We have an undeniable fascination with chocolate. Most people love it, women crave it, and kids will trade their favorite toys for it. What is it about chocolate that puts it right up there with a tim hortons coffee? Why does chocolate elevate your mood to instantly satisfy a craving, heighten your energy, or lighten a stress?
The botanical name for chocolate is theobromo cacao, which is Latin for “food of the gods”—a reference to the coveted, spiritual value that was placed on chocolate from its earliest origins among the Mayans and Aztecs of Mesoamerica. As we well know, dark chocolate is extremely high in antioxidants and the darker the chocolate, the higher the antioxidant count. Chocolate has also been shown to reduce blood pressure and lower cholesterol. Chocolate is known as a “feel-good” food for good reason because eating chocolate releases endorphins in the brain giving a feeling of pleasure—that chocolate contains serotonin which acts as an anti-depressant.
The Aztecs believed that chocolate not only made you feel good, but it also could be used as an aphrodisiac. There may be some truth to that belief as recent studies have shown that women who eat a little bit of chocolate each day have significantly more sex than women who don’t. It does really make perfect sense. He shows up with chocolates, and those brain-soothing chemicals release that feel-good hormone and before you know it … he and the chocolate equate to “feeling good.” When we’re feeling good, we naturally … well, you know how the story goes.
The Newfoundland Chocolate Company was started by a husband and wife team, Brent Smith and Christina Dove, in the basement of their St. John’s home in 2008. Brent has traveled the globe, tasting the world’s finest chocolates from bean to bar and has been playing around with making chocolate for five years or so. Christina, who is a neuroscientist, was intrigued with the health benefits of dark chocolate and the possible combinations of Newfoundland wild berries with chocolate to create delicious as well as healthy chocolates.
Brent and Christina combined their passions and created the Newfoundland Chocolate Company. The company prides itself on creating world-class, gourmet artisan chocolates with no preservatives or additives. The best-selling chocolate at the Newfoundland Chocolate Company is the Smiling Land Series which features an assortment of berry-filled milk and dark chocolates each named for an iconic, beautiful place or feature of Newfoundland and Labrador. Also popular are the Rum Runners and Rogues Series featuring gourmet chocolates filled with Newfoundland spirit and liqueur centers, each named for a famous Newfoundland pirate, rum-runner, privateer, or politician!
With the hustle and bustle of our times, food that makes us feel really good AND has positive health benefits at the same time is high on the list of “must haves.” A little dark chocolate each day that has local berries in it to complement can only be a good thing. Who wouldn’t recommend eating chocolate that keeps you happy and positively glowing throughout your day?
You can visit the Newfoundland Chocolate company and experience a taste of heaven on 166 Duckworth Street, St Johns.
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