What would you offer a 5 year old kid to get a smile to their face? A chocolate. It’s a no brainer. Kids love them as much as adults relish them as a part of different desserts. I am myself a chocolate lover and can’t resist it. Not just a simple chocolate but anything in that flavour, be it a chocolate cake, a brownie, cupcakes, ice-cream(of-course), pastries etc.
Experimenting with various desserts with this ingredient has always excited me. Chocolate cakes, chocolate pudding, chocolate custard and brownies. If it was ever an option, I would have chocolate in every meal 😛 . As I was always fond of cookery shows and I still love to watch them, I always look forward to such delicacies and their recipes so that I could put them to use myself. I never liked the taste of milk as a kid but I remember putting a chocolate powder in it just to make it better. In short, if added in whichever form, it can transform a simple dish into a delight.
On a trip to Anand (Gujarat, India) a couple of years back I got an opportunity to visit The Amul Chocolate Factory. The words “Chocolate Factory” are inviting enough. Surrounded with glass, we saw huge machines used to churn refined cocoa beans. The whole process right from grinding, blending, moulding and packaging is a long one and a must visit place for chocolate enthusiasts.
Also, I happened to visit The Chocolate Museum in London. Otherwise not much of a fan of museums, my love for chocolates attracted me to visit the place without a doubt. Not too elaborate, but they describe the history and how things evolved. Next to it was a beautiful little cafeteria with in-house chocolate making sessions which many people including children made use of.
Earlier consumed as a beverage in ancient times , now there is a huge variety of chocolates in various shapes and brands in the form of Milk chocolate, dark chocolate and white chocolates. Originated in Mexico and travelling across Europe and other parts of USA following that, West Africa is the World leader in production of cocoa.
It’s not just merely a kid candy, as we all know. Made with the seeds of tropical Theobroma tree, chocolates have an industry of their own. Various festivals in the West like Christmas, Easter, Halloween and many others have proven to be lucrative seasons for the chocolate industry. The demand has been on the on the rise not just in the west which forms the major market for this product, but, now also in India.
Apart from its commercial success as a product, Handmade chocolates are also a big hit among people these days as a gift options on various occasions like wedding invitations, festivals etc. It’s different from a regular sweet box which is usually given to relatives and friends and is definitely a great source of revenue for few budding entrepreneurs. There has also been a shift of demand from traditional sweets to chocolates in today’s generation. In Ooty, a renowned hill station in South India , you will find various shops of locally made chocolates in flavours you cannot even imagine they exist. From premium Belgium and Tiramisu chocolate to crunchy-nutty , orange, mango, blueberry etc. You name it and you will be presented with the most tempting flavours you can’t miss out on.
Being sweet, surely chocolate adds a bit to your calorie intake but it does gives a rush to your feel good hormones in your body. Dark chocolate on a positive side has antioxidants and with cocoa butter which adds benefits to your skin .Higher the amount of cocoa percentage, the healthier it will be. But should be consumed in controlled quantities of-course. Its popularity has been lately on the rise among the health conscious lot.
So , go grab your bar of Hershey’s. 🙂