 pieces, roll each piece into a 2 by 10- or 12-inch-long log. Place 3 inches apart on a large, foil-lined greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350° F for about 20 minutes. Remove from oven; cool 10 to 15 minutes. Cut logs in about ¾-inch slices diagonally. Place cookies back on cookie sheet, cut side down. Bake 5 to 6 minutes to toast. Makes 40–50 cookies. VARIATION
cup peanut butter chips cup toasted coconut cup pine nuts
(Source: Gemma Sanita Sciabica and Andrew, her great-grandson) Chocolate Walnut Drops
5 tablespoons dark Dutch cocoa ½ cup sugar, brown, packed ¼ teaspoon baking powder 1 tablespoon espresso coffee powder ½ cup whole wheat flour ½ teaspoon salt ¼ teaspoon baking soda 1 egg ¼ cup Sciabica’s or Marsala Olive Oil 2 teaspoons vanilla ¼ teaspoon black walnut flavoring 2 tablespoons milk, if needed 1¾ cups walnuts, coarsely chopped ½ cup white chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease cookie sheets. In mixing bowl combine dry ingredients; make well in center. Add egg, olive oil, vanilla, black walnut flavoring, and milk. Stir batter to blend; add walnuts. Drop mixture by teaspoon 2 inches apart on greased cookie sheets. Bake cookies 14 to 15 minutes. Cool on wire rack. To frost, melt white chocolate chips in small bowl; spread on top of baked cookies. Makes 36–40 cookies. (Source: Gemma Sanita Sciabica) In the next chapter, “Matchmaking Chocolate and Wine,” you’ll discover that wine, like dark chocolate and nuts, has heart-healthy, disease-fighting antioxidants. What’s more, teaming the “forbidden” foods can be good for your mind, body, and spirit. THE SURPRISING SECRETS TO SAVOR
Nuts contain good-for-you monounsaturated fatâ€”which can be heart healthy if eaten in moderation. A variety of nuts can help lower your risk of developing heart disease, cancer, and mental disorders. Pairing nuts with quality dark chocolate can give you a double dose of antioxidants, and essential minerals and vitamins, too. Overindulging in nuts is a no-no because they are high in calories and you want to avoid unwanted weight gain.
CHAPTER 9 Matchmaking Chocolate and Wine Good wine is a good familiar creature if it be well used. —William Shakespeare
In my midthirties, after finishing graduate school during lean times, I would resort to housecleaning and pet sitting for affluent people who lived on the peninsula in the San Francisco Bay Area. One couple with two golden retrievers in Belmont hired me to stay at their home for a weekend during the summer while they went to Napa—a Mediterranean-style wine lover’s haven complete with famous wineries. I invited my younger brother, Bruce, to stay one night to pass the time watching films and playing with the dogs. I was involved in a movie (and munching on dark chocolate ice cream) when I heard him ask me if it was okay to enjoy anything he wanted to eat or drink. Not paying total attention I gave him a thumbsup. A while later, he told me the vintage wine he had consumed was “out of this world.” I got up from the sofa and asked him where he had retrieved the red wine. He answered, “The wine cellar.” My mouth opened and I was speechless. Finally, I said, “But that is special wine. It’s part of a collection.” He announced, “I’ll replace it tomorrow.” I asked him to look at the label—it was from a winery and the date was aged decades. The end result: I lost my part-time job and my brother enjoyed a very pricey bottle of red wine. Red wine and chocolate go together like a match made in heaven, especially if they are yours to enjoy. Both forbidden foods play a role in the heart-healthy Mediterranean diet (savored in moderation) and lifestyle and are an integral dietary component in Italy and other countries. RED WINE AND THE FRENCH PARADOX In my book The Healing Powers of Vinegar, I discuss the health benefits of red wine and red wine vinegar. While I do not drink, I do know that red wine is good for you and is included in the Mediterranean diet. Anita L. LaRaia, author of Pick a Perfect Wine in No Time, and director of Anita LaRaia’s Wine School, in Atlanta, Georgia, knows the perks of wine, and chocolate, too. “For over a century, European chocolate makers from Mediterranean countries such as France, Italy, and Spain have known how to indulge in Grand Cru Chocolat without getting fat or clogging their arteries. Their secret is portion control, and the double dose of antioxidants from dark chocolate and red wine.” As I explained in Chapter 6, “ The French Attitude,” it’s the French paradox that works wonders to help keep Europeans happy and healthy. We know Europeans love their butter, whole milk, cream, fine cheeses, and chocolate; and yes, these are high-fat foods. “But,” points out LaRaia, “as the French paradox studies have shown, the Europeans also drink red wine with these fattening meals.” She adds, “And it’s the red wine that accounts for the lower incidence of heart disease among Europeans compared to Americans—the ‘French Paradox.’ ” Also, both LaRaia and I know that the French and Europeans indulge in small portions of fatty foods and fine chocolates. It’s the moderation thing that keeps French
women thin and the cardiologist away. And don’t forget, the French diet also includes a lot of antioxidant-rich garlic, fruits, and vegetables. Mealtime in France is a time for relaxing—and the French do not reach for second helpings or supersized meals the way men, women, and children do in America. Food portions are smaller, and the French don’t eat as much processed fast food as Americans do. NOT JUST RED WINE—DARK CHOCOLATE CONTAINS HEALTHY COMPOUNDS, TOO Red wine is savored by the French, and the sweet fact is, it contains healthful chemicals such as tannins, quercetin, oligo, proanthocyanidin, catechins, and epicatechins. However, it’s the resveratrol in red wine—a compound that may have anticancer properties and may have substances that can also protect against heart disease by preventing inflammation of blood vessels and also preventing blood platelets from clumping. Hershey’s Center for Health and Nutrition announced the publication of a study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry that proves resveratrol is also found in cocoa and dark chocolate products. The researchers discovered that cocoa powder boasts about half as much resveratrol as the average California red wine. This ranks cocoa powder, dark chocolate, and baking chocolate in a high position for foods that contain resveratrol.1 What’s more, “Red wines get antioxidants mainly from black grape skins which color the wine red during fermentation; and dark chocolates get their antioxidants from cacao. That’s why red wines have more beneficial antioxidants than white wines, and dark chocolates have more antioxidants than milk chocolate,” explains LaRaia. RED WINE AND CHOCOLATE Like wine expert LaRaia, Georges Serna, managing director of Le Chateau at The Beverly Hilton in Southern California, knows wine and chocolate can go together like a match made in heaven. “I believe inside every bottle of wine is a story waiting to be shared. Discovering fine wines and good food is my lifelong passion, which is why I’ve helped to create Le Chateau. Located inside the worldfamous Beverly Hilton, it’s a one-of-a-kind setting for tasting fine wine and superb chocolate. I believe enjoying wine and chocolate can be an adventure for everyone,” says Serna, who notes that more than 4,500 bottles of wine from Le Chateau’s cellar are from California’s Central Coast. And, adds LaRaia, the wide world of chocolate has many parallels to the world of wine. “Single-origin chocolates are often called Grand Cru like the highest quality level of single vineyard Burgundy, or top ranked Bordeaux wines in France. Both exhibit distinct characteristics of taste due to where they are grown,” she explains, adding that the rarest chocolates are “vintage dated” like wine because weather in one growing season can make a difference in the harvest. And there’s more.... PAIRING CHOCOLATE AND WINE Here are six wine and chocolate marriages made in heaven, according to LaRaia. 1. Blane de Noir—Sparkling Wine: Craving a wine made in California or Spain made from black Pinot Noir grapes, which give the wine a pink color and the flavors of raspberry, cherry, or strawberry? It can be paired with the perfect chocolate. Perfect Chocolate Partner: LaRaia’s choice is Vosges Barcelona Bar—41 percent cacao; deep milk
chocolate with hickory-smoked almonds and grey sea salt. “The almonds and especially the sea salt make this milk chocolate tangy enough to partner dry rose sparkling wines,” she says. 2. Zinfandel (California) or Shiraz (Australia) or Malbec (Argentina): These three black grape varieties make some of the finest dry red wines in their prime territories. Zinfandel from California is described as medium-dark, dry red wine with blackberry aromas and flavors, with noticeable acidity and a high-alcohol powerhouse finish. Perfect Chocolate Partner: “Zinfandel is a good match for semi-sweet dark chocolate—and there is a sweet Zinfandel chocolate port that’s made as a chocolate sauce for pouring over ice cream, or for dipping strawberries,” says LaRaia. 3. Shiraz: Welcome to Australia’s name for the Syrah grape of Rhone, France. “Shiraz wines are known for their inky black color, spicy aromas, black raspberry flavors, and peppery finish,” notes LaRaia. Perfect Chocolate Partner: “Australia makes a sparkling Shiraz with a deep red color and very grapey flavor that is great with milk chocolates [the red wine will give you your health fix] or dark chocolate truffles,” says LaRaia, who adds that there’s another grape spin-off wine popular in California called Petite Sirah that is a perfect partner for “big, bold, single-origin dark chocolates— with or without spicy chile peppers or berries added.” 4. Malbec: Like Shiraz, this Argentinean “signature red wine” is a good mate for dark chocolate, too. “The Malbec grape originated from Bordeaux, France, and is similar to the other native Bordeaux grapes, including Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Merlot. Aromas include black currant and mocha (chocolate coffee),” explains the wine expert. Perfect Chocolate Partner: LaRaia recommends teaming Malbec with a seven-layer chocolate cake, which will provide a touch of elegance. 5. Pedro Ximenez, Sweet Dessert Wine, Montilla, Spain: Looking for a sweet wine treat? “This wine is like liquid honey—divine—and it’s made from Pedro Ximénez grapes—the same grape used to make sweet cream sherry in Spain,” notes LaRaia. Perfect Chocolate Partner: The wine gal advises pairing this wine with a bittersweet chocolate mousse cake. She adds, “The PX white dessert wine is so balanced, harmonious, and easy to digest that it is a trade secret of the wine world, and the perfect accompaniment for this dessert.” 6. Ruby or Vintage Porto: And last but not least in this wine and chocolate menu selection is a sweet red, high 20 percent alcohol dessert wine from Portugal. “Remember to serve Porto in small cordial glasses, because it is very warming,” says LaRaia. Perfect Chocolate Partner: The wine author recommends a ruby or vintage Porto would go well with a dark chocolate mousse cake. “Porto pairs well with chocolate cheesecake or chocolate pecan pie,” she adds. And some of these wines and others—Zinfandel, Shiraz, Syrah, Petite Sirah, and Malbec (or Cabernet Franc or Cabernet Sauvignon)—work well in the kitchen in Mexican mole sauces. “Mexican mole sauce is made with dark chocolate and several kinds of chile peppers. It is absolutely delicious slathered on turkey or chicken, and it makes white meat poultry breast or tenderloin very friendly to these types of dry, full-bodied red wines,” says LaRaia. SPIRITS-INFUSED CHOCOLATE Drinking wine and eating chocolate go hand in hand, but what about infusing chocolates with wine and other booze? These days, it’s a popular trend and being enjoyed all around the globe. As Truman Capote once said, “Venice is like eating an entire box of chocolate liqueurs in one go.”
Here’s a sampling of liqueur-infused chocolates and truffles for you to consider trying: beer (rich in flavonoids) + dark chocolate; cognac + dark chocolate; champagne + dark chocolate; rum + dark chocolate; bourbon-soaked maraschino cherries dipped in dark chocolate; brandy + dark chocolate and milk chocolate; and dark chocolate + red wine. Chocolate cocktails are also popular at chocolate bars and cafés. But you get both alcohol and calories —so remember, savor in moderation. And chocolate wine and liqueur sauces are another avenue to tempt you... . CHOCOLATE WINE AND LIQUEUR SAUCES—NAPA, CALIFORNIA, WINE COUNTRY Fifty years ago, Partrick’s Candy Shop gave people in Napa, California, a taste of the sweet life with its confections. Born and raised in Napa, Anette Madsen and her brother Brent, master chocolatier, replaced the 20th-century candy spot 18 years ago with Anette’s Chocolates, which boasts American-style chocolates (the centers are sweet, scrumptious). Wine truffles and wine brittles are just a few of the wide variety of creative chocolates and confections at this 21st-century shop in the heart of wine country. But bottles of chocolate wine and liqueur sauces are not ignored. The shop’s most novel creation is rich chocolate infused with fine wines to create sumptuous wine truffles and chocolate wine sauces. Anette, 45, told me that the wine sauces make superb dessert toppings drizzled over ice cream, or sliced strawberries. But it doesn’t stop there because the wine sauces can also be paired with baked pears and peaches, vanilla custard, pineapple upside-down cake, cheesecake, double chocolate brownies, or even poured into your favorite cup of java. Imagine chocolate cabernet wine sauce (dark chocolate and cabernet wine), classic port chocolate wine sauce (a smooth blend of chocolate and port wine), and even Belgian chocolate sauce (rich dark chocolate—without alcohol), and other chocolatey liqueur sauces. And spoonable chocolate merlot fudge sauce—you can’t get more decadent than that, right? Wrong. Anette’s darkest chocolate blended with Merlot wine poured over fresh strawberries, dark chocolate cake, or dark chocolate ice cream can be a perfect match made in Mediterranean heaven. Okay, enough about wine-infused chocolates and sauces. How about a chocolate cake to team with your wine choice? This recipe is created by my favorite Italian cook/author. (A photo I saw of this cake shows the detail of the hobnail icing, which is breathtaking—and I couldn’t resist sharing this recipe with you. If you want to make an impression and take someone’s breath away, here is the recipe that will do just that.) Cocoa Chiffon Cake with Hobnail Icing
1 cup egg whites (7 or 8) 1 teaspoon cream of tartar ¾ cup boiling water ½ cup cocoa 1¾ cups cake flour 3 teaspoons baking powder
1¾ cups sugar 1 teaspoon salt ¼ cup Marsala Olive Oil 7 egg yolks ½ teaspoon vanilla ¼ teaspoon red food coloring
In large mixing bowl beat egg whites with cream of tartar until very stiff peaks form—do not under beat. In another bowl, stir water and cocoa until smooth. Combine dry ingredients in mixing bowl; make well in center. Add in order: oil, yolks, cocoa mixture, flavoring, and food coloring. Blend with spoon until smooth. Pour egg yolk mixture gradually over whipped egg whites, gently folding with rubber spatula just until blended. Do not stir! Pour immediately into ungreased 10-inch tube pan. Bake in 325°F degree oven for 55 minutes, then 350° for 10 to 15 minutes more or until top springs back when lightly touched. Immediately turn pan upside down, placing tube part over neck of bottle or funnel; cool completely. Loosen from sides and tube with slim metal spatula. Turn pan over and hit edge sharply on table to loosen. Frost with Hobnail Icing if desired. Serves 16 to 18. HOBNAIL ICING
1 cup confectioners’ sugar 2 tablespoons milk 3 tablespoons Marsala Olive Oil ½ teaspoon vanilla 2 or 3 egg yolks 2 squares unsweetened chocolate (2 ounces) melted ½ teaspoon Danish pastry extract
Combine above in mixing bowl; place in another larger bowl with ice water. Beat with rotary beater until consistency to spread (3 to 5 minutes). Spread smoothly on cake. To make hobnail pattern, press tip of spoon into icing, pull up and out. Makes 16 to 18 servings. (Source: Baking with California Olive Oil: Dolci and Biscotti Recipes by Gemma Sanita Sciabica) Speaking of red wine and good health, in Part 4, “Youth in a Cup,” you’ll learn how hot chocolate and how teaming coffee and chocolate are two more hot Mediterranean secrets to staying healthy, maintaining your weight, stalling age-related diseases, and living a longer, happier life. THE SURPRISING SECRETS TO SAVOR Combining red wine and dark chocolate can be done, and you get plenty of antioxidants to keep your heart healthy—if you consume these foods in moderation.
The French paradox exists and makes sense. The French people who do eat a high-fat diet in small portions and get a move on daily—plus drink antioxidant-rich red wine—stay healthy, live longer. The traditional combination keeps the French and other Europeans lean with less heart disease than Americans. Both red wine and dark chocolate have been found to contain resveratrol, a compound that is linked to heart health. Pairing the right red wine with the right dark chocolate desserts is an art that can be learned for your palate’s and health’s sake. Booze-infused truffles and other chocolate desserts do have their health benefits, too.
PART 4 YOUTH IN A CUP
CHAPTER 10 A Cuppa Coffee and Chocolat I should have a musette full of chocolate. These I should distribute with a kind word and a pat on the back. —Ernest Hemingway
In my early thirties, I was in a long-term romantic relationship with a video engineer in the San Francisco Bay Area who was trying to reignite the flame in our love life, and he sailed the full nine yards—planning unforgettable surprises to court me, again. Yes, it included coffee and chocolate. He set out on his new 27-foot sailboat to Benicia. I joined him later in the artsy town at The Union Hotel, a romantic getaway with 12 rooms. Our refuge was coined Coast Lotus, an upstairs charming suite with a large window view of the bay. The hotel room with European touches included a spacious private bathroom with a Jacuzzi for two. Early in the evening, he surprised me with a room service treat: hot espresso and Dutch chocolate mousse. The entire event was an event to cherish for life—especially the tub, chocolate, and coffee trio. A cuppa coffee and chocolat go together like a man and a woman in love. Like wine, espresso, lattes, and chocolate are popular in Italy. Tuscany, known as a hot chocolate spot, is a place countless people enjoy coffee and chocolate, which can be healing for the body, mind, and spirit. (No, we didn’t reunite, despite the chocolate romantic adventure.) Still, medical researchers show that the benefits of both coffee and chocolate have been proven to help lower the risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and obesity. Here, let me show you how to count the ways, with respect to the romantic poet Emily Dickinson, that you, too, can feel the long-lasting love for the perfect duo: quality coffee and chocolate. THE HISTORICAL HEALING POWERS OF COFFEE Like chocolate, the roots of coffee (the coffee bean is the seed of the coffee tree) go way back in time. Some believe that coffee was discovered in the 1400s in Ethiopia, and also that it was being cultivated in Yemen at the same time. And much like the cocoa bean boon, coffee beans were exported from Ethiopia to Yemen, where Yemeni traders brought coffee back to their homeland and cultivated beans. In the 1400s, Mocha (al-Mukha), Yemen, was the port for exporting coffee. It was touted for its chocolatey taste. In the 1500s, the first coffeehouse was established in Istanbul, Turkey. The glitch is, because of its stimulant effects it didn’t get rave reviews until the Dutch, Greeks, Turks, and Italians—all seemed to have an interest in the coffee bean. The end result: in the 1600s coffee made its splash in Europe. The first coffeehouse opened in Venice in the late 1600s, and the Caffe Florian in Piazza San Marco opened in 1720. In the late 1770s, America was introduced to coffee (whether it was the French who were behind it or not is unknown), and the first coffeehouses debuted on the East Coast in cities such as New York and Boston.
The 20th century glorified coffee in the Bohemian Beatnik era of the 1950s, and in Seattle, Washington, a place where Starbucks and coffeehouses became an American trend that swept through the nation on into the 21st century. These days, coffee, a health food chock-full of disease-fighting polyphenols, is popular around the world—as coffee roasts, flavored coffees, organic coffee, different coffee drinks, and more. (Sources: Wikipedia, www.caffedamore.com, and a variety of Web sites.) LIKE COFFEE, LIKE CHOCOLATE: HEALTH FOODS Both chocolate and coffee were more than once tagged “forbidden” foods because of their potent powers and potential effects. But today, medical researchers and nutritionists know that both foods contain polyphenols and a variety of health benefits to write home about. According to Oldways, the organization that praises the traditional Mediterranean diet and lifestyle, coffee is good for your health as part of a traditional diet—the Mediterranean diet. Yes, a café con leche in Spain to a rich espresso in Italy to a sweet and dark Turkish coffee are all an embraced part of the Mediterranean diet, which includes olive oil, whole grains, fresh vegetables and fruits—everything I’ve been touting in my books The Healing Powers of Vinegar and The Healing Powers of Olive Oil—and my own diet. And yes, antioxidant-rich, polyphenol-rich coffee, like chocolate, red wine, and olive oil, is good for you—in moderation. Oldways hosted “Good News for Coffee Lovers” at a luncheon in New York City in March 2006. Here, take a look at the findings: Those who drank coffee daily versus those who never consumed any had a lower risk of Parkinson’s disease, rectal cancer, and gallstone disease. Also, coffee may reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, increases alertness, enhances concentration, reduces fatigue, and may reduce the risk of developing liver cancer and type 2 diabetes. Caffeine content stimulates the brain and nervous system and may lower your risk of developing type 2 diabetes, mood woes, even headaches and more. What’s more, scientists claim coffee contains chlorogenic acid, a compound in the antioxidant family that may improve glucose (sugar) metabolism. Coffee, like chocolate, contains the mineral magnesium, also believed to improve insulin sensitivity and enhance glucose tolerance, which may help stave off type 2 diabetes.1 A LITTLE JAVA AND CHOCOLATE FOR BURNING FAT Researchers have also discovered that drinking two cups of coffee will increase metabolism significantly for at least three hours afterward, according to several past nutrition studies. This effect may be due to the caffeine, which can burn calories. For a double effect, try pairing a piece of dark chocolate with 70 percent cocoa content and a cup of quality java. Or, sip a coffee mocha. But note, coffee isn’t for everyone. Too much of it can trigger side effects such as headaches, roller coaster mood swings, insomnia, anxiety, and even panic attacks. Again, the key is moderation. And yes, I can tell you that this formula will give you the drive to get a move on and get involved in a fat-burning activity. I’m not talking about vigorous high-intensity aerobic exercise, but keep moving by doing fun fat-burning activities, so you are able to stay active for a longer period of time. A LEXICON FOR COFFEE ’N’ CHOCOLATE
Here are several coffee terms to help you get a handle on your next mug of coffee (at home, a coffee shop, or a restaurant)—because any of these tasty and healing brews can be enhanced with chocolate and/or calcium-rich milk. Opt for 1 to 2 percent low-fat milk to keep it healthy. (Whole milk is fine but [again] in moderation.) Café Au Lait (Sometimes called a “misto”)—a way to serve coffee from France, coffee with steamed milk and a small amount of foam added. Cappuccino—a shot or shots of espresso filled to the top with frothed milk (foam) and a small amount of steamed milk. Espresso—1. (method of brewing) a shot of espresso using 1 to 1½ oz of finely ground espresso coffee brewed under extremely high pressure 2. type of coffee that has been specifically blended and roasted to a dark color to achieve a full bodied flavor. Latte—a shot or shots of espresso filled with steamed milk and about an inch of frothed milk (foam) at the top. Mocha—a latte with chocolate added. (Source: www.coffee-illuminated.com) A TASTE OF CAFFE Now you know that coffee has health virtues (I drink one large mug of brewed java every day before breakfast). I was awakened in more ways than one when one morning the phone rang and it was Paul Comi, president of Caffe D’Amore. I got a crash course about coffee, chocolate, and the wide selection of coffees and coffee flavorings. I had no idea what I was missing, but I soon found out, thanks to the variety of samples, that coffee and chocolate go together in many ways, which brought Italy home to me. I knew Bellagio coffee was European, but I didn’t know other facts that Paul let me in on. “We roast in a classic Northern Italian style. We are batch roasters, so that all roasts are fresh daily,” Comi explained. With these fresh roasted, ground coffees, the consumer, like me and you, can add in the Barista chocolate flavor of our choice and taste. So, I eagerly await Barista Truffle, White Chocolate, and Caramel to use with the Bellagio coffee. What’s more, Comi mentioned that his grandmother, Madelena Cavanna, introduced the first flavored cappuccino in Italy in the 1850s in her ristorante/pensione in Bellagio, Italy. He told me, “She made it by adding Belgian chocolate and two liqueurs to her coffee and topped it with whipped cream. This was tantamount to an act of heresy in Italy at that time, and even today in many areas where coffee is sacrosanct. She dubbed it ‘Caffè D’Amore Con un Bacio’—‘the coffee of love with a kiss.’ It was an immediate sensation and when she emigrated to the U.S. she opened restaurants in Boston and Revere Beach, Massachussetts, and her last in Durham, Connecticut.” Comi adds, “My wife, Eva, created the world’s finest flavored instant cappuccino in 1969 and we named it after my grandmother’s concoction.” Today, Caffè D’Amore’s chocolate and coffee brand, Bellagio, is served in leading restaurants, and four- and five-star hotels around the world. PERFECT PICKS: COFFEE AND DESSERT Like pairing fine wine with chocolate, your experience with pairing coffee can be equally rewarding. But note, there are some tips to help your pick and your taste buds. And remember, the Mediterranean diet includes desserts, such as fresh fruit, pastries, and ice cream, a few times per week. So, go ahead—
indulge yourself. Try these coffee-smart suggestions, courtesy of www.coffee-illuminated.com next time you’re in the mood for a cup of Joe and dessert.
A delicate, fruity dessert: fruit tarts, any dessert containing berries
Enjoy an acidic but light and sweet coffee. Some coffee regions that would provide these traits are Brazil, Colombia, Guatemala, and Jamaica.
For desserts with a taste of texture such as cakes or tiramisu
Pair them with a medium roast brew with an even balance of acidity and body. An African coffee would be a perfect match. Check out regions like Ethiopia, Tanzania, and Kenya.
A richer dessert such as chocolate cheesecake
A slightly heavier coffee such as Mocha Yemen or Sumatra coffee would be perfect.
A dark chocolate mousse or a double Dutch chocolate cake
Stick with French and Italian roasts, which tend to be dark and full bodied—a perfect balance of richness.
A dark ganache
Italian roast; the bold java with a slightly sweet aroma complements the thick richness of the ganache.
A nutty dessert, a cake
French roast. This coffee enhances the nuttiness of the dessert while balancing richness and flavor.
Dark chocolate French truffle, a rich fruity dessert
Espresso. Because of the acidity in this coffee, the bittersweet flavor of the chocolate comes through. The espresso enhances the fruit flavors.
Joe the Choco-Java Dog Dog lovers know that chocolate can be bad news for canines, but what about chocolatecovered espresso beans? Shortly after Megan Malyutin of Maryland met her to-be husband, they celebrated her birthday. The first thing that he found out about her was her love of coffee followed by her love of chocolate. And he gave her a thoughtful present to show his love: dark chocolate– covered espresso beans. At that time, Megan owned two Labrador retrievers: one yellow, Evie, and one black, Jewel. “Evie had a knack for getting herself in trouble,” points out her guardian, who adds that her pooch was a clever food thief—including chocolate. This time around, Megan thought she had outwitted Evie by putting her chocolate coffee gift in a safe place in her room to enjoy in moderation. “The next day, I went to my room and there on the floor was the box of chocolate beans—empty!” She screamed, “Oh no!” and found Evie hiding under the bed looking guilty. For the next 24 hours, Megan observed her chocoholic dog, who had gotten a double dose of trouble with the espresso beans. “Usually she is very laid back. Though, after her binge, she ran around the house in short spurts at top speed,” recalled the dog’s concerned
caretaker. “She was incredibly energetic. I had never seen her quite that animated before the incident.” The day after, Evie was back to normal. And Megan vows to hide any chocolate-covered espresso beans in a more dog-resistant spot. For more information on dogs and chocolate, refer to Chapter 16, “Chocolate Is Not for Everyone: Some Bittersweet Views.”
SPECIAL COFFEE AND DESSERT RECIPES Basic Latte This recipe should be used as a base for all latte drinks. 1. Steam your milk, making sure to create some foam. 2. Once it reaches the right temperature, pull 2 shots of espresso. (If you’re adding flavors, add them to your cup and then when espresso has brewed, pour it in and stir with flavors.) 3. As soon as espresso is brewed pour into ceramic mug. 4. Pour hot milk, allowing foam to pour smoothly. 5. When the mug is full, you should have about an inch of foam on the top of your latte. Mocha Pour 2 ounces Mocha (Chocolate) syrup into mug. Add two shots of espresso. Stir. Fill with steamed milk. Top with whipped cream if desired. (Source: www.coffee-illuminated.com) Espresso Walnut Cake
7 eggs separated (room temperature) ½ teaspoon cream of tartar 1½ cups sugar ½ teaspoon salt 2 cups flour 3 teaspoons baking powder 1 tablespoon cocoa 1¼ cups walnuts, ground 1 teaspoon instant espresso coffee
powder 1 cup orange juice ¼ cup Marsala Olive Oil 1 teaspoon vanilla 1 teaspoon pure maple extract ¼ teaspoon black walnut extract
Preheat oven to 325°F. In large bowl add egg whites and cream of tartar; beat until foamy. Gradually add ½ cup sugar; continue beating until stiff peaks form, about 4 to 5 minutes. In another bowl add dry ingredients; make well in center; add juice, olive oil, egg yolks, and flavorings. Stir until well blended. Fold egg whites into batter gently until evenly blended. (Do not stir.) Pour batter into an ungreased 10 x 4 inch tube pan. Bake cake 55 minutes; turn oven heat up to 350°; bake another 10 to 15 minutes or until cake springs back when gently pressing top with finger. Cool cake completely, inverting by placing tube of pan over funnel or neck of a bottle. (Do not remove while warm —cake will shrink.) To remove cake from pan, insert table knife or spatula between cake and side of pan until tip touches bottom. Pull spatula out; repeat all around edge. Use slender table knife to loosen cake from center tube. Turn pan over; hit sharply on table. Place cake onto cake plate. Frost with coffee frosting or coffee ice cream. Serves 12. COFFEE FROSTING
1 teaspoon instant espresso coffee powder 2 tablespoons orange juice or milk 1 teaspoon pure maple extract 1 teaspoon Marsala Olive Oil teaspoon black walnut extract 1½ cups confectioners’ sugar ¼ cup ground walnuts
Combine all ingredients; stir until smooth. Add 1 or 2 more tablespoons orange juice if needed to make thin frosting. Drizzle on top of cake; let run down sides. Sprinkle top with ground walnuts. (Source: Baking with California Olive Oil: Dolci and Biscotti Recipes by Gemma Sanita Sciabica) Now you know more about the world of coffee and chocolate. In the next chapter you’ll discover why hot chocolate is also getting kudos in the health world and around the globe. THE SUPRISING SECRETS TO SAVOR Coffee and chocolate go together like bread and olive oil, whether you are in America or Europe.
Both “forbidden” foods have received both good and bad raps, but these days both foods are getting their good reputations back, and for good reason. Together coffee and chocolate pack a hardy punch of antioxidants and other compounds that can boost brainpower, fight type 2 diabetes, and more. Both chocolate and coffee can help you lose body fat and pounds—in different ways. Teaming milk with coffee and chocolate provides you with extra minerals, such as calcium and vitamin D.
CHAPTER 11 A Toast to Hot Cocoa and Long Life! If one swallows a cup of chocolate only three hours after a copious lunch, everything will be perfectly digested and there will still be room for dinner. —Brillat-Savarin
When I was a kid, hot chocolate made with dark Hershey’s Cocoa played a role in our household. On cool autumn nights and chilly winter days, my mother would make this hearty beverage topped with miniature marshmallows and served in large copper mugs. It was a treat to savor this warming beverage while sitting by the fireplace in our family room and watching movies on television complete with our playful spotted pooch, Casey. Hot chocolate gave me fond memories that are comforting, and I continued to include the wholesome tradition in my life through the years, whether it was with family, with friends, or solo. And these memories of hot chocolate (also called hot cocoa, drinking chocolate, or cocoa) linger on throughout the years. Last winter, for instance, I often indulged in organic chocolate milk and heated it up for a quick and soothing hot cocoa fix. It comforted me during the cold, snowy days in Tahoe but also as I cuddled up with my two Brittanys and cat by the fire in the old rock fireplace while watching the charming film Chocolat. Hot chocolate makes a statement more than once with more than one character in the movie. Vianne Rocher, a single mother with a six-year-old daughter, moves to rural France and opens up a chocolate shop. She offers cocoa with a spicy kick to a senior gentleman to help him get his groove back. And it does. But that’s not all.... She and river drifter Roux (Johnny Depp)—both free spirits—make a romantic connection. An ongoing theme is that Vianne offers Roux her delicious chocolate in a variety of forms but doesn’t seem to win his heart with the right choice. One time he says, “Very good ... but not my favorite.” At the end of the film, Vianne wins her man Roux and his preferred chocolate, as he says, “I thought you’d never guess. My favorite—hot chocolate.” And I assume that the fictive twosome live happily ever after into their golden years. LONG LIVE HOT CHOCOLATE As mentioned earlier in Chapter 2, “A Genesis of Chocolate,” the first chocolate beverage “xocolatl” (warm liquid) is said to have been concocted by the Mayan Indians about 2,000 years ago. However, the bitter drink—drank both cold and warm—was tinkered with by many hands in many cultures until a sweet-tasting hot chocolate was finally created, turning the beverage into a hot “luxury item” within the European royalty by the late 1500s. In the early 1700s, Vienna became known for its hot chocolate—rich and thick—served with glasses of cold water to make it drinkable.1 While hot chocolate was popular, for centuries only the elite were allowed to drink it. It was considered to be the “rich colonist’s potion” and the everyday person was not allowed to drink the
beverage. So, royalty and cardinals savored hot chocolate but it was the servants who made it—and it was hard work to whip up the concoction to make it rich and foamy. At last hot chocolate made its way to America in the 1600s through the help of the Dutch, it wasn’t sold until the mid-1700s. These days, the hot beverage is still popular in the United States, Europe, and Mexico—but its contents and preparation differ in style and taste depending on where you live and your preference. And the best part is, hot chocolate is available to everyone. A DIFFERENT TASTE OF HOT COCOA These days, hot chocolate is a heated beverage (it also can be served as an iced drink) that contains chocolate or cocoa powder, heated milk or water, and sugar. Hot chocolate is thought of as a longtime, popular drink for pleasure—and for all ages. But medical researchers are discovering that hot chocolate boasts health benefits that may boost longevity, thanks to the disease-fighting antioxidants in the cocoa. One day after swimming at the health spa I frequent (which has a Mediterranean twist), I decided to treat myself to hot chocolate. I ordered a cup of what I thought would contain milk—but was surprised that it was a European type with water and a thick texture. I can’t say I didn’t like it, but I can say it was different, and as an American I was surprised. Hot chocolate is enjoyed throughout the world and is made very thick “cioccolata densa” in Italy, and thinner in America.
HOT CHOCOLATE COMES IN A VARIETY OF STYLES Region
Texture and Taste
Instant form, made with hot water or milk from cocoa powder, sugar, and dry milk
Thin; sweet solo and sweeter, topped with marshmallows, whipped cream, or a piece of chocolate
Instant powder form; tablets that are dissolved in hot milk, water, or cream
Creamy froth; includes semi-sweet chocolate, cinnamon, sugar, and vanilla
Europe (Belgium, England, Italy)
Steamed milk, bittersweet chips; powder
Thick, semi-sweet some times extremely thick like chocolate pudding
COCOA CAN HELP STALL FATHER TIME Hot chocolate—whatever the style—may help you to stall age-related diseases and chronic health ailments. Just turn to the fountain of youth in a mug. Experts agree. The healthier you are, the younger you feel and look. Maybe you cannot turn back the clock, but with the help of chocolate you can slow the aging process from head to toe—and it’s the disease-fighting antioxidants once again. Cocoa powder contains health-promoting polyphenols, naturally occurring compounds that act as powerful antioxidants—not only in dark chocolate but in the beverage hot chocolate. That’s right, these potent antiaging antioxidants I continue praising are in that mug of hot cocoa full of antiaging compounds. Here, let me show you again, but this time with an age-related spin on these goodfor-you cutting-edge nutrients:
Catechin: This polyphenol can help boost your immune system, from colds to cancer. Ever notice that folks over 50 are supposed to get a flu shot? It’s about keeping the immune system strong. As we age, our bodies become more vulnerable to colds and flu—which can turn into acute bronchitis to pneumonia. Epicatechin: A smaller flavonal that can help keep heart disease—the number one killer in both men and women, according to the American Heart Association—at bay as well as stave off diabetes, a disease that is forecasted to skyrocket in the coming years, especially if people do not make positive changes in their diet and lifestyle. Baby boomers and seniors are dealing with metabolic syndrome, which is a cluster of woes: high blood pressure and cholesterol, obesity, and type 2 diabetes. Flavonols: A group of compounds that may help to lower the risk of developing heart disease, some forms of cancer, and diabetes. Again, these are the diseases that can be real culprits as you age. Resveratrol: A popular compound found in wine and cocoa that may help protect against heart disease— the biggest concern for women and men, especially over 50. To prevent heart problems, you should turn to the Mediterranean diet and lifestyle (go back to Chapter 6, “The French Attitude”); if you are overweight, lose weight to keep your “good” HDL cholesterol levels up; and drink antioxidant-rich hot chocolate—in moderation. Speaking of lifestyle changes ... METABOLIC SYNDROME MEDITERRANEAN BACKLASH When I wrote The Healing Powers of Vinegar and The Healing Powers of Olive Oil, I witnessed friends and acquaintances in their forties and fifties battle metabolic syndrome. It is often called a “silent killer,” because it is a deadly combo of obesity, high blood cholesterol, insulin resistance, and high blood pressure. What I find intriguing, however, as I write The Healing Powers of Chocolate is that not only are Americans affected by this cluster of health woes, but Europeans who now live in the United States are also battling the syndrome. “How can this be?” I thought. I have had conversations with both middle-aged and elderly people from Belgium, Italy, and France who are overweight and have type 2 diabetes. And then it hit me. These European folks residing in the United States are doing exactly what the Hawaiian people are doing—or should I say not doing. I wrote about this phenomenon years ago. The traditional Hawaiian diet is vegetarian based with some fish, and it has been proven to lower the risk of obesity, and heart disease. But once Hawaiians began to overindulge in high-fat, processed American fare things changed. By not following the traditional Hawaiian diet and lifestyle, this, in turn, results in obesity, high blood pressure and cholesterol, and diabetes. And metabolic syndrome can shorten your life span whatever your roots are if your diet and lifestyle are not healthy.
Long Live Two Italians, an Old-Fashioned Couple Meet Joseph Sciabica, 94, and his wife Gemma, 84. Joseph has been an olive oil maker since 1936. His father, Nicola, and he began with the grassroots of olive oil production, which he learned in Sicily, Italy, as a young man. In Waterbury, Connecticut, in the 1940s, it was common for Joseph to deliver a load of wine grapes and olive oil to an Italian family in the city. In fact, Nick Sciabica & Sons sold olive oil directly to Italian families from 1936 to 1968.
