Pick Your Community: | Hopkins | Muhlenberg | Daviess | Christian | Henderson | Lakes | McCracken | Webster
Davis Motor Sales banner ad

Love of Chocolate Has Rich History

chocolateNancy Kelley, Hopkins County Extension agent for Family & Consumer Services explains the tasty benefits and history of chocolate at the "We Love Chocolate" event Friday, Feb. 14. (Photo by Amber Averitt)MADISONVILLE, Ky. (2/14/14) — On average, Americans consume 12 pounds of chocolate a year, per person, which ranks America 10th among all countries who partake in the consumption of chocolate.

“Chocolate has a very rich history,” said Nancy Kelley, Hopkins County Extension agent for Family & Consumer Sciences. “The Swiss eat about 36 to 40 pounds of chocolate per person, per year, making Switzerland the leading country of consumption of chocolate.”

Kelly gave a presentation on chocolate to those attending the “We Love Chocolate,” event Friday, Feb. 14 at the Hopkins County Extension Office in Madisonville.

The ancient Mayans of Mexico and Central America have been consuming and enjoying chocolate many years before the rest of the world was introduced. They made spicy drinks used in rituals and ceremonies, and valued the cocoa seeds as money.

In the 16th century, while the Spanish were searching for gold, they stumbled upon cocoa, which they found to be bitter tasting, but mixed with some sugar, it was well kept secret for nearly 100 years before the rest of Europe found out. The English, Dutch and French became so enamored by chocolate that they set out to colonize cocoa growing lands and built systems of forced labor and slavery.

By the late 17th and 18th centuries, Italians began to experiment with chocolate as a flavor in everything from polenta to soups. The cocoa press was first developed in 1828 to extract the cocoa butter from chocolate, leaving the cocoa powder behind. Later, the French would become known for their crafty skills with chocolate in the most decadent desserts.

In 1847, the very first solid piece of chocolate was introduced in England.

Then in 1868, Richard Cadbury introduced the first Valentine’s Day candy boxed chocolates

Shortly after, the Nestle family of Switzerland developed milk chocolate.

By 1893, Milton Hershey built a chocolate factory in the hills of southern Pennsylvania and become the “Henry Ford” of chocolate makers.

Chocolate products are made from cocoa solids, liquor and butter in various proportions. The taste is developed by fermenting, drying and shelling the cocoa bean. The nibs are then grounded into a cocoa liquor, which is then processed into cocoa butter and solids.

There are different types and variations of chocolate:

  • White chocolate contains no cocoa liquor, but is a concoction of cocoa butter, milk, solids, sugar and flavoring.
  • Milk chocolate is mild and sweet due to the addition of sugar, dried milk and cocoa butter.
  • Dark chocolate does not contain milk solids and can contain up to 70 percent cocoa. It is made by adding fat and sugar to cocoa liquor and butter.
  • Bittersweet chocolate, contains less sugar and more chocolate liquor than semi-sweet, but can be used interchangeably. They contain various amounts of chocolate liquor, sugar cocoa butter and vanilla.
  • Unsweet, bitter, or baking chocolate is pure chocolate liquor with no added sugar or any other ingredients.
  • Cocoa powder is made by finely grounding cocoa beans.

Through the ages, chocolate has been known to be an aphrodisiac, but has other health benefits such as containing antioxidants to lower LDL cholesterol, reduce blood pressure and help reduce blood platelet aggression.

The amount of the compounds is determined by the type and the way chocolate is processed.

“What some people don’t know is that the darker the chocolate is, the more chocolate it contains,” said Kelley. “That’s where are the health benefits are. The things that we add to the chocolate is what makes it unhealthy.”

Chocolate is also known to improve insulin resistance, improve mood and pleasure by boosting serotonin and endorphin levels in the brain. When chocolate is consumed in moderation, it can be beneficial to one’s health.

“The antioxidants that chocolate contains helps with protecting us from heart disease,” said Kelley. “It lowers our LDL cholesterol, blood pressure and blood clotting. It is a plant based food and we know that these plants have health benefits.”

