Today I went to an interesting talk about chocolate & its medicinal benefits by Marcos Patchet.
He is a western herbalist & is writing a book about this subject and made some v interesting points in his talk. One was how chocolate can affect you if you use it long term, and the difference between that and the short term hit. People suffering from depression or those who had habitually taken E tablets tended to reach for chocolate as a way of self medicating as it did affect your serotonin levels (which get depleted by E).
Research of the elderly showed those who regularly consumed chocolate had active social lives compared to counterparts who didn’t. This implies the cocoa sets you up for being more social & improves relationships..
He was v precise about the amount of chocolate we should eat for a beneficial effect on mood, arteries etc.. I think it was 25g x 3 every week (the size of a small green & blacks bar). If you have more/less than this – you don’t get the benefit.
He said a bit about Aztec sacrifices of hearts & the dark side of chocolate & made an interesting link with valentine hearts – maybe there is a dark side to that as well?
Finally he made us an original drink from crushed raw cocoa beans & one or two other spices + some chilli. It was delicious. He is doing more research re the benefits of the raw cocoa v the roasted bean. He spontaneously mentioned Rococo as a place to get real chocolate.
Someone from Kew gardens said they had been given money from Cadburys to do some research – and they decided that Lindt dark chocolate had the highest cocoa content. Marcos commented that in his opinions it had a burnt flavour!