In the 21st century, Joseph and Gemma, who live in Modesto, California, follow the traditional Mediterranean diet and lifestyle—their good health and quality life is living proof. Joseph isn’t overweight, doesn’t have high blood pressure or high cholesterol, nor does Gemma (she does watch her sodium intake). Joseph is monitoring his diet closely because he does have borderline diabetes—but this is treatable with both diet and lifestyle. The couple both eat the foods in the Mediterranean diet—and found in each and every one of Gemma’s cookbooks—fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy, poultry, nuts, and, of course, extra virgin olive oil. Joseph also has one glass of homemade red wine with his dinner each night. And yes, chocolate does play a role in the health-conscious couple’s life, too. Gemma told me as a child her mother served her cocoa every morning; her dessert recipes often include cocoa powder, baking chocolate, and chocolate chips. And Joseph does eat chocolate almonds in moderation. So if one follows the Oldways’ Traditional Mediterranean diet and lifestyle, good health and great longevity can be the reward.
THE HEART, BLOOD, BRAIN, AND COCOA While I’m on the topic of heart problems, whether it is blood pressure or cholesterol, in my book Doctors’ Orders: What 101 Doctors Do to Stay Healthy (Kensington), I wrote as we grow older, we are more prone to have a stroke, and pointed out Stephen T. Sinatra, M.D., a board-certified cardiologist and certified antiaging specialist in Manchester, Connecticut. “High blood pressure is a major risk factor for stroke—more for a stroke than a heart attack.”2 So what causes a stroke, anyhow? “The same thing that causes a heart attack. It can be a narrowing of a blood vessel in the brain or a blood clot,” explained Dr. Sinatra. The things that Dr. Sinatra recommended to prevent a stroke include: keep your blood pressure down, get essential fatty acids—such as omega-3s —to prevent plaque rupture, keep your weight down, don’t smoke, own your own anger, and exercise regularly. A study done by Harvard researchers has linked cocoa flavanols to improved brain blood flow. In other words, cocoa compounds show promise for future potential for debilitating brain conditions including stroke and dementia (a brain disorder that causes deterioration of the mind, such as memory loss). Harvard medical scientists conducted a study of healthy, older adults ages 59–83. They discovered that the people who regularly drank a cocoa flavanol-rich beverage using the Mars, Incorporated Cocoapro process had an 8 percent increase in brain blood flow after one week, and 10 percent after two weeks. “The totality of the research on cocoa flavanols is impressive. This is just one more study adding to an increasing body of literature connecting regular cocoa flavanol consumption to blood flow and vascular health improvements throughout the body,” said Harold Schmitz, Ph.D., chief science officer at Mars, Inc., which has supported research on cocoa flavanols for more than 15 years. “Though more research is needed, these findings raise the possibility that flavanol-rich cocoa products could be developed to help slow brain decline in older age.”3 And now, people who indulge in chocolate, wine, and tea—all rich in flavonoids—may enhance brainpower, according to a Norwegian study published in the Journal of Nutrition. Researchers at
Oxford’s Department of Physiology, Anatomy, and Genetics studied the link between brain performance and these three foods. The test included 2,021 people between ages 70 and 74. Those who ate chocolate, wine, and tea showed better test scores than those who did not.4 ADD YEARS TO YOUR LIFE: MODERATION, MODERATION, MODERATION So, while researchers are busy at work finding out how cocoa compounds can help people age better (mind and body), more people are living longer in both America and Europe. To add years of good health to your life, a healthy lifestyle is the secret. Humans live longer if they eat right and get physical and practice moderation in everything they do. In addition, other secrets may contribute to a quality life—and yes, that includes drinking cocoa in moderation.
LIVE LONGER SECRET #1—A NATURAL DIET: A good way to keep your body youthful and healthy is by dishing up high-quality, fresh food. Forget buying and eating processed foods, which may increase age-related diseases, including obesity, heart disease, and cancer, and shorten your life span. Turn to an all-natural diet. That means a diet that offers high-quality, minimally processed ingredients without fillers, sugar, or chemical preservatives. Look for a food, such as dark chocolate—even ice cream to be eaten in moderation—that lists a small number of ingredients that you can pronounce (e.g., all-natural Amazon Valley Chocolate ice cream: cocoa powder, skim milk, cream, sugar, eggs, chocolate). You can find natural cocoa products at grocery stores, at health food stores, or through online chocolate makers and chocolatiers (see “Chocolate Resources”). LIVE LONGER SECRET #2—NATURAL SUPPLEMENTS: To maintain good health, holistic doctors recommend an all-natural diet plus a quality, general natural vitamin and mineral supplement. The specific needs will vary depending on your age, gender, and state of health. Check with your doctor or pharmacist on the correct dosages and requirements for you. And note, do indulge in nutrient-rich cocoa. LIVE LONGER SECRET #3—STAY FIT: To stay young and live longer you need to not only eat an antioxidant diet and drink antioxidant-rich beverages, such as hot chocolate, but also get a move on daily—as do the French who follow the traditional lifestyle.
We know that regular physical activity can help stall the aging process. Some of its perks include making the heart healthy; making the blood less likely to clot; reducing the risk of stroke (as we grow older we are more apt to be stricken by a blood clot); and keeping weight in check. (I know that exercise can lower your blood pressure because I swim several times per week, and my numbers are often 120/70 —and less.) Aerobic activity is the way to burn body fat and calories. Choose fun activities—such as walking your dog, swimming solo, or jogging with a friend. Aim for 30 minutes (at least) of exercise daily, because it takes at least 20 minutes to raise your heart rate to a fat-burning level. By exercising each day—and liking it as well as enjoying the endorphin high (like my dogs do after their romp outside)—and teaming this with an 8-ounce mug of hot chocolate (hold the whipped cream, except on occasion), you can rev up your quality and quantity of years of life.
LIVE LONGER SECRET #4—FEWER MEDICATIONS: Most holistic doctors and an increasing number of traditional physicians advise people to pare down the medications to the lowest possible and turn to healthier diet and lifestyle changes. For more information, contact the American Heart Association, American Cancer Society, and American Diabetic Association. Refer to Chapter 12, “Home Remedies from Your Kitchen.” You’ll be surprised how chocolate can beat many pesky ailments instead of taking medications. LIVE LONGER SECRET #5—PEARLY WHITES PROTECTION: To stave off tooth and gum woes—which may be linked to potential heart disease—regular dental checkups and a home dental routine can preserve your teeth. Consult your dentist and dental hygienist about the best dental treatment for you. LIVE LONGER SECRET #6—HEALTHY SKIN: Experts largely agree a healthy skin and glow is a reflection of your overall health and well-being. It goes back to moderation and diet. Eat an antioxidant-rich diet, exercise, and use sunscreen and forget the tan to avoid skin cancer and aging skin. LIVE LONGER SECRET #7—PURE WATER: While a good diet and exercise are major longevity boosters, so is H2O. Water keeps wastes and toxins flushed out of the body. Doctors will tell you water aids the lymphatic system and the kidneys. Drink six to eight 8ounce glasses of water daily. LIVE LONGER SECRET #8—A HEALTHY ENVIRONMENT: A clean lifestyle boosts human longevity. Indoor and outdoor air pollution can be toxic to your health. Eat organic foods whenever possible, vacuum dust regularly, and ventilate your house well yearround. LIVE LONGER SECRET #9—AVOID DEADLY TRAPS: Be cautious about smoking, secondhand smoke, drinking too much alcohol, getting up on ladders, tripping over cords, and slipping on black ice. Falls can cause injuries to your bones, which can create a mixed-bag of health woes. LIVE LONGER SECRET #10—LOVE: Above all, love is a key secret to boosting your life span. Love comes in all forms, including a spouse, a sibling, children, friends, and companion animals—and all can help boost longevity.
Not only will these fountain-of-youth secrets contribute to a longer life and positive living for you, but you will enjoy your life. THE PROOF MAY BE IN THE CHOCOLATE Speaking of enjoyment ... An intriguing past study conducted by Harvard researchers has shown a link between eating candy and living longer. In an ongoing study of men between 1916 and 1950, data included information about those who ate candy. The results were that the candy eaters—the data did not show if the sweets were sugar confectionery or chocolate—lived almost one year longer than those who didn’t eat any candy. The men who ate candy in moderation, one to three times per month, had the best results. Evidently, for the candy eaters, the antioxidant phenol may have been the secret to their living longer. “Phenol is found in chocolate,” noted I-Min Lee, lead author of the study. “Phenol is also found in red
wine, and we know that red wine is heart healthy.” The researchers also speculated that cacao can be beneficial for cholesterol and boost the immune system, which may help lower the risk of developing heart disease and cancer—two risk factors that increase as you age.5 COCOA AND A POSITIVE ATTITUDE In the past, I have written articles about how people can achieve better health through adopting a positive attitude—and antiaging experts know this is true. Also, I have had friends, past and present, older than me who I have noticed are upbeat, active, and health conscious—keys to living a longer, healthier life. For instance, geologist Jim Berkland, in Glen Ellen, near Napa—another chocolate (and wine) hot spot —has the spirit of a teenager and the energy of a youngster. At 79, he golfs, hikes, travels to other countries, speaks about Earth changes on national radio, goes to church every Sunday, and tends to seniors who are disabled. Berkland, a happily married man and proud grandfather, is an extraordinary role model of an energetic senior who is living a longer, quality life. And yes—he eats and loves chocolate. Balance and moderation are the key to your health and well-being—a well-rounded diet (including hot cocoa), work and play, and healthy relationships with both humans and pets are keys to surviving the change of growing older and staying younger, gracefully. 1. If you are solo, hug or adopt a companion animal. Caring for a pet can help lower blood pressure and reduce stress. (Yes, hot chocolate can do it, too.) 2. Talk to a human. Feel lonely? Pick up the phone and call someone you know. Go ahead—sip a cup of hot chocolate while you chat. Or better yet, make a social call in person (and bring a new hot cocoa mix to share). 3. Visualize an oasis. Whether your “peaceful place” is on an exotic beach, or by the fireplace, simply close your eyes and picture it. And imagine yourself drinking a hot or cold cocoa beverage. 4. Get adequate shut-eye. Ever notice that when you don’t get enough sleep, you get cranky, or overeat sugary foods? Eight hours is the amount of sleep recommended by experts to help replenish your body and mind. Plus, incorporate a cup of hot chocolate in the morning, or early afternoon—milk can relax you and chocolate can energize you. 5. If you are single, declutter your home. This will help you feel renewed and recharged and ready to begin fresh when you meet that special someone. While you are in the work mode, take a hot cocoa break and savor the moment of change. 6. Buy a hardy houseplant (or two). Your best bet are philodendrons. Not only do plants help you achieve a healthy environment by removing pollutants from the air in the house, but they destress you in the planting process and get you into a nurturing mood. And yes, go ahead and make a cup of cocoa and give it to your spouse, friend, or a child in your life. 7. Laugh more. A happy person will attract and help connect with other happy, well-balanced people, not only during the best of times but also during challenging times. And if you know someone who is down and out, offer to buy him or her a hot chocolate beverage. 8. Don’t forget the oil and vinegar. In other words, while you’re on the road of staying happy, healthy, and living a longer, quality life, do incorporate tasty and nutritious hot chocolate into your Mediterranean diet and lifestyle. 9. Make an appointment with your M.D. Don’t neglect the importance of self-maintenance. Schedule an annual checkup with your doctor. Afterward, treat yourself to a new type of hot chocolate and savor the new taste and life. 10. Commit to exercise regularly. Join a health club, a gym, an indoor pool, or a yoga studio to get and
stay in shape. An added bonus: You will be around health-conscious people who will enjoy sharing a cup of hot chocolate with you after getting physical. HOT (AND COLD) CHOCOLATE BEVERAGES American-Style Hot Chocolate In a heat-safe container, add ¼ cup of MarieBelle Hot Chocolate powder to ¼ cup of boiling milk. Stir until smooth and well melted. If chocolate pieces do not melt completely, steam, simmer, or microwave for 30 seconds. If you prefer your drink less thick, add more boiling milk. If desired, serve with a dollop of whipped cream. Makes 1 mug. Crème de Chocolat
Mix 1¼ cup of MarieBelle Hot Chocolate powder to 1 cup of boiling water. Stir until smooth and well melted. Then steam, simmer, or microwave for 20 seconds. Place in ramekin(s). Chill for 2 hours. If desired, serve with a dollop of whipped cream. European-Style Hot Chocolate In a heat-safe container, add ¼ cup of MarieBelle Hot Chocolate powder to ¼ cup of boiling water. Stir until smooth and well melted. If chocolate pieces do not melt completely, steam, simmer, or microwave for 30 seconds. If you prefer your drink less thick, add more boiling water. If desired, serve with a dollop of whipped cream. Makes 1 mug. Iced Chocolate
Add chocolate powder to ¼ cup of boiling water. Stir until smooth and well melted. In a blender, mix melted chocolate with two cups of ice. Blend until well grounded. Serve at once. Makes one 16 ounce serving. Note: Try MarieBelle’s Aztec Hot Chocolate powder. The four flavors are: Aztec Original, Aztec Dark, Mocha, and Spicy. (Source: MarieBelle) Now that you know some of the ways hot chocolate may help you live a longer, healthier life, let me share some ways—from the past and new findings—to make your days, weeks, and years even happier and healthier with easy and practical natural chocolate cures. That’s right, chocolate can be a natural prescription to zap some pesky ailments right out of your life. Take a look at Chapter 12, “Home Remedies from Your Kitchen.”
THE SUPRISING SECRETS TO SAVOR Remember, hot chocolate goes way back in history for being a healthful beverage that can stave off many health ailments. Discover the different tastes and textures of hot chocolate—American, European, and Mexican—and enjoy the health benefits. While you’re sipping a mug of hot cocoa, keep in mind you’re getting plenty of antiaging antioxidants that are good for you and your health. Keep a positive attitude and incorporate hot chocolate into your lifestyle to give you and your friends, family, and new acquaintances a boost of good cheer.
PART 5 CHOCOLATE CURES
CHAPTER 12 Home Remedies from Your Kitchen The persons who habitually take chocolate are those who enjoy the most equitable and constant health and are least liable to a multitude of illnesses which spoil the enjoyment of life. —Brillat-Savarin
During the spring of 2008, I, like thousands of people in the Reno-Tahoe region, endured anxiety and stress due to a mysterious earthquake swarm in Verdi-Mogul, Nevada. As an earthquake sensitive (one who can sense oncoming temblors), I was on edge while trying to calm down folks living in the Reno area, my own restless and sensitive two dogs and one cat, and self-coping with the reactions and potential outcome of the daily shallow tremors that were felt. My dear friend Gemma Sciabica, a wonderful Italian cook-author, had sent me homemade chocolate biscotti infused with her family’s brand of olive oil. (The recipe is in Chapter 13, “The Chocolate Craze.”) Every morning I would wake up wondering if the “big one” was going to hit and trigger a stronger quake on the home front. To calm my nerves in the morning, afternoon, and night, I would munch on the wholesome crunchy biscotti with a cup (or two) of chamomile tea. And yes, the home cure did soothe my frazzled nerves and helped me deal with the anxiety and stress of anticipating Mother Nature’s next move. (Yes, we did endure a 4.7 on April 25—which I had predicted and then was interviewed about on national radio for days after.) You may not experience an earthquake swarm, but an earthshaking event (whether it is an anxiety attack or a cough) may rock your world—wreak havoc on you and your loved ones. That’s where dark chocolate comes to the rescue. Chocolate contains an infinite amount of health benefits for the mind, body, and spirit. Chances are, chocolate teamed with herbal remedies and more may contain even more amazing healing powers that you might not know about. The next time you need a quick natural remedy for an ailment that is driving you up a wall, check this list first to see if a home cure is as close as your kitchen cabinet or pantry. CURES FROM YOUR KITCHEN I’ll describe uses for 50 common health ailments and cosmetic problems, from A to Z, and provide amazing common at-home chocolate folk remedies. Some treatments can be used inside and others outside the body. Just listen to real stories from real people, like you and me, who have medical uses for chocolate and vow that it can and does really work! Read on and decide for yourself. But note, use common sense and consult your doctor before starting any new chocolate treatments—folk remedies or not. 1 ACHES AND PAINS (Soothe pain) Years ago, I wrote an article entitled “Shaking the Aches,”
during which I learned that sufferers of chronic pain could have fibromyalgia, which simply means “pain in the muscles.” It’s characterized by tenderness with pressure in 11 or more of 18 “tender points,” which often are in the back of the neck, clavicle, low back, and lower hips. And stress, hormones, and colder weather can trigger a flare-up. So what to do if you are stricken by muscle madness? What Chocolate Rx to Use: Try eating an ounce (or two) of dark chocolate (70 percent cocoa content to lessen sugar intake) or drinking a cup of hot dark chocolate once a day during a bout of pain. Also, teaming this remedy with aerobic exercise (such as walking or swimming in 84° water) can help loosen tight muscles and improve the symptoms of pain. A soothing Jacuzzi is also helpful for achy muscles. Why You’ll Like It: Chocolate is rich in magnesium, a mineral that can help both muscle pain and stress. Both swimming and hydrotherapy paired with dark chocolate can help you to relax and boost painrelieving endorphins. It’s a double effect to soothe pain and help you feel better. 2 ACNE (Say good-bye to blemishes) While aches and pains can affect your body and spirit, bad skin can toy with your self-esteem. The old school of thought is that chocolate causes blemishes. I recall my mother telling me not to eat chocolate if I wanted to have clear skin. At 16, my skin was not blemish free. In fact, I’d skip school because I was too embarrassed over the unsightly red blotches. The antiacne topical treatments were an exercise in futility—they didn’t work. In retrospect, I realize it was a case of genetics and hormones. In my twenties, thirties, forties, and now, in my fifties, my skin is clear and blemish free, and yes, I do eat chocolate. What Rx to Use: I’m not going to tell you to eat a truffle to zap blemishes. But, if you use a good chocolate-based arsenal, you may get good results. Try a chocolate facial mask for oily skin. Drink a cup of cocoa in the morning or at night with 1 to 2 percent low-fat milk every day (calcium is calming, as is the magnesium in chocolate), don’t forget to include six 8-ounce glasses of water in your daily diet (it flushes out toxins in your body), and eat a nutrient-rich diet chock-full of detoxifying fresh fruits and vegetables. Why You’ll Like It: If you learn how to chill out, it will help to destress you. Ever notice before a big event your face may break out? If you relax (stay out of the sun, which can trigger an outbreak of blemishes), and treat your skin with TLC, the chocolate cure may help. But time heals most blemishes if you’re dealing with hormones (at any age) or gender. 3 ALLERGIES (Sneeze away allergies) Coping with acne woes is one thing, but fighting allergies can be another battle. Adam has suffered from allergies for almost 15 years. “I tried allergy shots once a week for five years with limited results. I was taking multiple allergy pills a day and the side effects were debilitating. It was a daily balancing act that I hated. Having severe allergies and an eye disease definitely do not mix. My allergies attack the weakest part of my eyes. The pain and discomfort is torture,” he explains. “Since I started drinking healthy dark chocolate [Xoçai] with acai, I have not taken an allergy pill or had an allergy attack. I can breathe and function normally most days. The only thing I have done differently is consume these potent antioxidants.” What Chocolate Rx to Use: Try a dark chocolate drink or bar every day. Or, if you prefer, opt to drink another brand of dark chocolate cocoa (with a high cocoa content)—hot or cold. Why You’ll Like It: By turning to immune-boosting, antioxidant-rich chocolate, you may find your own
allergy symptoms, from hay fever to seasonal-change woes, may stop in their tracks—rain or shine. And the natural chocolate cure costs less than prescription allergy medicines or shots, which often come with a mixed bag of side effects. 4 ANEMIA (End fatigue) It’s one thing to deal with pesky allergies, but trying to feel energized when you’re fatigued is a challenge, too. When I was in my late teens, I was a strict vegan and crash dieting. It was in style to be very thin like the model Twiggy. At 5 feet 5 inches, I weighed in at 106. During a doctor’s checkup I found out through a blood test that I was iron deficient: borderline anemic. Simply put, anemia is a lack of red blood cells and hemoglobin, the protein in red blood cells that moves oxygen to cells in your body. The symptoms can include feeling tired and light-headed. What Chocolate Rx to Use: Try incorporating an ounce or two of quality dark chocolate (it contains iron) into your daily diet. Team it with the Mediterranean foods. Plus, eat other foods rich in iron, such as cashews, almonds, apricots, figs, and raisins (all of these are found in some dark chocolate products). A bonus tip: Try a Sicilian mole. (See Chapter 18, “Chocolate Buon Appetito!”) Why You’ll Like It: If you’re iron deficient, you need to pump more iron into your body. The daily value of iron is 18 milligrams. Iron supplements can cause irregularity. If you are borderline anemic, like I was, the odds are that you can beat anemia if you boost your intake of iron, naturally, in your daily diet. 5 ANOREXIA (End the urge to be thin) Chances are, if you’re using crash diets you may not only be anemic, you may fall into the eating disorder category of anorexia. Fear of body fat or overconcern with getting and maintaining a skinny Vogue magazine model–type body can grow into an overwhelming obsession that distorts thinking and personality. Those affected with anorexia starve themselves and overexercise to stay thin. What Chocolate Rx to Use: Try eating an enhanced healthy chocolate drink or bar infused with plenty of essential vitamins and minerals. Why You’ll Like It: While anyone suffering with anorexia should consult a doctor, adding multivitamins, minerals, herbs, and healthy foods high in complex carbohydrates may provide valuable help in dealing with this eating disorder. Functional foods, like dark chocolate, chock-full of healthful compounds, can be beneficial along with eating a balanced diet and getting help from health practitioners for healing the mind, body, and spirit. 6 ANXIETY (Feel calmer) Anorexia is a psychological disorder that can affect your well-being, whereas anxiety affects your nervous system. Bet you think because dark chocolate contains some caffeine and some sugar that it can cause the jitters, right? Wrong. Research has shown that people who suffer from anxiety and social phobia tend to chill after consuming chocolate (in moderation). That’s right. Blame it on the multiple feel-good ingredients found in dark chocolate that may soothe the nervous system and give people a feel-good high so they tend to forego their negative feelings and feel better inside and outside. I can personally attest that the chocolate cure can help soothe frazzled nerves, and provide energy, too. What Chocolate Rx to Use: If you know you are going to engage in an anxiety-producing event, use the chocolate cure. Eat a half ounce of premium dark chocolate before you feel anxious. Team it with a cup of chamomile tea or a glass of water. If anxiety hits you by surprise, turn to a cup of delicious Americanstyle hot chocolate spiked with magnesium- and calcium-rich milk for a double calming effect.
Why You’ll Like It: An all-natural dark chocolate prescription is a lot better for you than taking antidepressants (which often are used to treat anxiety), and often come with nasty side effects from weight gain to irregularity. Quality chocolate can soothe your mind and body, and be similar to getting hooked on the calming effect of exercise—and that can be a good thing. 7 ARTHRITIS (Loosen up your joints) Anxiety can wreak havoc on your daily activities, but so can stiff joints from head to toe. I have witnessed the effects of arthritis in both humans and pets. My neighbor, in his early seventies, has osteoarthritis. I never see him anymore. He is bedridden. A few years ago, when he walked I could feel his pain as I watched him take slow, painstaking steps. My former Brittany, Dylan—a treasured family member—at 13 suffered from arthritis, too. Dylan was once a very active and athletic canine, who could jump six feet high, swim like a pro, and run like a cheetah. So it was painful for me to see him circle several times before he could lie down. And it brought tears to my eyes to have to lift my once agile pooch up into the van and onto my bed—places he loved. While chocolate is forbidden for dogs, the chocolate cure may help humans to cope with the mild or moderate symptoms of arthritis. What Chocolate Rx to Use: The remedy is simple. Eat one or two squares of dark chocolate once or twice a day. Painkilling chocolate infused with fruit, such as cherries, which also contain antioxidants, may be worth a try. Why You’ll Like It: Dark chocolate is a known painkiller. It contains natural analgesics such as anandamide and cannabinoids, which trigger the brain’s release of natural painkilling compounds, like marijuana does. Also, the serotonin in chocolate can help you to relax, and when you are calm, pain can be less intense. 8 ASTHMA (Breathe easy) Arthritis can be a pain, but an asthma attack can be scary and even lifethreatening. Welcome to a condition that happens when the main air passages of your lungs and bronchial tubes become inflamed. When the muscles of the bronchial walls tighten and too much mucus is made, it causes your airways to narrow. The result can range from minor wheezing to severe breathing problems— like a goldfish gasping for air when it’s out of water. What Chocolate Rx to Use: Opt for dark chocolate with a 60 percent or higher cocoa content—any form is fine, including all-natural truffles, chocolates, and hot cocoa. Why You’ll Like It: There are different compounds in chocolate that may help fight asthma. It’s rich in magnesium, a mineral that relaxes bronchial tissues, which can aid allergies and help asthma. Also, its antioxidants may help balance your immune system responses. Lisa gives kudos for the chocolate cure. After she began to drink the healthy chocolate liquid with acai berry (Xoçai), it was noticeable within three to four weeks that she didn’t seem to need daily medication for asthma—“and it was peak season! Originally from Arizona, I have had asthma since age 8.” The good result was good news to Lisa, who was amazed that she could “breathe fully and deeper” after the chocolate treatment. (Caution: Some people believe chocolate can be a trigger for an asthma attack, so consult your doctor before trying the chocolate cure.) 9 BACK PAIN (Stand your ground) Speaking of scary ... Have you ever experienced back pain that landed you in a chiropractor’s office with elderly folks who cannot walk? I have and it was a spooky scifi thriller type of ordeal. Several years ago, I eagerly painted the front door to my mountain cabin a
reddish color because I read that this is a feng shui tip to help bring good luck and prosperity. I was so excited by the new look and potential new, improved life that I lifted large, heavy plants in ceramic pots (without thinking how I was moving each one) and arranged about 10 of them on the newly painted deck (done by a pro). Hours later my lower back began to ache like an elephant was sitting on it. One day later I was sitting in a chiropractor’s office ready for costly and timely treatment. What Chocolate Rx to Use: Try eating 2 ounces of dark chocolate or a cup (or two if you can afford the calories) of hot cocoa daily. Bonus tip: If you’re going to lift heavy objects, learn how to do it correctly! Why You’ll Like It: You know chocolate contains natural painkillers that help to reduce aches and pains. If you have a backache, acute or chronic, try RICE (rest, ice, compression, and elevation), too. Once out of misery, losing unwanted weight and exercising will strengthen your abdominal muscles and back to help stave off recurring back strain. But chocolate is part of the cure, too. Just listen to Rick. He’ll tell you. “I have degenerative lower back disease and have to sleep on my side with a pillow between my legs to take the pressure off my lower back. I have grown used to the pain in my shoulder and hips from sleeping on my side. I just assumed that when you are older than 50 you naturally have a few aches and pains. After taking this healthy chocolate drink Xoçai I noticed that the pain in these areas is virtually gone. I have even lost five pounds!” 10 BONE LOSS (Strengthen your bones) While your spine and its health is key to mobility, your bones are the foundation of your entire body. Osteoporosis was once thought of as an old woman’s woe. But it can affect you as early as your thirties, forties, or fifties. (And men are not immune.) Bone loss is a disease characterized by low bone mass and structural deterioration of bone tissue (the bones become weak and porous) leading to bone fragility and increasing susceptibility to fractures of the hip, spine, and wrist, according to the National Osteoporosis Foundation in Washington, D.C. What Chocolate Rx to Use: Team chocolate with other bone builders, including magnesium, manganese, and calcium-rich milk. Each day, opt for a cup of hot chocolate, chocolate milk, or a chocolate shake (low-cal if you’re counting calories; 70% cacao content). Why You’ll Like It: Indulging in a tasty chocolate beverage is good for your bones. Magnesium is great for bone growth, as well as for calcium absorption. You need manganese, another bone-boosting mineral, to maintain bone cartilage and bone collagen formation. A bonus tip: Drink your chocolate shake before or after exercise. There are two types of exercise that can build and maintain bone mass and density: weight-bearing (such as walking and jogging) and resistance exercises (weight lifting, free weights, and weight machines). 11 BRAIN FOG (Feel more focused) Strong bones are essential to good health as is a sharp mind. Ever feel mentally groggy or fuzzy? Need to use your mind but just aren’t feeling bright eyed and bushy tailed? If you don’t like sodas, which really aren’t healthful anyhow, and you’re not a coffee drinker, chocolate may be your best friend, according to research linking chocolate to brainpower. (Refer to Chapter 11, “A Toast to Hot Cocoa and Long Life!”) What Chocolate Rx to Use: Try two squares of dark chocolate or a cup of hot chocolate and wait 15 to 20 minutes. Repeat as needed.
Why You’ll Like It: Without doubt, a chocolate bar (especially infused with spices, herbs, and fruit) is convenient, quick, and it works. So whether you have a test or a mental task to tend to, wouldn’t it be fun to enjoy something that is good for you as well as tastes superb? 12 BRUXISM (Sleep without clenching) Thinking clearly is great; grinding your teeth during your sleep is not so good. Do you grind your teeth at night? This is a condition called sleep bruxism—which has ill effects including sore jaw, eroded and shifting teeth, and damaged gums and bone. While a night guard is your best bet, learning how to chill out before bedtime is another thing you may try—and chocolate can be part of your plan. What Chocolate Rx to Try: An hour before bedtime, try drinking a cup of dark chocolate cocoa with 1 to 2 percent low-fat milk. Use half the amount recommended on the cocoa label (but all-natural cocoa shouldn’t contain a lot of sugar or caffeine). Or, eat a dark chocolate truffle infused with peppermint or chocolate and drink a cup of calming chamomile tea. A bonus tip: Also, stop working at least three hours before going to bed. Do something relaxing such as meditating, reading a book, or watching a comedy. Forget the news or a horror film. Why You’ll Like It: Chocolate’s tryptophan has a calming effect and will help you to unwind. For best results, team chocolate with peppermint (may soothe aches and pains) and milk or chamomile—a chillout herb—and you will likely get your zzz’s. 13 BULIMIA (Eat a balanced diet, again) Meet anorexia’s cousin—bulimia. These two eating disorders affect both men and women—young through middle age. Those with bulimia overeat or binge, then induce vomiting or take laxatives. According to the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders, countless sufferers of eating disorders wrestle with bulimia, which is classified as a psychological disorder. What Chocolate Rx to Use: Opt for an enhanced healthy chocolate beverage or bar every day to help you gain control of relearning how to eat to live for health and not live to eat as you cope with emotional problems. Why You’ll Like It: While anyone suffering with bulimia should consult a mental health professional and other health practitioners, adding functional foods to your diet may provide valuable help in dealing with these disorders. In my late teens, I battled with a bout of bulimia before the eating disorder even had a name. By getting involved in college and extracurricular activities, eating and exercising normally, like my best friend, who didn’t have weight issues, I lucked out. I grew out of the eating disorder phase that can create life-threatening health problems. I finally learned how to make food my friend, not foe—and chocolate is included. 14 CABIN FEVER (Feel calmer) Imagine: You’re trapped in your home due to a natural disaster, such as a snowstorm, or a hotel room while your town is on fire. Remember the Stephen King film The Shining, which depicts two parents and their child snowed in at an isolated resort while the father (Jack Nicholson) tries to write a novel but is hit by a storm of severe cabin fever, of sorts? Last year was the first time—and hopefully the last—I experienced being trapped in my Old Tahoe–style cabin during a heavy snow dumping. No snow plowers, not one, came to my rescue for two days. My symptoms included restlessness, claustrophobia, crankiness, and bouts of depression. And I will never forget being stuck in a Reno hotel room with my two dogs and one cat while waiting for the Angora Fire at South Lake Tahoe to
be contained. What Chocolate Rx to Use: Drink an 8-ounce cup of hot cocoa twice a day, preferably in the morning and at night; use a variation—a thick European style with spices; a thinner American style hot chocolate with milk and topped with whipped cream. If your cabin fever continues, savor a dark chocolate truffle infused with spirits, such as champagne or cognac. Why You’ll Like It: First, it will warm you up and provide instant comforting to help curb the crankies. The mood-boosting components will uplift your spirits and hopefully trigger you to read a good book, watch a movie, or exercise. 15 CAFFEINE WITHDRAWAL (Lose the comedown) If you suffer from cabin fever, chocolate may be a better choice than more brewed coffee (it contains a lot more caffeine). Yes, chocolate may help you beat headaches and energy loss, too. Are you a coffee lover? If so, you may have awakened without a cup of java and experienced a rude awakening—caffeine withdrawal. Symptoms can include headache, lethargy, and, well, if there was a substitute available it would be a godsend. Ah, sweet chocolate can come to the rescue. What Chocolate Rx to Use: A hot cup of cocoa or even a dark chocolate bar can suffice for your caffeine fix. The caffeine content will vary depending on what chocolate remedy you choose. Why You’ll Like It: What’s not to like? Nobody likes a throbbing headache or feeling drained morning or night. But chocolate is a substitute for coffee, and not only does it taste great but you will get that energetic physical and mental boost, thanks to the variety of compounds—not just the small amount of caffeine. 16 CAVITIES (Forego dental fillings) Another chocolate surprise is that too many people still believe that chocolate can cause dental caries, little crevices in your teeth that need to be drilled and filled by your dentist. It’s time to tune out the myth that chocolate causes cavities and tune in to the new school of thought: “Eat dark chocolate, no worries.” What Chocolate Rx to Use: Opt for the higher cocoa content when choosing to eat a dark chocolate bar or truffle, because it will have a lower sugar content. Why You’ll Like It: A study at Osaka University in Japan noted that there are antibacterial agents in cocoa that may counteract tooth decay.1 Some reports of tannins, antioxidant compounds, can stave off cavities, too. Go ahead—consume dark chocolate in moderation. But note, brush your teeth twice daily and after a chocolate treat. Floss your pearly whites every day, and visit your dentist and/or dental hygienist twice a year for cleanings and checkups—to help keep cavities away, with or without chocolate. 17 CHILLS (Warm up, baby) Does talk about the dentist give you the chills or does the thought of wintertime cold temperatures send chills through your body? When your body is cold indoors due to cold climate or an oncoming flu bug, you want a remedy that works fast and will warm you up, right? What Chocolate Rx to Use: Opt for an 8- or 12-ounce mug of spicy hot cocoa or a coffee mocha. Why You’ll Like It: Antioxidant-rich and immune-boosting spices, such as cinnamon or nutmeg, can
warm you up, and not only is the hot, tasty beverage soothing for your body and uplifting for your spirit, but you’ll feel more cozy, more energized, and less stressed from the coldness. 18 COLDS (Chase that cold away) Once you get a case of the chills, you may be getting sick. Chances are, if you are suffering from a runny nose, nasal congestion, sore throat, cough, muscle aches and pains, headache—you’ve got a common cold. Natural cold busters, according to Southern California– based Ray Sahelian, M.D., include drinking plenty of fluids, washing your hands, eating right, treating yourself well (chocolate plays a role here), taking vitamin C, taking echinacea and zinc, drinking teas, exercising, and chilling out. What Chocolate Rx to Use: If you love chocolate, eat two dark chocolate truffles infused with immunity-enhancing green tea. Repeat if needed the following day. Or, if you prefer, make a thick and creamy dark chocolate (use all-natural cocoa powder) milk shake (use all-natural dark chocolate ice cream). P.S.: Stay in bed, and drink plenty of herbal teas. Why You’ll Like It: Flavonoids, which chocolate contains, have antiviral and antibacterial activity. Also, by keeping your stress levels down, you can keep your immune system up and healthy, according to Dr. Sahelian, who admits, “I do succumb to chocolate or calcium-rich ice cream once or twice a week.” 19 CONSTIPATION (Get regular) Have you ever noticed after an illness strikes, your bathroom routine may be out of whack? It could be due to eating less, resting more. And, irregularity is a problem that can and does affect everyone, sooner or later (at any age). Causes include not eating enough fiber-rich foods or drinking enough water, changes in climate and environment, as well as not staying physically active. But chocolate comes to the rescue. What Chocolate Rx to Use: In the morning, try eating a square (or two) of dark chocolate with a 70 percent cocoa content and drink two glasses of warm water with fresh lemon. Also, if you team this with a cup of brewed java, irregularity will be history. Why You’ll Like It: Because chocolate contains a healthy dose of magnesium, which in excess can cause a laxative effect, it may help induce regularity in some people, especially sensitive individuals. And note, if dogs and cats eat it, often it will cause gastrointestinal upset—including diarrhea. So yes, it is possible that eating some chocolate, especially brands with a higher cocoa butter content, may be the natural cure to a bout of irregularity. 20 COUGH (Stop hacking) Sometimes with colds or after them, a cough will follow. Nobody likes to suffer hacking, because it hurts after a while as well as disturbs you and others, right? Chocolate—yes, chocolate—may be the tasty cure for a cough, according to medical researchers. But if you have acute bronchitis, run—do not walk—to your doctor for a checkup. (Bronchitis can end up as a life-threatening pneumonia.) What Chocolate Rx to Use: Drink a cup of quality dark hot cocoa (or two cups if you can afford the calories; if you’re sick often your appetite is AWOL, anyhow). Or, opt for an ounce or two of dark chocolate (contains nearly 1,000 milligrams of theobromine—the ingredient that will help suppress your cough) with a 70 percent cocoa content. Why You’ll Like It: If it works, you will be able to rest easy. Also, cough syrup doesn’t always taste good, and cough drops don’t seem to work that well. And, medical doctors believe dark chocolate may work as well as cough medicine, which often contains codeine, which can make you drowsy. Yes, melting
your cough away with chocolate may work, as researchers in London discovered years ago. It’s the ingredient theobromine—found in cocoa—that proved more helpful than codeine. The reason? The natural cure acts on the vagus nerve, the culprit of coughing.2 21 DEPRESSION (Feel happier) With all this talk about cabin fever, colds, coughs, and more, it’s enough to make you feel blue. Feeling down and out can hit during any season, for both men and women, and hormones may or may not play a significant role. Blame the blues on a chemical imbalance in your brain, not enough serotonin, or maybe you just want a change in your life. While you are discovering what’s causing you to feel depressed (it could be minor and pass or may end up something you need to consult a doctor about), it couldn’t hurt to turn to a nurturing best friend or the next best thing, chocolate. What Chocolate Rx to Use: Try low-fat milk, hold the whipped cream, and savor the steaming liquid in front of a toasty fireplace or turn up the thermostat and cuddle up with a cozy comforter. And you may feel like you’re on a vacation in a warm, beautiful Italian bistro or getaway villa. Why You’ll Like It: Not only will the chocolate drink warm you up, but its ingredients and good-for-you antioxidants will keep you healthy from head to toe. It beats feeling down and out and hiding under the covers in bed until springtime. 22 DETOXIFY YOUR BODY (Cleanse your system) After dealing with a cold winter, you may want to zap some unwanted winter weight gain. Are you suffering from eating a high-fat, high-sugar diet? A cleansing diet or minifast helps your body detox itself after overindulging in rich foods and beverages. And while nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables can help you to cleanse your system, a dark chocolate beverage can be part of the plan to help you get rid of impurities. What Chocolate Rx to Use: For one or two days, in the morning and at night, drink an 8-ounce cup of dark chocolate cocoa with a 70 percent cocoa content. Why You’ll Like It: If you team an antioxidant-rich cocoa beverage with a minifast of fresh fruits, vegetables, and six 8-ounce glasses of water every day, it will help to give your organs a rest, and cleanse and rejuvenate your body. Also, the chocolate will provide you with an energetic boost to help you sail through this minifast. Not only will you feel better, but you may shed a few unwanted pounds, too. 23 DIARRHEA (Stop the bathroom runs) In cases when you get sick (or even when detoxing your body) you may get a case of diarrhea. This malady can also happen after a dose of antibiotics, during the flu, or after eating a food (or too much) that disagrees with your tummy. History shows that South American and European cultures have used cocoa to treat diarrhea for hundreds of years. Researchers from Children’s Hospital & Research Center Oakland, in Oakland, California, discovered that chocolate’s flavanols help stop diarrhea.3 What Chocolate Rx to Use: Try one square a day of dark chocolate with a 70 percent cocoa content. Or opt for a cup of all-natural cocoa. This ancient remedy just may help you to get back on track and slow down those bathroom rounds. Why You’ll Like It: Nobody likes to take those over-the-counter liquid remedies that stop you from going to the bathroom. Why? The taste is not tasty. And sometimes, they can work in reverse and cause constipation. Pills can work, but then the question is, how natural is the medicine? If the chocolate cure
works, you will like it more when you are back to being regular. 24 DISTRACTED (Get a mental energy boost) Speaking of sickness. . . Not feeling well can certainly get your mind off track and unfocused. Ever feel burnt out mentally yet you have to use brainpower at work or play? Find yourself daydreaming but can’t afford to take a mental vacation? At the workplace, people often will drink soda, which contains a lot of sugar, caffeine, and empty calories, to get that quick mental jolt. Rather than deal with a fast pickup and quick letdown from a pop, try a chocolate cure. What Chocolate Rx to Use: Eat a small gourmet chocolate or truffle with at least a 48 percent cocoa content. Or, if you’d rather, try an 8-ounce cup of hot dark chocolate cocoa. Why You’ll Like It: Remember, dark chocolate contains iron. Iron may strengthen your memory. Since iron is involved in distributing oxygen to brain cells (and every other cell in the body), when you lack this mineral you may find it hard to concentrate. In the early 1990s, Harold Sandstead, M.D., professor of preventive medicine at the University of Texas, discovered that women whose diets lacked zinc and iron experienced more difficulties on standard exams than women with adequate dietary supply. In his study of women aged 18 to 40, Sandstead found that giving these women more zinc and iron raised their scores on memory tests.4 It works these days, too. Just ask Ally, a freelance editor and writer. “As I’ve gotten older, I’ve noticed that around 2 to 3 P.M. every afternoon, my energy dips. I’m not a coffee or soda drinker. I find myself rereading the same lines of text over and over again, my head drooping over the keyboard. I’ve developed a midafternoon energy remedy that gets my day back on track. Around that snoozy time, I make myself a cup of decaf tea and grab two squares of chocolate. The hot drink and delicious snack give me a muchneeded mood boost, as does the 10-minute break.” 25 ECONOMIC STRESS (Going with the flow) Once you’re focused, what if an economic crunch affects your pocketbook and well-being? When people face job loss, foreclosure, lose their life savings, and face lean times, stress mentally, emotionally, and physically can spin out of control. During the Great Depression of the 1930s, however, Americans still turned to sweets, and history shows both the Mars and Hershey companies did profit and people benefited from the comfort food as well. What Chocolate Rx to Use: Chocolate bars—dark milk chocolate (48 percent cocoa content or higher) —will give you the sweet nurturing comfort you need. Indulge in moderation for a couple of days. Repeat as needed. Why You’ll Like It: By purchasing and eating a premium chocolate candy bar, you’ll get some immuneboosting antioxidants, which will help destress your body’s immune system and make you feel calmer and happier, no matter how chaotic life’s economic crunch is.
