By Emily Hayes
Not a lot of things are good for every occasion, but chocolate is an indulgence you can feel good about most of the time. Whether it’s Halloween, Valentine’s Day, any holiday, really… any day of the week, really, it’s hard to go wrong with a little chocolate.
There is so much variety in chocolate, with different flavors and add-ons such as nuts, fruit or toffee. It’s also interesting to see just how different chocolate can taste by country or even the region where it was made. But, are all chocolates created equal? The answer is obviously “no.” Here are a few reasons why.
Let’s start with how the base of the chocolate is made. Chocolate comes from cocoa beans that are harvested, ground up, and liquefied into chocolate liquor. From there, it’s processed into cocoa solids and cocoa butter. The combination of the base and other added ingredients differentiates dark, milk and white chocolates.
Dark chocolate has the highest percentage of cocoa solids, ranging anywhere from 30-95 percent. Because of this, it tends to have the most bitter flavor and is the driest in consistency. In terms of nutrition and health, dark chocolate takes the cake (see what I did there?). Cocoa is rich in antioxidants and may provide cardiovascular benefits, and since dark chocolate has the highest amount of cocoa content it’s the big winner in the nutrition category (for chocolates, at least).
A fun fact about milk chocolate: the Germans developed the first milk chocolate drink in the 1800s and the Swiss used that idea to come up with the first milk chocolate solid bar. Compared to dark chocolate, milk chocolate uses more dairy content (in the form of either milk powder, liquid milk or condensed milk) giving it a creamier texture and creating a lighter brown color. It also contains more sugar, which gives it a sweeter taste.
Spoiler alert: white chocolate does not contain any cocoa solids! The base of white chocolate is actually cocoa butter and a vegetable fat that is pale yellow in color and has the aroma and taste of cocoa. In addition to milk and sugar, vanilla is sometimes used to provide a fuller flavor. White chocolate is the least nutritious type of chocolate. But can it really be considered a chocolate if it doesn’t have any cocoa solids in it? Probably not. It’s still delicious though.
Even though dark chocolate is the most nutritious chocolate, it is important to know that all types of chocolate are generally high in calories and added sugar. Indulge responsibly.
All of this chocolate talk has me wanting some deliciousness, so I’m going to step aside. You should click over to mynpp.com and peruse our business and employee discounts on a wide variety of brands for work and play. Check out an assortment of deals on chocolates from Simply Chocolate. It’s a sister brand of 1-800-Flowers and both are featured in our employee offers.
If you want to impress someone, try the proven results of chocolates and flowers. NPP members get special pricing and discounts on both. That’s the sweetest part!