When a piece of chocolate melts on your tongue, a chain of chemical reactions begin. From your taste buds, through your veins, to the brain, and of course, the heart, chocolate creates a sense of elation that perhaps no other individual food can match.
What separates a bar of chocolate from other highly celebrated and palatable foods is a harmonious trio of chemicals innate to the cacao bean: theobromine, phenylethylamine, and anandamide.
Few things pair together better than chocolate and coffee. Whether it's a hot mug of coffee and bar of chocolate for breakfast, a Mocha, or chocolate coated coffee beans, these two robust and stimulating fruit seeds have proven to be two of the world's most prized mood-lifters and palette partners.
Both Mayan and Aztec cultures revered cacao as a gift from the gods, consuming it ritualistically, attributing strength and vigor to its ingestion. Modern science has proven their observations to be correct, revealing cocoa’s stimulating properties and beneficial effects on brain and circulatory health. One of the most touted confirmations of cacao as a health food comes from a group of studies on the Kuna people, an indigenous culture of Central American Indians in Panama. Like the Mayans and the Aztecs, the Kuna have long been sipping on several different variations of a cacao based beverage, which they call Siagwa.
By her own estimations, Madame Jeanne-Louise Calment, the oldest person who ever lived, enjoyed 2.2lbs of chocolate a week. Depending on how strong the Madame preferred her cacao, she consumed the equivalent of two bars of Raaka chocolate per day.