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About Drinking Chocolate

  1. So what is drinking chocolate, anyway?
  2. About our drinking chocolate
  3. The history of drinking chocolate
  4. The health benefits of chocolate
  5. The fair-trade certification process

HOT COCOA

Hot cocoa is the chocolate drink most commonly served in the United States. Made from cocoa powder, milk and sugar, this drink is much lighter than the drinking chocolate alternative. Hot cocoa is the proper term for this beverage, although it is commonly referred to in error as hot chocolate.

DRINKING CHOCOLATE

Drinking chocolate — true hot chocolate — is made from bar chocolate and contains cocoa butter, which results in a thicker, richer product than hot cocoa. The beverage is consumed daily in Spain, where drinking chocolate and churros are known as the working man's breakfast. Drinking chocolate can be very thick, with a consistency similar to that of pudding.

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About our drinking chocolate:

The Sipping Dreams Advantage. Most make-at-home drinking chocolate comes in powder form, which poses a challenge when it comes to getting the proper proportion of shaved chocolate, cocoa and sugar. Using our gourmet drinking chocolate bar guarantees that you consistently get rich, creamy drinking chocolate every time. We stand behind our bar as the best base for preparing this chocolatey goodness at home.

At Sipping Dreams we take our commitment to enriching lives, one cup at a time, very seriously. Only the finest products, created with integrity, will do. This is why Sipping Dreams uses Guittard 72% dark chocolate, a rich, bold blend combining beans grown in West Africa and South America.

Guittard has made a commitment for over 135 years to providing a high quality chocolate product. Sipping Dreams believes in this commitment and Guittard's dedication to working directly with farmers in South America to cultivate the highest quality beans through proper growth and fermentation, and paying these farmers directly for their work.

This commitment to making a well-balanced, and ultra smooth chocolate is the reason Guittard's products do not contain an organic label. According to one Guittard chocolatier, organic beans do not exhibit the consistent quality required to make it into the Guittard product. We stand behind a fellow family business and a century-and-a-half of experience when choosing Guittard to make our wonderful product.

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The history of drinking chocolate:

1000 B.C. — Origins of cacao use date back 3000 years to the Mayan and Olmec civilizations of Central America. These peoples used the beans of the cacao tree to make various drinks and as a form of currency. The Mayans and Aztecs also offered the beans as gifts to their gods for prosperity.

1528 A.D. — Spanish explorer Hernán Cortés introduced chocolate to the rest of the world after his conquests in Central America. He returned to Europe with cacao beans and samples of the Aztec drink.

1585 — The first shipment of chocolate from the Americas arrives in Sevilla, Spain. Sweeteners were added to chocolate to counteract its natural bitterness. Vanilla, cinnamon and other spices replaced the chili used by the Mayans and Aztecs.

1657 — The first chocolate house opened in London. Sweet-tasting drinking chocolate began to catch on in upper-class Europe, becoming a popular luxury item by the late 1600s. At the same time, Dutch colonists introduced the drink in North America.

1688 — Hans Sloane, president of the Royal College of Physicians, returns from a trip to Jamaica with a recipe for mixing chocolate with milk to drink — the origin of milk chocolate.

1828 — The first machine to produce cocoa powder was created in the Netherlands, allowing the lighter form of the drink known as hot cocoa to be created.

Present Day — Research has shown that chocolate contains high levels of antioxidants, which can reduce the risk of heart disease. These antioxidant levels increase when the chocolate is heated, making drinking chocolate both healthy and delicious. This rich and creamy drink has been featured in recent movies such as Chocolat and Like Water for Chocolate.

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The health benefits of chocolate:

We invite you to do your own reading about this topic. There is a lot of information available on-line; based on our research, it does appear that there is evidence that a little bit of dark chocolate daily is good for you.

AGE-DEFYING FOOD
CHOCOLATE

Dark chocolate doesn't just satisfy that intense craving that so many of us have, it also lowers blood pressure. That's heart-healthy news since blood pressure typically rises as you get older, increasing your risk for heart attack and stroke. Lucky for your waistline you don't need much chocolate to benefit from its blood pressure lowering effects. German researchers recently found that just a quarter of an ounce of dark chocolate per day (the amount in one-seventh of most chocolate bars) trimmed two to three points off hypertensive patients' blood pressure. The reason? Cocoa is rich in flavonoils, potent plant chemicals that encourage blood vessels to relax, keeping them youthful, supple and pliable.

From the August 2008 Family Circle
Karen Ansel, R.D.

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The Fair-Trade Certification Process:

We have found these sites to be very helpful:

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