The Science Behind Chocolate and Feeling Good Stress can be caused by many factors, whether it is due to the ebb and flow of life’s emotional, financial, physical, or mental stressors, which can affect your general wellbeing (at any age). But chocolate created with good intentions may help more than you
know. Here’s proof: A study published in Explore: The Journal of Science and Healing found that 1 ounce of Intentional Chocolate (a premium chocolate embedded with focused good intentions by experienced meditators) eaten over three days increased test subjects’ wellbeing, vigor, and energy by an average of 67 percent, and, in some cases, even more. Researchers discovered that those who ate chocolate reaped health benefits, including decreased stress, increased energy, less fatigue, greater calmness, enhanced focus, and improved well-being. Dean Radin, Ph.D., senior scientist at the Institute of Noetic Sciences, and one of the researchers of this study, explains how chocolate may help boost your mind, body, and spirit. “The effect seems to involve a form of energetic coherence which arises through the intentions of intensely focused and highly trained minds. Some speculate that such mindmatter interactions resemble the ‘observer effect’ in quantum physics (i.e., observing a system changes that system).” Adds Intentional Chocolate’s Jim Walsh, “Science is finally coming around to what many spiritual traditions have known for centuries—how you conduct yourself in the world has a direct impact on those people and situations around you and I think it is important for everyone to know this. If you pay attention to your thoughts and act from a place of deep concern for all beings you can do something to improve the world situation. In some humble way we hope our chocolate can help others see this possibility.”5
26 ENDOMETRIOSIS (Stop the pain) Financial woes can create chaos in your life, but so can a female woe that causes physical pain. Endometriosis affects the lining of the uterus, and tissue grows outside the uterine cavity—not where it should be. Symptoms can include painful periods, and pelvic pain. It is not curable but you can learn how to deal with the pain of it all. And yes, chocolate may help do the trick. What Chocolate Rx to Use: A 70 percent cocoa content dark chocolate truffle or chocolate infused with cayenne or anise teamed with exercise (swimming or yoga). Why You’ll Like It: Cannabinoids in chocolate act as painkillers, and tryptophan can help you to relax. Team the herb-infused chocolate cure (both cayenne and anise may relieve pain, too) with exercise, which also is a destressing way to relax and triggers feel-good endorphins—another painkiller. Chances are, according to the doctors when I was in my twenties, thirties, and forties, I was a sufferer of moderate endometriosis. The bouts of painful PMS were not fun, but when I would work out at the gym (including walking to the facility), using the stationary bicycle and/or rowing machine or lifting free weights and/or swimming laps followed by a soak in the Jacuzzi and turning to chocolate bars, the pain was less severe and I got through these tough times. 27 FATIGUE (Feel rejuvenated) What’s worse than getting sick? Feeling tired, run down, and lethargic? Chocolate can be a boon to boost your energy levels. Bill, who turned to the “healthy” enhanced chocolate product (Xoçai) says, “I used to have low energy because of my heart condition (my heart doesn’t beat at a steady rhythm). When I would go to the gym to swim, I would only be able to swim about half a lap before I was exhausted. I have been using a healthy chocolate drink with acai for three months now. I recently went back to the gym to try swimming and was shocked to see how much energy I
had. I was able to swim over 12 laps!” What Chocolate Rx to Use: Every morning, opt for a dark chocolate drink. The type can vary—from dark chocolate pieces added to a smoothie with milk, to a banana added to a cup of dark hot chocolate, to an enhanced chocolate drink, like Bill touts. Why You’ll Like It: If this easy, all-natural drink can help to give you a boost of physical energy so you can exercise (another way to get more energy), not only will you feel better, but your overall health and well-being will be better off in the present day and future. 28 FLATULENCE (Tummy trouble needs help) Sometimes if you’re both sick and tired, you may get a triple whammy and be hit with gastrointestinal woes. Often passing gas is Mother Nature’s way of letting you know that either you have a gastrointestinal problem or it’s time to go to the bathroom. Whatever the reason for flatulence, you need a digestive aid. What Chocolate Rx to Use: Eat 1 or 2 ounces of dark chocolate with peppermint. Pair it with a cup of hot chamomile tea. Why You’ll Like It: Chocolate has been used as a digestive aid for centuries and works well in presentday times, too. Peppermint with chocolate may calm the stomach and intestinal tract. When you combine the two you may just get the relief you need. 29 FOOD CRAVINGS (Curb the urge to pig out) Once you’re feeling on top of your game again, you may turn to craving foods that aren’t so healthful. Stop the urge to overindulge. We know that when we have appetite satisfaction it will help us lose unwanted pounds and body fat. Chocolate contains sugar and fat, but its fat content includes good fats. What Chocolate Rx to Use: Eat one half ounce of dark chocolate every day or a 6- to 8-ounce cup of hot cocoa. This will be your mainstay sweet. Do include fresh fruits, which will also satisfy your cravings for sweets. Why You’ll Like It: It’s true. You’ll realize that quality dark chocolate not only can tame your cravings for sweets, but can help you melt unwanted weight because you don’t feel forbidden to eat chocolate; it will become your best friend and you’ll not only like it, you’ll love it. 30 HEADACHE (Aspirin anyone?) While we all get sick, many of us get headaches now and then, too. While effective drug therapy has revolutionized treatment for migraines, some people may be wary of potential side effects (from raising blood pressure or causing dizziness). Stress and tension can cause many headaches, possibly lowering your magnesium level.6 What Chocolate Rx to Use: Try a small square of dark chocolate—once or twice a day. Team this remedy with aerobic exercise. “One, it relieves the effects of stress. Two, it may release some endorphins in your brain—so-called runner’s high, which is also a natural painkiller substance that your brain generates,” explains Alexander Mauskop, M.D., a board-certified neurologist in New York. Why You’ll Like It: Chocolate is rich in magnesium, an antistress mineral that helps relax the smooth muscles of blood vessels, which lowers the risk of headaches and may lessen migraines. Also, it works
on neurotransmitter receptors to block pain messages—and that may help chase your headache(s) away. 31 HOT FLASHES (Turn down the thermostat) Headaches and hot flashes often spell “The Pause,” or time when a middle-aged woman goes through the change of life. During menopause, and even after (as I have learned), hot flashes or temperature disturbances can haunt you. Personally, I feel hot flashes are more intrusive than anything. What I’ve noticed is that stress, and hot beverages, can sometimes trigger one. What Chocolate Rx to Use: Rather than turn to hot cocoa, take the alternative route and fix yourself an iced cocoa drink. Refer to Chapter 11 for a perfect iced chocolate recipe. Or, try eating two dark chocolate truffles infused with green tea; also, you can sip an iced green tea beverage, too. Why You’ll Like It: If you’ve ever had a hot flash—it feels like a rush of heat moving through your body or a fever—you’ll feel relieved if you can reduce hot flashes or the severity of them. Green tea is known to be used by Japanese women, who do not experience hot flashes, like American women may. A bonus: Exercise daily helps reduce stress, just like chocolate can, and ups endorphin levels, just like chocolate can. 32 INSOMNIA (Want to sleep like a baby?) Some women not only get hit with hot flashes but they may not be able to get adequate shut-eye due to hormonal changes. Men, too, aren’t immune to the insomnia dilemma. Ever hit the hay and discover that when your eyes shut they open up again? You toss and turn, or even turn on the tube. Counting sheep, thinking of pleasant thoughts—nothing seems to help you fall asleep and enter slumberland. Can chocolate help you doze off? Yes, it can. What Chocolate Rx to Use: Try a 6- to 8-ounce cup of hot milk and follow the directions on your cocoa powder of choice (cocoa does not contain a lot of caffeine). Why You’ll Like It: The tryptophan in milk and chocolate will help calm you, and chocolate contains the calming compound theobromine as well as magnesium, which can help relax your muscles. Remember, five-star hotels put chocolates on your pillow for a reason, right? Sweet dreams. 33 INTERSTITIAL CYSTITIS (Bathroom woes, again) Cystitis, sometimes another problem for menopausal women, can affect all women of all ages, but interstitial cystitis (IC) can be an ongoing dilemma. While some women who love chocolate may not be affected by the acidic food, others must pass because it can trigger a bout of IC, which is a chronic inflammation of the bladder. The good news is, chocolate is not on the list of the top five misery makers for people with IC. These troublemakers include cranberry juice, carbonated beverages, tomatoes, tobacco, and coffee. (Stay clear of Chapter 10, “A Cuppa Coffee and Chocolat.”) What Chocolate Rx to Use: Opt for dark milk chocolate instead of dark chocolate with a high cocoa content. If you have any problems (a minor flare-up), avoid eating chocolate products for a while. But do use chocolate beauty products, including a face mask or lighting a soothing chocolate candle. All of these chocolate prescriptions can provide emotions/comfort. Why You’ll Like It: Sure, there is nothing like indulging in edible chocolate. But you can get a nice feelgood chocolate fix by turning to the nonedible chocolate treats, too. And, if eating chocolate causes only a minor bout of IC, the pampering and soothing chocolate treatments will help you to destress (yes, stress can cause an IC flare-up) and calm your nervous system.
34 IRRITABLE BOWEL SYNDROME (Out-of-whack gut) The only thing worse than cystitis is a grumpy gut. Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common gastrointestinal disorder. Symptoms can include abdominal pain and changes in bowel function such as bloating, gas, diarrhea, and constipation. While lack of dietary fiber is a culprit, stress can also be a culprit for IBS sufferers, according to medical doctors. What Chocolate Rx to Use: Eat two dark chocolate truffles with a 70 percent cocoa content infused with peppermint. Repeat as needed. Drink six 8-ounce glasses of water daily. Why You’ll Like It: Peppermint oil can relax spasms in the bowl, notes Dr. Stephen Holt, board certified in internal medicine and gastroenterology. Yes, quality dark chocolate’s compounds—serotonin and magnesium—can help to relax you. But do as Dr. Holt recommends, and turn to destressing techniques that can affect the gut-mind, including hypnotherapy, music therapy, exercise, and yoga. All of these can help relax the mind and stomach. 35 LACKLUSTER LIBIDO (Finding your groove, again) During menopausal years and even before or after, your sex drive may be at the bottom of your priority list due to out-of-whack hormones. Can chocolate be the cure to feeling sexy again? Some people think it can. “Chocolate is viewed as an aphrodisiac because it includes a plant substance that mimics human sex hormones. Part of the chocolate make-up hits the same brain pleasure center as when we are happy, in love, or sexually aroused,” explains sex expert Dr. Ava Cadell, in Los Angeles, California. “The brain also releases feel-good chemicals such as serotonin that produces a euphoric sensation. It’s no wonder chocolate can be so addictive!” Thanks to phenylethylamine (PEA), a natural substance in chocolate, when you eat chocolate it also triggers that magical reaction in your body—similar to the magical feeling of falling in love. And who can forget the legendary Italian lover Casanova and the Marquis de Sade, who allegedly turned to chocolate for a seduction ploy. What Chocolate Rx to Use: Incorporate a small amount of dark chocolate (preferably 60 percent or more cocoa content) into your diet every day. The darker the chocolate and less sugar and less calories, the more you’re apt to achieve results without unwanted weight gain, which can often make both men and women’s sexual appetite plummet. Why You’ll Like It: You can count the ways why pairing chocolate and lovemaking will make you smile. Both the forbidden fruit and sexual activity are good for the heart, spirit, and soul. Plus, health experts know there are health perks of lovemaking such as it can burn calories, induce sleep, calm you, and boost self-esteem. So, why not double your pleasure during foreplay and the afterglow by sharing a chocolate dish, from chocolate pasta to dark chocolate ice cream, to anything chocolatey and gooey that tastes rich and can arouse your sensual pleasures, too?
The Magic of Chocolate Love Speaking of aphrodisiacs, chocolate and love go hand in hand. Emily Giffin, author of Love the One You’re With, and relationship coach Larry James know this. “Since 2002 I have been performing romantic wedding ceremonies. Recently, while interviewing a
couple they told me that they both had a passion for chocolate and instead of adding the Unity Candle or the Blending of Sands ritual to their wedding they wanted me to come up with a way to have chocolate to be a part of the ceremony,” he explains. So, the Arizonabased wedding creator planned the heavenly chocolate event of the century. But note, this chocolate concoction is embellished a tidbit—and can serve another wedding for a couple who believes in the magic of chocolate: I suggested that their invitations, their guest book and pen set, the ring pillow and the flower girl baskets be a light shade of brown. The guest pen wrote with brown ink. Toward the end of their wedding ceremony I had the bride and groom profess their love for each other by offering each other a taste of their favorite chocolate truffles. Two handmade Romãnicos chocolate truffles were presented by the mothers to the bride and groom and were wrapped in a tiny box with special paper with the word “Love” all over it. I called this part of the ceremony “Chocolate Unity.” They each took a bite from one truffle and the remaining truffle was put back into the box to be enjoyed on their first anniversary. The colors at the reception were a dark chocolate brown. Ceremonial chocolate kisses were scattered over each table. The children were served an iced chocolate drink with chocolate chip cookies. There was an ice cream sundae bar with vanilla and chocolate ice cream and bowls set out with different things so the guests could add to their desserts: chocolate sauce, chocolate chips, nuts, exotic fresh fruits, and whipped cream. Perhaps one of the most dramatic chocolate wedding favors was the chocolate fountain. Holding court at the end of a table with a chocolate-colored tablecloth, this aromatic structure invited the guests to grab a fork and dip an array of chocolate-friendly treats, fondue style. A four-tiered cake was served with some of it ending up on the bride’s and groom’s faces as they each took a bite. The wedding cake topper featured a chocolate statue of the bride and groom in an embrace. A beautifully wrapped box of Ghirardelli Intense Dark chocolates was presented by the married couple to the parents at the reception. Definitely a chocolate celebration their guests will not soon forget.
36 LOVESICKNESS (End heartbreak blues) Some folks, especially ones not in happy relationships, fall victim to lovesickness. A breakup or divorce is not fun, which can end up making you feel heartsick. The blues can weigh heavily on your broken heart. Of course, no food can fix the ill feelings of feeling sad, hurt, and angry. But, chocolate can be a person’s crutch, whether you are the dumper or dumpee. There are different components in chocolate that can and do boost mood, provide energy, and can relieve anxiety. What Chocolate Rx to Use: A chocolate bar (one with infused antioxidant-rich unsweetened fruits and/or nuts) may be just what a therapist would prescribe. Eat a half daily. Repeat as needed. Why You’ll Like It: During a messy breakup, anything that can boost your mood will make you love it. Read: The mood booster phenylethylamine in chocolate can help you feel better. Plus, if you get a lift you may stay out of a therapist’s office and save yourself a lot of time and money—which equals less heartache. And, savoring the benefits of chocolate can help you help your wounded heart so you won’t be the walking wounded as long.
37 MATELESS MADNESS (Feeling amorous?) While feeling sad or mad during a breakup is one thing, being solo and craving a mate can be hard on the heart, mind, and body, too. The song “One Is a Lonely Number” may ring true at times if you are all alone and remembering romance and lingering kisses in a past relationship. If you’re feeling like it’s Noah’s Ark in the world, home alone on Saturday night— couple’s night—sweet chocolate may get you through the night and get you feeling even better than if you were kissing you know who, according to research. What Chocolate Rx to Use: Reach for the chocolate that you love, including truffles. Yes, a dark chocolate truffle (100–200 calories), 60 percent cocoa content, can get you through this all-alone time. Why You’ll Like It: The sensual experience of that melting chocolate in your mouth can create a boost in brain activity and heart rate that is more intense than a passionate kiss. What’s more, that loving feeling may last up to four times as long.7 38 MOODINESS (Zap those crankies) Whether you’re in a romantic relationship or not, moodiness can affect you, anytime, and sometimes without rhyme or reason. Both men and women can fall victim to mood swings, which can be caused by daily stressors, such as poor diet, lack of sleep, stress and anxiety, and out-of-whack hormones. Of course, we all like to feel centered, right? Chocolate can and does come to the rescue on more than one occasion. What Chocolate Rx to Use: In the “Chocolate Recipes” section of this book, check out some of the chocolate desserts baked with olive oil. Not only will you get a serotonin boost from the chocolate, but the monounsaturated fat from both chocolate and olive oil may help lift your spirits so you’ll not be such a crab. Why You’ll Like It: You’ll feel more balanced, and friends, family, and coworkers will feel it too because it will help you help them want to be around you rather than run, not walk, away when you are in close proximity to them. 39 PMS (Erase hormonal woes) Yes, menopausal years come with a mixed bag of woes, but premenstrual syndrome isn’t a bag of goodies either. Ugh. I recall the scourge of PMS woes. Symptoms vary, but common complaints include cramps and chocolate cravings. Years ago, you weren’t supposed to do the chocolate dance, even if you craved to toss the cat and mate out the door, eat a carton of double chocolate chip ice cream, and go to bed until the next century. When your out-of-whack hormones, such as progesterone and estrogen, wreak havoc on your well-being during PMS-ing, adding dark chocolate, rich in magnesium (a nutrient that can calm the nervous system), can help soothe those frazzled nerves. That means less crankies. What Chocolate Rx to Use: Try a square of dark chocolate with a 60 to 70 percent cocoa content and brew a cup of ginger tea, which is known to be a soothing medicine for relieving cramps. A bonus tip: A cup of hot chocolate—a 60 percent cocoa content—paired with a cup of calcium-rich, organic 1 to 2 percent milk (rich in tryptophan, another calming nutrient) not only can soothe your irritable mood, but it can help you lose the cravings to eat too many sweets and gain unwanted pounds. Why You’ll Like It: You will chill out, keep your hissy fits under control (also chocolate may boost your spirits and lessen the depression that can come with PMS), and save your relationships with your
friends, family, and pet(s). What’s more, if chocolate helps you feel amorous, some medical experts believe lovemaking can increase blood flow and decrease the pain of menstrual cramps. Lynzie Brooks, 44, a mom with five teenage boys, turns to eating her favorite comfort food—chocolate —to curb her PMS emotional roller-coaster days. Like the busy mom (Debra Winger) raising two boys in the classic film Terms of Endearment who wouldn’t give up her Midol at the grocery store checkout despite being short of cash, Lynzie cherishes her cure. “Every month as my monthly womanhood arrives I head to the store and buy a 12-ounce jar of maraschino cherries and two dark chocolate Dove candy bars. When I get home, I break up each candy bar into eight pieces each, place them in a bowl, and pour the entire jar of cherries and juice over the top. Then I cuddle in a blanket on the couch and enjoy my favorite treat.” 40 PREGNANCY (Mother problems) Speaking of PMS and hormones. . . Some women have a hard time with unwanted health problems during their pregnant months, a challenging period. I remember my 30-something friend who gave me the good news of her pregnancy but was skittish because the first time around had been bad—her blood pressure had skyrocketed and was an issue that she couldn’t easily forget. She is hardly alone. What Chocolate Rx to Use: A daily snack of quality dark chocolate helps pregnant women—protecting mom from potential hypertension woes and preeclampsia (a major pregnancy complication with heart problems that strikes up to 8 percent of pregnant women). Why You’ll Like It: According to Yale University and the University of California researchers, women at risk of preeclampsia may also be at risk of both heart and metabolic problems. Theobromine, a brain chemical, found more in darker chocolate, was linked with lowering the risk of preeclampsia. The compound may be beneficial in the treatment of high blood pressure, angina, and atherosclerosis. The findings: Women who ate the most chocolate and whose babies had higher levels of theobromine had a significant reduction in the risk of preeclampsia.8 41 SEASONAL AFFECTIVE DISORDER (Sing the blues) Forget the hormonal thing—it may be a seasonal hang-up this time around. It’s January or February, and you find yourself with unwanted winter body fat, irritable, and fed up with the shorter days, colder nights, and lack of sunshine and warmth. It’s enough to make a person feel blue and out of whack. Welcome to the world of seasonal affective disorder (SAD), a name coined by Dr. Normal Rosenthal. It is a real condition that causes low moods, weight gain, and anxiety—especially in the winter months. But don’t despair. Hot cocoa comes to the rescue. What Chocolate Rx to Use: Try a cup of hot chocolate. I recommend the dark 70 percent cocoa content American style with 1 to 2 percent low-fat milk. If you can afford the calories, savor two cups a day. And note, olive oil, a healthful monounsaturated fat (remember, chocolate contains this good dietary fat, too), is not the cure-all for SAD, but it can help you become energized again if you team it with other remedies. Each day, for lunch or dinner, drizzle extra virgin olive oil—which contains the most disease-fighting antioxidants—on a dark, leafy green salad with plenty of vegetables. It will fill you up, and you’ll be less likely to fill out. Why You’ll Like It: While light therapy may ease SAD, nutritional experts believe that happy foods are important, too. “People with depression often have low levels of serotonin (a compound found in chocolate), a neurotransmitter believed to be involved in modulating mood and appetite. By eating tryptophan-rich foods [such as milk] we can naturally boost levels of serotonin,” explains Keri Gans,
R.D. 42 SINUSITIS (Congestion, go away) In the winter, often sinus problems are worse due to cold weather, lack of humidity, and colds. Since I live in the mountains with low humidity and high altitude, I can feel your pain. Some common symptoms of sinusitis include postnasal-drip, a sinus headache, and facial tenderness. The last thing you want is a sinus infection, which often requires antibiotics. What Chocolate Rx to Use: Try a half-cup serving of Mexican or Sicilian mole, complete with spices, such as cayenne, chili paired with antioxidant-rich, immune-boosting onions, garlic—and chocolate. Serve over whole-wheat pasta or brown rice. Why You’ll Like It: Hot spices help unblock sinuses. As one who does get sinus headaches and congestion (living in the high mountain altitude doesn’t help), I can tell you that hot foods stimulate nasal secretions and loosen up unwanted mucus. So spicy mole (refer to the “Chocolate Recipes” section in this book) is both enjoyable to eat and can help battle congestion and fight off a sinus infection. 43 SLUGGISH (Athletic lack of energy) If you’ve got a sinus infection or are experiencing other energy zappers (such as work overload or lack of sleep), you won’t feel like running a marathon or doing much of anything that requires physical exertion. As a kid, I was a competitive swimmer. While I was busy coping with butterflies in my stomach before performing in front of a crowd, it was a Hershey’s candy bar that my dad gave to me. A candy bar was the fuel of choice before swimming backstroke in that 25-yard swimming pool. These days, after I swim breaststroke, I turn to a small piece of chocolate to curb my big appetite, and this way it staves off the urge to overeat, keeping me from gaining unwanted weight. What Chocolate Rx to Use: A chocolate candy bar, one serving, will do the trick before you perform a physical race or task. A bonus tip: Drink a cup of brewed coffee before your physical performance. Why You’ll Like It: Athletes are all too familiar with the energetic buzz linked to the properties of quality chocolate. Not only does it enhance energy, but it also curbs distracting hunger pangs before participating in a physical event. And yes, brewed coffee contains caffeine (approximately 85 milligrams per 8-ounce mug), much more than chocolate (1 ounce of semi-sweet dark chocolate contains about 20 milligrams of caffeine), but I can vouch that it can boost endurance and performance. Remember, moderation. 44 SORE THROAT (Swallowing hurts oh so bad) Lack of physical endurance is a drag, but a sore throat can drag you down, too, where you don’t feel like walking or talking. Ever have a raspy throat from talking too much? Or, perhaps a cold or flu is on its way. When you swallow it hurts a little and your voice doesn’t sound smooth like normal. What to do when you’re craving a comforting touch and are a little bit hungry? What Chocolate Rx to Use: Dish up a small bowl of all-natural dark chocolate ice cream, or if it’s late spring or summertime, an iced cocoa beverage is the cure. Why You’ll Like It: Eating something you like that is soft and soothing, like chocolate, may make that sore throat feel a little bit better. And if it’s really cold it could have a nice, temporary numbing effect, so you may not feel the pain as much.
45 SPRING FEVER (The weather changes are depressing) You may not be sick, but spring fever can make you feel under the weather, so to speak. Just when you think SAD is over, spring fever can haunt you like a monster movie. Picture this: You’re experiencing snow or rain one day, sunny skies the next, and slush or black ice is lurking outdoors morning and night. It’s March or April, and you find yourself with unwanted winter body fat, irritable, and fed up with seasonal changes. Chocolate is key—and exercise—to surviving the hump month. What Chocolate Rx to Use: Eat a 1- to 2-ounce piece of dark chocolate (48 percent cocoa content infused with your favorite fruit) and get a move on. To stay clear of black ice and falls, walking or running (include your pooch) on a treadmill can do the trick. Also, swimming in an indoor pool is another great way to get a workout and feel good, too. Why You’ll Like It: Both exercise and quality chocolate boost feel-good endorphins in your body, so what isn’t to like? No matter what the weather is like outside, you’ll feel better inside or outside after you get your choco-cize fix. 46 STOMACH UPSET (Lose the queasies) What’s worse, coping with spring fever or a bellyache? Nobody likes to feel oh-so queasy. Sometimes, a tummy upset can be caused by something you ate, the stomach flu, or being prone to motion sickness in a car, plane, or boat. But if you’re like me, you’ll be open to try anything that may work to curb that ailing tummy. What Chocolate Rx to Use: Try a cup of hot cocoa (at least 50 percent cocoa content), and I suggest mixing it with milk, which may coat your stomach lining. Team this home remedy with a couple of ginger snap cookies or a piece of whole-grain toast. Why You’ll Like It: Ginger is a tried-and-true remedy to beat motion sickness. Cocoa leaves have been used for centuries to treat the flu and upset stomachs, according to chocolate historians, and in the film Chocolat, the chocolatier gave cocoa leaves to a patron to cure her tummy woe. But note, I recommend an old-fashioned cup of hot chocolate—not cocoa leaves—for its taste and calming effect. 47 TOOTH TRAUMA (Getting rid of the ache) Sure, a stomachache isn’t fun, but a toothache can be miserable. Think films such as Marathon Man, Affliction, and The Beach. A bad tooth can give you a bad time to the point of using oil of cloves to extraction by yourself, like Tom Hanks in the film Cast Away. Ever have a toothache, dental surgery, or how about an excited pup’s paw lunge quick and hard into your face? Oh, how it smarts. This is the second time my dog has accidentally slapped me in the past four years. It was an accident but still it doesn’t make the pain go away any faster. The good news: no damaged teeth—but my face above the lip, upper right jaw, and teeth ache. Rather than even try to munch on crunchy foods, this is the time to turn to nutrient-dense comfort cuisine for the next 24 hours. What Chocolate Rx to Use: Soft edibles are the best choice so you can allow the healing process to kick in as you get nutritional food. A dark chocolate milk shake made with all-natural ice cream and organic 2 percent low-fat milk is a good choice. Why You’ll Like It: Let me count the ways. One, calcium in the milk is good for calming the nerves and good for bruised teeth and bones. Two, dark chocolate contains antioxidants, which can be immune boosting and help with inflammation. And three, chocolate, ice cream, and milk are comfort foods, so how can it be the wrong choice?
48 UNIVERSAL EMERGENCY (Grab a medicinal cure-all) Tooth trauma or natural disaster, either event can take a toll on you physically. Earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, fires, and avalanches are part of life around the globe. While sometimes these natural disasters can hit without a hint of happening, it’s smart to have chocolate on hand at all times. What Chocolate Rx to Use: Put chocolate bars, cocoa powders, pistoles, and chocolates in an airtight sealed container, and store these chocolate products with your emergency supplies. Why You’ll Like It: If you are waiting for a tornado or hurricane to hit or miss, having chocolate can help uplift your spirits, calm your nerves, and keep your mind alert. Once disaster hits, such as a fire, an earthquake, or a flood, chocolate in easy to eat bars will be a godsend as you cope with the disaster. If you are trapped and have chocolate on hand, rationing the nutrient-rich food just may save your life, as it has for other people trapped and waiting to be rescued. 49 WATER RETENTION (Get rid of bloat) Nah, feeling bloated isn’t a natural disaster but it might feel like one if you feel like a beached whale and can’t fit into your favorite jeans or dress. Do you feel bloated, due to PMS or after having overindulged in holiday meals that contain too many high-sodium processed foods and salty snacks? No problem. A quickie diet and chocolate fix can get you through this bloated feeling. What Chocolate Rx to Use: Both morning and night, drink an 8-ounce glass or mug of dark cocoa with a 70 percent cocoa content. Team this with drinking six to eight glasses of water, and fresh vegetables and fruits or juices. Plus, take a multivitamin mineral supplement. Why You’ll Like It: This chocolate and fresh produce/water cure boasts an all-natural diuretic effect. You can follow this remedy for one or two days and this will help your cells release retained water. A bonus tip: Try the American style with milk, because some researchers believe calcium can help reduce bloating. 50 WEIGHT GAIN (Put some meat on those bones) Being bloated is temporary but being underweight can last longer and have longer-lasting results that are not good for your well-being or overall health. Find out what your ideal weight and body fat ratio is for your height. If you fall under the standard numbers, it’s time to take control and pack on the weight, for your health’s sake. Gaining pounds and muscle mass can make you healthier by giving you more strength, keeping your bones strong, and enhancing your immune system. Can chocolate come to your aid if you need to put on weight? Yes! Yes, it can. What Chocolate Rx to Use: Once a day drink a healthful dark chocolate smoothie milk shake blended with all-natural dark chocolate ice cream, 2 percent low-fat milk, protein powder, and 70 percent cocoa powder. Your favorite fresh fruits are optional. Plus, eat a balanced diet, including fresh fruits, vegetables, fish, poultry, low-fat dairy, nuts, legumes, whole grains, and olive oil. (Contact a dietitian at www.eatright.org to find out how many calories per day you should be consuming.) Why You’ll Like It: You will be teaming taste, health (with plenty of bone-boosting calcium, and other essential vitamins and minerals), and indulgence.
A BONUS FOR GOOD MEASURE: YOUTH OBSESSION (Want to feel forever young?) While dealing with hormonal imbalances and temporary health ailments isn’t a piece of chocolate, growing old is a bittersweet affair. We live in a youth-oriented society. If you’re nearing 40 or are past the big 4-0, you may just be feeling down because you don’t want to grow up. No problem. There is a remedy available year-round to get you through this mind-set and help you defy aging. What Chocolate Rx to Use: Run, do not walk, to your nearest health spa and order a pampering, youthboosting antiaging treatment, such as a chocolate bubble bath or chocolate manicure. Eat a truffle (or two) and sip a chocolate cocktail to intensify the good effects. Why You’ll Like It: Pampering your body also takes care of your spirit. Not only will you look better on the outside, but you’ll feel better on the inside. Whenever you feel Father Time is tapping you on the shoulder, treat yourself to a spa treatment—or do it yourself at home. No matter what age you are, this is a healthful trick to feed your ageless soul. THE SUPRISING SECRETS TO SAVOR If the table that follows doesn’t specify which form of chocolate to use, go ahead and use your own preference: quality dark chocolate (48 to 70% cocoa content) is a must, available in a variety of types, including bars, chocolates, truffles, barks, pistoles, cocoa, and beauty treatments.
Form of Chocolate
What It May Do
Aches and pains
Chocolate mask with essential oils
Relieve sneezing, congestion
Boost red blood cells
Soothe frazzled nerves
Chocolate and essential oils
Clear airways for breathing
Stimulate mind alertness
Relax nervous system
Regulate eating patterns
Lessen side effects
Aid in healthier teeth
Comfort and relax
Aid in regularity
Detoxifying your body
Cleanse body toxins
Aid in regularity
Keep you focused
Lessen pelvic pain
Aid in digestion
Curb unhealthy cravings
Chocolate ice cream
Maintain normal temperature
Aid relaxation, sleep
Chocolate massage and essential oils
Relax, soothe muscles
Irritable bowel syndrome
Rev up sex drive
Help relieve heartache
Lessen cramps, crankies
Lower high blood pressure
Seasonal affective disorder
Boost mood, energy; lessen simple-carb cravings
Enhance physical energy
Uplift spirit, rejuvenate
Soothe intestinal tract
Act as a cure-all
Get rid of bloat
Help put on pounds
Enhance inner/outer beauty
Uplift spirit, rejuvenate
Soothe intestinal tract
Act as a cure-all
Get rid of bloat
Help put on pounds
Enhance inner/outer beauty
In Chapter 13, “The Chocolate Craze,” you’ll be wowed by the popularity of chocolate around the world.
