Chocolate is one of life’s most delicious mysteries and discovering its secrets is Godiva’s true passion. An intriguing contradiction, chocolate can both give you energy and relax you. It can sharpen the mind and it can give that same heady sensation as falling in love. But how can you ensure the very best chocolate experience? How should your fine Godiva chocolates be stored to best preserve their exquisite flavours and how should they be eaten to encompass all the senses? Read on and we’ll share the secrets of chocolate with you:
Is chocolate good for you?
While many worry about chocolate being a ‘bad food’, the truth is that, when enjoyed as a treat, chocolate is good for both body and mind, with numerous benefits to physical and emotional well-being. It provides lots of energy in a very small volume thanks to its principal nutrients of carbohydrates (sugars) and fatty acids or lipids. The sugars give a quick boost of energy while the fatty acids in the cocoa butter release energy more slowly, for a lasting pick me up. Dark chocolate is also a powerful source of antioxidants, as well as flavanols which can improve blood flow and lower blood pressure.
As well as the emotional benefits, including the ability to lift your mood and work as an anti-depressant, chocolate is actually literally good for the mind. Dark chocolate contains nutritional elements that provide re-generative food for the brain, as well as containing theobromine which encourages concentration and improves brain function.
When eaten in moderation, chocolate actually has many positive benefits, which stands to reason – after all how can something that tastes so good possibly be bad?
Is chocolate an aphrodisiac?
Chocolate has a long reputation as an aphrodisiac, with fascinating figures through history insisting upon its aphrodisiacal qualities – from Aztec emperor Montezuma to chief mistress to King Louis XV Madame de Pompadour. The Marquis de Sade certainly abused the notion to wicked ends!
Nowadays however it’s thought that any aphrodisiacal effects of chocolate are down to a combination of the flavanols which increase blood flow, phenylethylamine which provokes a response in the body similar to falling in love, and the romantic nature of a fine chocolate experience. It’s undeniable that, when combined, these elements provoke a pleasurable reaction, which explains why Godiva chocolates are such a popular gift on St Valentine’s Day!
Does chocolate cause increased cholesterol?
Eating fine chocolate made from 100% cocoa butter can actually have a beneficial effect on cholesterol levels. This is due to the fact that cocoa produces 72% unsaturated fatty acids, which can reduce cholesterol levels and clean the arteries. This outweighs the 20% saturated fatty acids which can have the opposite effect. Overall, the highest quality chocolate, as used by Godiva across the chocolate collection, contains negligible amounts of cholesterol, and can have positive health benefits.
Does chocolate cause indigestion?
Indigestion can be caused by the consumption of too many fatty foods, so it’s unlikely that the enjoyment of fine Godiva chocolates in moderation would be a cause. Overeating in general is more likely to cause indigestion, which explains why many suffer on special occasions which revolve around food, such as Christmas and Easter. This makes it easy to blame the chocolates but, unless you’ve eaten the entire box, there’s probably another culprit to blame for your discomfort.
Is chocolate rich in magnesium?
Chocolate is rich in magnesium which is important for neuro-muscular function. As one of the highest-ranking foods for magnesium content, a few squares of dark chocolate could boost your levels of this vital mineral considerably.
How to eat chocolate for maximum pleasure?
Godiva chocolates are designed to invoke maximum pleasure, with the finest quality ingredients and most mouth-watering flavour combinations. However, there is a tried and tested method to ensure that you’re making the most of every single bite. Using all the senses will provide you with the most powerful chocolate experience, so remember to take in the beautiful Godiva packaging, to linger over the rich, heady scent when you lift the lid of your chocolate box and enjoy the careful decoration of each individual chocolate. Notice how the smoothness of the chocolate contrasts with other textures and savour the snap of that first bite or the smoothness as you sink into a creamy soft centre. Once your other senses are satisfied you’re ready to let the chocolate melt slowly on your tongue, to press it against the roof of your mouth to appreciate its length and to taste the subtle flavours of the finest cocoa beans, softest creams, freshest fruits and sweetest caramels. Each and every Godiva chocolate has been crafted with your indulgence in mind, so savour every facet to experience the ultimate chocolate pleasure.
How should chocolate be stored?
The golden rule at Godiva is never ever keep chocolate in the refrigerator. Chocolate keeps best at a temperature of between 15 to 18 degrees Celsius – so neither too warm, not too cold. A dry cellar or unheated room are ideal places for chocolate storage. If you store your chocolates in a kitchen cupboard or larder, be sure to keep them away from any foods with strong odours. It’s best to keep your chocolates in their original packaging, or in a hermetically sealed or metallic box. Don’t forget that any chocolates with fresh cream fillings need to be eaten swiftly – as if you needed an excuse!
How long will Godiva chocolates stay fresh?
There’s no need to refrigerate Godiva chocolates as they should stay fresh tasting at room temperature for up to 2-3 weeks – and who can resist such tempting chocolates for longer than that? Keep your chocolates in a dry place and out of direct sunlight. If you’re looking for specifics then the temperature shouldn’t go higher that 21 degrees Celsius and the relative humidity should stay below 60% to guarantee that your Godiva chocolates remain at their very best.
Why do some chocolates have a whitish look?
There are two different types of whiteness that you may see on chocolate - fatty whiteness and sugar whiteness. Fatty whiteness forms on the exterior layer of chocolate, like a film which disappears when touched. Sugar whiteness is grainy and rough to the touch. While neither occurrence should affect the flavour of a chocolate, they can be unsightly and ruin the glossy sheen and silky smoothness that the perfect chocolate should display. Thanks to exacting methods of chocolate creation and storage, neither of these issues should be found on Godiva chocolates.
What causes fatty whiteness?
Fatty whiteness is a migration of fats to the exterior of the chocolate, or a re-crystallisation of these fats. Causes can include poor tempering of the chocolate, pouring the chocolate in too thin a layer, issues during the filling of a chocolate or storing at too high a temperature.
The expert chocolatiers at Godiva take every possible measure to avoid fatty whiteness which, while harmless, can be unsightly and mar the chocolate experience. Tempering is a method used to bring cocoa butter to its most stable crystalline form, and correct tempering results in chocolate with a beautiful shine, good retraction, perfect bite and a pleasant mouth feel. At Godiva great attention is paid to this vital stage in the chocolate-making process. Godiva also carefully calculates and controls the ideal thickness of its chocolate – too thick and the taste quality can be reduced, too thin and the dreaded whitening can occur. Godiva also ensures the stability of all cream and paste fillings, to prevent the fats from provoking whiteness in the surrounding chocolate. Finally, Godiva stores all chocolates carefully and correctly, in perfect conditions and within the ideal temperature range of 15-18 degrees Celsius.
What causes sugar whitening?
Sugar whitening is caused by the re-crystallisation of the sugar in the chocolate. It’s caused by condensation on the chocolate brought about by significant thermal shock or when the humidity level in the air is too high. All Godiva chocolates are stored in perfect temperature and humidity conditions, to avoid this unsightly occurrence and maintain an incredibly smooth and silky chocolate texture. Kitchens aren’t a good place to store your Godiva chocolates due to fluctuating temperatures and humidity levels when cooking, so consider stashing your treats elsewhere to keep them as flawless as they should be.
We hope that you’ve enjoyed discovering the secrets of chocolate, and that this sweet life lesson leads to chocolate experiences that are even more pleasurable. Either that or you can impress your friends over a classic Godiva box or ballotin – that’s if you can bring yourself to share!