Last month we discussed healthier comfort foods. This month we're taking a different direction.
Chocolate does have antioxidant properties as you'll read below, but not many of us can restrain ourselves to just a small portion!
Chef for All Seasons
Pairing Wine With Chocolate
Magazines from Style at Home
to Food and Drink
have published articles on pairing wine with chocolate - the key is to have a wine that's about the same level of sweet as the chocolate.
The stronger the chocolate, the more full-bodied the wine should be.
Food and Drink
magazine recommends Brix chocolate - it was specifically designed (by a doctor, no less!) to be matched with wine, and there are even suggestions on the label. About.com
has a number of pairing suggestions, but part of the fun is experimenting. Click here
Antioxidant Benefits of Cocoa
We've been reading a lot about the benefits of foods that contain anti-oxidants, from blueberries to pomegranate to acai and more. Studies suggest that antioxidants in foods may reduce the risk of many kinds of illness, from heart disease to cancer.
Dark chocolate and cocoa contain high levels of cell-protecting antioxidant compounds. According to allchocolate.com, two tablespoons of natural cocoa have more antioxidant capacity than four cups of green tea, 1 cup of blueberries and one and half glasses of red wine.
Perhaps one of the reasons the consumption of small amount of dark chocolate is that it's so delicious. The Hershey Centre
for Health and Nutrition (yes, a bit of an oxymoron) has a thorough breakdown, backed up with 20 different studies. Click here
Make Your Own Chocolate Truffles
In addition to hearts and flowers, nothing says Valentine's Day like chocolate.
Of course, there are a number of places you can buy chocolate, but if you really want to impress that special someone, try making chocolate truffles.
The three main ingredients are chocolate, whipping cream and butter. Now you know why they're so luscious.
Hint: Chop the chocolate and melt on low heat - you don't want it to burn!
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Gift certificate is redeemable until December 31, 2011.
Prize winner will be notified at the end of February.
Top Ten Chocolate Destinations
The chocolate capital of Germany. They have a chocolate museum with a giant chocolate fountain.
Tain L'Hermitage, France
Home of the Valrhona Ecole Du Grand Chocolat
Home to both Hershey and the H.B. Reese Candy Company.
New York, New York
You'll find chocolatiers from all around the world here - and can take one of (or both!) chocolate tours.
Dubbed "Chocolate City", it's home to Spain's oldest gourmet chocolate producer - and they have a museum.
San Francisco, California
Home to Ghirardelli, you can also take a tour of Scherffen Berger, the first company in the US to create their chocolate from bean to bar.
The ancient Mesoamericans were the words first chocolatiers and in Oaxaca, it's part of the culture.
The first chocolate making machine was built here in 1780 - and the Museo de La Xocolata features chocolate sculptures.
The Swiss consume more chocolate per person than any other country and you can take an excursion on The Swiss Chocolate Train.
Belgium has 12 chocolate factories, 16 chocolate museums and more than 2100 chocolate shops as well as being home to Godiva.
Click here for more
Cooks Illustrated - a superb guide for all things food. Learn recipes, techniques, and product knowledge. You'll become a gourmet chef before you know it!
Epicurious.com- Recipes, menus, articles, cooking guides and more.
Mercola.com - The world's #1 Natural Health Newsletter covering wellness, nutrition, and various blog topics to keep you healthy and living longer.
Foodland Ontario - Want to support Ontario's farmers, but don't know what's available? Here's an easy to read seasonal guide:
Culinarium.ca- Toronto-based gourmet food shop, which showcases Ontario food and offers a range of natural, organic, sustainable food.
Cumbraes.ca- Toronto-based butchery offering traditionally raised meat from the finest local farms, specialty foods, and prepared foods.
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