PART 6 F UTURE CHOCOLATE
CHAPTER 13 The Chocolate Craze Look, there’s no metaphysics on earth like chocolates. —Fernando Pessoa
I recall several years ago, Las Vegas was the pinpointed place for me to travel to and enjoy for business and pleasure. The catch is, I had no idea how long the drive would be from South Lake Tahoe to “Sin City.” I do remember, however, that it was chocolate candy that kept me from dying of boredom during this long, long journey. An air-conditioned car allowed me to enjoy a dark and creamy chocolate Dove ice cream bar. Hours later, I gave in to purchasing a Hershey’s candy bar with almonds. And, I cannot forget the cup of coffee I ordered late at night because I wanted to see the lake view from the hotel room. While I did get to see Lake Mead and Hoover Dam, I missed the chocolate fountain at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas—another liquid wonder. This eye-catching chocolate fountain (owned and founded by Chef Jean-Philippe Maury) is viewed by tourists daily at Las Vegas’s European-style Jean Philippe Patisserie. The chocolate fountain is nearly 27 feet tall and rotates liquid white, medium, and dark chocolate—which can be purchased as a chocolate liquid before it’s in the fountain. In this chapter, I will show that chocolate, especially the dark type, is a good food that is skyrocketing in demand for its health benefits. CHOCOLATE IS “THE CRAZE” EVERYWHERE The chocolate fountain at the Bellagio Hotel is a chocolate lover’s sightseeing delight, but chocolate is the “craze” around the world. Chocolate bars and cafés, which offer chocolate appetizers, entrees, cocktails and desserts, chocolate shops, chocolate beauty spa treatments, chocolate novelty items from candles to T-shirts, and much more, are just a handful of places you will find chocolate to use from head to toe, and it’s available on the streets in big cities and small towns as well as online for you to get that chocolate fix. According to consumer companies, it’s the dark healthy stuff that is making the news for the future chocolate makers and chocolatiers. Here, take a look at some sobering facts: • Research company Packaged Facts claimed in a 2007 report that the U.S. market for chocolate was primed for growth from $16 billion to $18 billion in 2011. • Mintel, a leading global supplier of consumer products, believes the sweet tooth does not seem to be linked to the economic downturn. Mintel projects Americans will continue indulging in innovative dark and premium chocolates. The market predicts 4 percent annual sales increases for the next six years.1 • Dark chocolate holds a reputation as being a healthier choice then other chocolate with Britain’s chocoholics. Eating chocolate with wine is a growing market.2 • In the late twentieth century, Americans preferred milk chocolate and sweeter centers. Today, countless consumers prefer darker chocolate and more exotic flavors. • Dark chocolate has grown in popularity, especially among women, as a result of its slightly healthier
image, thanks to its antioxidant content, according to the Triumph Group, Inc.3 • The international market for chocolate has skyrocketed in Asia, where chocolate is a modestly priced and available Western luxury that attracts the middle-class folks.4
Love for Artisanal Chocolate Soars in Asia For almost a decade, New York–based Christopher Norman Chocolates has developed a sweet chocolate connection with Japan. Evidently, Japanese clients love the gourmet chocolates that show craftsmanship and attention to detail, according to the company’s president, Joe Guiliano. Anything that boasts a distinctive shape (like the chocolate Cappuccino Cups and the chocolate Pyramid Truffles) or is very artistic in design (like the hand-painted tiles) attracts chocolate lovers in Japan, he notes. The prestigious chocolate company was commissioned to do a series of chocolate paintings that graced the opening of the Hermes Tokyo Film Festival a few years ago, recalls Guiliano. This year the theme at the Tokyo Salon du Chocolat—a high-end chocolate show—is chocolate and art, something Christopher Norman Chocolates pioneered in. During the last visit, Guiliano noticed the use of spices, such as rosemary and basil—which wasn’t popular when the company first began exporting. “We are in 14 stores, and we started manufacturing there last year. Two years ago, we were invited to show at the Salon du Chocolat in Tokyo. The Japanese like our chocolates,” points out Guiliano, who adds that he was currently working on an order of 1,000 of their chocolate Cappuccino Cups for them. These gems are described as follows: “Espresso and Grand Marnier are the flavors for this little latte. A soft, creamy ganache fills the chocolate cups, the boldness of the beans is cut with the sweetness of orange. All topped off by a buttercream crema.” It’s no surprise that Valentine’s Day and White Day— January through the end of April—in Japan is a popular period for chocolate with an artist’s twist.
AMERICANS LOVE CHOCOLATE According to a consumer survey conducted by Barry Callebaut, some tidbits of information regarding “Americans’ Love Affair with Chocolate” were discovered. Here, are some of the findings:5 • More than half of U.S. adults have tried single-origin chocolates, with organic and fair-trade chocolate also growing in popularity. • Americans are more likely to consume chocolate at work compared with Europeans. • Nearly 6 of 10 Americans are loyal to a particular brand of chocolate, but many are trying new brands. • What’s more, nearly 4 of 10 Americans eat chocolate at least a few times per week. • Fifty-four percent of Americans said they eat chocolate because they like it, while 4 percent eat chocolate for health reasons. So, good chocolate is a multibillion-dollar industry and it’s one of the most popular confection products worldwide. Some reports claim that Switzerland, Belgium, and the United Kingdom rank the
highest in consuming chocolate. In a cocoa pod shell, chocolate was a popular comfort food during the Depression in the 1930s and during other periods of lean times in America and around the world. After all, people turn to chocolate—a super food that has no age, gender, or racial boundaries—when life throws us punches. And chocolate consumption is a favorite during the good times, too. WIDESPREAD CHOCOLATE APPEAL While Africa produces 70 percent of the world’s cocoa crop, followed by Latin America and Southeast Asia, other regions around the world are not ignoring chocolate. America continues to lead the globe in cocoa bean importing and chocolate production. But Switzerland maintains front-runner position in its chocolate consumption. Like the worlds of olive oil, vinegar, and wine, the world of chocolate is both competitive and delicate. Cocoa bean harvesters count on Mother Nature to do her best, I learned. There are two main harvests per year, but some cacao can be harvested all year long. Also, pests, disease, and weather destroy some of the world’s cacao each year—but organic methods help to combat these chocolate challenges.
CHOCOLATE LOVERS’ COOL TERMS Chocolate Term
Loaded with flavor, not sugar
Foods that are nutritional such as nuts, soy, and dark chocolate
Jewish dietary laws pertaining to the preparation and handling of food products
Shown by studies that dark chocolate can promote improved heart health, and other health benefits
Protects the rain forest by using only shade grown, pesticide-free grown, and harvested cacao beans from the forest (Sources: Lake Champlain Chocolates; Ver .)
MORE CHOCO FACTS THAT WILL WOW YOU History proves that chocolate is loved by people in America. Take a look at these surprising facts, to show you just how much Americans love chocolate. • Sixty-eight percent of men age 50 or older claim they would rather receive chocolate than flowers from their loved one on Valentine’s Day. • Chocolate is America’s favorite flavor. • One survey revealed that 52 percent of U.S. adults said they like chocolate the best. The second flavor was a tie between berry flavors and vanilla. • The first chocolate box was introduced by Richard Cadbury in 1868. Cadbury also invented the first Valentine’s Day candy box. (Source: Courtesy of National Confectioners Association, other Web sites.)
HOLIDAYS AND CHOCOLATE I can remember that when I was a little girl chocolate was a part of holidays in suburbia, where I grew up. In the winter, on Valentine’s Day, my dad would bring home red valentine-shaped boxes of chocolates for my mom, sister, and me. Saint Patrick’s Day was also a big event because my mother was part Irish. And I can’t forget the dark chocolate cupcakes frosted with green icing. During spring, for Easter, oversized baskets full of chocolate-covered rabbits and chocolate fruit-andnut eggs were par for the course. And in the summer, on the Fourth of July, chocolate ice cream cones were part of the neighborhood fireworks celebration. In the fall, birthdays in October were celebrated with chocolate cake both homemade and purchased from the Swedish bakery. Before, during, and after Halloween it was small candy bars for the family (of all ages). Thanksgiving was the hallmark of the holidays and chocolate pinwheel cookies and brownies filled the house. Once Christmas vacation rolled around, through the New Year’s holiday, chocolate pie, chocolate pudding, and homemade fudge were rich treats that everyone in the family couldn’t resist; and I enjoyed the gold-wrapped chocolate coins from our neighbors who celebrated Hanukkah. Chocolate was part of our household, neighborhood, and community church, and chocolate—in every form and during every season—made each holiday every year that more special. Once I was grown up, these traditions tagged along with me and my friends and family. I recall making fudge for Christmas, and chocolate chip cookies for Thanksgiving. I received Godiva chocolate from boyfriends on my birthday, and big chocolate cream-filled eggs for Easter. Hot chocolate with whipped cream made a rainy afternoon seem like a holiday. It is chocolate that makes holidays, whether you’re a kid or a grown-up. CHOCOLATE WITH A HEART Welcome to Valentine’s Day or Saint Valentine’s Day, the 14th of February, a traditional day for the exchange of romantic gifts of affection in both America and Europe. These tokens can include flowers, cards, and chocolate of all kinds, shapes, and sizes for women and men. During my last Valentine’s Day experience, as a solo adult I embraced the popular holiday like an excited kid by savoring gourmet chocolates from both the West Coast and East Coast. It was a love affair with chocolate. • Recchiuti Chocolates: First, I received an appropriately colored red box of Recchiuti Champagne Truffles. The words on the greeting card introduced me to a special gift: “The delicate kiss of Schramsberg Blanc de Noir champagne in the creamiest dark chocolate ganache. Hearts will flutter and lovers will swoon. Recchiuti Champagne Truffles raise the glass to romance.” Each truffle, sprinkled with confectioners’ sugar, was fun to touch, see, and taste. It was a treat, and I was giddy with delight. • Christopher Norman Chocolates: Then, Chocolatier John Down’s whimsical creations arrived on my doorstep. I loved the petit fours: hand-painted pastries that include dark chocolate and strawberry. When I spoke to John on the phone, I got a sense of his style, passion, and an artist’s touch that makes sense to me that his chocolates are an adventure. • Rom nicos: Another gourmet chocolate company, in Florida, made me smile on Valentine’s Day. In February, living in a region with snow-covered ground, it was great to taste the dark chocolate truffles packaged in an attractive red box. I loved the Floridian orange flavored gems with distinct notes of the sweet citrus fruit. I felt like I had transcended 3,000 miles on a vacation to Disney World. • Christopher Elbow: Two days after Valentine’s Day, I received a box of Christopher Elbow
chocolates: a 16-piece selection in a sophisticated white box with an earthy colored brown ribbon. Christopher Elbow is one of CocoaBella’s most popular chocolatiers, praised for his enticing, eyecatching, and beautiful pieces made from the best chocolate and ingredients. Speaking of chocolate with a heart, baking with olive oil for Valentine’s Day and throughout the year is also a romantic gesture and a budget-smart way to give sweets to loved ones. Chocolate Kisses Cookies
1½ cups sugar ½ cup cocoa (Hershey’s) 2 cups flour 1¾ teaspoon baking powder ½ teaspoon salt 3 eggs ½ cup Marsala Olive Oil 1 tablespoon corn syrup 2 teaspoons vanilla ½ teaspoon Watkins Irish Cream Extract 40–44 Hershey’s chocolate Kisses, unwrapped
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease cookie sheets. In mixing bowl add dry ingredients; make well in center. Add eggs, olive oil, corn syrup, and flavorings; stir to blend. Cover, then refrigerate until dough is firm enough to handle (at least 4 hours). Shape dough around a chocolate Kiss in a 1-inch ball (dough will be sticky)—cover completely with dough. Place about 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheet. Bake 12 to 14 minutes, or until no indentation remains when top is touched lightly. Cool slightly; then remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Makes 40 to 44. (Source: Baking Sensational Sweets with California Olive Oil by Gemma Sanita Sciabica.)
Chocolate Is More Than Just Romantic—It’s Spiritual Sure, when you think of chocolate, special holidays and tasty food come to mind, right? Well, yes and no. Some chocolate-related companies, such as Intentional Chocolate, also offer clothing and accessories, gift boxes, gift certificates, greeting cards, and mugs—with the concept: “shifting the way humans relate to food by delivering sustenance that nourishes both body and spirit.” All of Intentional Chocolate’s products depict the emblem
of the spiritual Dalai Lama (pronounced da-le lama) sitting in a cross-legged Lotus position, appropriate for the spiritual and political leader of the Tibetan people. As I sit cross-legged in my chair, here at my desk in my study, gazing out the window and appreciating the tall pine trees, with two sleeping Brittanys at my feet, I can appreciate the profound mission of this company and its intention to bring greater health, coherence, and quality of life to all beings. Actually, I am clad in jeans and a chocolate brown T-shirt (100 percent organic cotton) which reads, “Intentional Chocolate Share the Love.” And I am sipping a cup of chamomile tea in an Intentional Chocolate mug. And that’s not all. Intentional Chocolate offers a wide variety of products, like these, all with positive messages that bring good things to people like you and me. For instance, the Intentional Medium Blend Coffee comes with these words of wisdom: “Call it a thought, a prayer, or a blessing, intention is the expression of purpose and the direction of source energy within all of us. Medium blend fair trade, 100% organic coffee. We added the intention of health and well-being.” There are plenty of chocolate-related novelty items around the world. But, Intentional Chocolate’s products and philosophy are extraordinary and stood out to me—and I am grateful.
Chocolate Biscotti Dark, milk, and white chocolate are popular around the world. Biscotti is one of my favorite Italian foods, and the versatile treat has crossed over to America and other countries, too. It can be enjoyed anywhere, anytime for a sophisticated breakfast teamed with coffee or hot cocoa or as a healthful snack. I can personally attest that this recipe is worth making—savor each one like it’s your first.
3 cups flour ¾ cup sugar ½ cup brown sugar packed 2½ teaspoons baking powder ¾ teaspoon salt 3 large eggs 3 squares unsweetened chocolate, melted (3 ounces) cup Marsala Olive Oil 2 tablespoons orange juice 2 tablespoons rum liqueur grated peel of 1 orange 1 teaspoon vanilla 1 cup milk or bittersweet chocolate chips
1 cup pecans or walnuts chopped small 12 ounces white chocolate (for frosting)
In large mixing bowl combine flour, sugars, baking powder, and salt. Make well in center. In another bowl add eggs, melted chocolate, oil, juice, rum, peel, and vanilla; stir. Pour egg mixture into flour mixture; stir until dough is well blended. Add chocolate chips and nuts. On floured board divide dough into 4 to 6 pieces. Shape pieces into logs 2 by 12 inches long. Place on foil-lined, greased baking sheet, 4 inches apart. Bake in a 350°F oven for about 20 minutes or until firm to the touch. Remove from oven; cool about 15 minutes. Using a serrated knife, cut diagonally into about ½-inch-thick slices. Place biscotti, cut side down, on pans; bake 8 to 10 minutes to toast. Makes 60 to 70. FROSTING Melt white chocolate with 1 tablespoon olive oil in top of double boiler; stir until smooth. Dip one end of each biscotti about 1 inch into white chocolate to coat. Lay on wire racks until firm. (Source: Baking with California Olive Oil: Dolci and Biscotti Recipes by Gemma Sanita Sciabica) Now that we’ve proven the chocolate craze isn’t just a fad and we’ve explained that it’s here to stay, in the next chapter we’ll take a look at how the versatile forbidden fruit—either by itself or as an ingredient in ready-made beauty products—can help beautify you from head to toe. And yes, you can enjoy chocolate beauty treatments at posh spas and in the convenience of your own home. THE SURPRISING SECRETS TO SAVOR Africa, Latin America, and Southeast Asia are the top cocoa bean–producing countries in the world. Approximately 70 percent of the world’s cocoa crop is grown in Africa. Cocoa beans are for the most part grown and harvested 20° to the north and south of the equator, where the climate is ideal. Research companies show growth in sales of premium dark chocolate for its health benefits. Chocolate is enjoyed around the globe. Some reports claim that Switzerland, Belgium, and the United Kingdom rank the highest in consuming it. Americans love chocolate, but women rank higher than men in craving this flavor. Chocolate is more than just edible eats. Many companies provide chocolate-related novelties. One company, Intentional Chocolate, incorporates mind, body, and spirit philosophy in its chocolate and other products, including chocolate mugs and T-shirts.
CHAPTER 14 Chocolate Beautiful 1 My chocolate fantasy would be that I could eat all the chocolate in every conceivable form that I could possibly ever want and it wouldn’t do anything bad to my body or my skin or my disposition. Actually, it would have no calories at all. —Helen Gurley Brown (Cosmopolitan)
A few years ago, after I came home from a book tour I realized that I was stressed out and did not have an exercise or pampering routine for my body and spirit. True, chocolate was part of my diet but I needed more. So, one day I found myself at a Lake Tahoe spa health resort, a few of them, actually. I found what was missing in my life. When I sat in the Jacuzzi amid an ambiance of pine trees and mountain air, and enjoyed the swirling water on my back, arms, torso, legs, feet—I was relaxed. I felt free of tension. Then, when I dipped into the swimming pool it was like I reunited with an old-time familiar friend. After all, as a kid I was a competitive swimmer. But this day I swam laps for myself: breaststroke, sidestroke, and elementary backstroke. Then, back into the Jacuzzi. And this was the day that I began a new, improved regimen that has made me feel better, look better, and injected healthful inner beauty to my well-being. These days, I still go swimming and enjoy a Jacuzzi almost every other day. I am addicted—like I am addicted to chocolate. And recently, I learned that chocolate can be a part of a beauty routine, like this, at a spa and at home, too. Surprise. Chocolate is also used in health spas for body treatments: wraps, masks, massages. I talked to some of the well-known spa retreats, from Calistoga, California, to Reno, Nevada, to find out how chocolate works and why it is used. Chocolate soaks, bean polish, scented massage, scrubs, and wraps are part of chocolate treatments at resort spas in America and worldwide. According to Global News Products Database, four years ago there were at least 85 cocoa-based skin treatments available. CHOCOLATE SPA BEAUTY TREATMENTS Eating chocolate can make you feel better, but treating your body from head to toe with chocolate beauty treatments can make you look better, too. It’s not just a gimmick or a pampering treat—chocolate contains the real deal to help nourish your hair, skin, and nails, and much more. Chocolate treatments also soften skin, enhance your blood circulation, and zap stress and anxiety. Indeed, there are also some all-natural compounds in chocolate that can make your skin feel silkier and even more youthful. After all, you know by now that chocolate is antioxidant rich, which is ideal for fighting free radicals in our environment, stress, and aging. All-natural cocoa teamed with other natural plant extracts and essential oils can help exfoliate, soften, and even make your skin look firmer and glow. And this is why some progressive spas around the nation and world include chocolate in their pampering spa treatments. Here, take a look at just some of the popular treatments. Prices will vary depending on the
spa, region, and season. Chocolate Body Masque This is ideal for couples who can enjoy the steps in a private room: Choose the chocolate body masque (the words masque and mask are used interchangeably). Apply the warm chocolate body masque. Relax on a steam table. Feel the aromatic steam. An attendant will also apply a facial masque (cleansing or moisturizing) during your treatment. Finish the treatment with a special shower gel and shampoo. Chocolate Fondue Wrap Imagine your body totally covered with natural ingredients: prime-pressed cocoa butter, French cocoa absolute, chocolate extract, and pure cocoa powder. A Peruvian chocolate fondue wrap includes a body scrub and wrap followed by a relaxing massage. Chocolate Facial A mask can contain vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, while chocolate does its job and the sweet aroma soothes your mind, body, and spirit. Chocolate Pedicure After a pedicure and before the nail polish is put on your nails, a chocolate powder paste is heated and the warm concoction is put on both feet—top and bottom. After 10 or 15 minutes, once the chocolate potion has dried, it is peeled off much like a facial masque. This, in turn, gets rid of dead cells, dry skin, and closes pores. Chocolate Hydrotherapy/Cocoa Bath Wonder what it would feel like to dip into a bathtub filled with chocolate silk bubbles? You’ll soak in a tub of warm water and enjoy the chocolate aroma of the pure cocoa, lush oils, and silk proteins moisturizing your skin from your feet to your neck. Chocolate-Covered Strawberry Wrap A chocolate fondue wrap is a sensual and soothing delight. But if you’re looking for something a bit more exotic, a treatment pairing chocolate and real strawberries, pure shea butter, and organic cocoa will be the ultimate body treatment. Chocolate Scrub/Massage This popular treatment can be used with ground cocoa beans mixed with essential oils. (Sources: Siena Hotel; www.vagablond.com. Calistoga’s Lincoln Avenue Spa.) PAMPER YOURSELF IN CHOCOLATE If you think chocolate spa treatments are just for fun, think again. Today’s spas offer a wide variety of pampering and healthful chocolate–related regimens, for all budgets. And more people—both men and women—are discovering the beauty benefits of chocolate. Spas use an assortment of natural treatments—from facials to baths—and now antioxidant-rich chocolate teamed with other beautifying herbal extracts is available to provide both a healthful and a pampering experience.
When I first began looking for a chocolate spa treatment I was surprised that Lake Tahoe spas—all around the lake—did not offer any chocolate beautifying treatments at all. Then, I contacted one beauty editor who claimed she did not believe chocolate spa treatments are healthful. I soon learned that she was off the mark. So, I called Calistoga’s Lincoln Avenue Spa, in California’s wine country, and immediately connected to a spa staff member, who dished out the facts about chocolate and beauty. And, I found the Siena Hotel Spa Casino, in Reno, Nevada, which showed me the wonderful world of chocolate bubble baths and chocolate manicures. But, if you do your own legwork you will see that you don’t have to go too far to get the back-to-nature chocolate spa vacation. (See Chapter 15, “Chocolatiers, Tasting Bars, and Tours.”) In fact, you can even get the same treatment right at home. I have a drawer full of chocolate-based beauty treatments that promise to pamper the body from head to toe. In other words, it is the next best thing to getting spa’d without spending a lot of money. One woman, Carrie Toppano, started using Sweet Beauty products and seems addicted to the chocolate beautifying results. “Being a chocolate and coffee lover,” she says, “the Sense, Mocha Sugar Scrub is absolutely addicting—it’s like my morning coffee in the shower! The Pot de Crème is like a chocolate soufflé that moisturizes your body. And I keep a chocolate lip balm in my bathroom vanity, my purse, and my car. The Berry Pretty chocolate antioxidant products for the face are truly amazing—I cannot use anything else. I even use the Sweet Beauty balm on my skin, as it makes the texture of my skin look younger.” With a collection of these all-natural and organic chocolate-based products, I followed a one-day athome spa plan to relax and rejuvenate my body and mind. I can see why Carrie is hooked. Before you get started, the night before, make this recipe and cut up seasonal fresh fruit chunks. Put in the fridge for the following day—your special beauty day. Chocolate Fondue
½ cup half-and-half 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped or pistoles 4 ounces milk chocolate, chopped or pistoles ¼ teaspoon vanilla marshmallows, pound cake, or brownies, peppermint sticks, strawberries, bananas, raspber- ries, or apricots
In saucepan, bring cream to a simmer. Remove from heat and stir in chocolate until melted. Stir in vanilla until smooth. Pour fondue into a serving bowl or individual cups. Serve at room temperature or slightly warmed. Dip the goodies!
(Source: Lake Champlain Chocolates) A CHOCOLATEY BEAUTIFYING DAY 9:00 A.M.: Rise and shine. Your day starts with an early morning body stretch. Then it’s time to make a cup of brewed coffee. Take one cup back with you (and a small chocolate biscotti) and crawl into bed. Instead of turning on the tube to hear news, or reading the newspaper, simply tune out the hectic happenings of the day. Savor each sip of coffee; sit back and enjoy your quiet time. 9:30 A.M.: Eat a nutritious breakfast. Now it’s time for a hearty, nutrient-dense breakfast but one that doesn’t take a lot of work in the kitchen. (Go to the “Chocolate Recipes” section of this book for ideas.) May I suggest a bowl of fresh fruit, oatmeal with dark chocolate chips sprinkled on top, and a boiled egg (less work than scrambled). 10:00 A.M.: Take a hot shower. First, light a chocolate-scented candle. Turn on New Age or classical tunes—something soothing. This time around you’re going to use a chocolate scrub; team it with a body scrub brush, and exfoliate your body from head to toe. Enjoy the scent of chocolate and linger in the shower longer than you usually do. 10:20 A.M.: Give yourself a manicure and pedicure with chocolate. Once you are out of the shower, slip into a soft and cozy robe—if you have one of those big, long white ones, all the better (for a spa effect). Note: Keep the scented candle burning, and leave the music on. Now, remove nail polish from your fingernails and toenails. Soak your feet in a bowl of warm, bubbly water with a chocolate product to smooth your feet. Do the same for your fingernails. 11:00 A.M.: Get a move on (with a bit of dark chocolate!). If you have dogs, this is the time you’re going to take them for a nice, long walk. Not only will you rev up your metabolism but you’ll get that feelgood endorphin high the faster you walk. One more thing: Before you go, break off a small piece (about 30 calories’ worth) of an all-natural dark chocolate bar. This will not only taste good, but it will provide you with an energy boost. During your walk try not to think about work- or home-related things to do— this is your chocolate pampering day and your time to enjoy it! Spend about 20 to 30 minutes walking. 11:30 A.M.: Give yourself a chocolate facial. Back to the bathroom. The following treatment not only should smell good, but it should help to tighten facial pores as well as make your skin feel tighter, look smoother. Try a chocolate facial mask: Mix 1 teaspoon of cocoa mask powder with 1 teaspoon of liquid in a clean mixing vessel. Apply to clean face and leave on for 10 to 15 minutes. Check out these three chocolate-based masks and choose one to fit your skin type: Dry Skin: water, aloe vera, heavy cream, fruit juice, mashed avocado, olive oil Normal Skin: fruit juice, yogurt, milk, water, aloe vera Oily Skin: witch hazel, fruit juice, water, milk 12:15 P.M.: Eat a lunch (with cocoa). Hungry? How about a plate of cocoa pasta with steamed vegetables on top? This is diet friendly and easy to make at home. (Refer to “Chocolate Recipes.”) Afterward, try a chocolate fondue on your fave fruit. 1:00 P.M.: Take a power nap. Cozy up on the sofa or bed and for 15 to 20 minutes do what laid-back cats do and shut your eyes. If the sun is out, all the better. Indulge in the warmth and silence of the day. Once you rise, drink a glass of spring water (or two)—squeeze fresh lemon in the glass for a tastier beverage. 2:00 P.M.: Do some aerobics. I prefer going to the local resort and swimming laps. (Nail polish should be fine by now.) If you’d rather work out at your gym or jog outdoors or walk on a treadmill or ride a stationary bike—no worries. It’s all good. Time spent: 30 minutes. 3:00 P.M.: Unwind. Now that your body is exercised and nourished, it’s time to feed your mind, like
when spa guests are provided with stress-management classes. For similar results at home, try reading a chapter of a self-help book or magazine that will provide tips on how to do what it is that you want to do (e.g., declutter your home, incorporate feng shui). Not only will it inspire you, but you will feel better because you’ll have a sense of control of your life. And that is calming. 4:00 P.M.: Have a snack. Dish up a chocolate brownie and pair it with a glass of fresh juice or a piece of fresh fruit. 5:00 P.M.: Cook up a mole sauce with poultry or fish. This is a good time to tune out and turn in to your creative side. Try cooking up one of the dishes provided by chefs in Part 7: Chocolate Recipes. Choose the one that is most exciting to you, the more challenging or more easy—whichever fits your mood. Make it your dinner treat—just for you. 6:00 P.M.: Eat dinner. And plan your dessert (such as chocolate mousse), but save it for later. It will be a treat worth waiting for. 7:00 P.M.: Try a chocolate bubble bath. When you finish dinner, further pamper yourself with a decadent chocolate bubble bath. Again, chocolate-scented candles, a tub full of warm water, and chocolate powder for the bubbles. Enjoy for 30 minutes. 8:00 P.M.: Turn on the rented film Chocolat or Under the Tuscan Sun. Don’t forget to grab a serving of chocolate mousse and put your feet up, drape a throw around your pampered body, and eat your decadent dessert. 10:30 P.M.: Get ready for bed. If you’re not sleepy, grab a good read such as Like Water for Chocolate, a romantic food novel. Before you indulge, moisturize your hands and feet with chocolate-scented lotion. Snuggle under the covers and enjoy reading just for you. A bonus: Indulge in a gourmet truffle or order a box of chocolates (all-natural exotic dark types infused with herbs and spices). It will give you something to look forward to for your next chocolate pampering day. (Before you go to sleep, do brush your teeth and floss.) Sweet dreams. Okay, enough about chocolate beauty secrets from head to toe. It’s time to introduce you to real live people behind this food of the gods and the people who travel around the chocolate world. In the next chapter, tune in to some fascinating folks who make chocolate and go beyond the call of duty to bring people, like you and me, the healing powers of chocolate. THE SURPRISING SECRETS TO SAVOR Chocolate is more than just a healthful and edible food—it can be used for beauty treatments from head to toe, too. Cocoa mixed with natural plant extracts, essential oils, and other ingredients has beautifying benefits, including exfoliating skin and softening and firming skin from head to toe to help both women and men look better, feel great. Chocolate masks, wraps, manicures, pedicures, baths, and much more are offered at health spas in America and around the world. You don’t have to go to a spa to enjoy the chocolate beauty treatments because they can be done in the comfort of your home.
CHAPTER 15 Chocolatiers, Tasting Bars, and Tours 1 Chocolate makes everyone smile—even bankers. —Chocolatier Ben Strohecker
After I finished graduate school, in between lulls of writing assignments (and Hershey’s candy bars to uplift my spirit), I continued to clean affluent peoples’ homes in affluent areas in the San Francisco Bay Area—and some of them fed me chocolate. I recall two friendly middle-aged couples and their big homes in Hillsborough and Palo Alto. It was my best friend chocolate, including See’s Candies (dark chocolates with nuts) to Hershey’s bars, that gave me endless energy to dust and vacuum each and every room from a.m. to p.m. When I arrived at each house there was a spread of food for me on the kitchen countertop—similar to a tasting bar complete with chocolate delights. The nibbles included an array of fresh vegetables, fruits, and chocolate, chocolate, chocolate. San Francisco Bay Area is a popular spot for chocolate makers’ factories and tours for gourmet chocolate. Some of it is believed to be the best in the country. I had the pleasure of chatting with some chocolate makers and chocolatiers as well as taste their chocolate. And, I also traveled via cyberspace and talked with famous people in the chocolate world from the West Coast to East Coast and the Midwest, too. Plus, I received generous gifts of chocolate, which included truffles to bars, chocolate treasures left by UPS many days to the point where I had to explain to the driver that I was working on a chocolate project. He, much like my friends and family, showed little pity for the chocolate products, from exotic flavored truffles to gourmet hot chocolate, that I had to scrutinize and consume—for the personal research and writing of The Healing Powers of Chocolate. 9 TOP-NOTCH U.S. CHOCOLATIERS One of the perks of being linked to chocolate in the workaday world is that you get to enjoy its benefits. Now, there are countless chocolatiers in America that are noteworthy but there is only one of me. I connected with these companies, one by one, and accepted their chocolate gifts. I want to share their unique history and my personal experience. To me, each of these companies is a standout for one reason or another, whether it be originality, presentation, reputation, quality, service—or all five traits. Most important, all the products boast both health and indulgence—two keys to savoring chocolate in moderation. Here, take a look at a brief history of each company and the healthy and indulgent and exotic affair I enjoyed with each chocolate—in its unique form. Chocolove
Chocolate History: As the story is told, Timothy Moley, Chocolove’s chocolatier, founder, and owner has the superhuman knack for smelling, tasting, and finding flavor nuances that will appeal to the palate. A Willy Wonka–type of man, Timothy is a tall, lanky, eccentric man with a drive to please his customers: chocolate lovers. Timothy’s past work is sprinkled with his passion for the flavors of food, wine, and chocolate. A welltraveled, food-savvy man found himself living in Sonoma County, California, wine country. Many tasting events later, he joined a wine-tasting group. One night he brought dessert and thought chocolate would be the perfect complement to the wines they were sampling. He chose wild raspberries near his home and dipped them in dark chocolate. His chocolate choice was such a hit that he was voted dessert chef for the group. And it’s this event that paved the way for Timothy to grow as a budding chocolatier. Healing Powers: Founded in 1996, touted as the first premium chocolate company in America, Chocolove uses the highest-quality ingredients (which can provide health benefits) and uses traditional small-production techniques like those of Europe’s finest chocolatiers. Timothy also decided to print the cocoa content of each Chocolove bar boldly on the wrapper—another first in the American market— which has set a popular trend. The higher the cocoa content, the more healing powers. My Fave Chocolate: Stocked in my file cabinet sits a group of Chocolove chocolate bars. To choose just one would be too grueling. How in the chocolate world can I choose between fruity Orange Peel in Dark Chocolate and Raspberries in Dark Chocolate—not to mention the spicy Ginger Crystallized in Dark Chocolate to nutty Cherries & Almonds in Dark Chocolate? The Toffee & Almonds in Milk Chocolate, 33 percent cocoa content, was the first to go (I decided to go on an anti–dark chocolate vacation). Christopher Norman Chocolates Chocolate History: Nearly 15 years ago, John Down and Joe Guiliano—two more trendsetters in the chocolate industry—founded this priceless “high end” company in 1994. Two artists put to work their passion and “set the standards for what became artisanal chocolates in New York City.” With a “distinctive edge” Christopher Norman Chocolates (penned after John Down’s middle names) has made them well known internationally. This business, which has a nouvelle American style and an innovative flair, has a reputation of being one of the top gourmet chocolate companies in the nation. “We take a New World perspective on traditional chocolate concepts originating in the fresh chocolate shops in Belgium and France. Ours are definitely less sweet than most others and the whole ingredients that we use allow the flavors to come across with less interference,” explains Guiliano. Healing Powers: When I contacted Guiliano he quickly told me that the finest all-natural ingredients are used in the handmade chocolates. They are not mass produced. Each chocolate is made by hand at their factory in New York City. “For the record,” says Joe, “we use Valrhona and Cacao Barry dark chocolates and Callebaut and Valrhona white and milk chocolates.” It is their mission to create extraordinarily luscious and sensory-provoking confections that provide fresh taste experiences. Mission accomplished. My Fave Chocolate: On Christmas Eve two boxes of chocolates arrived from Christopher Norman— 3,000 miles away, from the East Coast to the West Coast. Yes, it was an outstanding gift that will always stand out in my mind. On the Web site the unique round box of wild Italian cherries called Amarene Cherries attracted me. And I wasn’t disappointed. The Amarene cherries are small (not like the
inexpensive ones you can buy at the drugstore). They are both sweet and tart and oh-so fruity but different from any dark chocolate–covered cherry I have ever tasted. These juicy gems are coated by hand with at least a 70 percent cocoa content chocolate. The second box: Hand Made Truffles Made with Spices and Herbs—one of my favorites of all the chocolates I’ve encountered during my chocolate affair. These are dark chocolate truffles, including Rosemary Walnut and Australian Ginger. I was amazed when I consumed each and every one that I could taste the herbal and spicy notes and know what they were without looking at the ingredients. And the chocolate, too, was distinct without overlap. The best part: A perfect taste lingered in my mouth like after a perfect first kiss. Intentional Chocolate Chocolate History: Welcome to Jim Walsh, the founder and chairman of Intentional Chocolate, another chocolate company with unique goals. He has been CEO and chairman of the board of Hawaiian Vintage Chocolate (HVC) since 1992—the first company to successfully grow and produce chocolate in the United States, named by the New York Times as “the best chocolate in the world.” Healing Powers: Walsh, who has an entrepreneurial spirit, aims to reintroduce the ancient wisdom of embedding conscious intention and love into food to deliver sustenance that nourishes both body and spirit and brings greater health and quality of life to all beings. “At Intentional Chocolate, we hold a simple vision for conscious eating and intentional living,” said Walsh. “Since this is our life-focus, on a daily basis we get to see the positive impact that good intentions can have—a visible illustration of the relationship between mind and matter.” He adds, “Whoever consumes this chocolate will manifest optimal health and functioning at physical, emotional, and mental levels, and in particular will enjoy an increased sense of energy, vigor, and well-being for the benefit of all beings.” So, how does the intention get into the chocolate? Experienced meditators at the Deer Park Monastery in Madison, Wisconsin, project positive intention into a device developed by the HESA Institute that is designed to capture, hold, and transfer intention into food. And note: HVC is used by celeb chefs like Emeril Lagasse and was the first chocolate the Dalai Lama ever tasted. He said, “I think this chocolate will bring great happiness to mankind,” recalls Walsh. And the spiritual leader was right on the money— 50 percent of profits are donated to organizations benefiting humankind. My Fave Chocolate: I love the chocolate affair I had with the Intentional Chocolate Raspberry Triangles. These superfruity triangles are infused with 100 percent pure Hawaiian Vintage chocolate (68 percent cocoa content) plus organic raspberry. And, the Dalai Lama emblem on top of each chocolate to remind me that this is infused with spiritual energy is definitely different—and a cut above in the health world. I cannot forget the Love Truffles—each one comes in its own little box—with tantalizing roasted flavors such as Kona. Lake Champlain Chocolates Chocolate History: Speaking of different, back in 1983, Jim Lampman, owner of Burlington, Vermont’s Ice House Restaurant on the Lake Champlain waterfront, was buying pricey boxes of chocolates as gifts for his staff. One day, his pastry chef, a man of epicurean standards, had a heart-to-heart chat with Jim. “These chocolates are terrible,” he admitted. “All right, then you do better!” Jim challenged him. And the rest is history. Healing Powers: These days, Lake Champlain Chocolates uses only the freshest natural ingredients.
