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1. Where do the best cocoa beans come from ?

The best beans come from West Africa, Brazil and South America.

2. Is there a logo for 100% pure cocoa butter ?

In France the designation pure cocoa butter is used for chocolate which contains no other forms of fats. European legislation allows the ingredient of chocolate to include up to 5% vegetable fats other than cocoa butter. Thus there are two kinds of chocolate: that which contains substitute fats (cheaper) and that which contains only cocoa butter. The 100% Pure Cocoa Butter designation is officially recognised by the public authorities.

3. What is the best chocolate ?

That’s a matter of taste… The best chocolate is the one you like most! However, experts in nutrition recognise that the darker the chocolate is, the less sugar it contains and the better it is for your health .

4. What is Pure Origin chocolate ?

“Pure Origin” chocolate means that the cocoa beans used in its manufacture are from the same single source (country or region) for example “Pure Origin Ivory Coast” or “Pure Origin Venezuela.”

5. What is ’70% cocoa’ chocolate ?

The percentage corresponds to the proportion of cocoa used in the chocolate. This proportion varies according to the type de chocolate. Milk chocolate must contain a minimum 30 % cocoa; dark chocolate 35 %, high quality dark chocolate 43 % and white chocolate 20 %. The higher the percentage of cocoa, the less sugar is used giving a sharper and slightly bitter taste.

6. How many different cocoa beans are there ?

There are principally three species of cocoa tree giving three types of beans with distinct colour and taste :

  • the Forasteros (80 à 90 % of world production) are beans originating from Amazonia. The fruit is a yellow pod containing purple-violet beans with a bitter, slightly acid taste. It is grown in West Africa, Brazil and Ecuador.
  • the Criollos (1 à 5 % of world production) have a green or red pod containing white beans. The most delicate, they provide the finest flavour beans, with a sweet and slightly bitter taste. They are grown in the Caribbean, Mexico, Venezuela and Colombia.
  • the Trinitarios (10 à 20 % of world production), a hybrid of the two previous strains which first cultivated in Trinidad in the 18th century. These beans combine the robustness of the Forasteros and the fine flavour of Criollos. They are grown in South America, Mexico, Central America Trinidad, Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, West Africa and Asia.

7. Can chocolate cause migraines ?

By itself chocolate does not cause migraines. It contains tyramine, an amino acid which plays an indirect part in the helpful stimulation of the nervous system. This substance is usually broken down internally without problems by virtue of an enzyme.

8. Does chocolate contain cholesterol ?

The level of cholesterol in chocolate is so slight as to be negligible: on average 1.3 mg per 100 g. On the other hand, cocoa butter contains a fatty acid, oleic acid, which has the effect of reducing the level of LDL cholesterol (the bad one) without lowering the level of the good HDL cholesterol. Dark chocolate is therefore neutral in terms of cholesterol and can be eaten without worry, even by those most cholesterol-sensitive.

9. Does chocolate cause tooth decay ?

Chocolate is only 7th in the list of most sugary foods behind raisins, chips and bread. As for cocoa, it is not harmful to teeth, quite the opposite. It contains two protective substances for teeth and enamel: polyhydroxyphenol which guards against bacteria and fluoride the dental benefits of which are well known. It is impossible not to have a tooth that likes chocolate !

10. Can you be allergic to chocolate ?

Classed among the rare allergens, it was involved in 0.8 % among a sample of 383 adult allergies. It is possible that it is not so much the cocoa itself but the associated proteins (milk, soya etc) which can be blamed for allergic reactions. To check it is often best to eliminate the foods most frequently involved in allergies and chocolate is one. For children to give up chocolate might seem like a punishment, but it is much better than visit to the allergy specialist.

11. Is chocolate healthy ?

Chocolate is a pick me up and relaxant, and equally known for its stimulating properties Chocolate contains vitamin B1 vital for breaking down sugars and B2 needed to break down proteins, glucides and lipids. Of course chocolate, especially milk chocolate, contains sugar and like any good thing, should not be overindulged.

12. Can you get hooked on chocolate ?

As well as being an instant source of sensual gratification with its taste and texture, chocolate has other pleasurable properties due to its chemical composition and psychological effects. Stimulation and delight are the sensations which so-called chocoholics seek. No surprise then that some may want too much of a good thing !