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Thursday, December 27, 2012


Chocolate began life as a drink

"Chemically speaking, chocolate really is the world's perfect food…"
-- Michael Levine in the book "The Emperors of Chocolate."

PROOF POSITIVE--The holidays can be distracting to a chocoholic aficionado, who constantly needs to unearth research to prove to doubting family members that a lifelong fondness of chocolate consumption is a good thing.  Holiday chocolates can lure one away from research, especially if one has no willpower to resist the world famous vegetable based candy.  Yes, chocolate is a veggie.  Need proof?
Scoffers stand aside.  For proof, we went to one of the leading chocolate authorities in the U.S. for answers.  The noted scientists at Candyland Crafts in Somerville, New Jersey have an exhaustive web page on all things chocolate.  Since 1981 the company has been a leading supplier of candy and cake making supplies and equipment. is chocolate 

Candylandcrafts points out “chocolate has a long long history. Chocolate itself is derived from the seeds of a fleshy pod, which is the fruit of the Cacao tree. The tree's botanical name is Theobroma cacao, which means literally: "food of the Gods", and most of us would agree. It was discovered by Europeans just about 500 years ago, when some explorers came across a large sea going canoe in the [now] Gulf of Honduras, in which natives were transporting goods that included a cargo of cocoa beans!”

Is chocolate a fruit or a vegetable?

Again to Candyland’s braintrust: “One could argue it's a fruit since it's made from the fruit of the cacao tree but chocolate scientists have classified it as a vegetable. Not only is chocolate a vegetable, it's a unique vegetable: the only one that its fat is solid at room temperature. The fat [cocoa butter] melts in your mouth, luckily, and tastily too. In a post millennium article (Rueters News Service, 7/18/02,from the Boston Globe, on a joint study by Universith of Texas/Austin and Hershey Foods scientists report humans developed a fondness for chocolate drinks about 2,600 years ago.

Case closed.

Now that we have proof chocolate is a veggie I can ease into my non-cheeseburger years with a sigh of relief.  Also, on the Candyland website the possibility of chocolate addiction is raised.  Fortunately, all inconvenient truths are published in fine print.

But, it’s still the holidays, enjoy Candyland Crafts website that answers every question ever asked about chocolate.

Source: Candyland Crafts, 201 West Main Street, Somerville NJ 08876

Next:  Speaking of hyperbole, in the days ahead, as space allows, we will continue our trek into all things chocolate with stops at San Diego’s Natural History Museum’s on-going “Chocolate” exhibit and sidetrips to two candy factories.

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