You must have read about Chocolates in printed media and yet, I would love to re-post this:
Chocolate’s ingredients work by affecting the brain’s neurotransmitter or chemical messenger network. Chocolate contains trytophan which causes the brain to make serotonin, high levels of which can produce feelings of elation.
Phenylethylamine, also found in chocolate, works by stimulating the brain’s pleasure centres and is believed to induce feelings of giddiness and excitement. And finally anandamide is described as a psychoactive ingredient. Remarkably, this neurotransmitter behaves in the same way as THC, the active ingredient in cannabis. Chocolate is made from cocoa beans, which come from the cocoa tree Theobroma cacao. As a result it contains many of the same healthy compounds as plants including copper, iron, zinc and magnesium and specific antioxidants called polyphenols. Research in California also concluded that chocolate (in moderation) can be good for the heart since it contains flavonoids. And a study at Harvard University found that people who eat chocolate three times a month may live almost a year longer than those who don’t. Well – MODERATION is the KEY!!
If you are interested to read on Science of Chocolate, there is lot to explore!!
Chocolates are my lifeline. I can gorge on them any hour of the day. And I have been lucky to savor chocolates of various countries. But my favorite have been the Belgian ones. I love Belgian chocolates for their richness, texture, and aroma. I have always believed that I have had the best of the chocolates, but my pride was shattered a couple of days back when I had an opportunity to taste Japan’s finest chocolate Royce.
Japanese are known for their hi-tech technology and miniaturization. Technology has been their mainstay for last five decades. Yasuhiro Yamazaki, Founder, ROYCE’ Confect Co. Ltd. was working as a salesman for a chocolate equipment manufacturer when he decided to take a plunge into Chocolate manufacturing. He established ROYCE’ Confect Co. Ltd in the year 1983 in Sapporo, capital of northernmost island in Japan, Hokkaido. Hokkaido region is one fourth of Japan’s total arable land and is known for producing finest quality of agricultural products, including wheat, soybeans, potatoes, sugar beet, onions, pumpkins, corn, raw milk, and beef.
In last three decades, ROYCE’ chocolates has charmed people all over the world with its refined taste and unique combinations. It was introduced in Indian market, last year by Samir Gadhok and Avani Raheja of Burgundy Hospitality. The first two boutiques were opened in Mumbai, one at Palladium Mall and the second one at JW Marriott. This year, it arrived in Bengaluruat JW Marriott. And now it has come to our Delhi at Ambience Mall Vasant Kunj. We were invited for the launch and tasting session on 7th Oct.
The small cozy store had different variants displayed in a chiller to maintain the right temperature. One of the most sensational thing we tasted was Potatochip Chocolate, salty potato chips coated with a layer of milk chocolate on one side. The combination of saltiness and sweetness, interestingly turned out to be excellent. The signature product of the company is Nama, fine and delicate cocoa-dusted truffle-like chocolates which comes both with Liqour and without Liqour. The store though has without liquor Nama Chocolates. We tried Mild Cacao, Ecuador Sweet and Ghana Bitter variations of Nama chocolates and were bowled over by the refine taste, velvety texture and irresistible aroma. Maneesh loved the Ghana Bitter for its excellent acid-bitter balance. To maintain the flavor and aroma, each Nama chocolate is packed in a thermal bag along with a frozen cooling gel pack. These chocolates are so delicate that specially designed spatula is placed in every box to lift and hold the chocolates. Another favorite of ours was Prafeuille Chocolat. This three millimeter thin strawberry-scented chocolate got its inspiration from the delicate French desert “millefeuille” and is filled with a medley of sweet-tart raspberry and blueberry reduction. The first bite and everything just melts in the mouth. The aroma and flavor of Prafeuille Chocolat lingered for quite some time and it required something unique to take away the pleasure. The next product did exactly that! Made from the world’s rarest and most expensive cacao beans, which are produced in the south of Lake Maracaibo in Venezuela, Criollo Chocolate had the most complex flavours and aroma.
This, by far was the best chocolate experience, I ever had in my life. Try Royce and you would know the difference. When you bite off a small amount and let it melt on your tongue, bite another small piece and chew it slowly and would notice how creamy it feels in your mouth and it melts all the way and has a rich smoother texture.
With inputs from Maneesh Srivastva