Organic, all natural, vegan, gluten free, and kosher are terms familiar to this gourmet company that has a wonderful reputation for its wonderful truffles, chocolates, hot chocolate, signature bars, novelties, and much more. My Fave Choice: To decide which product I enjoyed the most would be an arduous task. The day I opened the box of chocolate products, I was overwhelmed. Every item was impressive to the eye and palate. For a gal who was eating Hershey’s Special Dark chocolate bars, biting into an Organic Spicy Aztec Chocolate Square put me in another class of chocolate. I was hooked on spicy flavors in chocolate, thanks to the Lake Champlain Chocolates Selection, in an impressive green box with an image of a lake surrounded by mountains—much like Lake Tahoe, my home. The epicurean nutty-tasting Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup had me at the first bite. I was ready to relocate to Vermont. MarieBelle Chocolate History: Like Christopher Norman Chocolates, MarieBelle, named after Maribel Lieberman, designer and founder, makes luxury chocolates with artisanal techniques that have been compared to semiprecious jewels—with eclectic ingredients—found in its beautiful blue boxes. Healing Powers: MarieBelle in New York is a gourmet chocolate shop that is known for its 72 percent cocoa blend. The rich, pure blend helps deliver the powerful health benefits of dark chocolate. Lieberman said, “It is true that dark chocolate has excellent health value. Just like anything else, portion is the key. We recommend clients enjoy our dark chocolate in the way we sell it, in small portions.” MarieBelle chocolates come in a variety of healthy options. Chocolate made with no sugar and no substitutes is popular at MarieBelle, as well as the Maya chocolate bars sweetened with Panela, which contains naturally processed sugarcane sweetener. Panela contains minerals and vitamins that are found in cane juice, without the chemicals that are used to process refined sugar. My Fave Chocolate: The pretty blue box full of delicate and scrumptious little square chocolates was an extraordinary treat. Each one is made to resemble a semiprecious jewel. Being a tea gal, the flowery taste of both the Earl Grey Tea and the Lavender treats fancied me and my taste buds. But I have to say that it’s the hot chocolate collection in the standout blue and chocolate brown metal containers that warmed my body and spirit. It was the first time I have ever experienced melting real chocolate pieces in hot milk and/or water. And the spicy version of Aztec Hot Chocolate was another thick and decadent spicy treat that I had never had. Omanhene Chocolate History: Unlike the other chocolate companies, I found this one to be less artsy but it has its own intriguing and impressive qualities. Once upon a time Steven C. Wallace, the founder of Omanhene, found himself in Ghana back in 1978, when, as a high school foreign exchange student, he lived with a large traditional family in the town of Sunyani, located in the fertile Brong-Ahafo region of Ghana. “Though my summer was not easy, I came to love Ghana and wanted a reason to return.” And he did. In 1991, Wallace founded Omanhene. He was convinced that if Ghana grows the finest cocoa in the world then it should be able to produce the finest chocolate in the world. Healing Powers: Omanhene debuted what is believed to be the first single-bean-origin chocolate in
1994 and created a new category, Dark Milk Chocolate, with a 48 percent cocoa content recipe. I scrutinized the nutrient facts label and discovered 2 bars (40 grams) contains 210 calories; Fat Cal 140; Total Fat 15 g; Sat Fat 9 g; Trans Fat 0; a mere 5 mg cholesterol and 25 mg sodium; 3 g protein; 6% calcium; 4% iron based on the Daily Values of a 2,000 calorie diet. Ingredients: Sugar, Cocoa Liquor, Whole Milk Powder, Cocoa Butter, Lecithin (an emulsifier). My Favorite Chocolate: When I tasted my first Omanhene dark milk chocolate bar, I was pleasantly surprised. While milk chocolate does not have all the benefits of dark chocolate, it does boast some goodfor-you minerals. The mix worked for me. A sweet and healthful indulgence, and without the bittersweet taste found in higher cocoa content chocolate bars, dark milk chocolate gave me the silkiness that milk chocolate lovers love—without the guilt. RICHART Paris Chocolate History: This French company, like MarieBelle, has a Mediterranean flair, which attracted me. It is a fine find, based in San Francisco, with rich European roots. On www.richart.com, chocolatier Michel Richart explains: “The history of RICHART begins in 1925 on the Croix Rouse hill in Lyons, France. On this site, my father—Joseph Richart, master chocolatier—maintained his laboratory. My childhood was sweet, indeed, and instilled in my siblings and myself a taste for the highest quality, a passion for all things beautiful, and a love for work well done.” Two generations later, it’s this company’s mission to seek out the finest cocoa in the world, and an endless amount of the pleasure that chocolate has to offer. And, RICHART offers a wide selection of the finest French chocolate. (And yes, it has a boutique in Paris.) Healing Powers: RICHART boasts seven flavor families—chocolate’s favorite healing friends—and that is what lured me at first glance of the chocolatier’s Web site. Balsamic: “Like a soothing salve for the body and spirit; this is a return to the origins of black chocolate, powerful and full-bodies yet tender, with the finest geographic botanic pedigree, silky butter cream filling with exquisite cacao flavor.” Citrus: Includes vitamin-rich such as Grapefruit Ganache; Floral: flaunts Rose Ganache and Lavender Ganache; Fruity: This flavor family includes apricot, strawberry, prune to pineapple; Herbal: Jasmine Tea Ganache to Basil Ganache; Roasted: Almond Pralines and Hazelnut Pralines; and Spiced: Curry Praline to Ginger Ganache. But note, RICHART’s Chocolates uses the healthful 72 percent criollo cocoa in the plain dark chocolate collection. My Fave Choice: I chose the citrus selection out of the family of seven flavors offered by RICHART. It was an exotic experience to bite into a burst of the Grapefruit Ganache fruity delight. I discovered it has a healthful 74 percent cocoa content; the cocoa beans used for this unforgettable bonbon are from Venezuela. Its petite size made me recall why the French who practice the traditional Mediterranean diet and lifestyle do not get fat. It’s all about savoring superb food, including fruity chocolate, and practicing portion control. (There was only one Grapefruit Ganache in the box of chocolates, and I was left craving another one.) Ver Chocolate History: This company is refreshing—pure and simple without frills. Ver (pronounced “very”) set out to create a sophisticated, pure, healthful chocolate. Mission completed. The company’s
concept of chocolate with benefits was established in 2003 by founder and president Kathy Moskal. Ver offers real dark chocolate for chocolate lovers. “We champion quality, health, and ecological concerns in the creation of our product.” Healing Powers: Ver ’s chocolate has health benefits galore. It contains 70 and 75 percent cocoa content chocolate made from single-flavor beans. Its chocolate, from truffles to clusters, is low sugar, natural—no additives, chemicals, artificial sugars, or sugar alcohols—organic, and fair trade. My Fave Choice: The presentation of the fresh and pure white packages is what had me at the first moment my eyes met the boxes full of chocolate. It was the vegan Chocolate Coconut Clusters that won my taste buds. The Peanut Butter Brownies—75 percent cocoa content, low sugar, gluten free rain forest chocolate, and single origin—won the all-natural girl in me and won my award for originality. I felt clean and green as well as satiated after each bite of the “healthified” chocolate. Vosges Haut-Chocolat Chocolate History: Owner/chocolatier Katrina Markoff, not unlike MarieBelle, is known for creating artistic chocolates with a European touch. French trained, Katrina combines quality chocolate with exotic flavors, including Mexican chili and Hawaiian sea salt. She has worked in France, Spain, Italy, Southeast Asia, and Australia—and her exotic chocolate collections reflect her worldliness and culture. Healing Powers: Using spices, herbs, roots, flowers, fruits, nuts, chocolate is everything I write about in The Healing Powers of Chocolate. So, the outstanding, infused chocolate collections paired with premium chocolate and healthful, fresh ingredients give you both health and indulgence—an extraordinary gift for a health-conscious chocolate lover. My Fave Choice: The Collezione Italiana collection was my choice of a box of exotic truffles. The Rooster: combined with Italian taleggio, organic walnuts, Tahitian vanilla bean, and bittersweet, dark chocolate—a spicy and nutty truffle to love. The Balsamico is a truffle to remember: 12-year aged balsamic vinegar from Modena mixed with dark chocolate and roasted Sicilian hazelnuts. Nor will I forget Olio d’Oliva, with extra virgin olive oil and white chocolate topped with dried Kalamata olives. It was like a box of European delights custom made for the author who wrote the books on vinegar and olive oil. And due to the delicate nature of the taleggio in the Rooster truffle, the earthy collection was recommended to be refrigerated and eaten within seven days. TWO GRR-EAT CHOCOLATE TOURS IN THE SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA During the creation of this book, my devoted dog Simon needed surgery for a nose woe. So rather than pass on my scheduled San Francisco Bay Area chocolate tours, I turned to Michelle McHardy, my editor at PetFolio magazine. After all, she goes to the city, my home, more than I do these days. And, of course, she said yes to a chocolate assignment, right? You bet. Here is her up-close and personal account of visiting two touted chocolate companies—Charles Chocolates and Scharffen Berger Chocolate Maker— in the East Bay. Walking through the front door of Charles Chocolates brought me into their retail store—and a delicious chocolate wave hit my nose immediately. While I was waiting for the other people scheduled for the tour I wandered through the retail space and noticed the building has a concrete floor with brick walls and the front display case is filled with more than a dozen different types of chocolate. I was
offered a sample of a dark chocolate orange truffle. The shelves lining the right and left walls showcase Charles’s signature brown and blue boxes with a wide variety of different types and collections of confections. My personal favorite was the chocolates encased in their own edible chocolate boxes. The concept: “Enjoy the chocolate inside, then savor the box.” My tour guide was Caroline. I was invited through a doorway to the right of the retail area, along with six other tour-goers. The entire north wall was glass and I was able to see into the Charles Chocolates kitchen. The kitchen alone was a whopping 7,000 square feet. Along the entire glass wall was a high bar and bar stools, where we sat for the tour, while watching five people working in the kitchen. Two were placing candy squares on a conveyor belt, which slowly carried them toward a chocolate waterfall. Two others were working at the other side of the waterfall. There was one other person hand mixing almond slivers. Caroline started the tour by telling the history of Charles Chocolates and the history of the building. Owner Chuck Siegel wanted his customers to be able to see the majority of the process, so the kitchen and bar area were designed with viewers in mind. There are only two areas that are off limits to the public: the scaling/weighing area, which is where the ingredients for the confections are measured out (keeping the recipes secret); and the packaging area, which is simply too large for appropriate viewing, and not all that exciting. We were told that Charles Chocolates does not make chocolate—it is not a bean-to-bar company. Its chocolate is purchased from Guittard, El Rey, and Cacao Barry. Charles Chocolates makes candies and confections. It makes three types of candies: molded, enrobed, and handmade. The most unique item I saw was the tea chocolates—chocolates paired with specialty teas, creating an exclusive and different taste experience. I was the only one in the tour who chose to stay for the optional tasting, and oh was I delighted. Five pieces of chocolate were offered; Raspberry Truffle (dark chocolate with a creamy raspberry ganache) is my favorite. The filling is smooth and has a full-bodied raspberry flavor. Watching the daily work of Charles Chocolates was a unique experience. The attention to detail as the workers work was not something I expected to see in this age of automation and computer-run factories. I half expected to see images of the I Love Lucy episode where Lucy and Ethel are in the candy factory working on candies on a conveyor belt, trying to keep up, but stuffing the chocolates in their mouths and uniforms. Of course, Charles is much more professional than that (although I wouldn’t have minded playing Lucy to get a few more delicious pieces of chocolate candy). (In 2009, the unforgettable I Love Lucy chocolate factory scene will be enjoyed on a commemorative U.S. stamp.) My next stop was at Scharffen Berger in Berkeley, a quick three-minute drive away from Charles’s. I was welcomed in the retail area, which is in the rear of the building, and is filled with many different chocolates, candies, books, and gifts. There were nine other people who attended the tour with me, and we were escorted outside the building and around to a side entrance on Heinz Avenue, by Danny, our guide for the day. We were given our first sample right away, which was the first chocolate product that Scharffen Berger ever produced. It was 70 percent bittersweet chocolate. Being a lover of sweeter chocolates, this one was a bit harsh for me. It had a deep rich flavor with a bitter kick that melted slowly on the tongue. Danny asked the group who thought it was too bitter (five people), not bitter enough (one person), and just right (three people). During our tour, Danny gave a presentation about the background of Scharffen Berger, the history of cacao, and how and where cacao is grown and processed from bean to chocolate you can eat. My tour was on a Friday, and they were conducting maintenance on several of the machines, so the only equipment that was running was the winnower and mélangeur. After completing the walking tour of the factory, which took less than 10 minutes, we reentered the
retail store and were offered a sample of a special 72 percent bittersweet chocolate. It was a special blend that is only offered once or twice a year when special seeds are found that have a unique taste combination. This chocolate was too bitter for me, but a health-conscious dark chocolate connoisseur would be pleased with its unique flavor. Last but not least, I paid a visit to the Café Cacao, a cute little restaurant in front of the retail store. I ordered the Organic Seasonal Mixed Greens salad, Grilled Cheese Sandwich (with fresh mozzarella, fontina, and white cheddar), and a Vanilla Italian Soda. It was a perfect place to end a tour complete with good food and good memories of great chocolate. DIARY OF A CHOCOLATE GODDESS FOR A DAY, SIERRA STYLE I may have passed on the San Francisco Bay Area chocolate tours, but no way am I going to skip a rejuvenating and destressing chocolate Jacuzzi bubble bath and manicure. While Simon, my brave pooch, is on the mend, I am packing up to spend a day in Reno and make the chocolate rounds. By 10:00 A.M., both Seth and Simon, my Brittanys, are dropped off at my vet-kennel for the day while Mom gets to enjoy a four-star, all-day chocolate birthday treat. My brother Bruce and I are driving from South Lake Tahoe (there aren’t any chocolate spa treatments around the lake) to Reno—a chocolate lover’s haven. First stop: Siena Hotel Spa Casino. Advertised as “The Magic of Tuscany,” the Mediterranean-style hotel is modeled after its Italian name. Next to the Truckee River, Siena is meant to mimic the Tuscany countryside, complete with a full-service day spa. I have no clue as to what this chocolate bath and chocolate manicure will be like, but I am both anxious and excited. Siena Hotel Spa Casino One hour later: Spa director Jamie Bell is waiting for me—and immediately I feel like royalty. I am led inside a cozy private room. Ah, the chocolate aroma. As Jamie opens the door I am greeted by an oversized bear claw Jacuzzi-style bathtub full of bubbling water (140 jets!), with organic Bella Luccè Chocolate Silk Bath Bubbles with a chocolate scent. I am here for the Chocolate Silk Hydrotherapy Bath. The lights are dim (the way I like it, since I am light sensitive). Scented chocolate candles perfume the air. Soft New Age music permeates the air as I’m shown chilled towels, bottled water, and two handmade truffles by the hotel’s chef. I am given a white robe, thongs, and told to enjoy for 30 minutes. Yes, there is a chocolate heaven. Like an excited kid I dip my foot into the warm, swirling water and am elated by the ambiance of it all. I inch my body into the chocolate bath and am flooded with images of famous bathtub scenes (complete with lit candles) in my favorite romantic movies, including City of Angels (Meg Ryan). I cannot believe I am soaking in a bubbly tub (the white bubbles literally overflowing onto the floor) with a chocolate aroma that seems to be making my skin feel soft, silky, and alive. I eat one truffle, and the other—light and chocolatey. I never want to leave this place of chocolate bliss. Thirty minutes later: I am out of the tub, dressed, and off to get a chocolate manicure. I sit down with my friendly manicurist and there is a tall chocolate milk shake awaiting me. And step by step, my hands are treated with exotic chocolate concoctions to help exfoliate, smooth, and provide me with a new, improved manicure. Valerie Brown, my manicurist, first uses a chocolate sugar scrub called Hot Fudge to exfoliate the dead cells and restore moisture into my hands. I want to believe her. She removes my clear nail polish, shapes my nails. Then, she soaks my two mountain-woman hands (weathered from swimming in pool chlorine
and bringing in firewood) in Bella Luccé Peruvian chocolate syrup for 10 minutes to loosen the cuticle, she explains, and then she pushes back the cuticles. Then, she covers my hands with a chocolatestrawberry masque to rehydrate my hands and make the skin appear tighter, firmer, followed by a light massage with chocolate butter. I am hoping and believing that this silky chocolate crème full of natural ingredients like organic theobroma cacao and fruit extracts will work to make my hands and nails look beautiful. But if it doesn’t —it feels nice. The French manicure polish I choose looks nice. I feel spoiled and take one more sip of the chocolate milk shake. Next stop is minutes away... . The Chocolate Bar We arrive at a hot spot touted in Reno to be a trendy bar-café for the younger set. The atmosphere at The Chocolate Bar doesn’t boast plants or fish aquariums—I get it that chocolate is alive and the focus, and that’s okay with me. Chocolate brown floors and a bar are part of the scene. I am greeted by two bubbly waitresses and menus with chocolate treats, from desserts to chocolate cocktails. I order the C Bar Salad and the Garlic Fries. And I do make reference to the restaurant scene in When Harry Met Sally (Meg Ryan) when she orders items on the side and is high maintenance with a capital H. But that is how you get what you want. My brother selects the Grilled Chicken Breast. After we order, owner/operator Sean Sette greets us. He is from the Y generation. He is ambitious and takes his chocolate business seriously. Our lunch arrives. I get the organic spring greens, blue crumbles, added tomatoes and olive oil and vinegar (on the side). The Garlic Fries—gourmet fries rolled in minced garlic, fresh parsley, and extra virgin olive oil—are a must-have. And from the first one to the last bite—unforgettable. My brother munches on the chicken dish—complete with fingerling potatoes, artichoke hearts, and roasted carrots. Anise-scented tomato broth, basil oil, and banyuls vinegar. And, being a meat and potatoes guy, I’m thinking he should have ordered a chocolate cocktail. When dessert time rolls around, I decide to let the waitress decide for us. Chocolate Lava Cake is described on the menu as “rich chocolate cake filled with warm molten chocolate center served with vanilla ice cream.” And yes, this dessert is delightful and I split it in half with my brother. We both are impressed. A chocolate goodies bag is prepared for me to try later: Chocolate Bar Chocolate Chip Cookie (cookie, milk chocolate chips, oats) and several dark truffles (plain, jasmine, raspberry, cappuccino, and mint). I am told The Chocolate Bar uses South American chocolate and fresh cream to hand make its chocolate items. Is this café worth the visit? If you like chocolate, yes, yes, yes. See’s Candies Our next stop: See’s at Meadowood Mall in Reno. When you grow up in the San Francisco Bay Area, you know the peninsula is sprinkled with See’s candy stores in almost every city. But moving to the Sierra, which is minus malls, I learned quickly there wasn’t the famous candy store—and I’d have to go off the mountain or order online to enjoy See’s Candies—an American style of chocolate. We are greeted by the friendly store manager, who fills a bag full of an assortment of dark chocolates and dark truffles. I am surprised to see a Premium Extra Dark Chocolate Bar, which is made with 62 percent cocoa. The most popular dark chocolates, I am told, are the Dark Bordeaux and Dark Chocolate Truffle. (Note to self: Ask a chocolatier to infuse healthful ingredients to mimic See’s Key Lime Truffle.) On the way home I think to myself, “How can I get a chocolate Jacuzzi bath on the South Shore?” Sure, I swim and take a Jacuzzi several times a week at a resort spa, but it doesn’t have chocolate. I am
admiring my manicure and nibbling on a chocolate chip truffle. We pick up the Brittanys, and by six o’clock we are back home in South Lake Tahoe. When I walk up to the doorstep I see a big cardboard box with the label Ghirardelli Chocolate. I feel like a goddess who has died and gone to chocolate heaven. NEW YORK CHOCOLATE TOUR While the West Coast boasts famous chocolate shops and tours, the East Coast has its popular chocolate hot spots, too. Pam Gabriel, owner of Sweet Gourmet, in East Texas, traveled to New York one summer on business and ended up including chocolate pleasure. She discovered the New York Chocolate Tours and decided to take it. She learned everything she ever wanted to know about chocolate and more, from the origin of chocolate to the making of the final product, whether it be in bar form or cocoa powder. “That was the meat and potatoes of the tour,” she says. “The gravy was the sampling of chocolates from five of New York’s most highly rated chocolate stores. Incredible! “Fresh, fresh, fresh chocolate flown in from Europe weekly, no preservatives or stabilizers and some was even made on site at the shops. I was on the morning Upper East Side tour and by the second shop I asked Bert, our tour guide, if I could sign up for the SoHo tour that afternoon. The tour ends at Jacques Torres with a refreshing iced chocolate drink. What a way to end the day in Manhattan! All in all, I visited 10 chocolate shops that day. I would recommend this tour to anyone going to New York. It was truly the highlight of my trip.” BELGIUM , A QUICK STUDY OF A CHOCOLATE HAVEN New York has its chocolate spots, but Europe ... well, chocolate and Europe go together like coffee and cream. Pamela Weiss, a resident of Los Angeles, California, shared with me her unforgettable chocolate trip while she was studying abroad in London—where her love for chocolate “skyrocketed.” Here, she tells the story best. “I always had a sweet tooth, but dark chocolate Cadbury bars and Nutella became staples during that year. I was eating a bar a day. Or I was eating Nutella, either slathered on a banana or simply by the spoon. During my spring break, I took a trip to Belgium, a country well known for their chocolate. I remember window shopping to find the perfect shop to indulge in my first piece of Belgian chocolate. I selected a few of the delicate truffles and as the woman packaged them up, I grew more and more anxious. The first bite was pure heaven as it literally melted in my mouth. I was standing on a busy street in downtown Brussels, but that didn’t stop me from closing my eyes and allowing the chocolate to overcome my senses. Pure bliss!” THE CHOCOLATE CRITIC: CLAY GORDON Not only do everyday folks indulge in an unforgettable chocolate tour, some people make it their job to live and taste chocolate. Meet Clay Gordon, for one, an interesting man who fell deep into the art of chocolate knowledge. These days, the well-known “chocophile” (a chocolate aficionado) is the go-to man for questions about fine chocolate around the world. After reading his impressive book Discover Chocolate (Gotham), I was compelled to ask him some questions, and he dished out the answers. Q: Back in 1994, your interest in chocolate ignited. You traveled to Cannes, France, and
discovered a huge selection of chocolate bars at a gourmet store. Later, you gave a chocolate-tasting party for your friends. Please explain your intriguing experience both abroad and back home. A: I had a few francs in my pocket and a few hours to spend them in before leaving Cannes. I could have gone to Nice to spend my money in Duty Free at the airport. Instead I decided to spend an hour on the rue d’Antibes, the main shopping street in Cannes. I wandered into the gourmet grocery Hediard and saw a huge display of chocolate bars that included Valrhona, Bonnat, and many others. I don’t know what guided me to choose Bonnat except an intuition that there was a reason for the way the bars were wrapped —and that intrigued me. About a week later, back in my cramped apartment in a pre-war building not far from the Ansonia Hotel on New York’s Upper West Side, my roommates and I held a dinner party for about 10 people. On a whim I brought out the chocolate bars I brought back from France. To this day—more than 14 years later —I can remember the origins: Ecuador, Chuao, Puerto Cabello (both Venezuela), Trinidad, Côte d’Ivoire, and Ceylon (Sri Lanka). I had no idea what I was doing but I broke up the bars onto individual serving plates identified only by the origin names I tore off the labels. They were all so different from each other, and each one of us had our own favorites. That night I had the sense that there was something important in knowing that. Over the course of the next couple of weeks I had a heightened sensibility for articles about wine and other gourmet foods and beverages and I quickly realized that no one was talking about chocolate in the same way. Bing! And here I am 14 years later, one of the world’s leading chocolate critics. Q: You write “cacao has one of the highest concentrations of antioxidants of all plants.” I believe in teaming health and indulgence, which spells chocolate with a capital C. Do you savor chocolate for its health benefits? A: Actually, I don’t savor chocolate for its health benefits (and I prefer to think of them as wellness benefits), because everything that is done to enhance the flavor of chocolate reduces the chemical compounds that contribute to wellness. Plus, I want to feel good eating chocolate, not feel good about eating chocolate. There aren’t a whole lot of people I know who started out drinking red wine when it came out that it was good for your heart. I do know some people who switched from drinking white wine to drinking red, though. Similarly, people are switching from milk to dark chocolate to take advantage of the wellness aspects of chocolate. I think of the wellness aspects as bonuses of eating chocolate, not reasons for eating chocolate. When I want to eat chocolate I eat the best I can find and I don’t worry about whether it’s good for me or not. It’s great that it might be, but I still eat milk chocolate and really enjoy it, and even some white chocolates, because not all of the wellness benefits are in the nonfat cocoa solids (the powder). Cocoa butter is a comparatively healthy fat, much as olive oil is. I take advantage of the wellness potential in chocolate by incorporating minimally processed, nonalkalized, low-fat cocoa powder into my diet. A tablespoon a day is all it takes. Q: Do you feel fine chocolate is a gourmet health food that is turning into a health food for the mainstream audience? A: I don’t think of fine chocolate as a gourmet health food. Although chocolate does contain many hundreds of chemical compounds, many of which have been shown to have positive effects for wellness, it’s still a high-fat food. The chocolate industry is marketing chocolate as a health food—and I think that is a mistake. For example, many people believe that 70 percent is a magic number for chocolate. Above that percentage, chocolate is good (and good for you) and below that percentage chocolate is not. Percentage cacao is a quantitative measure, not a qualitative one, and does not correlate consistently with anything. A 70 percent chocolate can easily be made from badly fermented overroasted beans where the cocoa
mass from the grinding is alkalized to neutralize acidity. It would probably taste awful but most of the wellness potential has been destroyed through overprocessing. Q: I love your chocolate rating system, which ranges from bad to extraordinary. Will you explain it to me? A: The question of whether one prefers one over the other is a matter of personal taste, not necessarily a quality question. So, my rating system encompasses the idea that different styles of chocolate require different judging standards as well as the quality ratings from Extraordinary to Bad, and then it indexes them against price. This enables me to ascribe a “value” to the chocolate—quality for price. In the end I arrive at my decisions intuitively. It’s like art: I know it when I see it. I know an extraordinary chocolate when I taste it. How? I’ve tasted thousands of chocolates in the past fourteen-plus years. All of the different parameters are in my brain and when the chocolate is in my mouth the rating is obvious to me. There is also an intellectual part to the rating but that comes after the intuitive part of the tasting process as I am writing my thoughts to convey to other people. Then it’s a matter of providing context for the rating based on more “objective” aspects of a chocolate’s quality. Okay, now you know more about what goes on behind the scenes of chocolate, right? It’s a bit more fascinating than the chocolate factory scene in the I Love Lucy episode. And yes, the chocolate bubble bath was an unforgettable experience and worth your time and effort to indulge at a spa that provides the relaxing cocoa treatment. Meanwhile, in the next chapter let’s take a look at some bittersweet views (yes, chocolate does have some pitfalls) of this healing health food. THE SUPRISING SECRETS TO SAVOR The San Francisco Bay Area is a hot spot for chocolate makers and chocolatiers, past and present. There are an infinite number of standout chocolate companies around the world; I chose a handful who reached out their hand to me and offered samples and information that taught me more about the health benefits of chocolate in different forms. Chocolate tours are fun and informative. Creating your own chocolate tour wherever you live can be an enlightening experience. I share a day in the life of chocolate from Tahoe, California, to Reno, Nevada, and others explain their unforgettable chocolate tour and experience in New York and Belgium—the place chocolate lovers love to visit. Chocolate critic Clay Gordon gives us insight into fine chocolates, his experiences, and personal point of view on mixing health and chocolate.
CHAPTER 16 Chocolate Is Not for Everyone: Some Bittersweet Views Nine out of ten people like chocolate. The tenth person always lies. —John Q. Tullius
In my thirties, I found myself with my boyfriend at a popular ice cream store with dozens of flavors. I was having a difficult time deciding which ice cream to choose. But without a doubt it would have been one with chocolate, whether it was chocolate chip, vanilla fudge, or even peanut butter and chocolate. I was amazed—and am to this day—by my soul mate’s choice as he placed his order. “Vanilla.” That word surprised me. Why would anyone order plain vanilla when there was an endless variety of ice creams— many with chocolate? Speaking of antichocolate people, there are some people (and pets) who cannot tolerate chocolate. At all. While chocolate can be used both inside and outside the body, some people insist it causes problems. TOO MUCH CHOCOLATE CAN TILT THE SCALES Does all this good news about chocolate entice you to run, not walk, to your nearest chocolate shop, grocery store, or online retailer to buy bars and chocolates? If so, keep in mind that chocolate does contain sugar, fat, and calories. And yes, you can certainly gain chocolate diet woes and gain unwanted weight if you eat a carton of chocolate fudge ice cream, two brownies, and a box of 15 truffles every day. A calorie is a calorie and chocolate is not calorie free. That means, no, you cannot survive on just chocolate alone (as I may have felt I did during the research of this book!). And what about the 18th-century Martinico who ate nothing but chocolate and a biscuit and lived to be about a hundred years old? That has to be an exception to the chocolate rule. The fact is, you need to eat a well-balanced diet (that is why I tout the Mediterranean diet and lifestyle) and incorporate chocolate (quality not quantity) into your diet. But even if you don’t go overboard, you may run into some snags. SENSITIVITY TO CHOCOLATE I believe one particular premium and popular chocolate brand (which doesn’t seem to bother anyone else I know) was simply too rich for me—and it makes me think of my two sensitive pooches. A while ago, they both seemed to reject a premium fish and potato dog food that I had been feeding them for almost a year. I sensed the fatty salmon fish was just too rich for their sensitive stomachs, and both dogs had gastrointestinal issues (from belches to too many potty outings). Once I switched their food to another type of food with turkey and chicken, their tummy woes were history. And when I stayed clear of that one chocolate brand I didn’t end up in the restroom. In the past several months I have eaten premium chocolate bars, gourmet truffles to exotic infused chocolates, fine baked goods, and dark hot chocolate. Only a
couple of times was I stricken by Montezuma’s revenge. “Did he ever really pay the price of eating too much?” I pondered as I ended up in the bathroom longer than I wanted to be, likely due to the chocolate’s laxative effect. Registered dietitian Keri M. Gans says, “The high level of saturated fat could have caused you GI distress.” And that makes sense to me since overall my diet is a low-fat one. ALLERGIC TO CHOCOLATE? The good news is, only 2 percent of people are really allergic to chocolate. The bad news is, allergic reactions to eating chocolate are often a connection to an ingredient, such as wheat, nuts, or milk. So while researchers believe allergies to chocolate are not commonplace, the other culprits can be a sour experience if they affect you. These days, however, creative chocolatiers and chefs are making chocolate products, from bars to pastries, that are gluten free, without nuts, and vegan. Plus, labels include ingredients and list potential allergens. Here, take a look at a list of four common problems related to chocolate and its ingredients. But don’t despair! You can have your chocolate and eat it, too. If you face an allergy to wheat, dairy, nuts, or sugar, it doesn’t mean you have to say no to chocolate. So while chocolate-related allergies are real, there are people in the chocolate world who are busy at work making it possible for chocolate lovers to have their chocolate and eat it too without problems. PROBLEM #1: Gluten Allergy. Uh-oh, wheat and you do not get along. Gluten allergies or celiac disease can cause intestinal woes when wheat is eaten. There are gluten-free chocolate products just for you. SOLUTION: Gluten-Free Chocolate. For instance, Trena Costello, pastry chef at Langham Hotel, Boston, began creating gluten-free chocolate desserts so everyone could have the opportunity to try the chocolate delights. Trena cannot eat gluten, so her interest in preparing these special desserts is to create awareness and have it available to those who have allergies or dietary restrictions. PROBLEM #2: Lactose Intolerant/Vegan. Do food products containing dairy, such as milk, upset your stomach? Or, are you a strict vegetarian and choose to stay clear of dairy products? SOLUTION: Vegan Chocolate. If you’re lactose intolerant, a strict vegetarian, or prefer eating kosher foods, vegan chocolate (no dairy) is the right choice for you. PROBLEM #3: Nut Allergy. Peanuts and other nuts can and do cause an allergic reaction for many people. Worse, if you are allergic, eating chocolate with nuts can cause problems, even anaphylactic shock (you cannot breathe). SOLUTION: Chocolate without Nuts. Labeling of chocolate products includes data about nuts and if the chocolate may even have traces of nuts in it. So, your best bet: Read chocolate product labels, and choose chocolate but hold the nuts. PROBLEM #4: Diabetes. If you have type 1 or 2 diabetes, you don’t want to overindulge in sugary types of chocolate. You are insulin resistant and don’t need the sugar, which can cause you to go on a roller-coaster ride due to its effect on your blood sugar level. SOLUTION: Sugar-Free/Diabetic Chocolate. Chocolate companies often offer sugar-free chocolates, truffles, and other products for those who cannot eat sugar. But note, sometimes sugar-free chocolates can cause diarrhea. “The sugar replacement for sugar-free chocolates is maltitol (a sugar alcohol) and only a
portion of it is digested and absorbed. The part that is absorbed through the intestinal tract is absorbed slowly, so there is a little rise in blood sugar and little need for insulin,” explain Gans, who adds that the gastrointestinal upset is because of the part of the sugar alcohol that isn’t digested or absorbed. It goes through the intestinal tract and starts to ferment and attract water. The secret: A high cocoa content of dark chocolate such as 70 percent has little sugar content and may be healthful for diabetics—if eaten in moderation. (If you have diabetes consult your doctor first before eating sugar-free chocolate.) CAN CHOCOLATE CAUSE HEARTBURN? You may not have any allergies to chocolate products but still suffer from heartburn when you eat a dark chocolate truffle or hot cup of chocolate. Some people who love chocolate may not like it if their favorite chocolate creates gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Some researchers and nutritionists have discovered that serotonin (yes, the good mood booster that calms you) may also trigger acid reflux by relaxing the lower esophageal sphincter, which usually stops the reflux of acid into the esophagus. Try small amounts of chocolate (perhaps opt for a dark milk chocolate with a 48 percent cocoa content, which may be less acidic than a dark chocolate), or try different brands of chocolate to find out which one(s) may alleviate the bad heartbreak of not being able to eat good chocolate due to the ill effects of heartburn.1 PETS AND CHOCOLATE DON’T MIX Pet lovers may unwittingly believe chocolate is a sweet treat for Fido and Fluffy. Not so. According to experts, such as Petplace veterinarians (www.petplace.com), “chocolate toxicity” can affect both dogs and cats. No ifs, ands, or buts about it. Here’s why. We know chocolate contains caffeine and theobromine—two compounds that are nervous system stimulants you don’t want to find their way into your companion animal’s body, because they can be toxic to them in high amounts. A dog lover told me his tale of woe. “One Halloween, about eight or nine years ago, my six-year-old dog, Echo, a terrier mix, got into a 12-ounce bag of Hershey’s mini milk chocolate bars. I had no trick-ortreaters at all, so I left to go out and left the bowl of chocolate bars on top of a table. When I got home around midnight I opened the door to find a very guilty-looking dog, tail between her legs, in the middle of the floor, littered with little chocolate bar wrappers. I was completely freaked out, having heard that chocolate was poison for dogs, and called the emergency vet number. They asked me how much she had consumed, the type of chocolate, and how much my dog weighed. “Turns out that milk chocolate isn’t all that bad. She was around 30 pounds and had eaten 12 ounces. They said she might have digestive issues, but that she would be fine. In the end, Echo was completely fine, not even plagued by an upset stomach.” If you don’t want to view your beloved canine or feline change into a rabidlike dog like in the movie thriller I Am Legend, keep all chocolate out of your pet’s reach. And note, the levels of these compounds vary among different types of chocolate. The high fat content in chocolate may result in vomiting and possibly diarrhea. Once toxic levels are eaten, the stimulant effect becomes noticeable. Signs to look for include hyperactivity, muscle twitching, increased urination, and possibly excessive panting. Heart rate and blood pressure levels may also soar. Seizures may happen in severe cases. The rule of paw is, within a few hours or less of eating a toxic amount of chocolate, signs will be evident. Effects can linger up to 36 hours.
How Much Is Too Much?
Mild signs of toxicity can hit when 45 ounces per pound of body weight is consumed. Severe signs may be noticed when 90 ounces are eaten. That means, a 20-pound dog would need to scarf at least 55 pounds of white chocolate to cause effects —which probably wouldn’t happen on this planet. Still, a much smaller amount may result in gastrointestinal woes.
Mild signs of toxicity can strike when 0.7 ounce per pound of body weight is eaten. Severe signs occur when 2 ounces per pound of body weight are eaten. If you do the math, that means a little less than 1 pound of milk chocolate can be toxic to the nervous system of a 20-pound pooch or feline (e.g., a rat terrier or Maine coon).
Mild signs of toxicity can occur when a mere ounce per pound of body weight is snatched. Severe signs occur when 1 ounce per pound of body weight is eaten. Translation: As little as 6 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate can be toxic to the nervous system of a 20-pound dog or cat.
Mild signs of toxicity can strike when 0.1 ounce per pound of body weight is eaten. Severe signs occur when 0.3 ounce per pound of body weight is consumed. Two small 1-ounce squares of bak ing chocolate can be toxic to a 20-pound dog or cat. This type of chocolate has the highest con centration of caffeine and theobromine and very little needs to be eaten before signs of illness hit.
The bottom line: If you suspect your pet has eaten chocolate, contact a vet immediately. Diagnosing chocolate consumption is based on the guardian’s witnessing the incident and on physical findings. Treatment depends on the clinical signs and may include intravenous fluid therapy and medications to help control toxic effects. If you are at home and detect that your pet has consumed chocolate, your vet may recommend that you induce vomiting by use of hydrogen peroxide. (Find out the percentage and amount to administer to your cat or dog—just in case a chocolate emergency happens late at night, on the weekend, or on a holiday.) Home care for pets that have eaten toxic levels of chocolate is aimed at reducing gastrointestinal woes. Once the nausea is gone, your vet may advise a bland diet for a couple of days. (Source: Petplace veterinarians at www.petplace.com.) Remember, size (and type of chocolate) matters. One nine-pound Shih Tzu, a toy breed, was home alone, and she devoured a Valentine’s box of chocolates—every single piece. The dog didn’t survive. On the flip side, a food-loving English mastiff, at 160 pounds, ate one bag of Hershey’s Kisses—and wasn’t a statistic of dogs dying from eating chocolate.
The Dark Truffle Incident “The dogs ate the chocolate!” bellowed through my living room. And those five words were the beginning of a grueling doggie disaster I will never forget.... Today is Sunday. Seth, age 2½, and Simon, 5½, got their long, leisurely walk. After I clean the fish aquarium while my pooches watch, my brother Bruce pays us a visit. I bring out a box of gourmet dark chocolate—exotic Italian truffles infused with cheese (a dog’s delight) and 70 percent bittersweet chocolate. Both Simon and Seth, my beloved Brittanys, are amid us as I sit down on the ottoman
and offer Bruce the last tasty truffle. And then, it happens. Fast. The dark chocolate ball drops out of my hand, onto the carpet. My brother shouts, “Seth ate it! No, Simon got it!” We don’t know which 40-pound orange and white Brittany ate the chocolate. In between our troubleshooting words we both yell, “Peroxide!” But I don’t know exactly how much, nor do I know exactly how to administer it to help induce vomiting. (The last mishap when Seth ate a bagel wrapper—for six large bagels—I rushed him to the vet on a weekday. This was the weekend and my local veterinary clinic was closed.) So, I call the ER vet clinic stat in Reno—50 miles away. The woman who answers the phone tells me how much peroxide to give to each dog. (Sometimes the liquid is administered by a syringe. I don’t have one.) She tells me to put a separate amount in a bowl for each dog. I pray that they will lap it up. Yes! Yes, both dogs do drink the healing cure. Next step, we wait 15 minutes. Simon is first. As a devout dog person I know the signs of doggie nausea: he begins to pace, salivate, hunch over, and he does what he has to do— get sick (more than once)—on my favorite carpet. One dog down, one to go. But Seth—he sprawls out on the sofa and looks at us like we are crazy. He isn’t reacting to the peroxide potion. I am worried because he could have eaten the truffle, not Simon. We are told by the woman on the phone at the vet clinic to administer a second dose, wait another 15 minutes. We wait and wait. Finally, Seth follows in Simon’s doggie steps and he gets sick. I feel their pain. My two fur children were treated for potential chocolate toxicity within 20 minutes of eating the chocolate. The trauma is over. The rub is, I am shocked that me, a pet and health writer, could have let this truffle incident occur. I wasn’t thinking about my food-loving canines when I had chocolate—a yummy treat infused with cheese—in my hands while sitting down at their level. The lesson: Never mix chocolate with dogs in close proximity—no matter how well trained you believe your canines may be. Your precious pups may surprise you, and put your life (and theirs) in a tailspin.
