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 The Pleasure of Chocolate

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Islanddawn
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PostSubject: The Pleasure of Chocolate   Wed 04 Sep 2013, 17:24

Recipe for Britain's first chilled chocolate has been found, collected by none other than an ancestor of the Earl of Sandwich of the sandwhich fame. This was a family who enjoyed their food!

The Earl’s own recipe reads: “Prepare the chocolatti [to make a drink]… and Then Putt the vessell that hath the Chocolatti in it, into a Jaraffa [i.e. a carafe] of snow stirred together with some salt, & shaike the snow together sometyme & it will putt the Chocolatti into tender Curdled Ice & soe eate it with spoons.”

From the 1640s, chocolate was sold as an exotic drink that could cure illnesses and act as an aphrodisiac. The truth often played second fiddle to promotion: one purveyor, Captain James Wadsworth, claimed as early as 1652 that chocolate was “thirsted after by people of all Degrees (especially those of the Female sex) either for the Pleasure therein Naturally Residing, to Cure, and divert Diseases; Or else to supply some Defects of Nature”.

http://www.pasthorizonspr.com/index.php/archives/09/2013/recipe-for-britains-first-chilled-chocolate-treats-discovered

Defects of Nature?

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PostSubject: Re: The Pleasure of Chocolate   Thu 10 Oct 2013, 15:21

News continues of the probable shortage of chocolate we are to expect. With China slowly buying up Africa and with a population now able to afford it we must be prepared. Eventually everyone there will get too fat to work and too lazy to make things and we will be lean and looking for ways to make a crumb so it will be back .... not in a jiff. though. Grab ye tins of Quality Street while ye may. Cadbury is weeping Hershey bars because of losing the copyright to purple wrappers. In m opinion the best rappers are black, anyway.
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PostSubject: Re: The Pleasure of Chocolate   Mon 14 Oct 2013, 12:14

This is an incident which occurred during the escape of McCallum, O'Neill and Harkin as  on the "Other Great Escape" thread.

Our three escapees were on the leg of the their journey which took them from Sagan to Frankfurt-on -Oder. Travelling by train, which was fairly busy,everyone seated except for one small boy who was wandering up and down the aisle. Fifteen minutes into their journey, this small boy began whispering to his mother, just loud enough for John McCallum to hear, that the three companions were "Englanders" and that "they smelled of chocolate". Fortunately his mother was embarrassed by the whole incident, no-one else bothered about the ramblings of a youngster, and, as it turned, out mother and child disembarked at the next stop.The boy was, of course, correct, since the three escapees were carrying chocolate from their Red Cross parcels and the kid had smelled it and must have known  out that only POWs had chocolate.

After their return and debrief, whether MI9 notified would be escapers that carrying Red Cross chocolate would alert sharp nosed German school children, I have no idea.
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PostSubject: Re: The Pleasure of Chocolate   Mon 14 Oct 2013, 16:31

@Islanddawn wrote:


From the 1640s, chocolate was sold as an exotic drink that could cure illnesses and act as an aphrodisiac. The truth often played second fiddle to promotion: one purveyor, Captain James Wadsworth, claimed as early as 1652 that chocolate was “thirsted after by people of all Degrees (especially those of the Female sex) either for the Pleasure therein Naturally Residing, to Cure, and divert Diseases; Or else to supply some Defects of Nature”.


Defects of Nature?
Hasn't it been proved that chocolate does something for women's hormones? Not so much an aphrodisiac, but as a soothing remedy for nasty PMT?



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PostSubject: Re: The Pleasure of Chocolate   Mon 14 Oct 2013, 17:29

I thought it was more to do with the sugar content, not necessarily the chocolate? Also comfort eating when one is feeling horrible has a lot to do with it too, I think.
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PostSubject: Re: The Pleasure of Chocolate   Tue 15 Oct 2013, 13:55

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PostSubject: Re: The Pleasure of Chocolate   Tue 15 Oct 2013, 14:26

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PostSubject: Re: The Pleasure of Chocolate   Tue 15 Oct 2013, 14:55

I've been trying to track down an authoritative source for the effect of chocolate on the brain and whether it does trigger the release of endorphins. This one doesn't at least appear to be sponsored by Cadbury's (other brands are available)

http://scienceandmedia.wordpress.com/2012/10/04/the-happy-hormone/

On the other hand, this one might suggest that we women should consume our little pleasures with some caution. http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs12264-013-1330-2