Amber Averitt
SurfKY News Reporter
Photo by Amber Averitt

© Copyright 2014 SurfKY News Group, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission. SurfKY News encourages you to share this story by using one of the social media links below.

Started 11/8/2013
Started 11/8/2013
Started 11/8/2013
Started 11/8/2013
Started 11/8/2013
Started 11/8/2013

In Other News...

Nominations for Kyndle's Industry of the Year Needed Now

HENDERSON, Ky. (9/29/14) — Nominate an outstanding manufacturer or large company that is a Kyndle stakeholder and is… Read More

Man Arrested for DUI, Marijuana Possession

MADISONVILLE, Ky. (9/29/14) ― Madisonville police conducted a traffic stop regarding a vehicle weaving in and out of… Read More
Started 11/8/2013
Started 11/8/2013

Most Read This Week (Site-Wide)

September 26, 2014 5567

Super Walmart Headed to Hanson, Fate of…

in Top Stories by Amber Averitt, SurfKY News
September 27, 2014 3476

Hopkins County Grand Jury Misdemeanor Indictments

in News by Karen McKnight
September 26, 2014 3190

Drug Sting Results in Meth Trafficking Charge

in Top Stories by Madisonville Police Department
September 29, 2014 3093

Endless Road Strings Bring Orchestra Mix to…

in Top Stories by Paul McRee, SurfKY News
September 26, 2014 2334

Muhlenberg Job Corps Recognizes Employee of the…

in Top Stories by Karen Robinson
September 27, 2014 2267

Sinister on Center Takes Haunted Manor to Whole…

in Top Stories by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
September 26, 2014 2226

Muhlenberg 911 Service Recipient of $32,500 Grant

in Top Stories by Rebecca Hanchett
September 26, 2014 2202

UPDATE: Semi Trucks Crash, Block Northbound Lane…

in Top Stories by Keith Todd
September 25, 2014 2171

Shoplifting Complaint Leads to Resisting Arrest,…

in Top Stories by Information provided by MPD
September 26, 2014 2150

Madisonville Police Department Arrest Reports -…

in News by Madisonville Police Department
September 29, 2014 1865

Man, Woman Charged with Violating EPO Against…

in Top Stories by Madisonville Police Department

Most Read Stories from Hopkins County

September 26, 2014 3190

Drug Sting Results in Meth Trafficking…

in Top Stories by Madisonville Police Department
September 25, 2014 2171

Shoplifting Complaint Leads to Resisting…

in Top Stories by Information provided by MPD
September 29, 2014 1865

Man, Woman Charged with Violating EPO…

in Top Stories by Madisonville Police Department
September 29, 2014 1736

Man Charged with PI, Drugs, After…

in Top Stories by Madisonville Police Department
September 29, 2014 1557

One Injured in Single-Vehicle Collision…

in Top Stories by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director

Most Read Stories from Muhlenberg County

September 29, 2014 3093

Endless Road Strings Bring Orchestra Mix…

in Top Stories by Paul McRee, SurfKY News
September 26, 2014 2334

Muhlenberg Job Corps Recognizes Employee…

in Top Stories by Karen Robinson
September 26, 2014 2226

Muhlenberg 911 Service Recipient of…

in Top Stories by Rebecca Hanchett
September 28, 2014 1693

Community Shows Support to Muhlenberg…

in Top Stories by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
September 28, 2014 1456

Marching Mustangs Take Third in Ohio…

in Top Stories by Information provided by Shawna Hendrix

SurfKY News Group, Inc. Central Office & Printing Division
1125 Nebo Rd.  •  Madisonville, KY 42431  •  270.452.2249 (fax)
Main Number: 270.452.2727 (phone)  •  Printing Division Direct Line: 270.821.8600 (phone)


Contact a member of our staff: www.surfky.com/contact
Copyright © 2014 SurfKY News Group, Inc.  •  Terms of Use  •  Site Map

social 03social 04social 22social 21social 06