ALL DARK CHOCOLATE ISN’T YUM FOOD Consumer reports show that dark chocolate is growing in popularity. But that doesn’t mean everyone prefers dark chocolate over the sweeter stuff, like creamy milk or delicious white chocolate. So, what do you do if you really want to reap the health benefits of the darker chocolate but really don’t like the dark stuff? Take it s-l-o-w. As a dark chocolate convert (well, I now love dark milk chocolate), I can personally attest that it’s easier to make the switch without diving into the big change. You may learn to like serious dark chocolate, just as I learned to like plain yogurt, green tea, and apple cider vinegar. But note, it’s easier if you taste bars and chocolates infused with unsweetened fruits, nuts, and herbs. Truly, the combination of flavored chocolate can make your move to dark chocolate a sweeter one that will work for you. If you have always preferred milk chocolate and try dark chocolate with a 70 percent cocoa content, you might not be smiling. Also, try dark milk chocolate at a 48 percent cocoa content and the odds are, you’ll never look back at milk chocolate.
CHOCOLATE HOME SWEET HOME As much as I love chocolate, I do not like it when it—or infused chocolate or coffee or wine—spill onto my favorite sweater, throw, tablecloth, jeans, or comforter. So, how do you get out chocolate stains and do it naturally? Well, chocolate comes in all forms, including syrup, candy, baked goods, sauces, beverages, and more. But, chocolate is chocolate, right? No worries. Ecofriendly vinegar comes to the rescue. To treat clothes, rugs, tablecloths, comforters, and other household treasures: Try 1 part white distilled vinegar and 2 parts water. Spray on the mixture and scrub the stain with an abrasive sponge until it disappears. Repeat if necessary. Bonus tip: The sooner you treat the chocolate stain, the better chance you have of zapping it. Coffeepot: By now, I hope you have brewed quality coffee and paired it with chocolate flavorings and calcium-rich low-fat milk. But if your coffeepot is looking stained and dingy, vinegar comes to the rescue. Put a fresh filter in the filter container, pour water and ¼ cup of white distilled vinegar into the water spout, and turn on the coffeemaker just as you do when brewing a cup of java. Afterward, rinse with warm, then cold water (a squeeze of fresh lemon) and dry. Repeat if necessary for a bright and shiny coffeepot. HOMEMADE TREATS FOR YOUR DOG Speaking of chocolate messes ... To avoid a drama like my pooches’ truffle incident keep all chocolate out of your pet’s reach. If you bring chocolate into your home or bake chocolate dishes while your dog is sniffing the aroma, you may feel guilty. Dogs love treats, too. Sure, store-bought doggie treats are fine, but home cooking shows your canine (s) that you are putting extra TLC into an anticipated treat just for them —just like you’ll do for yourself in the next chapter. Here are two recipes for your pooch, courtesy of www.petplace.com, the pet lover’s Web site. (Consult with your own veterinarian first before dishing up to your canine companion.) Beg-for-More Peanut Butter Treats
2 tablespoons oil ½ cup peanut butter 1 cup water 1½ cups whole wheat flour 1½ cups white flour
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Combine oil, peanut butter, and water. Add flour, one cup at a time, forming a dough. Knead dough into firm ball and roll to 1/4-inch thickness. Cut into 3-to-4-inch pieces. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 20 minutes. Makes 2½ dozen cookies.
2½ cups white flour ¾ cup yellow cornmeal ¼ cup chopped chicken 1 cup chicken broth 4 tablespoons softened margarine 1 egg 2 tablespoons milk
Preheat oven to 325°F. Combine flour, cornmeal, chicken, chicken broth, and margarine. Form into a soft dough and knead for 3 minutes. Roll dough to ¼ inch thickness and cut into 3-to-4-inch finger shapes. Beat egg and milk together and apply to top of biscuits with brush. Place on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 35 minutes. Makes 24 fingers. THE SURPRISING SECRETS TO SAVOR Eating too much of any type of chocolate—dark, milk, white—can make you pack on the pounds and body fat. Remember, moderation. Yes, you can be stomach sensitive to some types and brands of chocolate. The high fat content may be too rich for you to tolerate. While most people are not allergic to chocolate, they can have chocolate-related allergies to the ingredients—wheat, dairy, nuts, and sugar. The fact is, yes, some people do get heartburn after eating chocolate or drinking cocoa. Pets—both dogs and cats—cannot eat chocolate due to its compounds, which can be deadly for animals. Dark chocolate is an acquired taste and it takes a while to get your taste buds to enjoy it. Use white distilled vinegar and water to get rid of chocolate stains on your clothes and in your household.
CHAPTER 17 The Joy of Cooking with Chocolate And above all ... Think Chocolate! —Betty Crocker
I remember the film Michael, in which an archangel played by John Travolta had a distinct smell. The other characters noticed that he smelled like something from childhood. And it was his pleasant cookielike smell that attracted attention. After all, fresh baked cookies—at a chain store or home—have a distinct aroma and bring back pleasant emotions of yesteryear for me. As a teenager, in the suburbs of San Jose, California, it was a popular pastime for me to bake chocolate cookies and fudge with my girlfriends. I recall that one winter day when it was raining, a bunch of us girls in our sophomore year gathered at one of our friend’s comfortable homes and we turned it into a factory-like setting while we began measuring ingredients, mixing, dropping the cookie dough filled with bittersweet chocolate chips, one by one, on the greased cookie sheets, putting the raw dough drops into a warm oven, and waiting for the inevitable—tasty morsels to eat. In between this cookiefest we would flip through Seventeen magazines, talk about classes, boys, and dreams—and during the entire time the scent of homemade chocolate chip cookies filled the air and made it a sweet memory. But chocolate isn’t just for baking cookies. CHOCOLATE IN YOUR KITCHEN Did you know that chocolate can be used in breakfasts, appetizers, sauces, vegetables, entrees, as well as desserts? The best part is, teamed with healthful foods from the Mediterranean diet you get a powerful punch of disease-fighting antioxidants. The recipes in The Healing Powers of Chocolate are created with fresh SuperFoods: nutrient-dense vegetables, fruits, grains, legumes, fish, poultry, and olive oil. Our wide variety of dishes, cooked up by pro chefs from Europe and chefs who have visited Belgium, Italy, and France, contain a variety of chocolate: baking chocolate, sweet or dark chocolate, dark milk chocolate, bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate, cocoa, and Dutch cocoa. Plus, good-for-you garlic, onions, and red wine and balsamic vinegars as well as spices are often part of the recipes, too. For best results, use the chocolate brand noted in each recipe. However, feel free to use your favorite brand (you want to get the healing benefits of quality dark chocolate). Or, if you want to treat yourself to a sweet milk chocolate dish (aim for 37 percent minimum cacao), go ahead and enjoy. Indulgence in moderation is part of getting and staying healthy. So do as the French do and savor each bite of whatever forbidden fruit you choose to use. BAKING WITH CHOCOLATE (LIKE A CHEF)
While looking for an Earthquake Cheesecake recipe, on the Internet I stumbled upon Daniel’s Restaurant in Kasson, Minnesota. Daniel Gadient has been at work in the kitchen for more than 30 years. The chocolate desserts he creates are out of this world. At first, I was amazed at the selections: The Devil Made Me Do It, and the Earthquake Cheesecake. But sending these goodies is tricky. What caught my attention was, Daniel uses dark chocolate for his chocolate recipes. “The chocolate we use for our Earthquake Cheesecake is Callebaut (dark chocolate). It’s imported from Belgium. The Cheesecake recipe only has six ingredients: cream cheese, sugar, eggs, sour cream, vanilla, and a pinch of salt. The chocolate we use for the brownies is unsweetened baking chocolate that is 100 percent chocolate liquor. I developed the recipe years ago,” he recalls. “Our Devil Made Me Do It chocolate cake is by far our bestseller. It has four layers of chocolate cake, with a whipped cream cocoa frosting between the layers, and all topped off with chocolate ganache.” Information about Daniel’s Restaurant is on his Web site and is worth the peek. I ended up receiving the Chocolate Brownies—it was given to me as a birthday present. And each one was chocolatey—not too sweet and not too bitter. (Daniel was generous with his delicious chocolate gift, so I did freeze the brownies and ate one or two 2-ounce servings per week.) If you’d like to try your own hand in the kitchen and bake like a chef, may I suggest starting out with this failproof recipe complete with good-for-you chocolate? Chocolate Brownies
5 ounces LCC Unsweetened chocolate 5 ounces sweet butter 1 tablespoon instant coffee 4 eggs ¼ teaspoon salt 2 cups granulated sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla extract ¼ teaspoon almond extract 1 cup sifted all-purpose flour 10 ounces chopped walnuts
Preheat oven to 425°F. Place chocolate and butter in double boiler over medium heat. Cover until melted, stirring occasionally with wire whisk. Stir in coffee to dissolve. Remove from double boiler and allow to cool slightly, uncovered. In separate bowl, beat eggs and salt together until slightly fluffy. Gradually add in sugar, beating at medium-high speed for 15 minutes. Stir vanilla and almond extract into chocolate mixture. On low speed, add this mixture to the eggs. Beat just enough to blend. Next add flour, still beating just enough to blend ingredients. Fold in the nuts; spread evenly in baking pan. Put in oven and reduce to 400 degrees. Bake 20 to 22 minutes or until toothpick gently inserted comes out barely lean. Do not over bake. Cool and cut.
(Source: Lake Champlain Chocolates)
CHOCOLATE WITH HEART AND SOUL! Chocolate
Desserts in which sugar is also added
Sweet or Dark Chocolate
Fruity to earthy
Chocolate chips; coatings for fondants, nuts, or other sweet centers; cookies
Dark Milk Chocolate
Sweet and smooth
Cakes, cookies, ice cream
Bittersweet or Semi-Sweet Chocolate
Rich and smooth
Chocolate chips; bakery coatings
Strong to mild
Reduced-fat and -calorie recipes; chocolate milk; ice cream; chocolateflavored coatings; syrups
Used to modify color, flavor is affected
Baked goods where deep color is desired; ice cream; beverages
(Source: National Confectioners Association.)
BASIC COOKING TIPS Finding tasty entree recipes that use chocolate in a dark cocoa or dark chocolate bar form is not as easy as you would think it would be. It seems like baking with chocolate is a more popular pastime but that doesn’t mean people around the globe do not use chocolate in cooking. Indeed, dark chocolate is an ingredient in entree and appetizer recipes, including poultry, sauces, and even wild game. Chocolate and cooking (not baking) has been going on for centuries, back to when the Aztecs teamed chocolate with spices for a hot drink. These days, chocolate entrees are cooked up in Mexico to Italy. These countries use chocolate in a variety of entrees: in France, red wine sauce; in Italy, pasta plates, Sicilian sauces to use on poultry, game; in Mexico, in a mole with hot spices served over rice or with poultry; and in South Africa, beef and game. So while cooking and chocolate go together in the kitchen, using dark chocolate with a higher cocoa content in baking is healthy but it does take a while to enjoy it, really enjoy it for the taste. Just listen to Lynda Murray, R.D., who knows what it’s like to learn to like dark chocolate—and to teach her kids how to get into the groove of it all—for health’s sake. “When I buy chocolate chips for cookies, now I pick up the bag of dark chips. When I grab chocolate bars for s’mores, I grab the dark variety. My kids are still struggling with the transition, but remember it can take seven to 10 times for taste buds to come around and appreciate the subtle flavor nuances.” Adds Murray, “I used to make a cake I called Death by Chocolate. This sinister chocolate cake had thick chocolate icing and a veil of chocolate M&Ms covering the entire thing. My husband called it too rich. Chocolate critics called it heaven.” When she makes this cake now, she uses a recipe that calls for ½ cup of cocoa to make homemade icing and tops it with dark chocolate M&M’s. “I found it easy to incorporate more of the valuable properties
found in these confectionery favorites by substituting regular chocolate for the dark variety.” GOOD-FOR-YOU TYPES OF BAKING CHOCOLATE Baking chocolate: Also known as bitter chocolate, baking chocolate contains no sugar but may be sweetened with vanilla. You can find it in the grocery store as a bar of 1-ounce chocolate squares. It is used in dessert recipes that also call for sugar. Semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate: This is the darkest eating chocolate that contains extra cocoa butter to make it melt easily. Sweet or dark chocolate; bittersweet/semi-sweet: This chocolate contains 15–35 percent chocolate liquor and less than 12 percent milk solids. Sugar and flavorings such as vanilla make it eater-friendly. Cocoa powder: This can have a flavor varying from mild to strong. Alkalized, or Dutch process cocoa powder, is cocoa that has had its natural acidity neutralized. This, in turn, provides a milder flavor and darker color that is preferred for baked goods. A bonus tip: Try all-natural and/or organic cocoa butter for best health results. (Source: National Confectioners Association.) CHOCOLATE BAKING TIPS 101 Now that we’ve put the good-for-you types of chocolate on the table, do you know how to make truffles? I admit it: In eighth grade I received a D in home economics. My baking skills were nondescript. Actually, my mother would cringe when I tried to whip up something in the kitchen. And one day when I played hooky from school, my attempt at making chocolate candy flopped. I tried, but it may have helped if I had known the ABCs of working with chocolate.... Do-It-Yourself Tempered Chocolate: Tabletop Method
Equipment: Marble slab or other smooth surface Thermometer that reads temperatures between 80 and 130°F Heating pad (for maintaining temperature while working) Spatula and/or scraper
Step 1: Break block chocolate into pieces or use pistoles; this enables the chocolate to melt more easily, with less chance of scorching. Step 2: Melt chocolate over low heat (preferably using a double boiler), stirring constantly. When it has completely melted, remove from heat. Step 3: Pour of chocolate onto smooth surface and work with a spatula to spread out and scrape together. Continue spreading and scraping the chocolate over the smooth surface until it cools to 82–84°F. When it is thick with a dull finish, the chocolate is “seeded.” Step 4: Add seeded chocolate to remaining warm chocolate in bowl and stir gently until smooth.
Step 5: Check temperature. It should be 84–91°F. Better yet, check its sheen. If glossy, it is probably ready. Drop a spoonful of chocolate onto waxed paper or plate and cool in refrigerator for 2–3 minutes. Upon removal, if shiny and firm with no streaking, it is ready. If using candy molds, be sure that they are at the same temperature as the tempered chocolate before filling them. Properly tempered chocolate is glossy in appearance and velvety smooth on the tongue. It will harden, be finely textured, and snap when broken. (Try this method for Raspberry Truffles in Part 7: Chocolate Recipes.) (Source: Lake Champlain Chocolates.)
Chocolate Sampler Dark chocolate I like a lot; Milk chocolate’s too tame. It’s not like when I was a tot And ate sweets with no shame. Then chocolate chips could pass my lips As fondly as a kiss; Hot cups of cocoa in sweet sips Produced a state of bliss. A scuffle for a truffle would Endanger a loss of a friend. I never could eschew a chew Or caramelic blend. They say the Olmecs harvested the bean And treasured it to no end. Columbus brought it to the Queen To start a royal trend. The nectar would be taxed so high The peasants could not pay. Nobility would shut their tea For cocoa every day. Now “Single-Origin” ’s the prize For devotees I’ve heard; The Swiss and Swedes would say likewise Since they have gotten word. There’s Baker, Hershey, Lindt and all Competing with the best;
I savor competition’s call ... Let’s have a chocolate fest! —Jim Berkland Glen Ellen, California
THE SURPRISING SECRETS TO SAVOR Use the right ingredients and your cooking and baking with chocolate may turn out to be more edible. Learn the different types of chocolates and their cooking uses for different types of dishes. Do use dark chocolate more times than not for a more healthful recipe and reap the health benefits. Discover the different types of baking chocolate.
PART 7 CHOCOLATE RECIPES
CHAPTER 18 Chocolate Buon Appetito! All I really need is love, but a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt! —Lucy Van Pelt (in Peanuts, by Charles M. Schulz)
You have entered chocolate land—a place where you can savor chocolate for breakfast, appetizers, main entrees, and desserts. While I sprinkled dozens of tried-and-true recipes throughout The Healing Powers of Chocolate, I saved more than 30 scrumptious dishes (including appetizers and entrees) from seasoned chefs such as Golden Door’s former chef Michel Stroot from Belgium, Italian and creative cookbook author Gemma Sanita Sciabica, chocolatier Michael Recchiuti, and others who get chocolate. You’ll taste a strong Mediterranean flavor with these delectable recipes that will take you around the globe without leaving your warm and homey kitchen. These good-for-you recipes are chock-full of nutritious fruits, vegetables, fish, and poultry. Also, the chefs did not ignore using a variety of vinegars—apple cider and red wine. Plus, healthful garlic, onions, and olive oil as well as healing spices are often part of the original recipes. For best results, use the chocolate and brands mentioned in each recipe. However, feel free to use your own brand if so desired. Before you create your own chocolate delights, I want you to first peek at some tips from chefs who bake and cook with chocolate, and from chocolate critic Clay Gordon. And remember, not only will you be eating chocolate, but you will be incorporating it into a Mediterranean-style diet and lifestyle. WHICH CHOCOLATE IS RIGHT FOR YOU? Chocolate makers and chefs from coast to coast and around the world would recognize extraordinary chocolate products, but despite their rankings, some of these chocolates would not be your fave cup of chocolate or mine. In other words, some people love dark chocolate with a 70 percent cocoa content, while others prefer a 48 percent cocoa content infused with citrus or passion fruit. No matter what kind of chocolate lover you are, there are must-visit chocolate spots in Europe. Chocolate critic-author Clay Gordon, who has visited chocolate shops abroad, dished out some chocolate-friendly recommendations for the trip abroad in my future or if you get to go before me. Here, take a peek at some of the must-visit chocolate places, straight from Gordon, who is well traveled and provides these priceless inside chocolate hints if you go to five of my European country picks—praised for their sumptuous chocolate. If any of these people or places have relocated or have disappeared, just ask the locals for a reference to a similar chocolate shop. Belgium—Many people believe that Belgian chocolates are the best in the world.... So make sure to schedule a trip to Wittamer (6-12-13 Place du Grand Sablon, Brussels). Wittamer is a grand salon experience, so if you’re looking for something a little more intimate consider Charlemagne on the Place
Jacques Brel in the town of Herstal. You’ll be feeling alive and well after sampling from its boutique. Italy—Italy is famous for gianduja, a confection made with milk chocolate and hazelnut cream. Turin is in the heart of the Piedmont region of Italy, famous for its hazelnuts. There may be no better practitioner in the arts of gianduja than Guido Gobino (Via Cagliari 15/b). If you’re in Tuscany, then the must-visit destination is the workshop of Roberto Catinari, referred to as the father of modern Italian chocolate (Via Provinciale 378, Agliana [Pistoia]). Paris—Most people only know one word when it comes to chocolate in Paris: Angelina’s. True, it is conveniently located near the Louvre, but despite everything you may have heard otherwise, it does not have the best hot chocolate in Paris. That award goes to La Charlotte de l’Isle on Ile Saint Louis (24, rue Saint-Louis-en-l’Isle). Spain—Every trip to Barcelona should include plans to visit the shops of Enric Rovira, Oriol Balaguer, and Cacao Sampaka. Rovira and Balaguer have reputations for cutting-edge flavors and presentations. Cacao Sampaka makes very high-quality chocolate bars. Switzerland (Zurich)—No trip to Zurich for any chocolate lover is complete without a stop at the Sprüngli grand café. If the weather is nice eat outside; otherwise enjoy the beaux arts decoration of the café upstairs. Whatever you do, do not overlook ordering the Luxemburgerli, what the French would call a macaroon, as well as delicate almond flour cookies in many, many flavors filled with, well, heaven and chocolate, of course, but there are maybe a dozen flavors to choose from. They are light and delicate, so plan to eat them right away—they will not survive the plane ride home. A PERSONAL TASTE OF CHOCOLATE FROM ITALY AND FRANCE On the home front in Northern California, chocolatiers and chocolate makers around the nation have spoiled me throughout the research of The Healing Powers of Chocolate. At least twice a week I would find a box of chocolates—bars, truffles, assorted chocolates, bark, biscotti—on my doorstep. My file cabinet is overflowing with chocolate. Many of these chocolates come from chocolatiers who have European roots. And it was a dream come true to be able to taste these epicurean delights. But, I realized that I would not be going to Italy or France soon, but I craved to taste a piece of chocolate from these two countries. I logged on to the online company World Wide Chocolate. I ordered the Cuba Venchi Italian Chocolate—Assorted Cubigusto “Luxury Gift Box,” and I just had to try Bonnat’s chocolates, so I ordered Bonnat French Chocolate—“Java” 65 percent Cocoa Milk Chocolate. And the waiting was the hardest part. First, do not order on a Friday night or during the holidays. Second, if you’re going to spring for fine chocolate from Europe, go ahead and spend the extra cash on faster delivery. Third, yes, it was worth it. The Italian chocolates are Triple Layer Cappucino, Gianduja (I loved the sweet chocolate with a nutty flavor), and Extra Fondente. Each one was creamy and I could taste the coffee chocolates, too. The French chocolate bar was not as sweet (cocoa is the first ingredient listed on the label). Let’s face it: Finding your favorite chocolate is a personal thing. Everyone is different and everyone has different tastes. But you will know when you find your personal favorite chocolate(s) and it will be like a love affair to cherish.
BEFORE YOU USE CHOCOLATE You don’t have to go to Belgium, France, or Italy to savor the healing powers of chocolate. Whether you live in California, New York, Iowa, Louisiana, or another country, you can find good local and imported chocolate that will bring you closer to achieving good health for your body, mind, and spirit. But note, chocolate—even the good, dark stuff—is not a quick fix to good health from head to toe. Using it solo or overindulging in the forbidden fruit—whether it is organic bars or a box of all-natural truffles—to prevent or treat health ailments and lower your risk of disease isn’t a reality. (Actually, I initially did the overindulgence thing during the research of this book and quickly realized the key is moderation. Too much of good chocolate is not a good thing. After gaining three unwanted pounds in one week, and ending up in the bathroom another round, it was a wake-up call to remember portion control!) Registered Dietitian Keri Gans concludes, “The most important thing in relation to people staying healthy is maintaining an ideal body weight. A person can maintain and keep their ideal body weight by consuming a well-balanced diet that includes a variety of nutrients.” It’s the disease-fighting antioxidants in dark chocolate that are a part of those key nutrients, and what is great is that people enjoy eating it. But remember, moderation is the ticket to chocolate paradise, so the calories consumed don’t add up to unwanted weight gain. That said, I am happy to report that Gans’s words ring true. During the course of writing this book, while I was sent a lot of chocolate—in all forms—I did indulge (mostly in moderation). But I did overdo it a few times. My secret? I also ate plenty of fruits and vegetables (especially on chocolate days when I received chocolates to die for). I walked my two dogs every day as well as swam three to four times per week. The result: I maintained my weight in the low 120s—and size 4 to 6. And my blood pressure is often below 120/70 and heartbeat 55 or less. It’s got to be chocolate power. True, chocolate does have an infinite amount of healing powers but woman and man cannot live on chocolate alone. By incorporating good chocolate into the good Mediterranean diet and lifestyle—like I have learned to do—you can make the good chocolate work for you. By consuming meals based on fresh vegetables, fruits, whole grains, fish, poultry, low-fat dairy products, and olive oil teamed with daily physical activity, you can enjoy the healing powers of the forbidden fruit and enhance your well-being. When indulging in chocolate, remember these things: • You should always check the ingredients label. If choosing between cocoa butter and chocolate flavoring or a hydrogenated fat (the less expensive stuff) you can’t pronounce or define, stay clear of it. Keep it real—simple and natural. • You should check the “use by” date on the label of the chocolate item. Some chocolates that are infused with specific ingredients like cheese or olive oil are recommended to be refrigerated and eaten in a seven-day span. • Chocolate should be stored the right way. Chocolate makers will tell you chocolate should be stored at cool room temperatures (60–70°F), well wrapped to keep moisture out, and away from highly scented foods or aromatic products that might be absorbed by chocolate. • Most chocolate usually does not require refrigeration. If you put bars to truffles in the fridge it will change the appearance of the chocolate. Worse, the condensation that forms will cause sugar bloom (cocoa butter from within the chocolate rises to the surface) on the chocolate’s surface, which doesn’t affect the chocolate’s flavor but it isn’t pretty either. • Yes, you can even freeze chocolate. If you have too much chocolate, go ahead and put it in an airtight container and store it in the freezer up to a couple of months. Once you’re ready to indulge, put it in the fridge, and then place it at room temperature. The downside? It won’t look exactly the same, nor will the eating texture be exactly the same as the day you brought the chocolate into your home. Your best bet: Eat chocolate when it’s fresh, just like bread, cookies, and cake. But note: I did freeze decadent
brownies baked by Daniel’s Restaurant chef, and the Sicilian Fig Cookies home baked by Gemma Sciabica, and each and every one tasted fine. • Chocolate can be kept for about eight months to a year if it is stored properly in a cool, dry place away from sunlight. Keep chocolate in an airtight container, because it can be affected by foods with strong aromas, such as garlic or onion. • Cocoa powder can be stored in your kitchen cupboard—room temperature is good. THE CHOCOLATE HEALTH-BOOSTING FIVE-DAY MENU PLAN In my book The Healing Powers of Olive Oil, I use a simple and pure “California Diet” plan based on a nutritious and slimming diet I created more than 15 years ago. It is chock-full of fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy, fish, and poultry. While I was eating chocolate back in those days, I don’t believe I included the “forbidden” food. This time around, I have sprinkled chocolate dishes for you to enjoy both the taste and health benefits. If you eat five minimeals per day, the way I do, and treat yourself to quality chocolate, you’ll get and stay lean, never go hungry, and be healthier, too—like the people in Europe who still follow the traditional Mediterranean diet and lifestyle. In conclusion, yes, you can have your chocolate and eat it, too! Day 1 Breakfast:
1 banana 1 slice ‘Le Chocolat’ French Toasta 1 boiled egg 1 glass fresh orange juice 1 cup fresh brewed coffee
3 ounces water-packed tuna and ½ cup leafy spinach stuffed into a whole-wheat pita pocket with ½ sliced tomato 1 cup low-fat plain or vanilla all-natural yogurt with fresh fruit (e.g., sliced strawberries, blueberries)
Sicilian Mole served over ricea 1 cup broccoli or cruciferous vegetables
1 cup hot dark chocolate
Day 2 Breakfast:
2 all-natural whole-wheat frozen waffles with sliced berries on top 1 cafĂŠ mocha with skim milk 1 orange
Open-faced grilled cheese sandwich with tomato slices 1 cup low-sodium vegetable soup 1 cup fresh fruit salad
1 or 2 dark chocolate truffles infused with tea or fruit 1 cup herbal tea
Chicken Mole* Tossed green salad with vinegar and olive oil dressing French bread
Fresh fruit over dark chocolate all-natural ice cream
Day 3 Breakfast:
2 eggs, scrambled in frying pan lightly sprayed with olive oil 1 bran muffin 1 cup coffee 1 glass fresh grapefruit juice or Â˝ grapefruit
Sicilian Mole served over whole-wheat pasta* 1 slice French bread dipped in olive oil 1 cup low-fat yogurt or glass low-fat chocolate milk
Hawaiian Vintage Cocoa Bean Curried Shrimp served over rice* Mixed vegetables 1 glass red wine
1 serving Madame Peleâ€™s Chocolate Volcano and Haupia Mousse
Day 4 Breakfast:
1 serving whole-grain cereal 1 cup skim or low-fat milk 6 ounces fresh juice 1 cup cafĂŠ mocha
1 slice vegetarian pizza with whole-wheat crust 1 cup leafy spinach salad with tomatoes, carrots, red wine vinegar and olive oil dressing 1 cup low-fat milk or yogurt
1 or 2 Chocolate Biscotti* 1 cup herbal tea
Smoky Chili with Pasta* Cornbread
1 slice Calâ€™s Earthquake Cake* 1 cup herbal tea
Day 5 Breakfast:
1 chocolate oatmeal muffin 1 glass fresh orange juice 1 cup coffee with low-fat milk and chocolate flavoring
Italian sandwich: lean ham on whole-wheat roll (tomatoes, spinach, lettuce, 1 piece cheese, red wine vinegar and olive oil dressing) 1 cup yogurt or low-fat milk
1 serving of a dark chocolate herbal infused bar 1 cup herbal tea
Chicken Mole* Fresh vegetables 1 baked potato 1 whole-wheat roll 1 glass red wine
Note: Put portion control to work. Less is more. And serving sizes depends on activity level, size, gender, and age. For more information, log onto www.MyPyramid.gov to find out how many servings per food group you need each day. Breakfast Ah, breakfast. Yes, it can and should be the wake-up, good-for-you meal of the day. But sometimes it’s okay to break the rules. After all, rules are made to be broken, especially on special occasions. I remember during a trip to Kauai, one morning I awoke to the heavenly scent of fresh brewed coffee. It was dawn—bright sunshine, birds chirping, cats outdoors by the swimming pool—so I couldn’t fall back to sleep. I got up and joined my gracious host at the breakfast table. We sipped hot java. We nibbled on pieces of dark chocolate, some with nuts, and ate fresh fruit. I felt naughty because this wasn’t a traditional breakfast, but it was nice. This year, I have enjoyed my Hawaiian-style meal in a variety of ways, depending on my mood and what is happening in the world. Remember, during April and May 2008, people in the Sierra region and Reno experienced a nerve-wracking earthquake swarm. To cope, I savored my one cup of freshly brewed coffee with tasty homemade chocolate biscotti, and fresh orange juice or strawberries. The container of biscotti (made with olive oil and cocoa) was a treasure from Italian author-cook Gemma Sciabica, and I will always be thankful to her and her tasty treats, both of which calmed and energized me through this shaky (pun intended) time. Indeed, breakfast is a time to enjoy healthful and indulgent foods to provide energy and fullness for the rest of the day. It’s a leisurely time for me, these days. Every morning after I let my canine duo outdoors and feed them, I sneak back to bed with my breakfast: fresh fruit, and often, chocolate in many forms— from nibs in my granola to organic chocolate milk in my cup of Joe. Truly, chocolate is a wonderful way
to start out your day with a taste of health and indulgence.
Chocolate Cranberry Scones Chocolate Oatmeal Walnut Muffins ‘Le Chocolat’ French Toast Chocolate Hazelnut Torta
Chocolate Cranberry Scones
1 cup buttermilk 1 each egg (extra large) 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 4 tablespoons sugar 3½ cups flour (all-purpose) 2 teaspoons baking powder 1 teaspoon baking soda ½ teaspoon salt (kosher) 2 each orange zests ½ cup butter, cubed and cold 60–70 percent cocoa content cup cranberries (fresh) cup heavy cream (used for brushing tops of scones) cup chocolate, coarsely chopped
Preheat oven to 375°F. Whisk together buttermilk, egg, and vanilla; set aside. Sift together dry ingredients into a stand mixer bowl: sugar, flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and orange zest. Using the paddle attachment, mount bowl on stand mixer containing the sifted dry ingredients. Add cold cubed butter to flour; carefully turn mixer on medium speed, until the flour and butter resemble coarse corn meal. Reduce mixer speed to low, add liquid mixture, and then stop mixer and pulse in chocolate and cranberries until incorporated. Do not over mix; scones will become very tough in texture. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and press (do not knead) dough into a flat square about ¾ inch thick. Cut into 2-inch squares and place onto a non-stick baking tray, or parchment-lined cookie sheet. Brush surface of scones with heavy cream. Bake in the middle of a preheated oven for 15–20 minutes. Scones should be light golden color and have a little spring when you press the center with your finger. Makes 2 dozen scones. (Source: Recipe created by Michael Recchiuti)
Chocolate Oatmeal Walnut Muffins
1 cup quick-cooking rolled oats 1 cup buttermilk or sour milkb cup vegetable oil cup packed light brown sugar 1 egg 1 teaspoon vanilla extract ¼ cup HERSHEY’S Cocoa 1 teaspoon baking powder 1 teaspoon salt ¼ teaspoon baking soda 1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts ¾ cup all-purpose flour Powdered sugar (optional) 1. Heat oven to 400°F. Grease or line muffin cups (2½ inches in diameter) with paper bake cups. 2. Stir together oats and buttermilk in small bowl; let stand 20 minutes. 3. Stir together oil, brown sugar, egg and vanilla in large bowl. Add oats mixture, stirring well. Stir together flour, cocoa, baking powder, salt and baking soda. Add to oats mixture, blending until moistened. Stir in nuts. Fill muffin cups full with batter. 4. Bake 16 to 18 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from pan to wire rack. Sprinkle muffin tops with powdered sugar, if desired. Serve warm or cool. About 14 muffins.
(Source: HERSHEY’S is a registered trademark. Recipe courtesy of the Hershey Kitchens, and reprinted with permission of The Hershey Company. © The Hershey Company) ‘Le Chocolat’ French Toast
3 eggs ¾ cup milk 3 tablespoons sugar 2 tablespoons HERSHEY’S Cocoa ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract teaspoon salt ¼ teaspoon cinnamon (optional) 8 to 10 pieces thickly sliced bread (about 10 to 12 ounces)
Powdered sugar (optional) Pancake syrup (optional)
1. Beat eggs, milk, sugar, cocoa, vanilla, salt, and cinnamon, if desired, in medium bowl until smooth. 2. Heat griddle or skillet over medium-low heat. Grease griddle with margarine, if necessary. 3. Dip bread in egg mixture. Place on griddle. Cook about 4 minutes on each side. Serve immediately with powdered sugar or pancake syrup. Garnish as desired. 8 to 10 pieces French toast. (Source: HERSHEY’S is a registered trademark. Recipe courtesy of the Hershey Kitchens, and reprinted with permission of The Hershey Company. © The Hershey Company) Chocolate Hazelnut Torta
1¾ cups granulated pure cane sugar ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder 2½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour ½ teaspoon sea salt 2½ teaspoons baking powder ½ easpoon baking soda 3 organic eggs ½ cup Spectrum Organic Toasted Hazelnut Oil 1 cup organic milk or soy milk ¾ cup hazelnuts, chopped coarsely
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Measure the sugar, cocoa, flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda into a bowl. Sift this into a separate, large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs to combine. Add the Spectrum Organic Toasted Hazelnut Oil, and the milk. Whisk well to combine. Pour this over the sifted dry ingredients, all at once, using a rubber spatula to scrape the liquid from the bowl. Using a wooden spoon, stir to combine, then beat for about 30 strokes until the dry ingredients are thoroughly mixed in. Stir in the chopped hazelnuts, mixing well to combine. Spray an 8-cup bundt pan evenly with Spectrum Canola oil spray. Turn the batter into the prepared pan, using a rubber spatula to scrape the bowl, and to smooth the top. Bake in the center of the oven for about one hour and 15 minutes, until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Turn out onto a large plate and when cooled to room temperature, dust with powdered sugar or frost with Chocolate-Chestnut Frosting. Makes an 8-cup bundt cake. CHOCOLATE-CHESTNUT FROSTING
1 cup Spectrum Organic Shortening ¼ cup Spectrum Organic Margarine ¼ cup Chestnut Spread or Puree, found in jars in the gourmet section of food stores 3 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted ½ cup milk or soy milk
Combine the Spectrum Organic Shortening, the Spectrum Margarine, and the Chestnut Puree in a bowl. Beat, using a hand mixer set on medium speed for about 40 seconds to cream the mixture, stopping once or twice to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the sifted confectioners’ sugar, the sifted cocoa powder, and the milk. Beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Use within a couple of hours or refrigerate for up to a week. Allow to warm to room temperature for easy spreading. (Source: Spectrum Organics online recipe collection, by Blaire Criscuolo, www.spectrumorganics.com) Appetizers and Breads For years, as a nutrition and health journalist I’ve been preaching what I practice about the fine art of grazing. Yes, eating five to six minimeals (or healthful snacks) throughout the day helps to rev up your fatburning metabolism (burns calories), and to keep hunger pangs away, so you do not overindulge and pack on unwanted pounds and body fat. So forget the Ozzie and Harriet and Leave It to Beaver days, when people ate three large square meals a day, and jump on the 21st-century healthy grazing bandwagon. The secret to incorporating chocolate into your minimeals is to team it with fresh vegetables, fruits, and low-fat dairy foods. For instance, teaming a slice of Easy Chip and Nut Gift Bread with a glass of calcium-rich 2 percent low-fat milk is a good, wholesome minimeal. Or, a Chocolate Almond Beet Torte, with fresh fruit, is a tasty and energizing grazer’s delight. Use your imagination, and put these appetizers and breads to work for you in the name of healthy chocolate.
Chocolate Almond Beet Torte Ciabatta Bread Slices, with Dark Chocolate and Olive Oil Dark Chocolate Soup Easy Chip and Nut Gift Bread Very Chocolate Muffins
Chocolate Almond Beet Torte This torte puts some unusual bedfellows together: almonds, bittersweet chocolate, and red beets. The result is an ultramoist cake, with a toothy texture that is very satisfying while not being cloyingly sweet. You can pretty much find beets everywhere all year long. And while most people associate root vegetables with winter, this recipe shows that you donâ€™t have to wait for a cold snap to get your veggie on.
4 ounces whole almonds, roasted and cooled 3 tablespoons unbleached all- purpose flour granulated cane sugar 5 extra-large eggs, separated and at room temperature 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract, preferably Madagascar Bourbon 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature 5 ounces 70 percent bittersweet chocolate, melted cup red beets, raw and shredded on a box grater
Preheat the oven to 375Â°F. Butter and flour one 8-inch cake pan. Combine the almonds and flour in a food processor and grind until fine. (The addition of flour prevents the almonds from forming a paste. Purchased almond meal may be substituted, but will result in a torte with a different texture.) Whisk in cup granulated sugar. In a small bowl, combine the egg yolks and vanilla extract and whisk by hand. Set aside. Put the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium speed until the butter is creamy. Slowly beat in the melted chocolate. On medium speed, beat in the egg yolk mixture until fully incorporated, approximately 2 minutes. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the almond mixture until just blended. Fold in the beets and set aside. Place the egg whites in a separate bowl on a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat the eggs on medium speed. When the whites are opaque and start to increase in volume, add the remaining cup granulated cane sugar. When they start to become stiff, increase the speed to high and beat until the whites start to lose their shine but still look wet. They will hang in medium-stiff peaks when the whip is lifted from the bowl. Fold about of the whites into the batter with a rubber spatula. Fold in the rest of the whites just until no white streaks remain. Distribute the mixture evenly into the prepared cake pan. Place in the oven on the middle shelf and reduce the oven temperature to 350Â°. Bake for 30 minutes. This is a dense, moist cake and will rise very little. A skewer inserted into the center will have a moist
crumb; it will not come out clean. Let cool completely in the pan on a wire rack. When cool, remove the torte and coat with your favorite chocolate frosting or marmalade. Makes 8 to 10 servings. (Source: Recipe created by Michael Recchiuti) Ciabatta Bread Slices, with Dark Chocolate and Olive Oil
6 slices ciabatta bread (½-inch thick), toasted cup ricotta 6 ounces dark chocolate, chopped small cup walnuts, chopped small or ground Sea salt to taste 6 tablespoons Sciabica’s or Marsala Olive Oil
Preheat oven to 200°F. Foil-line a baking sheet; lightly grease it. Place bread in single layer on sheet; spread with 1 tablespoon ricotta. Scatter chocolate evenly over ricotta. Bake about 5 minutes or until melted. Sprinkle with walnuts, salt it, and drizzle with olive oil. Serves 6. VARIATION Croissants or bread slices of your choice. (Source: Gemma Sanita Sciabica) Dark Chocolate Soup
½ gallon whole milk 2 quarts heavy cream 2 orange zests 6 cinnamon sticks 1 pound and 2 ounces 64 percent bittersweet dark chocolate
Bring all ingredients except for dark chocolate to a boil. Pour over squares of dark chocolate. Strain any large pieces out of mixture. Keep warm until ready to serve. Pour into individual mugs to enjoy.