Chocolate doesn't always bring pleasure though: I remember the horrible heart sinking moment when, unwrapping the proffered gift, it turned out to be these vile things.



edit - I give up, I've no idea why the first bit is an unreadable grey and I can't fix it.
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PostSubject: Re: The Pleasure of Chocolate   Tue 15 Oct 2013, 15:29

Quote :
While the cause of dopaminergic neuronal cell death in Parkinson’s disease (PD) is not yet understood, many endogenous molecules have been implicated in its pathogenesis. β-phenethylamine (β-PEA), a component of various food items including chocolate and wine, is an endogenous molecule produced from phenylalanine in the brain. It has been reported recently that long-term administration of β-PEA in rodents causes neurochemical and behavioral alterations similar to that produced by parkinsonian neurotoxins. The toxicity of β-PEA has been linked to the production of hydroxyl radical (.OH) and the generation of oxidative stress in dopaminergic areas of the brain, and this may be mediated by inhibition of mitochondrial complex-I. Another significant observation is that administration of β-PEA to rodents reduces striatal dopamine content and induces movement disorders similar to those of parkinsonian rodents. However, no reports are available on the extent of dopaminergic neuronal cell death after administration of β-PEA. Based on the literature, we set out to establish β-PEA as an endogenous molecule that potentially contributes to the progressive development of PD. The sequence of molecular events that could be responsible for dopaminergic neuronal cell death in PD by consumption of β-PEA-containing foods is proposed here. Thus, long-term over-consumption of food items containing β-PEA could be a neurological risk factor having significant pathological consequences.

Oh dear, that quote from ferval's link is extremely worrying. I don't think there can be very much left of the dopaminergic area of my brain - oxidative stress on top of everything else. But it is too late to worry now.

I wonder why it is I read stuff like the above and immediately want to eat a Giant Toblerone and/or drink an entire bottle of Chateauneuf du Pape? Just for the sheer *hell* of it?

Turkey and bananas are the best foods for serotonin production - very rich in tyrosine apparently (amino acid).

But chocolate is more fun.




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PostSubject: Re: The Pleasure of Chocolate   Wed 16 Oct 2013, 08:27

@ferval wrote:
edit - I give up, I've no idea why the first bit is an unreadable grey and I can't fix it.
fixed
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PostSubject: Re: The Pleasure of Chocolate   Wed 16 Oct 2013, 13:40

To increase alertness and reduce combat fatigue , the Germans provided their troops in World War II with methamphetamine laced chocolate. The illustrated brand is "Panzerschokolade" for tank crews;



Pervitin is the brand name for the amphetamine
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Temperance
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PostSubject: Re: The Pleasure of Chocolate   Wed 16 Oct 2013, 14:46

Good grief - a few squares of that washed down with a couple of glasses of Vin Mariani, and you'd be ready to take on anybody.

How come the Germans lost the war?
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PostSubject: Re: The Pleasure of Chocolate   Thu 17 Oct 2013, 03:00

This was really chocolate to die for. We were warned as children during the war to never pick up any toy or sweets which happened to be lying around, this chocolate appeared to explode as soon as you break of the first row, irresistable to children who were starved of such treats.

http://www.omg-facts.com/History/The-Nazis-Invented-An-Exploding-Chocolat/44382
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PostSubject: Re: The Pleasure of Chocolate   Thu 17 Oct 2013, 07:54

Hi Gran - choccy was apparently irresistible to Churchill too. Exploding chocolate was, according to this article in the Telegraph, designed with him in mind:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/history/9405919/Death-by-chocolate-plot-to-kill-Sir-Winston-Churchill.html



"Death by chocolate" is such an odd expression, but how it's caught on. You see it everywhere on menus.

Death By Chocolate is a marketing term for various desserts that feature chocolate (especially dark chocolate or cocoa) as the primary ingredient. The trademark in the United States was owned by S&A Restaurant Group, the parent company of Bennigan's restaurants, but with the subsequent bankruptcy of the company the current legal status is unclear. In the United Kingdom and European Union, the registered trade mark rights belong to F.T. Wood & Sons Limited. Nevertheless, unlicensed uses of the term are common.


The idea of chocolate as a delicious sin is interesting too, I think - perhaps it links to the stimulation of female hormones theory -  chocolate as the natural food of Eve? I wonder if the Church ever pronounced it as an evil to be avoided? There's Devil's Food Cake, too, another rich, tempting, chocolate treat:

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PostSubject: Re: The Pleasure of Chocolate   Thu 17 Oct 2013, 09:06

@Temperance wrote:


The idea of chocolate as a delicious sin is interesting too, I think - perhaps it links to the stimulation of female hormones theory -  chocolate as the natural food of Eve? I wonder if the Church ever pronounced it as an evil to be avoided? There's Devil's Food Cake, too, another rich, tempting, chocolate treat.

