November 29, 2013

National Chocolate Day

"It’s so beautifully arranged on the plate – you know someone’s fingers have been all over it." - Julia Child

It's National Chocolate Day!

'Tis the season for Christmas tree-shaped Reese's, Oreo's with red-filling, and cherry cordials. That's just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to chocolaty treats available this time of year! Chocolate isn't just popular during the holidays, though; it's the country's favorite flavor 365 days a year. That's probably why there are so many food holidays centered around it!

Chocolate has interesting effects on the body. Because it contains theobromine (which temporarily raises levels of serotonin), eating it makes us happy. Even the smell of it relaxes us! And dark chocolate contains antioxidants which help our cardiovascular system. So it's good for the physical heart and the metaphorical one, too?

Sounds to good to be true.

But it's not - ancient civilizations associated chocolate with mythical and medical value, referring to it as the "Food of the Gods." It was so valued it was even used as a form of currency by both the Aztecs an Mayans.

It's probably best not to try and pay off those holiday gifts with chocolate chips. But it may be wise to eat a handful before shopping to lessen the blow of how much money you may accidentally spend!

Happy National Chocolate Day!