(Source: Trena Costello, Pastry Chef, Langham Hotel, Boston) Easy Chip and Nut Gift Bread
2 cups all-purpose flour 1 cup sugar 1 teaspoon baking powder 1 teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon baking soda 1 cup applesauce ½ cup shortening 2 eggs 1 cup HERSHEY’S Cinnamon Chips, HERSHEY’S Special Dark Chocolate Chips, or HERSHEY’S Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips ½ cup chopped walnuts Powdered sugar (optional)
Heat oven to 350°F. Grease three 5¾ x 3¼ x 2-inch mini-loaf pans. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, baking soda, applesauce, shortening, and eggs in large bowl. Beat on medium speed of mixer until well blended. Stir in cinnamon chips and walnuts. Divide batter evenly into prepared pans. Bake 45 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire rack. Cool completely. Sift with powdered sugar, if desired. Makes 3 small loaves. MUFFINS: Line muffin cups (2½ inches in diameter) with foil or paper baking cups or spray with vegetable cooking spray. Fill cups ¾ full with batter. Bake 18 to 22 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pan. Cool completely. About 1½ dozen muffins. (Source: HERSHEY’S and HERSHEY’S Special Dark are registered trademarks. Recipe courtesy of the Hershey Kitchens, and reprinted with permission of The Hershey Company. © The Hershey Company) Very Chocolate Muffins These chocolate muffins are not too rich, so they’re perfect after any meal or as a snack. Because chocolate is the star in this recipe, make sure you spring for the good stuff, like Valrhona or E. Guittard. 1
0 ounces 61 percent–70 percent bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted 8 eggs, separated, at room temper- ature 1½ cups granulated cane sugar 1 teaspoon cream of tartar cup unbleached all-purpose flour ¼ teaspoon kosher salt, whisked into flour 5 ounces 35 percent–41 percent milk chocolate, coarsely chopped 4 ounces 61 percent-70 percent bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line 12 standard muffin cups (2½-inch-diameter top and 1¼ inches deep) with paper liners; set aside. Put 10 ounces bittersweet chocolate and butter in a stainless-steel bowl over simmering water to melt; set aside. Put the egg yolks in the bowl of a stand mixer and whisk in ½ cup of sugar. Place bowl over simmering water and whisk until yolks reach about 120 degrees. Mount yolks on stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment. Whip at high speed until yolks triple in volume. Transfer yolks into a 3-quart stainless-steel bowl; set aside. Place whites in a clean bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Whip on medium speed until whites become frothy. Add cream of tartar and increase mixer speed to high. When whites begin to form soft peaks, add 1 cup of sugar and continue to whip to shiny, firm peaks. Using a spatula, fold the melted chocolate into the yolk mixture. Carefully fold in whites and flour in 3 additions. Fold in milk and remaining dark chocolate pieces, just until incorporated. Do not over mix. Using a tablespoon, divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups, filling them about twothirds full. Bake on the middle shelf of the oven until the top of the muffins form a crust, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from oven, and allow to cool for 30 minutes. Makes 24 muffins. (Source: Michael Recchiuti) Sauces I remember one Sunday afternoon when I was a preteen in San Jose, California. It was a cold, overcast late fall afternoon. After visiting my girlfriends, I came home—and it was a sanctuary to me. My father and brother were watching a classic movie, The Wizard of Oz, on television in the family room. And I could smell the aroma of my mother’s homemade chicken cacciatore simmering in the kitchen as I took a warm bubble bath. After, I sipped hot chocolate in front of the fireplace with my family as we finished the movie and anticipated a delicious Italian meal: salad, French bread, and the main course with sauce that had been concocted with tender loving care. It was a dinner that warmed me up, along with my two siblings and Casey, a Dalmatian, the familiar family constant like chocolate. It is a pleasant memory of my childhood
in the suburbs. In France and Italy, sauces are used in main entree dishes. Cream sauces contain eggs, butter, and cheese—which is okay if you savor it all in moderation. Personally, I prefer red sauces, and these tend to be healthier and contain less fat and calories. Also, adding fresh vegetables and herbs kicks up the taste more than a notch. Drizzling sauces over whole-wheat pasta, brown rice, and beans is also a good way to make good sauces great.
Caponata (Sicilian Mole) Chicken Mole
Caponata (Sicilian Mole)
cup Marsala Olive Oil 1 onion, chopped 1½ cups fennel bulb or celery, sliced 2 bell peppers (red, yellow, or green) 1 large eggplant, cubed 3 tomatoes, chopped (or to taste) 1 pound yellow or green zucchini, cubed 6 garlic cloves (or to taste) chopped 1 cup mushrooms, sliced (or but- ton mushrooms) cup white wine vinegar or lemon juice ½ cup white wine ½ cup olives of your choice, pitted 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated cup golden raisins 1 teaspoon sage or tarragon Salt, pepper, and cayenne to taste ½ cup fresh basil, parsley, or mint, chopped 3 tablespoons cocoa (or 1 square unsweetened chocolate, melted) cup pine nuts, almonds, sliced,
or walnuts, chopped
Heat oil in Dutch oven or large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion, fennel, and peppers; cook about 2 or 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add eggplant, tomatoes, zucchini, and garlic. Cover, cook on medium heat until crisp tender. Add mushrooms, vinegar, wine, olives, ginger, raisins, sage, salt, pepper, cayenne, and basil. Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally until slightly thickened; stir in cocoa. Sprinkle with nuts. Serve hot as a vegetable side dish or cold as a relish in the center of an antipasto tray. May be used as a pizza topping. Makes about 6 cups. VARIATION Add one or two of the following:
1 cup carrots, sliced, cooked crisp, tender 4 bay leaves (remove before serving) 1 cup mozzarella or dried ricotta, shredded 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard 1 cup prosciutto, chopped ¼cup capers 1½ cups chicken, boneless, skinless, cooked, chopped 8 ounces rotelle or penne pasta, cooked
(Source: Cooking with California Olive Oil: Treasured Family Recipes by Gemma Sanita Sciabica) Chicken Mole
1 (14 ounce) can tomatoes 8 skinned & boned chicken thighs 1 chipotle chile, or to taste 2 teaspoons cumin 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 green bell pepper, chopped fine 2 tablespoons chili powder 1 green chili pepper, chopped 1 onion, chopped fine ½ cup water 3 tablespoons cocoa 1 tablespoon sugar
Place all ingredients except cocoa and sugar in a large pot. Cover and simmer until chicken is very tender (about an hour). Remove chicken from pot. Add cocoa and sugar. Simmer sauce until thick. Return chicken to sauce and heat 5 to 10 minutes to blend flavors. Serve over rice. (Source: www.sweatnspice.com) Pasta After finishing graduate school, I was the typical student living on a shoestring budget. I did have my degree and ambition to become a full-time freelance writer. During this time, in my midthirties, I was smitten by a new man in my life. One evening, I wanted to cook a romantic dinner. I chose lasagna and got a fail proof recipe from my 100 percent Italian girlfriend. I remember how I painstakingly took time and tender loving care to make this pasta dish, complete with cheese, fresh vegetables, onions, and garlic— and of course pasta—come out perfect. And she suggested adding cocoa powder—for a romantic touch. I did. And it turned out perfecto.
Cocoa Pasta Gus’s Spaghetti with Ricotta and Chocolate Pasta with Red Wine
Cocoa Pasta One of the latest novelties in the way of colored pasta is cocoa pasta. Cocoa pasta is excellent with duck, pigeon, or game sauce.
1½ cups flour ½ cup semolina (Italian wheat flour) Salt to taste 1 egg 1-ounce square of dark, unsweet- ened chocolate, melted 2 tablespoons Sciabica’s or Marsala Olive Oil to ½ cup water (a little more if needed to hold dough together)
Add all dry ingredients together in mixing bowl; make well in center. Add remaining ingredients; stir until dough holds together, adding a little more water if needed. Dough should be a little firmer than pie crust. On lightly floured surface, knead dough until smooth. Let rest 20 to 30 minutes, covered. Roll out dough on lightly floured surface, as thin as desired; cut into shape you like. A pasta machine works well when cutting pasta dough—follow directions for pasta. Serves 3 to 4. (Source: Cooking with California Olive Oil: Treasured Family Recipes by Gemma Sanita Sciabica) Gus’s Spaghetti with Ricotta and Chocolate
8 ounces spaghetti 1½ cups ricotta, whole milk 1 cup milk chocolate, chopped very small
Cook spaghetti according to package directions; drain. Place on serving platter. In mixing bowl add ricotta; mash with fork. Stir in chopped chocolate. Spoon ricotta mixture on pasta; toss gently until well distributed. Garnish with chocolate curls. Note: To make chocolate curls, have chocolate at room temperature. Shave chocolate with vegetable peeler. If using low-fat ricotta, add cup milk to ricotta, mash, blend; add chocolate. Serves 3 to 4. (Source: Cooking with California Olive Oil: Treasured Family Recipes, by Gemma Sanita Sciabica) Pasta with Red Wine
1½ pounds spinach, broccoli di rape, or greens of your choice ¼ pound Italian sausage ½ cup Sciabica’s or Marsala Extra Virgin Olive Oil ½ medium onion, minced 6 garlic cloves or to taste, minced 1 square dark chocolate, melted Salt, pepper, and red hot pepper flakes to taste ¼ pound mushrooms, chopped 1 pound spaghetti or pasta of your choice 3–4 cups red or white wine
1 cup Romano cheese, grated
Blanch greens until crisp tender. In a small skillet cook sausage with a little water. Drain well and crumble. Place greens and sausage in a bowl. In another skillet add olive oil, onion, and garlic; cook until soft but not browned. Stir in chocolate. Add salt, pepper, red hot pepper flakes, mushrooms, greens, and sausage mixture. Keep on simmer until pasta is ready. In a large pot of boiling water cook pasta for 5 minutes; drain well. Have a large skillet with wine boiling gently. Cook drained pasta another 5 minutes until al dente, or until desired doneness. Stir occasionally. Place pasta into a large shallow serving bowl. Cover with greens and sausage mixture; toss gently. Sprinkle with cheese. Serves 4 to 6. (Source: Gemma Sanita Sciabica) Entrees A lot of people are surprised to learn that chocolate can be part of an entree—and I am one of them. I do recall, however, when I was 10 years old, on Easter Sunday our family went to Hawaiian Gardens, a popular and exotic restaurant in San Jose. I ordered tempura shrimp with a Hawaiian-type sauce, which may have included cocoa, because it isn’t an uncommon ingredient in this savory dish. And nowadays, I know that dark chocolate is used not only for baking but also in cooking main dishes, which can enhance poultry and fish. Cooking with chocolate is no secret to Italian, Spanish, South American, and Hawaiian fare.
Hawaiian Vintage Cocoa Bean Curried Shrimp Smoky Chili with Pasta Turkey Chili
Hawaiian Vintage Cocoa Bean Curry Shrimp HAWAIIAN VINTAGE COCOA BEAN CURRY BASE
¼ cup water 1 stalk lemongrass (bottom hearts only)—smashed and minced 1 ounce galangal—smashed and minced 1 ounce ginger root—smashed and minced 2 ounces shallot—peeled and
minced 1 ounce macadamia nuts, toasted ¼ cup Hawaiian Vintage Chocolate Cocoa Bean—ground 1 teaspoon turmeric 2 leaves kaffir lime leaf—ground ¼ cup corn oil ¼ cup chili paste (Koon Yick Wah or similar) 1 teaspoon Hawaiian Chili Pepper Mash 5 cloves garlic—minced fine
1 tablespoon Hawaiian Vintage Chocolate Curry Base 1 tablespoon garlic 3 tablespoons olive oil 42 jumbo Mexican shrimp— peeled and deveined
GINGER MINT PINEAPPLE CHUTNEY
1 pound pineapple, peeled and cored—½-inch cubes 2 cloves stuck into pineapple core—remove after cooked 2 tablespoons Heaven and Earth Ginger Mint Sauce 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar teaspoon mace teaspoon allspice—ground 1 pinch cayenne 1 stick cinnamon ½ tablespoon calamanda peel 4 ounces sugar 2 ounces fresh ginger—smashed
HAWAIIAN VINTAGE COCOA BEAN CURRY SAUCE
18 fluid ounces unsweetened co- conut milk (Mae Ploy brand) 3 tablespoons sugar 1½ teaspoons kosher salt ½ curry base
For Hawaiian Vintage Cocoa Bean Base: Place water, lemongrass, galangal, ginger root, and shallot into blender and process until smooth. Add macadamia nuts, cocoa bean powder, turmeric, and kaffir leaf and process until mixture is incorporated. Heat oil to 300 degrees; then fry chili paste. Sauté for 3 minutes, then add blended ingredients. Cook for 20 minutes on medium-high heat. Remove from heat and cool. Will refrigerate for 1 month. For Shrimp Marinade: Rub curry base, garlic, and olive oil over shrimp. Store covered in refrigerator overnight or 8 hours. For Ginger Mint Pineapple Chutney: Peel pineapple and cut into quarters vertically. Cut cores from each quarter. Take one of the cores and cut in half horizontally. Stick cloves into this pineapple core and discard the rest. Cut pineapple meat into inch cubes. Place Ginger Mint Sauce, vinegar, spices, sugar, ginger, pineapple, and studded core into a nonreactive pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook for 45 minutes on medium heat. Cool. For Hawaiian Vintage Cocoa Bean Curry Sauce: Heat coconut milk, sugar, and salt to a soft simmer, stirring often. Add curry base and cook for additional 5 minutes on simmer. Adjust taste. To Wok Shrimp: Cook in 2 batches; wipe pan after each batch. Heat oil just to the smoking point, then gently place shrimp in pan and add the curry sauce. Bring to a boil and remove from heat. To Assemble: Place chutney in the middle of the plate. Ladle the sauce around the chutney and lay the shrimp on the chutney. Garnish and serve immediately. Serves 6. (Source: Chef Glenn Chu, Hawaiian Vintage Chocolate) Smoky Chili with Pasta
2 cups (about 6 ounces) rotelle or rotini pasta, uncooked 1 pound ground beef 1 cup chopped onion 2 cans (10¾ oz each) condensed tomato soup 2 cans (about 15 ounces each) red kidney beans 2 tablespoons HERSHEY’S Cocoa
2¼ teaspoons chili powder ¾ easpoon ground black pepper ½ teaspoon salt Grated Parmesan cheese (optional) 1. Cook pasta according to package directions; drain. 2. Meanwhile, cook ground beef and onion until meat is thoroughly done and onion is tender. If necessary, drain fat. 3. Stir in soup, undrained kidney beans, cocoa, chili powder, pepper, and salt. Heat to boiling; reduce heat. Stir in hot pasta; heat thoroughly. Serve with Parmesan cheese, if desired. About 8 cups.
(Source: HERSHEY’S is a registered trademark. Recipe courtesy of the Hershey Kitchens, and reprinted with permission of The Hershey Company. © The Hershey Company) Turkey Chili
1 onion, chopped 4 garlic cloves, chopped ¾ cup Sciabica’s or Marsala Extra Virgin Olive Oil 1½ cups ground turkey 4 cups tomatoes, fresh or canned 1 cup carrots, chopped or sliced 1½ cups kidney beans, cooked ½ cup tomato paste 1½ tablespoons chili powder 1 teaspoon cumin ¾ cup dark cocoa 1 cup olives, sliced cup green chili, diced 1 teaspoon oregano Salt, pepper, and cayenne to taste
In a large Dutch oven, sauté onion and garlic in olive oil until tender. Add turkey; cook until browned. Stir in tomatoes and remaining ingredients. Bring to boil; lower to simmer for 25 to 35 minutes or to desired consistency. Note: For spicier chili, add ¼ to ½ habanero or to taste, minced. Habanero chili is extremely hot! VARIATION
¼ cup cilantro leaves, chopped 1 cup garbanzo, cooked or canned ½ teaspoon cinnamon 2 celery stalks, sliced Cheddar cheese, shredded 1 cup pumpkin, diced 1 zucchini, cut into ½ inch pieces 1 yellow squash, cut into ½ inch slices 1 cup pinto beans 1 can light beer 2 tablespoons molassess 1 bell pepper, chopped
(Source: Gemma Sanita Sciabica) Desserts I remember my home economics class in the seventh grade. A baking contest was held and it was a big deal. To me, being a competitive kid, I wanted to win. The glitch was, even in my early teens, I wasn’t the best of bakers. But my mother did bake scrumptious cakes and pies—all from scratch—which matched the rules of the contest. I desperately needed help. My mom pitched in and showed me the ropes of creating a Boston cream pie complete with dark chocolate glaze. Keep in mind, this complex dessert is a challenge to create. The result: I delivered a beautiful masterpiece. However, the winner was another student who prepared a yule log filled and frosted with rich mocha butter cream frosting. (I think my timing in the sixties wasn’t right.) My fellow contestants didn’t get how much work is involved in making a three-step Boston cream pie—but my teacher did get it and commended my efforts. Today, I give due credit to my mother, who appreciated fine food nouvelle American style, and who was ahead of her time and often turned to dark chocolate—teamed with other ingredients in her cream puffs, éclairs, and cookies. The lighter chocolate cake may have won the prize, but these days, baking with the darker stuff is what will make you a true winner.
All-Chocolate Boston Cream Pie Cal’s Earthquake Cake Cherry and Chunk Chocolate Cookies Chocolate Lavender Torte (Gluten-Free) Chocolate-Pumpkin Layer Cake Chocolate-Raspberry Cake Chocolate Olive Oil Ice Cream Chocolate Zucchini Cake Dairy-Free Italian Chocolate Cake with Pine Nuts
Madame Pele’s Chocolate Volcano and Haupia Mousse Peanut Butter Chocolate Cookies Rosemary-Infused Chocolate Fudge Cake with Chocolate-Tofu Frosting
All-Chocolate Boston Cream Pie 1 cup all-purpose flour 1 cup sugar cup HERSHEY’S Cocoa ½ teaspoon baking soda 6 tablespoons butter or magarine, softened 1 cup milk 1 egg 1 teaspoon vanilla extract Chocolate Filling (recipe follows) Satiny Chocolate Glaze (recipe follows) 1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour one 9-inch round baking pan. 2. Stir together flour, sugar, cocoa, and baking soda in large bowl. Add butter, milk, egg, and vanilla. Beat on low speed of mixer until all ingredients are moistened. Beat on medium speed 2 minutes. Pour batter into prepared pan. 3. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pan to wire rack. Cool completely. Prepare Chocolate Filling. Cut cake into two thin layers. Place one layer on serving plate; spread filling over layer. Top with remaining layer. 4. Prepare Satiny Chocolate Glaze. Pour onto top of cake, allowing some to drizzle down sides. Refrigerate until serving time. Cover; refrigerate leftover cake. 8 servings. CHOCOLATE FILLING ½ cup sugar ¼ cup HERSHEY’S Cocoa 2 tablespoons cornstarch 1½ cups light cream 1 tablespoon butter or margarine 1 teaspoon vanilla extract Stir together sugar, cocoa, and cornstarch in medium saucepan; gradually stir in light cream. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and begins to boil. Boil 1 minute, stirring constantly; remove from heat. Stir in butter and vanilla. Press plastic wrap directly onto surface. Cool completely. SATINY CHOCOLATE GLAZE
2 tablespoons water 1 tablespoon butter or margarine 1 tablespoon corn syrup 2 tablespoons HERSHEY’S Cocoa ¾ cup powdered sugar ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Heat water, butter, and corn syrup in small saucepan to boiling. Remove from heat; immediately stir in cocoa. With whisk, gradually beat in powdered sugar and vanilla until smooth; cool slightly. (Source: HERSHEY’S is a registered trademark. Recipe courtesy of the Hershey Kitchens, and reprinted with permission of The Hershey Company. © The Hershey Company) Cal’s Earthquake Cake
1 cup flour cup dark cocoa (Dutch) ¼ teaspoon salt 1½ cups sugar 1 cup white whole wheat flour 1 teaspoon baking soda 1 cup buttermilk ½ cup Sciabica’s or Marsala Olive Oil 2 eggs ½ teaspoon Danish pastry extract (Watkins) 1 teaspoon vanilla 1 cup raspberry-crème-filled Hershey dark chocolate chips 1 large banana, mashed
¾ cup ricotta, low fat 1 egg and 1 egg yolk ¼ cup sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease well or use cooking spray in a 10-inch bundt tube pan. In mixing bowl, sift dry ingredients together; make well in center. Pour in buttermilk, olive oil, eggs, and flavorings. Stir until smooth. Add chocolate chips. Pour half the cake batter into prepared pan. Spoon the filling mixture evenly over the layer of batter. Carefully pour second half of batter over the filling. Bake 55 or 60 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly touched in center (or when cake tester comes out clean from center). Cool cake on a wire rack for about 20 minutes before removing from pan. Cool completely before glazing. Glaze as desired, or, may be sprinkled with confectioners’ sugar. Clearly a glass of milk is needed. VARIATION
¾ cup toasted coconut ¾ cup pecans (or nuts of your choice) chopped small or ground
Before batter is poured in, sprinkle about ½ cup sliced almonds on bottom of prepared pan. Serves 12. (Source: Gemma Sanita Sciabica) Cherry and Chunk Chocolate Cookies These tender, soft cookies make a perfect accompaniment to a glass of soy milk or a cup of tea. Pack a couple with your lunch for a wonderful snack.
4 cups organic unbleached flour 5 teaspoons baking powder ¼ teaspoon sea salt 1 cup granulated organic cane sugar 2 organic eggs or equivalent sub- stitute 1 cup organic soy milk or dairy milk ½ cup Spectrum Naturals Canola Oil ¼ cup orange juice, freshly squeezed 2 teaspoons pure organic vanilla extract 1 cup dried cherries or cranberries 4 ounces organic semi-sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped into
bite-sized pieces, about 1 cup ½ cup walnuts or hazelnuts, finely chopped Spectrum Naturals Canola Spray Oil
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Measure the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar into a bowl. Sift this into another bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the eggs, milk, Spectrum Canola Oil, orange juice, and vanilla. Whisk to blend well. Pour over the dry ingredients, using a rubber spatula to scrape the bowl. Stir to combine. Stir in the cherries, chocolate chunks, and walnuts, mixing to combine. The batter will be thick. Spray 2–3 cookie sheets with Spectrum Spray Oil. Drop heaping teaspoons of batter onto the prepared cookie sheets, leaving 1½ inches between them. Bake for 12–14 minutes, or until just golden brown. Transfer the cookies onto a platter. Cool before storing in a covered container for up to a week—if they last that long! Makes about 3 dozen cookies. (Source: Spectrum Organics online recipe collection, by Claire Criscuolo, www.spectrumorganics.com) Chocolate Lavender Torte (Gluten-Free) CHOCOLATE DACQUOISE INGREDIENTS
1¾ cup almond flour ½ cup cocoa powder 17 egg whites 1 tablespoon cream of tartar 1¾ cup sugar
CHOCOLATE DACQUOISE INSTRUCTIONS
Sift almond flour and cocoa powder together and set aside. Whip a stiff meringue with the egg whites, cream of tartar, and sugar. Gently fold the dry ingredients into the meringue. Spread mix evenly on sheet and bake at 400°F for 15 to 20 minutes. If you use parchment paper, be sure to use non-stick spray.
LAVENDER GANACHE INGREDIENTS
4 cup cream 4 teaspoons lavender ½ cup corn syrup 1 lb. semi-sweet chocolate 1 lb. milk chocolate 1½ cup butter
LAVENDER GANACHE INSTRUCTIONS Boil the cream with the lavender; cover and steep for 10 minutes. Strain; bring the cream to a boil. Combine with the rest of the ingredients. BUILDING THE TORTE Alternate making layers (up to three layers each) of the Chocolate Dacquoise and the Lavender Ganache. (Recipe created by Trena Costello, Pastry Chef, of Langham Hotel, Boston) Chocolate-Pumpkin Layer Cake
20 tablespoons (2½ sticks) soft, unsalted butter, plus more for greasing 2 cups flour, plus more for dusting 1 teaspoon cinnamon ½ teaspoon ground ginger ½ teaspoon nutmeg ¼ teaspoon allspice 1 teaspoon baking soda ½ teaspoon baking powder ½ teaspoon salt 1½ cups granulated sugar 3 eggs 1½ cups plain pumpkin puree, canned, frozen, or fresh 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips 1 cup chopped pecans 2½ cups confectioners’ sugar 10 ounces unsweetened chocolate, preferably 99 or 100 percent, melted and cooled to room tem- perature 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Heat oven to 350°F. Use a little butter to grease two 9-inch round cake pans. Line bottoms with parchment paper. Butter and flour the paper. In a large bowl, whisk flour, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together. Using an electric mixer, cream 8 tablepoons butter and the granulated sugar together until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in eggs one at a time. Stir in pumpkin puree. Mixture may look slightly curdled. Stir in flour mixture about half a cup at a time until smooth. Fold in chocolate chips and pecans. Divide batter into pans and bake in middle of oven until springy to the touch and a tester in center comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Cool cakes in pans for 10 minutes; run a knife around edges, invert onto racks, and peel off paper. Let cakes cool completely. In a large bowl, blend remaining 12 tablespoons butter and confectioners’ sugar together. Blend in chocolate and vanilla extract and beat until smooth. Place one cake layer, smooth side up, on a platter. Ice the top. Place second layer, smooth side down, on the top; ice the top and sides of cake. Makes 8 to 12 servings. To make ahead: For fully frosted cake, put in freezer unwrapped; when frozen hard, wrap in plastic, then foil. Remove wrapping before defrosting. Unfrosted cake layers out of their pans can be wrapped first, then frozen up to three weeks. Frosting can be made up to 24 hours ahead and refrigerated, then brought to room temperature for at least one hour. (Courtesy of John Down, Christopher Norman Chocolates) Chocolate-Raspberry Cake Chocolate and raspberry are meant to be together. For a rich and luscious layer of glaze that adds a lovely raspberry flavor to the chocolate, spoon raspberry preserves over the batter just before baking.
½ cup Trans-Fat Free Organic Margarine, at room temperature 1½ cups granulated organic sugar 3 eggs 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour 1 cups flour ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder ½ teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon baking powder 1 teaspoons baking soda 1½ cups buttermilk Spectrum Naturals Canola Spray Oil ½ cup raspberry preserves
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Using a hand mixer, cream the Organic Margarine in a mixing bowl. Add the sugar and beat on medium speed, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed, until well blended, about a minute. Add the eggs and vanilla extract and continue to beat on medium speed about 30 seconds, until well blended. In a separate large bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. Spoon all of the creamed butter mixture onto the sifted dry ingredients. Pour the buttermilk over the top. Use a hand mixer on low speed; mix about 1 minute, scraping down the sides of the bowl 2–3 times. Spray a 10-cup bundt pan with Spectrum Canola Spray Oil. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan, scraping the sides of the bowl. Smooth the batter. Using a teaspoon, arrange the raspberry preserves evenly over the batter. Bake in the center of the oven about 50 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let it stand for 5 minutes, then invert onto a cake dish, being careful not to let the hot preserves ooze out and burn your skin. Allow to cool before serving. Serves 8. (Source: Spectrum Organics online recipe collection, by Claire Criscuolo, www.spectrumorganics.com) Chocolate Olive Oil Ice Cream
2½ cups milk ½ cup Hershey’s dark chocolate chips, melted 1 small orange in segments, banana, peach, or fruit of your choice 2 teaspoons vanilla (Watkins) Pinch of sea salt 2 eggs (or 4 egg whites) ½ cup Marsala Orange Olive Oil ½ cup sugar
In blender add all ingredients; blend until smooth. Pour into icecream maker; follow manufacturer’s directions. The olive oil is a substitute for unhealthy fat. (Source: Gemma Sanita Sciabica) Chocolate Zucchini Cake
¼ cup wheat germ 1 cup whole wheat flour 1 teaspoon baking soda 1½ cups brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon Confectioners’ sugar 1 cup cake flour 2 teaspoons baking powder cup Dutch cocoa ¼ cup buttermilk, nonfat ½ teaspoon Danish Pastry Extract (Watkins) 2 cups zucchini or carrots, shredded ½ cup Marsala Olive Oil 2 teaspoons vanilla 2 eggs
Preheat oven to 350°F; grease a 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking pan or coat it with cooking spray. Combine dry ingredients in mixing bowl; make well in center. Add remaining ingredients; blend; pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean from center. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar. Serves 16. (Source: Baking Sensational Sweets with California Olive Oil by Gemma Sanita Sciabica) Dairy-Free Italian Chocolate Cake with Pine Nuts
2¼ cups unbleached all-purpose flour 4 teaspoons baking powder ¼ teaspoon salt 1 cups naturally milled cane sugar 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder ½ cup Spectrum Spread cup silken tofu 1½ cups oat milk 1 teaspoon pure lemon extract ½ cup dairy-free chocolate chips ½ cup golden raisins ½ cup pine nuts
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Measure the flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, and cocoa into a bowl, then sift into another bowl. Measure the Spectrum Spread, tofu, oat milk, and lemon extract into a blender cup. Cover and blend on high speed for 10–15 seconds, until blended smooth. Pour this liquid mixture over the dry ingredients all at once. Using a wooden spoon, stir to combine. Stir in the chocolate chips, raisins,
and pine nuts; mix to combine. Spray a 12-inch bundt pan with Spectrum Naturals Olive Spray. Turn the batter into the prepared pan, using a rubber spatula to scrap the bowl clean and to smooth the top of the batter. Bake in the oven for about 65 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow to set for 10 minutes and then turn the cake out onto a cake dish. Sprinkle with powdered sugar or with a chocolate glaze. (Source: Spectrum Organics online recipe collection by Claire Criscuolo, www.spectrumorganics.com) Madame Pele’s Chocolate Volcano and Haupia Mousse 1 pound Hawaiian Vintage Kea’au Chocolate 3 large egg yolks cup sugar 3 ounces coconut milk 1½ tablespoons gelatin cup coconut flakes 2 cups heavy cream ¼ papaya—peeled and sliced 1 kiwi fruit—peeled and sliced 2 tablespoons macadamia nut chips—toasted 2 tablespoons dry ice chips 2 tablespoons cocoa powder—for dusting 2 tablespoons powdered sugar— for dusting 2 tablespoons raspberry coulis 1 pint fresh strawberries—sliced Melt chocolate in double boiler. Take a 6-inch funnel and cover with plastic wrap. Paint funnel with chocolate; thin, even coats are best. Place in freezer for 5 minutes or just until set. Repeat process two more times. Carefully remove chocolate from funnel. Peel plastic wrap from chocolate; refrigerate until ready to use. Beat egg yolks with half the sugar until bright yellow and satiny. Heat coconut milk until warm; add gelatin and stir until dissolved; add coconut flakes. Fold in egg mixture. Whip cream with remainder of sugar and beat until stiff. Fold into coconut mixture and refrigerate until set. To assemble volcano, place mousse on plate. Take a small cup and fill with warm water (the hotter the water, the more smoke, but the faster the chocolate will melt); assemble cut fruit and nuts around mousse. Add dry ice chips to water, place chocolate shell over it, sprinkle shell with cocoa and powdered sugar, and squirt raspberry coulis (lava) around plate. Serve immediately. (Source: Chef Glenn Chu, Hawaiian Vintage Chocolate) Peanut Butter Chocolate Cookies
1 cup peanut butter ½ cup King Arthur White Whole Wheat Flour ½ teaspoon baking soda ½ cup sugar 2 tablespoons Marsala Olive Oil ¼ teaspoon salt 2 eggs ¾ cup raspberry-filled chocolate chips (Hershey’s—get online) ½ cup roasted peanuts, chopped (if desired)
Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease 2 cookie sheets. In mixing bowl stir together peanut butter, flour, baking soda, sugar, olive oil, salt, and eggs. Add chocolate chips and peanuts. With moistened hands, roll 1 teaspoon at a time into balls. Place 2 inches apart on cookie sheets. Bake until cookies are golden and puffed, 12 to 14 minutes. Bake 5 more minutes on sheets; transfer onto cooling rack and cool completely. To have peanut butter come out easily from measuring cup, coat the cup with the olive oil. If peanut butter is bought at a health food store, add ¾ cup sugar. (The health food store’s peanut butter is just peanuts—no sugar or shortening is added.) Serves 30–34. VARIATION
1 teaspoon vanilla t½ easpoon Danish Pastry Extract (Watkins) ½ cup coconut ½ teaspoon cinnamon or nutmeg ¾ cup Hershey’s chocolate chips filled with peanut butter creme
(Source: Gemma Sanita Sciabica) Rosemary-Infused Chocolate Fudge Cake with Chocolate–Tofu Frosting Coffee infused with fresh rosemary and cocoa gives this luscious fudge cake its distinctive character. A mashed banana keeps the cake moist without adding more fat. The cake will serve 6 people. FOR THE CAKE
Vegetable oil in a spray bottle, or 1 teaspoon vegetable oil 4 sprigs fresh rosemary ½ cup hot, strong, freshly brewed coffee 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 1 teaspoon Kahlúa or coffee brandy 1 large ripe banana ½ cup packed brown sugar 1 cup unbleached flour, sifted ¾ cup cocoa powder, sifted 1 teaspoon baking powder ½ teaspoon baking soda ¼ teaspoon cinnamon 4 egg whites, at room temperature ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
FOR THE FROSTING
½ cup firm, silken tofu, drained 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup 2 tablespoons cocoa powder, sifted 2 tablespoons commercial chocolate-flavored soy milk
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Spray or grease a 6-inch round baking pan with vegetable oil; set aside. Steep the rosemary sprigs in the hot coffee for 15 minutes. Remove the sprigs; set aside and let cool. Pour the cooled rosemary-infused coffee, vanilla extract, and Kahlúa or coffee brandy, if using, into a blender or food processor fitted with a metal blade. Add the banana; process until smooth. Transfer to a mixing bowl and stir in the brown sugar. In another large mixing bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon. Stir in the mixture of coffee, banana, and brown sugar; mix well. Using an eggbeater or electric mixer fitted with a whip, beat the egg whites and salt at high speed until they form soft peaks. Gently fold the whipped egg whites into the batter until they are fully incorporated. Pour into the prepared pan; bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Remove from the oven, turn out onto a rack, and let cool for about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, make the frosting by combining the tofu, maple syrup, cocoa powder, and soy milk in a wide-based blender or a food processor fitted with a metal blade; process until smooth, then transfer to a bowl. When the cake has cooled completely, use a spatula to frost the top and sides of the cake.
(Reprinted with permission from The Golden Door Cooks Light & Easy by Chef Michel Stroot, published by Gibbs Smith, © 2003) Candy I have fond memories of making chocolate fudge. It was one chocolate candy that I made with girlfriends when I was a teenager and it always turned out—and I loved to eat and share it. I recall that one Christmas in my twenties, while living a hippie’s frugal style of life in Eugene, Oregon, I made fudge for my relatives. In my thirties and forties, back home in the San Francisco Bay Area, fudge (again) was the sweet for me to make during the holiday season. (Flip back to Chapter 6, “The French Attitude,” for the French Silk Fudge recipe.) The fudge I made with semi-sweet chocolate chips couldn’t stand up to the collections of dark chocolates and truffles made by chocolatiers whom I’ve crossed paths with in the past. But I made it myself. It did taste good. Let’s face it, when we turn to home cooking, we know exactly what ingredients go into the mixing bowl. There is the sweet comfort and sweet aroma that fills the kitchen and living room. You can’t package that. It’s a priceless perk of making candy at home. It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside—and it can do the same for you.
Spa Truffles with Cranberries, Walnuts, and Chocolate Chips Raspberry Truffles
Spa Truffles with Cranberries, Walnuts, and Chocolate Chips There’s a little bit of everything delicious in these “truffles.” Smooth cream cheese sweetened with confectioners’ sugar is studded with fragrant toasted walnuts, tart dried cranberries, and chocolate chips. Make these for holiday giving and eating—but don’t try to make them in advance; when covered, they keep only for a day in the refrigerator.