I don't know about chocolate but some in the Catholic church did urge Pope Clement VII (1478 - 1534) to ban coffee, which arrived in Europe at much the same time as chocolate. After tasting this new "devil's beverage", the Pope is said to have remarked that the drink was " ..... so delicious that it would be a sin to let only misbelievers enjoy it. Let's defeat Satan by blessing his beverage".
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PostSubject: Re: The Pleasure of Chocolate   Thu 17 Oct 2013, 09:13

Dear old Clement! My favourite Pope.
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PostSubject: Re: The Pleasure of Chocolate   Thu 17 Oct 2013, 19:58

Hi Temp, it looks as though the Churchill 'death by chocolate' bar is the same one as mine, you can just see the "Pet". Good old Clement, he sounds a bit like Francis, maybe a realist.
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PostSubject: Re: The Pleasure of Chocolate   Tue 05 Nov 2013, 09:30

In the 1670s in London both coffee and chocolate were considered medicinal. According to the Hippocratic theory then prevalent both were considered a source of "dry humours" (it meant something very different in those days) and therefore an admirable stimulant for men whose work required stamina and long hours awake. For some reason however it was considered that women's work required neither (too much stimulation simply enfeebling the poor things) and therefore the notion of females drinking either concoction was deemed loathsome by many of the clergy, a complete defiance of the wishes of the creator when he'd done the trick with the spare rib back in the day. Sugar paste and marmalade, at the time considered aphrodisiacs, were also foodstuffs that women were urged to abjure on religious grounds.


This pamphlet goes on to list chocolate as a route to hell
for unsuspecting people of the feminine persuasion


What the clergy would have made of a packet of Jaffa Cakes in the hands of a woman-type person is anyone's guess.
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PostSubject: Re: The Pleasure of Chocolate   Tue 05 Nov 2013, 10:43

Your mention of Jaffa Cakes brought to mind a crucial 1991 legal case .... Are Jaffa Cakes cakes or biscuits?

This is a vital question as VAT is payable on chocolate-covered biscuits but not on chocolate-covered cakes. McVities defended its classification of Jaffa Cakes as cakes by several culinary arguements, and by producing a giant Jaffa Cake in court to illustrate the point.

Their Lordships, while noting that, "Jaffa cakes are presented as a snack, eaten with the fingers, whereas a cake may be more often expected to be eaten with a fork" [My emphasis Rolling Eyes ] .... were nevertheless finally pursuaded that Jaffas were made from a cake mixture and had the texture and taste of sponge cake, even when stale. Jaffa cakes were therefore, after due consideration and tasting, indeed deemed to be cakes. And so VAT is not paid on Jaffa Cakes within the United Kingdom. 

HM Revenue & Customs VFOOD6260 : The borderline between cakes and biscuits
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PostSubject: Re: The Pleasure of Chocolate   Tue 05 Nov 2013, 11:00

According to QI - not always a reliable source of information, I admit - it all hinged on the stale bit. Cakes go hard when stale, biscuits go soft. It could be demonstrated in court that Jaffa Cakes went hard.
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PostSubject: Re: The Pleasure of Chocolate   Tue 05 Nov 2013, 13:53

Well at least the observable property changes, from fresh-made to stale, are actually quite a scientifically-based distinction and reflect the different inherent moisture content of biscuits v cakes. Biscuits do indeed generally go soft and more moist as they age, whilst cakes, especially sponge type cakes, go harder and drier. Not an exact science of course, but it's a far better criterion, IMHO, for making critical cake-or-biscuit type distinctions, than basing the decision on whether one usually consumes it with fingers or a fork!
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PostSubject: Re: The Pleasure of Chocolate   Tue 05 Nov 2013, 14:47

Speaking of chocolate items in court ...

