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Know what you're eating...

Chocolate 101

Chocolate is emotional.  If you have a craving, you eat it.  If you have a loved one, you share your love through chocolates on Valentine's Day, Mother's Day or any other holiday.  Whatever the cause or reason, chocolate is a sweet treat that just plainly has to be eaten.  But there are chocolates, and then there are CHOCOLATES!  If you don't already have some 'know how' on the proper way for chocolate tasting, try it the next time you grab a bar. 

Eating chocolate should begin with your eyes.  A well prepared chocolate will have a glossy sheen.  Darker chocolate inherantly can be shinier than milk.  The aroma may be intense or it can be subtle.  If it smells like vanilla or sugar, it is an indication that those ingredients are overly used for one reason or another.   Break a piece of chocolate, a clear snap means that the chocolate was well tempered.  Now place the piece in the middle of your mouth and take a few bites.  Let it rest on your tongue touching the roof of your mouth.  If your eating a premium chocolate bar, you've just released it's distinctive flavors.  Once the chocolate begins to melt, continue chewing, but be mindful of the flavors that the chocolate has to offer.  If you're a wine drinker, you may be able to use the same descriptive words for chocolate as you do for wine--nutty, fruity, bitter, etc.  Also, take some time and read the back label.  The list and order of ingredients can give some indication of what you are consuming.  

What are some potential benefits of chocolate?

Why should I pay attention to cacao percentage and cacao origin?

Jade Chocolates Ingredients List 

Here is a partial list of ingredients and their benefits used in our Chocolate Pizza:

Flaxseed-Flaxseed, also known as linseed, is a crop that can be traced back as far as 3,000 B.C.  Flaxseed was recognized in ancient times to have many positive health benefits which is now only being 'rediscovered' and appreciated today. Most importantly, flax is very high in omega-3 essential fatty acids (EFA's).  In addition, it also contains lignans and fiber.  Two-thirds of the fiber found in this seed is insoluble, the rest is soluble.  Soluble fiber can aid in lowering cholesterol and regulate blood sugar levels while insoluble fiber aids digestion and prevents constipation.   

Freshly ground flax seed provides the maximum amount of benefits of EFA's, lignans and fiber.  Right before we bake our crusts, our artisan confectioners grinds the flax seed and mixes it in with the remaining ingredients.  We do not store ground flax seed as this diminishes it's health benefits. We also add in a little whole seeds for it's crunchy texture.  

Honey-Just as flaxseed has been recognized in ancient time to have positive medicinal properties, so has honey.