2 tablespoons chopped walnuts 8 ounces low-fat cream cheese ¼ cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted ¼ cup dehydrated cranberries 2 teaspoons minced orange zest ¼ cup bittersweet chocolate chips ¼ sifted unsweetened cocoa powder
Toast the walnuts in a hot, dry skillet set over medium-high heat for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring once or
twice, until they are light brown in color. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool. Combine the cream cheese and confectioners’ sugar in a small mixing bowl; mix well with a spatula until the cheese has softened. Add the dried cranberries, orange zest, toasted walnuts, and chocolate chips; stir gently and until incorporated. Refrigerate for 1 hour. Take about 1 tablespoon of the mixture in your hand and roll it into a ball. Repeat the process to make a total of 20 balls. Roll the balls in the cocoa mixture to coat lightly. Place the truffles on a plate and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Makes 20 truffles. (Reprinted with permission from The Golden Door Cooks Light & Easy by Chef Michel Stroot, published by Gibbs Smith, 2003) Raspberry Truffles
6½ ounces heavy cream 1½ ounces sweet butter 4 ounces raspberry jam 1½ pounds tempered chocolate, dark or milk
Bring cream, butter, and jam to room temperature. Cream butter using a wooden spoon or spatula—do not whip. Temper the chocolate, reserving ½ lb. for coating truffles when finished. Add butter and completely mix. Next, add the heavy cream and raspberry jam. Let cool 1–2 hours and roll into ½-ounce balls. Coat in the tempered chocolate reserved earlier or roll in good quality cocoa powder. (To learn how to temper chocolate, follow the step-by-step, do-it-yourself method at the end of chapter 17.) (Source: Lake Champlain Chocolates)
PART 8 CHOCOLATE RESOURCES
Where Can You Buy Chocolate? As chocolate continues to be touted for its powerful health benefits, quality chocolate for the healthconscious and specialty chocolate for serious chocolate lovers and chocoholics are coming out of the closet everywhere around the globe. Currently, a wide world of chocolates can be bought in supermarkets, specialty stores, and health food stores, as well as through mail order and on the Internet. And yes, the decision regarding which one is best can be subjective, just like when choosing your favorite vinegar and olive oil. Remember, both pure, quality chocolates and vinegars and olive oils are judged in the real world. Here is a list of chocolates, from organic and all-natural to gourmet and prestige brands. If you’re interested in buying any of these popular chocolates and can’t find them locally, just contact the chocolate company directly for the locations of stores nearest you. Sprinkled quotes and some tidbits about these chocolate items are gleaned (with courtesy) from the chocolate companies’ Web sites—they each know their chocolate inside out. CHOCOLATE BEAUTY PRODUCTS Bella Luccè Bella Luccè Ltd. Co. 401 Western Lane Suite G Irmo, SC 29063 800-485-3079 Outside the lower 48 states: 803-749-0809 www.bellalucce.com Belle Luccè’s Peruvian Chocolate Collection doesn’t just smell like chocolate, it is chocolate. Created with golden cocoa butter, organic cocoa powder, real chocolate extract, and French cocoa absolute, this luscious range of chocolate body products is deliciously decadent. These chocolate spa products cater to every chocoholic’s fantasy. It’s the first collection of spa products to incorporate real Dagoba chocolate into a variety of sensuous, calorie-free indulgences. Spa products include Chocolate Silk Bath Bubbles, Peruvian Chocolate Bliss Crème, Peruvian Chocolate Body Wash, Peruvian Chocolate Moisturizing Syrup, Peruvian Chocolate Renewing Masque, and Peruvian Chocolate Sugar Scrub. (These products are for topical use only!) Chocolate Sensations S&S Internet Stores 304 Parkville Station Road Box 231 Mantua, NJ 08051 856-415-7856 www.thechocolategroup.com
Chocolate Sensations was created by a “true chocoholic” who recognized the need to share a variety of excellent chocolate products with others. Products include Chocolate Silk Facial Mask, Chocolate Silk Brown Sugar Scrub, Chocolate Silk Body Lotion, and Chocolate Mint Foot Balm. To indulge in a relaxing and nurturing experience, Chocolate Sensations also offers chocolate-scented candles such as Hershey’s Kisses Milk Chocolate Scented Candle. Chocolate Sensations is a subsidiary of S&S Internet Stores. Sweet Beauty 2809 NE 55th Seattle, WA 98105 206-729-7546 www.sweetbeautyspa.com Sweet Beauty offers a full line of organic chocolate spa treatments, including Melt, chocolate milk bath; Cleanse, hand and body wash; Nourish, triple chocolate sugar scrub; Cherish, chocolate coconut sugar scrub; Sense, mocha sugar scrub; Love Potion, dark chocolate and roses sugar scrub; Pot de Crème, chocolate body cream; and five lip balms ranging in chocolate intensity. CHOCOLATIERS AND CHOCOLATE MAKERS IN CALIFORNIA Anette’s Chocolates 1321 First Street Napa, CA 94559 707-252-4228 www.anettes.com In Napa, renowned for being California’s wine country, you’ll find Anette’s Chocolates, established for 18 years. Truffles, creams, chews, nuts, and assorted specialties, plus chocolate sauces infused with cabernet, port wine, and amaretto, are just some of the goodies that locals and tourists can and do enjoy. Also, almond and cranberry pistachio barks with 38 percent milk chocolate and 56 percent dark chocolate with roasted almonds, pistachios, or cranberries. Not to forget the store’s homemade ice cream parlor (11–14 flavors and two fruit sorbets), and interested folks can peek through the factory’s window to see the making of chocolate. Charles Chocolates 6529 Hollis Street Emeryville, CA 94608 510-652-4412 888-652-4412 www.charleschocolates.com Charles Chocolates is a gourmet, superpremium chocolatier just outside of San Francisco. All products and gift sets are available online and in more than 600 gourmet and specialty retailers nationwide. Factory tours are available throughout the year. CocoaBella Chocolates
2102 Union Street San Francisco, CA 94123 415-931-6213 www.cocoabella.com CocoaBella Chocolates opened in 2004 in San Francisco’s Marina district—with two locations: on Union Street and Market Street. The old-world, European-styled shop boasts chocolates from artisian chocolatiers that include makers in Belgium, Switzerland, France, Italy, Spain, Canada, and the United States. If you love chocolate, you’ll love the wide array of chocolates, chocolate-flavored coffees, hot chocolates, chocolate sauces, and more. Ghirardelli Chocolate Company 1111 139th Avenue San Leandro, CA 94578-2631 888-402-6262 www.ghirardelli.com Guittard Chocolate Company 10 Guittard Road Burlingame, CA 94010 650-697-4427 800-468-2462 www.guittard.com This fourth-generation chocolate company offers healthful 71 and 91 percent 2-ounce bars. It also has Single-Origin & Blended Bars, Chocolate Syrup, and more. Recchiuti Confections 2565 3rd Street, #225 San Francisco, CA 94107 415-826-2868 800-500-3396 www.recchiuti.com At Recchiuti they infuse a variety of chocolates, pairing them with an adventurous spectrum of flavors, from Force Noir, Bergamot Tea, Lemon Verbena, and Spring Jasmine Tea. Their distinctive confections contain the finest herb, nut, and fruit essences in surprising combinations. And the elegant packaging reflects the same influences of art and culinary history that they capture in their craft. You can place your order online or by phone. Richard Donnelly Chocolates 1509 Mission Street Santa Cruz, CA 95060 888-685-1871 www.donnellychocolates.com Since 1988, Richard Donnelly has been creating extraordinary French and Belgian chocolates. Their dark
chocolate sea salt caramel bars dipped in premium Valrhona bittersweet blend are 100 percent bliss, as are their dark chocolate–dipped fruits and nuts, and their truffles. RICHART Chocolates 393 Sutter Street San Francisco, CA 94108 888-RICHART www.richart-chocolates.com This San Francisco Bay Area–based French gourmet chocolate company offers a wide collection of fine chocolates, including assorted chocolates, filled chocolate, Petits RICHART, plain chocolate, and truffles. Made from the finest ingredients, your biggest dilemma will be making a selection. Scharffen Berger 1 Ferry Building Market Place #14 San Francisco, CA 94111 415-981-9150 www.scharffenberger.com Welcome to the only American bean-to-bar chocolate maker established in the past 50 years. Scharffen Berger first opened its doors in 1996 in Berkeley, California. They make high-quality chocolates with European equipment. Their cocoa beans come from Indonesia, Venezuela, Madagascar, Ghana, and the Caribbean. Products include Chocolate Sauce, Chocolate Bars (for baking, cooking, and eating), Roasted Cocoa Nibs, Natural Cocoa Powder, and more. Sweet Earth Organic Chocolates 1445 Monterey Street San Luis Obispo, CA 93401 805-544-7759 Chocolate Bark-cranberry/ginger, roasted almond, and coffee beans coated in chocolate play a part in the flavors and assortments of the sweet chocolates offered by this company with a heart. Certified Fair Trade and certified organic products are “in” with their chocolates. See’s Candies See’s Candy Shops, Inc. 20600 South Alameda Street Carson, CA 90810 800-895-7337 www.sees.com This West Coast corporation has more than 200 candy stores. Truffles like Dark Chocolate and Dark Chocolate Chip are the most popular. More people are jumping on the dark chocolate bandwagon at See’s, a well-known all-American chocolate icon.
CHOCOLATE COMPANIES FROM OTHER STATES IN THE USA Chocolate Chocolate Chocolate Company 6740 Chippewa Street St. Louis, MO 63109 314-832-2639 www.chocolatechocolate.com I love the all-natural 72 percent Dark Chocolate Blueberries and hard, crunchy Dark Chocolate Molasses Puff. Since 1981, this company has offered a wide variety of chocolate. They specialize in fresh, handcrafted, gourmet chocolate–covered fruits, Premium Truffles, and Gourmet Boxed Chocolates. Chocolove P.O. Box 18357 Boulder, CO 80308 303-786-7888 888-246-2656 www.chocolove.com Chocolove uses the finest Belgian and French chocolate to produce more than two dozen chocolate bars under the brand names Chocolove and Chocolatour (Single-Origin bars). This unique company imports all of its chocolate bars from Belgium, and offers them in a range from 33 to 77 percent cocoa, which vary from 65 percent in ginger in rich dark, 55 percent in dark orange, 55 percent dark chili cherry to 55 percent dark cherry and almond, and 33 percent in toffee and almonds in milk. Dark, milk, and flavored bars, organic chocolate, and kosher chocolate. Christopher Elbow Artisanal Chocolates 1819 McGee Street Kansas City, MO 64108 816-842-1300 www.elbowchocolates.com Christopher Elbow turns to different materials like 100 percent Venezuelan bean chocolate and French lavender. He creates chocolate works of art, including chocolate bonbons such as Russian Tea, a dark chocolate ganache infused with black teas, and scents of citrus, bergamot, and spices. Christopher Norman Chocolates 60 New Street New York, NY 10004 212-402-1243 www.christophernormanchocolates.com If you’re looking for a one-of-a-kind sensual and healthful chocolate experience, you’ve come to the right place, whether you live in San Francisco or New York City. This chocolate company offers handmade Signature Collections, Geometrics & Fruits, Chocolate Bars, Crunch & Associates, Hand-Painted chocolates, and more. Also, they boast a store at the head of their factory, where you can indulge in fresh chocolates made on the premises as well as savor a cup of espresso, cappuccino, hot cocoa, or coffee.
Dagoba Organic Chocolate 1105 Benson Way Ashland, OR 97520 541-482-2001 800-393-6075 www.dagobachocolate.com Dagoba, in Oregon (owned by Hershey’s since 2006), makes chocolate and cocoa powder that is organic and fair trade grown by the Conacado cooperative in the Dominican Republic. Their words are down to earth and show integrity like their chocolate: “Chocolate is sacred. There is an art to the alchemy of chocolate.” Bars range from 59 to 100 percent cocoa, and are infused with exotic and fascinating flavors, including lemon ginger, lavender blueberry, mint with a hint of rosemary, and more. A USDA Organic seal is on each bar. Products are both organic and fair trade. Most items are kosher-dairy. Fran’s Chocolates Seattle (Downtown) 1325 1st Avenue Seattle, WA 98105 Mail Order 800-422-3726—206-322-0233 www.franschocolates.com Fran’s Chocolates are made from the finest, fresh, all natural, and, when possible, local and organic ingredients found in Seattle’s Downtown, University Village, and Bellevue areas. Handmade chocolates include pure dark, pure bittersweet, oolong tea, dark chocolate espresso, and dark chocolate caramel. I love their award-winning gray salt caramels, a mix of a salty and sweet taste, dipped in dark couverture and sprinkled with gray salt from the Brittany coast in France. Hawaiian Vintage Chocolate 1050 Bishop Street #162 Honolulu, HI 96813 808-735-8494 www.hawaiianvintagechocolate.com Hawaiian Vintage Chocolate is a public development company creating products, brands, and marketing opportunities, utilizing its assets. The company is a leading developer and innovator of gourmet functional chocolate. Hershey’s 800-468-1714 www.hersheys.com A wealth of information can be found on this Web site, which includes a virtual tour of a grand chocolate factory. Leonidas
485 Madison Avenue New York, NY 10022 212-980-2608/800-900-CHOC www.leonidas-chocolate.com Fresh Belgian gourmet chocolates are excellent. During the Easter holiday I selected Leonidas FoilWrapped Mini Easter Eggs—a combo of solid and filled eggs, in milk, dark, and white chocolate. You’ll find the Blue (dark chocolate with hazelnut) and the Orange (dark chocolate ganache) delicious. Lake Champlain Chocolates 750 Pine Street Burlington, VT 05401 800-465-5909 www.lakechamplainchocolates.com For 25 years, Lake Champlain Chocolates has been making fresh, all-natural gourmet chocolates. Its specialties include chocolate gifts and gift baskets, holiday and novelty treats (i.e., dark chocolate turkey to a frog), chocolate truffles, Belgian dark chocolate, chocolate shavings, gourmet hot chocolate, wedding chocolates, and Chocolate of the Month Club. MarieBelle 484 Broome Street New York, NY 10013 212-884-9707 762 Madison Avenue, 2nd Floor New York, NY 10065 212-249-4585 866-925-8800 www.mariebelle.com New York’s collection of morsels, chocolate bars, and chocolate beverages is produced using the finest dark chocolate and spices without any unnecessary additives. MarieBelle chocolates have as much as 72 percent cocoa content and are made using single-origin South American cacao beans. This results in a rich, complex flavor. Martine’s Chocolates 400 East 82nd Street New York, NY 10028 212-744-6289 www.martineschocolates.com Martine’s upscale fresh Belgian chocolates are handmade with the finest and freshest ingredients from Europe and America. Founded in 1992, owner Martine Leventer offers creative, gourmet chocolates. The personalized canine collection (you pick a breed) is a creative specialty chocolate item that I received and treasured. Martine offers other “Creations: Dogs,” which include novelty chocolates for special holidays from Valentine’s Day to Easter/Passover. It was so beautiful, I didn’t want to eat it. There are
two locations in New York, with one at Bloomingdale’s. Norman Love Confections 11380 Lindbergh Boulevard Fort Myers, FL 33913 239-561-7215 866-515-2121 www.normanloveconfections.com You’ll find Norman Love’s Prestige Nouvelle American gourmet chocolate boasts a wide selection of all types of chocolate with an edgy side to some. I love the Black Ultra Premium Dark Chocolates. Each of the five chocolates in Norman Love Confection’s BLACK collection is made with cocoa beans from the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Bolivia, Venezuela, and Madagascar. This high cocoa mass ranges from 74 to 64 percent. Also, the chocolate connoisseur can enjoy the fun flavors, such as Cookies ’n’ Cream with fine dark chocolate crunch and smooth white filling and Mint Chocolate Chip with dark chocolate and creamy vanilla filling. Rom nicos Chocolate 1801 Coral Way, Suite 116 Miami, FL 33145 305-854-9936 www.romanicoschocolate.com Hand-rolled gourmet chocolate truffles—and only 38 calories each—will surprise you and your taste buds. Rom nicos chocolate is 100 percent free of preservatives; quality natural ingredients; no butter and no sugar added. Chocolate bars are healthy treats—mixed with very little sugar, and some vegetables, fruits, and spices, such as ginger, cayenne pepper, soybeans, figs, and pineapple. It doesn’t get much better than this. U Oughtta Be On Chocolates, LLC 490 Tullamore Road Magnolia, DE 19962 302-335-5234/888-684-4882 www.yoboc.com If you’re looking for personalized chocolate gifts for a special event such as a wedding or anniversary, you’ve come to the right place. I love the Chocolate Business Card showing a photo of me and Simon, my beloved Brittany. Other chocolate items are offered. As the owners say, “Edible Memorable!” They will make one, 10, or 1,000 pieces to fit your requirements or budget. Ver 12 West 27th Street, 2nd Floor New York, NY 10001 212-279-4448 866-410-VERE www.verechocolate.com
discovered is to order online imported chocolate from around the globe. Here are several producers worth writing home about to European chocolate lovers who reside in America and anyone interested in quality chocolate foods, gift baskets, organic chocolates, and chocolate bars. World Wide Chocolate www.worldwidechocolate.com This Internet-only chocolate enterprise is dedicated to providing customers with gourmet chocolates from around the globe. Its Web site has been designed so that you can find chocolates from specific countries or manufacturers. It is here that you can find the finest selection of imported gourmet chocolates and chocolate gifts from the world’s best American, Belgian, Ecuadorean, English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Swiss, and Venezuelan chocolatiers. Belgium Callebaut www.barry-callebaut.com Côte d’Or www.cotedor.com England Green & Black’s www.greenandblacks.com France Bonnat www.bonnat-chocolatier.com Chocolat Michel Cluizel www.chocolatmichelcluizel.com Valrhona www.valrhona.com Ireland Butlers Chocolates Dublin, Ireland 01 6710599 www.butlerschocolates.com Rich Belgian chocolate from Ireland is an unforgettable experience. It is a chocolate dream-come-true, and you’ll want to receive chocolate from far away. I loved the selection of dark Irish handmade chocolates packaged in a sophisticated brown box. Fourteen fond memories. Italy Domori www.domori.com Slitti www.slitti.it
Chocosphere ®—Venchi Italian Chocolate www.chocosphere.com Spain Valor www.valor.es Chocovic www.chocovic.es Switzerland Lindt www.lindtusa.com www.lindt.jp United Kingdom Divine www.divinechocolate.com Venezuela El Rey www.chocolates-elray.com COFFEE TO PAIR WITH CHOCOLATE Caffe D’Amore 1107 S. Mountain Avenue Monrovia, CA 91016 626-792-9146 800-999-0171 www.caffedamore.com Caffe D’Amore is the creator of specialty beverages, including coffee such as Bellagio, cocoa, and tea. The company’s products are sold in over 40 nations around the world. “We’ll never abandon the traditional heritage and attention to craftsmanship that are the foundation of our reputation for superior taste and quality,” says Paul Comi, president of Caffe D’Amore, “Proud Sponsor of the 2008 Tournament of Roses Parade.” DRIED FRUITS, NUTS, NUT BUTTERS, AND SEEDS—ORGANIC Living Tree Community Foods P.O. Box 10082 Berkeley, CA 94709 510-526-7106 800-260-5534 www.livingtreecommunity.com
Products range from organically grown nuts and nut butters, including almonds (many varieties), macadamia nuts, pine nuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, walnut quarters, raw almond butter, raw macadamia nut butter, and raw cashew butter. A new combination, which they aptly named milk of paradise, is an organic macadamia and cashew spread. They also stock raw honey, raw tahini, organic cranberries, and a variety of dried fruits. Plus they carry dates that have not been processed with sugar and are delicious. They make their own organic nut butter in small batches so they are fresh when shipped. Products are available in health food stores as well as through mail order. OLIVE OIL TO PAIR WITH CHOCOLATE B.R. Cohn Olive Oil Co. 15000 Sonoma Highway Glen Ellen, CA 95442 707-933-9675 www.brcohn.com Since its founding in 1990, the B.R. Cohn Olive Oil Company has led the renaissance in California olive oil. Its olive oils are certified “extra virgin” by the California Olive Oil Council. B.R. Olive Oil Co. offers Certified Organic California Extra Virgin Olive Oil, California Extra Virgin Olive Oil, and more. Hotel Chocolat Mint House Royston, SG8 5HL, UK 08444-93-13-13 www.hotelchocolat.co.uk Cocoa & Chili Olive Oil—perfect for bread dipping, dressings, and marinades. Cocoa Nib Balsamic Vinegar and Cocoa—ideal for superb dressings, sauces, bread dipping with olive oil, and marinades with a delicious twist. Nick Sciabica & Sons 2150 Yosemite Boulevard Modesto, CA 95354 2 09-5 77-5 067 800-551-9612 www.sciabica.com/magento Sciabica specializes in cold-pressed olive oils using several varieties of California olives. It also provides natural red wine vinegar, as well as balsamic vinegar imported from Modena, Italy. Since 1936, Sciabica has worked hard to produce the highest-quality 100 percent extra virgin olive oil. Sciabica’s olive oils have won numerous gold medals from culinary associations, including two gold medals from Chefs in America and one gold medal from the American Tasting Institute, all for “Best of Show.” Sciabica offers a variety of extra virgin olive oils, including
• Mission Variety (Winter) • Sevillano Variety (Fall) • Manzanillo Variety (Fall) • Mission Variety Limited • Ascolano Variety (Fall) • Marsala Brand • Kuleto Brand Also, Sciabica’s “Specialty Olive Oils” include flavored products containing basil, garlic, jalapeño, lemon, and orange. These oils contain no artificial flavors but are made by crushing and cold-pressing together the ingredients and fresh Mission Variety olives in the mill. Spectrum Organics 1105 Industrial Avenue Petaluma, CA 94952 www.spectrumorganics.com Spectrum Organic Products is a top-selling brand in the nation of organic, expeller processed culinary and nutritional oils. The Spectrum line includes more than 30 varieties of seed, nut, and plant oils including coconut oil, as well as vinegars, spreads, cooking sprays, and trans fat–free shortening, many of which are organic. In the Naturals product line gourmet food lovers will find extra virgin olive oils from Argentina, Italy, Spain, and Tunisia, each one estate grown and produced in small batches. For optimum heart health, Spectrum Naturals now offers an omega-3 olive oil. Spectrum products are available in natural health food stores, supermarkets, and specialty foods retailers nationwide. CHOCOLATE BARS, HOTELS, TOURS, RESTAURANTS, AND SPAS Chocolate Bar in Café Fleuri, at Langham Hotel, Boston 250 Franklin Street Boston, MA 02110 617-451-1900 www.boston./langhamhotels.com/en/restaurants/chocolatebar.htm People can enjoy favorites such as made-to-order chocolate crêpes, a chocolate fountain, signature Chocolate Bar cocktails, and a special table with an assortment of desserts that are nut-free, gluten-free, and vegan so that everyone can share in this indulgence. Desserts include gluten-free chocolate chocolate chip cupcakes and vegan chocolate cake. Daniel’s Restaurant 504 S. Mantorville Avenue Kasson, MN 55944 507-634-7775 www.danielsrestaurant.net Daniel’s Restaurant is known for its homemade breads, salads, dressings, soups, and incredible desserts: French Silk Pie; Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cheesecake; and Earthquake Cheesecake topped with chunks of fudge brownies, caramel, and white and dark chocolate.
The Spa at the Hotel Hershey 100 Hotel Road Hershey, PA 17033 717-520-5888 www.chocolatespa.com Body therapies are superplentiful, including the Chocolate Bean Polish and Chocolate Fondue Wrap. A Chocolate Spa Sampler includes a Whipped Cocoa Bath or Chocolate Hydrotherapy; Chocolate Bean Polish or Chocolate Sugar Scrub; and Cocoa Massage. And green coffee, essential oils, sea salt, herbs, and other healthful ingredients are included in other body treatments. The Chocolate Bar 475 S. Arlington Avenue Reno, NV 89501 775-337-1122 www.thechocbar.com Established in 2005, The Chocolate Bar is the place to go when you’re in downtown Reno and crave a bite to eat and a trendy ambiance. Small plates, desserts, cookies, truffles, hot drinks, cold drinks, and more can bring smiles to chocolate lovers. The café’s chocolate comes from a region in South America, and it uses the highest-quality chocolate. Chocolate cocktails include Vincent Van Gogh Dutch Chocolate, Cocoa Amaretto, and German Chocolate. There are three locations: downtown; Summit Sierra; and Northstar, Lake Tahoe. New York Chocolate Tours Zoom Media & Productions P.O. Box 3000 New York, NY 10008-3000 917-292-0680 www.sweetwalks.com New York Chocolate Tours is ideal for chocolate lovers, curious nonbelievers, and enthusiastic travelers. They offer tailored tours from a Luxury Chocolate Tour that will gain you access into the most exclusive boutiques of posh Upper East Side, where you’ll get to taste some of the finest creations of the European masters. Also, the New Cuisine Chocolate Tour will take you through stylish SoHo and you will get to taste new-wave, unusual chocolate. Not to forget The Union Square Chocolate, Wine & Culture Tour, a trip into the heart of Manhattan, a place where you will taste unique chocolates, pastries, and bold wines. Siena Hotel Spa Casino One S. Lake Street P.O. Box 3340 Reno, NV 89505 775-327-4362 www.sienareno.com If you’re looking for a place to relax or rejuvenate your body, mind, and spirit, The Spa at Siena is the
place. The décor has a Tuscan ambiance complete with therapy rooms for massage, facials, manicures, pedicures, and other treatments, many including chocolate. INFORMATION ON CHOCOLATE National Confectioners Association 1101 30th Street, NW Suite 200 Washington, DC 20007 202-534-1440 www.ecandy.com The National Confectioners Association is the major association representing the entire confection industry, offering education and leadership in manufacturing, technical research, public relations, retailing practices, government relations, and statistical analyses. Thechocolatelife.com Clay Gordon, chocolate critic and author of Discover Chocolate, is the founder of this online community for chocophiles and aspiring chocophiles. One of the great things about this Web site is that it’s for members who can discuss chocolate topics that are of interest to them and any member of the community can respond. This unique Web site has dozens of bloggers, chocolatiers, and chocolate makers as members and hundreds of people who love chocolate and want to learn more and share what they know. P.S. ONE LAST CHOCOLATE KISS Chocosphere 877-992-4626 www.chocosphere.com Last but not least in the chocolate world, this attentive online company, since 1998, is known for “Bringing Fine Chocolates Around the World to Your Doorstep!”
Notes CHAPTER 1: THE POWER OF CHOCOLATE 1 Mireille Guiliano, French Women Don’t Get Fat (New York: Vintage Books, 2007), p. 182. 2 Steven G. Pratt, M.D., and Kathy Matthews, SuperFoods HealthStyle: Simple Changes to Get the Most Out of Life for the Rest of Your Life (New York: Harper, 2007), pp. 44–45. 3 Liz Applegate, 101 Miracle Foods That Heal Your Heart (Paramus, NJ: Prentice-Hall Press, 2000), p. 117. 4 J. C. Motamayor et al., “Geographic and Genetic Population Differentiation of the Amazonian Chocolate Tree (Theobroma cacao L).” PLoS ONE 3 (10): e3311. doi:10:1371/journal.pone. 0003311; (October 1, 2008). www.plosone.org/doi/pone.0003311 5 Clay Gordon, Discover Chocolate: The Ultimate Guide to Buying, Tasting, and Enjoying Fine Chocolate (New York: Gotham Books), pp. 152–153. CHAPTER 2: A GENESIS OF CHOCOLATE 1 Sandra Boynton, Chocolate: The Consuming Passion (New York: Workman, 1982). 2 Penn Museum in the News. “New Chemical Analyses Take Confirmation Back 500 Years and Reveal That the Impetus for Cacao Cultivation Was an Alcoholic Beverage,” Penn Museum (November 13, 2007). www.penn.museum/press-releases20-the-earliest-drink-of-the-new-world.htm. 3 www.allchocolate.com/health/historic-perspectives 4 “A Brief History of Chocolate,” www.masterstech-home.com/the_kitchen/Articles/choco-history.html; “History of Chocolate,” www.chocolateusa.org/Story-of-Chocolate/history-of-chocolate.asp. 5 Linda K. Fuller, Ph.D., Chocolate Fads, Folklore, & Fantasies: 1,000+ Chunks of Chocolate Information (New York: Routledge, 1994), p. 104. 6 “History of Godiva,” www.godiva.com/about/history.aspx 7 Linda K. Fuller, Ph.D., Chocolate Fads, Folklore, & Fantasies: 1,000+ Chunks of Chocolate Information (New York: Routledge, 1994), p. 12. CHAPTER 5: WHY IS CHOCOLATE SO HEALTHY?
1 Julie Davis, The Los Angeles Times. October 30, 1985. 2 V. Bayard et al., “Does Flavanol Intake Influence Mortality from Nitric Oxide Dependent Processes? Ischemic Heart Disease, Stroke, Diabetes Mellitus, and Cancer in Panama,” International Journal of Medical Sciences, 4, No. 1 (2007): pp.53–58. 3 Zubaida Faridi et al., “Acute Dark Chocolate and Cocoa. Ingestion and Endotheliz/Function: A Randomized Controlled Crossover Trial,” American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 88, no. 1 (2008): pp. 58–63. 4 Allen R. Robin et al., “Daily Consumption of a Dark Chocolate Containing Flavanols and Added Sterol Esters Affects Cardiovascular Risk Factors in a Normotensive Population with Elevated Cholesterol,” American Society for Nutrition J. Nutr. 138 (April 2008): pp. 725–731. 5 David March, “Chocolate ‘Offenders’ Teach Science a Sweet Lesson,” The JHU Gazette, The John Hopkins University, 36, no. 12 (2006). 6 Romina di Giuseppe et al., “Regular Consumption of Dark Chocolate Is Associated with Low Serum Concentrations of C-Reactive Protein in a Healthy Italian Population,” The Journal of Nutrition (JN), American Society for Nutrition 138 (2008): 139–145. 7 U. Campia and J. A. Panza, “Flavonol-Rich Cocoa: A Promising New Dietary Intervention to Reduce Cardiovascular Risk in Type 2 Diabetes?” Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 51, no. 22 (2008): 2150–2152. 8 Anticancer Diet, www.aol.health.com/condition-center/cancer/foodcures-healing 9 Danica Ramijak et al., “Pentameric Procyanidin from Theobroma Cacao Selectively Inhibits Growth of the Human Breast Cancer Cells,” Molecular Cancer Therapeutics, 4 (2005): pp. 537-546. CHAPTER 6: THE FRENCH ATTITUDE 1 M. A. Martinez-Gonzalez et al., “Adherence to Mediterranean Diet and Risk of Developing Diabetes: Prospective Cohort Study,” British Medical Journal, 336 (May 29, 2008): 1348–1351. 2 Francesco Sofi et al., “Adherence to Mediterranean Diet and Health Status: Meta-analysis,” British Medical Journal, 337 (September 11, 2008): a1344. 3 “Nutrition and Athletic Performance Position of the American Dietetic Association, Dietitians of Canada, and the American College of Sports Medicine,” International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, 2008: 16 pp.78–91. CHAPTER 7: CHOCOLATE’S FAVORITE FRIENDS
1 Maoshing Ni, Secrets of Self-Healing: Harness Nature’s Power to Heal Common Ailments, Boost Your Vitality, and Achieve Optimum Wellness. (New York: Avery, 2007), pp. 92–93. CHAPTER 8: NUTS ABOUT CHOCOLATE 1 Steven G. Pratt et al., SuperFoods HealthStyle: Simple Changes to Get the Most Out of Life for the Rest of Your Life (New York: Harper, 2007), pp. 281–82. 2 Ibid., p. 282. CHAPTER 9: MATCHMAKING CHOCOLATE AND WINE 1 Jeffrey W. Hurst et al., “Survey of the Trans Resveratrol and Trans-Piceid Content of Cocoa-Containing and Chocolate Products,” Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 56, no. 18 (2008): pp. 8374– 8378. CHAPTER 10: A CUPPA COFFEE AND CHOCOLAT 1 “5 Surprisingly Healthy Foods: Tea, Coffee, Chocolate, Avocado, and Fatty Fish All Have Good-ForYou Qualities,” www.webmd. com (accessed March 1, 2006). CHAPTER 11: A TOAST TO HOT COCOA AND LONG LIFE! 1 “The Age of Reason: The Chocolate Enlightenment,” www.allchocolate. com/understanding/history/age_of_rea son. a spx 2 Cal Orey, Doctors’ Orders: What 101 Doctors Do to Stay Healthy (New York: Kensington, 2002), pp. 47–48. 3 F. H. Sorond et al., “Cerebral Blood Flow Response to Flavanol-Rich Cocoa in Healthy Elderly Humans,” Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment, 4 (2008): pp. 433–440. 4 Eha, Nurk et al., “Intake of Flavonoid-Rich Wine, Tea, and Chocolate by Elderly Men and Women Is Associated with Better Cognitive Test Performance,” The Journal of Nutrition 2009; 139: 120–127. 5 I-Min Lee and Ralph S. Paffenburger, Jr., “Life Is Sweet: Candy Consumption and Longevity,” British Medical Journal, 19, no. 317 (1998): pp.1683–1684. CHAPTER 12: HOME REMEMDIES FROM YOUR KITCHEN
1 Brenda Williams, “Health Benefits of Chocolate,” www.articlesbase.com/health-articles/healthbenefits-of-chocolate (accessed September 1, 2008). 2 New Scientist, Journal reference: Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology Journal, November 22, 2004 (DOI: 10. 1096/fj.04-1990fje). 3 “Dark Chocolate Helps Diarrhea,” Children’s Hospital & Research Center at Oakland, May 2, 2007. 4 Cal Orey, “Mesmerizing Memory,” Energy Times, 17:49, January 1, 1999. 5 Dean Radin et al., Explore: The Journal of Science and Healing, 3, no. 5 (2007) pp. 485–492. 6 Cal Orey, Doctors’ Orders (New York: Kensington), p. 178. 7 Reported by the BBCNEWS, “Chocolate Better Than Kissing,” February 17, 2007. 8 Elizabeth W. Triche et al., “Chocolate Consumption in Pregnancy and Reduced Likelihood of Preeclampsia,” Epidemiology, 19, no. 3 (2008): pp. 459–464; Confectionerynews.com, Linda Rano, “Chocolate May Help Reduce Preeclampsia Risk” (accessed May 5, 2008). CHAPTER 13: THE CHOCOLATE CRAZE 1 “Mintel Expects Strong ‘Sin Stock’ Markets during Economic Downturn,” www.marketresearchworld.net/index.php?option. Written by Mintel, 2008 (accessed September 16, 2008). 2 Richard Alleyne, “Dark Chocolate Sales Soar Thanks to Healthy Image,” Telegraph.co.uk (accessed July 2008). 3 Jane Bainbridge, “Seasonal and Boxed Chocolate,” Sector Insight, September 16, 2008. 4 Julia Moskin, “Chocolate,” New York Times, September 17, 2008. 5 Barry Callebaut International Consumer Survey Finds: Americans’ Love Affair with Chocolate Expanding to New Varieties, conducted by Ipsos Belgium N.V./S.A. in five European countries and the United States January 7 and 28, 2008. CHAPTER 14: CHOCOLATE BEAUTIFUL 1 Linda K. Fuller, Ph.D., Chocolate Fads, Folklore & Fantasies: 1,000+ Chunks of Chocolate Information (New York: Routledge, 1994), p. 136.
CHAPTER 15: CHOCOLATIERS, TASTING BARS, AND TOURS 1 Linda K. Fuller, Ph.D., Chocolate Fads, Folklore & Fantasies: 1,000+ Chunks of Chocolate Information (New York: Routledge, 1994), p. 129. CHAPTER 16: CHOCOLATE IS NOT FOR EVERYONE: SOME BITTERSWEET VIEWS 1 “Is Chocolate Causing Your Heartburn?” www.everydayhealth. com/digestivehealth/GERD.Diagnosing/tips/is-chocolate-causing-your-heartburn. aspx (accessed August 15, 2007).
Selected Bibliography Clower, Will, Ph.D. The Fat Fallacy: The French Diet Secrets to Permanent Weight Loss. New York: Three Rivers Press, 2003. Clower, Will, Ph.D. The French Don’t Diet Plan: 10 Simple Steps to Stay Thin for Life. New York: Three Rivers Press, 2006. Esquivel, Laura. Like Water for Chocolate: A Novel in Monthly Installments with Recipes, Romance, and Home Remedies. New York: Anchor, 1995. Fuller, K. Linda, Ph.D. et al. Chocolate Fads, Folklore & Fantasies: 1,000+ Chunks of Chocolate Information. New York, Routledge, 1994. Gordon, Clay. Discover Chocolate: The Ultimate Guide to Buying, Tasting, and Enjoying Fine Chocolates. New York: Gotham Books, 2007. Guiliano, Mireille. French Women Don’t Get Fat: The Secret of Eating for Pleasure. New York: Vintage Books, 2007. Jacobsen, Rowan. Chocolate Unwrapped: The Surprising Health Benefits of America’s Favorite Passion. Montpelier, VT: Invisible Cities Press, 2003. Lebovitz, David. The Great Book of Chocolate: The Chocolate Lover’s Guide with Recipes. Berkeley, CA: Ten Speed Press, 2004. Ni, Maoshing, Dr. Secrets of Self-Healing: Harness Nature’s Power to Heal Common Ailments, Boost Your Vitality, and Achieve Optimum Wellness. New York: Avery, 2007. Orey, Cal. Doctors’ Orders: What 101 Doctors Do to Stay Healthy. New York: Kensington, 2002. Orey, Cal. The Healing Powers of Olive Oil: A Complete Guide to Nature’s Liquid Gold. New York: Kensington, 2008. Orey, Cal. The Healing Powers of Vinegar: A Complete Guide to Nature’s Most Remarkable Remedy, Revised and Updated. New York: Kensington, 2006. Pratt, Steven G., M.D., and Kathy Matthews. SuperFoods HealthStyle: Simple Changes to Get the Most Out of Life for the Rest of Your Life. New York: Harper, 2006. Recchiuti, Michael, Fran Gage, and Maren Caruso. Chocolate Obsession: Confections and Treats to Create and Savor. New York: Stewart, Tabori & Chang, 2005. Sciabica, Gemma Sanita. Baking Sensational Sweets with California Olive Oil. Modesto, CA: Gemma Sanita Sciabica, 2005. Sciabica, Gemma Sanita. Baking with California Olive Oil: Dolci and Biscotti Recipes. Modesto, CA: Gemma Sanita Sciabica, 1997. Sciabica, Gemma Sanita. Cooking with California Olive Oil: Popular Recipes. Modesto, CA: Gemma Sanita Sciabica, 2001. Sciabica, Gemma Sanita. Cooking with California Olive Oil: Treasured Family Recipes. Modesto, CA: Gemma Sanita Sciabica, 1998. Wolfe, David and Shazzie. Naked Chocolate: The Astonishing Truth about the World’s Greatest Food. San Diego, CA: North Atlantic Books, 2005.
Permission to reproduce the Mediterranean Diet Pyramid © 2009, granted by Oldways Preservation and Exchange Trust, www.oldwayspt.org KENSINGTON BOOKS are published by Kensington Publishing Corp. 119 West 40th Street New York, NY 10018 Copyright © 2010 by Cal Orey All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any means without the prior written consent of the Publisher, excepting brief quotes used in reviews. Kensington and the K logo Reg. U.S. Pat. & TM Off. ISBN: 978-0-7582-8189-0
Notes a Recipe follows or can be found in a previous chapter. You can mix and match to suit your personal taste. b To sour milk: Use 1 tablespoon white vinegar plus milk to equal 1 cup.