The manager of a newsagents store on Westmoreland Street in Dublin some years ago miscalculated badly in the run-up to Christmas, ordering in about ten times more chocolate Santas than trade merited. This left him with a huge problem once Christmas Day had passed - not a sinner was any longer interested in purchasing his foil wrapped St Nicks, even at knock-down prices. As January moved into February, and then March (and their sell-by date) loomed ever nearer the poor man was facing the prospect of a massive loss on the whole deal. Then, in the second week of March, he suddenly had a brainwave. He and his assistants spent a whole night laboriously peeling off all the wrappers until - by St Patrick's Day - they now had a thousand odd nude chocolate patron saints, complete with funny hat and beard, to flog at extortionate prices to the crowds who would descend on the capital on Ireland's National Day. The wheeze worked brilliantly and a potential loss was converted in only a few hours into a healthy little profit.

The only fly in the ointment came in the form of a sharp-eyed punter, with one of those eyes very much on the main chance. Realising that the Paddy he was nibbling had an uncanny resemblance to the Turkish saint beloved of children the world over he purchased another and then proceeded to employ it as the principal exhibit in a "breach of trade description" suit through which he hoped to force the unfortunate newsagent to settle out off court.

The newsagent however was made of sterner stuff than even his Santa/Patricks. He called the chancer's bluff and the whole thing ended up in the High Court before judge Liam Devalley. Devalley was unimpressed by the chancer. However he was very impressed with the newsagent's use of historical representations depicting both saints over the centuries (to show that no one today could say with any conviction that they weren't identical twins in appearance) and awarded costs and damages against the plaintiff, complimenting the newsagent in the process for his business acumen, his profound understanding of iconic art, and indeed his entertainment value.

Exhibit A:


St Nicholas dressed all too warmly for Turkey

Exhibit B:


St Paddy on one of his frequent hikes around Ireland (replete with travel sack)
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PostSubject: Re: The Pleasure of Chocolate   Wed 06 Nov 2013, 07:43

@nordmann wrote:
This pamphlet goes on to list chocolate as a route to hell
for unsuspecting people of the feminine persuasion.

Ah, they were right about that one.  Chocolate is as addictive as alcohol for some people - mainly women. Alcohol may make you crazy, but chocolate makes you fat. The only decision most women have to make about ordinary cake v. Jaffa Cakes is which to eat first. It is odd about women and foods like chocolate though; we are guilty of gluttony far more than men where chocolate is concerned. I won't have Jaffa Cakes in the house - I'd eat the lot in one (perhaps two) go's. Perhaps we should try the old Hell-Fire and Damnation approach to chocolate control - Seven Deadly Sins and all that. (Gluttony is a deadly sin, I think - I always get it mixed up with Greed - I suppose Greed is grabbing everything in life, not just scoffing all the Purple Ones and the Green Triangles from the Quality Street.)

Before you all attack - I AM JOKING (and shouting).

@nordmann wrote:
What the clergy would have made of a packet of Jaffa Cakes in the hands of a woman-type person is anyone's guess.

Or even worse, a box of Black Magic.




The Daily Mail does occasionally publish a reasonably interesting article: this one on how Rowntrees brought posh choccies to the masses is quite good. The ads say a lot about the times too.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2397937/Now-thats-magic-The-adverts-helped-Black-Magic-chocolates-SAVE-Rowntrees-brought-luxury-masses--just-14p-box.html
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PostSubject: Re: The Pleasure of Chocolate   Fri 08 Nov 2013, 14:23

A rather dilapidated street corner which in any sane world would be a Mecca for chocolate lovers the world over.



Doesn't look like much now, right enough  - but one time it approximated something like this ...



(Check the name on the grocer's shop in the background (catering for the householder's every needs and always willing to offer their clientele a nice cup of warm cocoa on a cold Midlands day).

Eventually the owner realised his cocoa was more popular than his "sundries and staples", and the rest, as they say ...
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PostSubject: Re: The Pleasure of Chocolate   Wed 19 Mar 2014, 13:25

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PostSubject: Re: The Pleasure of Chocolate   Tue 18 Nov 2014, 16:13

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PostSubject: Re: The Pleasure of Chocolate   Wed 17 Jun 2015, 15:47

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PostSubject: Re: The Pleasure of Chocolate   Wed 17 Jun 2015, 22:46

Isn't this the story debunked in last week's "More or Less"? Too small a sample to have any significance, it seems - estimated as about 6 people ......
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PostSubject: Re: The Pleasure of Chocolate   Thu 18 Jun 2015, 13:58

I ate two bars anyway.......just to be on the safe side.
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PostSubject: Re: The Pleasure of Chocolate   Thu 18 Jun 2015, 14:24

Half the pleasure was in the guilt factor - what next? Is nothing bad for me anymore? I do have some happy memories though of chocolate exlax; I was in charge of refreshments for our school's football and cricket teams.
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