Chocolate as an ingredient, changing flavours, chocolate sustainability, chocolate’s health benefits … Would you like to explore some burning questions about all things chocolate? You may be surprised by some of the research and options. Have your say in our latest poll.
Chocolate and Easter
Easter is now associated with a variety of sweet treats including chocolate eggs and bunnies, marzipan eggs and hot cross buns.
Chocolate eggs first appeared at the court of Louis XIV in Versailles and in 1725 the widow Giambone in Turin started producing chocolate eggs by filling empty chicken egg shells with molten chocolate. In 1873 J.S. Fry & Sons of England introduced the first chocolate Easter egg in Britain. Manufacturing their first Easter egg in 1875, Cadbury created the modern chocolate Easter egg after developing a pure cocoa butter that could be moulded into smooth shapes.
So what's your favourite Easter treat? Vote below!
Should the price of your favourite chocolate block increase to prevent child labour?
Australian Catholic Religious Against Trafficking in Humans (ACRATH) is asking people to name their ‘chocolate change’ in Lent and stick to it beyond Easter in an effort to help combat child labour in the cocoa industry.
An estimated 80% of the world’s cocoa comes from farms in West Africa and it is thought almost two million children are in child labour in these areas.
Just nine of the world’s 69 leading chocolate companies report being able to trace their supplies to individual farms. As such it is impossible to guarantee that most chocolate sold in your local supermarket is slavery or child labour free.
It is estimated that to eradicate child labour the cost of the average bar chocolate would increase by 50%. Alternatively, you can choose to support businesses such as Charley’s where we know exactly where all our cocoa comes from.
SourcesCatholic LeaderEcosystem Marketplace
Chocolate is the hot new skincare ingredient.
Chocolate has health benefits both when consumed and applied topically to your skin. The cacao bean is high in magnesium, zinc, iron, calcium, beta-carotene and omega 6 fatty acids. When applied topically, these elements can protect the skin against environmental stressors, feed the skin, and produce a healthy glow. Flavanols present in high quality cocoa, can provide protection against the elements and environmental stressors.
A London University study demonstrated that daily consumption of a chocolate rich in flavanols gives significant photoprotection and can therefore be effective at protecting skin from harmful UV effects.
Will you be adding chocolate to your skin care routine?Source: Ann Marie
Is white chocolate really chocolate?
White chocolate is made with a blend of sugar, cocoa butter, milk products, vanilla, and a fatty substance called lecithin. Technically, white chocolate is not a chocolate because it doesn't contain chocolate solids. Originally created to use up excess cocoa butter and milk powder, white chocolate is now being embraced by specialty chocolate makers who are experimenting with different flavours and combinations.
So, is white chocolate really chocolate? Vote below!
Source: The Washington Post
Trick or treat, are Aussies sweet on Halloween?
Halloween is often seen as a quintessentially American holiday like Thanksgiving or the Fourth of July. Today Halloween is enjoyed by Australians all over the country. Chocolate, sweets and Halloween are synonymous. But it wasn’t until the 1950s that candy manufacturers began to promote their products for Halloween. Aussie brands have jumped on the growing popularity of Halloween in recent years often releasing special Halloween varieties of their most popular chocolates and lollies. Will you be celebrating Halloween this year? Even if it’s just an excuse to eat some chocolate!
Does dark chocolate ward off dementia?
A recent study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition supports claims that dark chocolate could be considered a health food. The study found adults with low intake of foods and drinks containing flavonoids (including fruits and vegetables such as pears, apples, berries, onions, and even dark chocolate and wine) are more likely to develop dementia over the course of 20 years, compared to those who consume a higher intake of these foods.SourceLadder
Should a classic Australian chocolate be updated to suit current times?
You may have heard an Aussie classic is planning a return to your local supermarket. Eleven years after disappearing from our shelves in 2009, the Polly Waffle is set to make a comeback in 2021. The marshmallow and wafer-filled chocolate bar was created by Melbourne family business Hoadley's Chocolates in 1947, subsequently acquired by Rowntrees and then by Nestlé in 1988 who made changes to the original recipe in 2009. Adelaide confectioner Robert Menz has signed a deal with Nestle to bring back the original Polly Waffle recipe.
The animal rights group PETA is urging the Polly Waffle producers to follow other Aussie brands such as MILO and veganise their recipe. In recent years veganism–abstaining from using animal products particularly in diet–has exploded and Australia’s the third fastest growing vegan market globally. Veganism’s thought to be better for animals, environment and people’s health. For example, research has linked vegan diets with lower blood pressure and cholesterol, and lower rates of heart disease, type two diabetes and some cancers. Of course, all of Charley’s dark chocolate is vegan friendly!Sources
How sustainable is your favourite chocolate?
Most of the world’s chocolate comes from West Africa, with 40 per cent from Cote d’Ivoire alone. Over the past 50 years an estimated 80 per cent of the Cote d’Ivoire’s forest has been lost due to global chocolate demand. Charley’s chocolate is sustainable and of premium quality due to our tree to bar process, bean to bar sourcing assurance and production quality practices.
The journey to the consumer opening a bar of chocolate is a long one. With Charley’s in control of the entire process, consumers can be assured that best practice is followed at every step. Buying Australian grown and produced chocolate ensures low food miles and supports local businesses and economies. When we’re not using beans from our Mission Beach Mt Edna plantation, Charley’s cocoa beans are sourced from selected trusted partners in Australia and Papua New Guinea. We’re proud to use only chocolate that’s sustainably produced and ethically sourced. And we’re constantly reviewing our processes and packaging to ensure we’re industry leaders when it comes to sustainability.SourceInsider
Which unusual chocolate recipe tickles your tastebuds?
Chocolate’s been around since the ancient Aztecs and Mayans who only drank chocolate. Crushed cocoa seeds were mixed with different type of seasonings, including chilies, to make a hot, spicy and frothy drink called ‘chocolatl’. Since then chocolate’s been used all over the world in many forms although mainly as a confection since the 1800s. The Spanish were the first to add cane sugar to chocolate to make a sweet chocolate drink in the 1500s. In England in the 1700s a chocolatey drink was used to prevent and cure stomach aches. Chocolate in solid form wasn’t eaten until the 1800s. You’re likely to have heard of chilli and chocolate; have you tried chicken and chocolate though?SourcesChocolate ExpertThe Washington PostThe GuardianThe Spruce EatsThe Food in my Beard