All posts by oreolove96

One Man’s Treat, Another Man’s “Temporary Heaven”

For many, chocolate is a delightful treat for the occasional indulgence, but for Buster it is his every day meditation. Chocolate is the favorite part of his day because with one bite Buster says he is put into his “temporary heaven”. He also noted that “if there is no chocolate in heaven, [he] will not be happy.” When asked about his first experience with chocolate he remembers going to the store and sticking a penny into a gum machine and getting a gum ball with speckles. If you got a gum ball with speckles you got to trade it in for a nickel to purchase a small candy bar. Little Buster had the time of his life choosing that Snickers bar and sharing it with his grandmother. It is experiences like this that show the true relationship that people can have with food. One brand of chocolate can bring forth a multitude of emotions and memories.

3_Snickers_mini
When Buster was a child, one Snickers cost only one nickel. 
blots-gumballs-850-count-435.jpg
The store Buster visited had one cent, speckled gum balls that you could trade in for a Nickel to buy  a candy bar. 

 

While interviewing Buster, I discovered that some of his memories of chocolate brought tears to his eyes. His “darling sweetheart Cheryl” and he would only argue about how she spoiled her two daughters, unless he came home with a Hershey’s Symphony chocolate bar. That was  the one treat “she wouldn’t share with her kids”. Sadly, Cherly passed away before they could get married, but this memory they shared with chocolate still lives on with Buster today. Chocolate is a truly amazing part of our world because one combination of flavors can hold the dearest memories in peoples’ hearts.

 

3209305859_4d60af7d91
The favorite treat of Buster’s sweetheart. Hershey’s Symphony is milk chocolate filled with almonds and toffee chips. 

 

The nutritional value of chocolate and the healthy amount of chocolate people should consume daily has been debated over the years. Though chocolate is not labeled as a health food is has been proven to have benefits to people’s health. The Mayo Clinic states, “Chocolate and its main ingredient, cocoa, appear to reduce risk factors for heart disease (Zeratsky)”. Zeratsky goes into more detail to explain that,  “flavanols in cocoa beans have antioxidant effects that reduce cell damage implicated in heart disease,” and “Flavanols — which are more prevalent in dark chocolate than in milk chocolate — also help lower blood pressure and improve vascular function.” It is these benefits of chocolate that avid chocolate eaters attribute as an “excuse” for their chocolate addictions. When Buster was asked if chocolate was healthy in a day-to-day diet, he answered, “yes most, and if it’s not I don’t care!” Buster eats chocolate every day and loves to journey into his favorite section of the candy aisle at Food Lion. The nutritional benefits of chocolate exist and though too much can cause weight gain and other health risks, a daily dose of chocolate certainly does not hurt with Buster being a true example.

Some people’s favorite part of chocolate is the delicious taste, but for Buster it is the benefit of meditation. With one piece of chocolate, he is able to “take [his] mind off [his] problems temporarily”. Chocolate has been proven to alleviate stress of many types. In 2009, a study found that the “consumption of 40 grams of dark chocolate per day for two weeks decreased urinary  cortisol (an indicator of physiological stress levels) in participants with chronic stress (Osdoba, 242)”. Another study of chocolate consumption showed, “just three days of dark chocolate consumption resulted in decrease levels of psychological street captured by self-reported anxiety and depression (Osdoba, 242)”. The chocolate Buster uses to meditate is Hershey’s special dark chocolate with almonds nuggets. Chocolate is a perfect tool for meditation because not only is meditating helpful in reliving stress, but the combination of chocolate is only added to the major benefits of the stress relief.

 

hersheys_nuggets1
One nugget can be the perfect amount of chocolate for a short and relaxing meditation. 

 

pope_francis_i_chocolate_covered_oreo-rbaa50515244f431683337dd9bf45bdc1_zipmn_1024
Even today, Chocolate labels can be seen with the Pope on them. This is one example of a chocolate covered Oreo with the Pope on the packaging. 

Chocolate consumption can make people happy and feel good; that’s just one of the major benefits of it. For Buster, chocolate makes him “feel like [he is] enjoying one of the better aspects of life”. Buster even recalled from the Food Channel, that the Pope for years he was the only one to consume most of the chocolate. In fact, “in the 18th-century Italy, chocolate was the preferred drink of the Cardinals and they even had it brought in while they were electing a new Pope (Belardo)”. Though this was a special treat for the Cardinals, “chocolate was also rumored to have disguised a poison that killed Pope Clement XIV in 1774 (Belardo)”. In most cases, chocolate was always a great pleasure for the Pope and it was one “of the better aspects of life”. Historically, chocolate was only consumed by the elites at first because it was considered a high treat only for the best to consume. Chocolate is massed produced today and massed consumed, but the quality and enjoyment of it still remains in high status of many chocolate lovers’ lives.

While interviewing Buster, there was no doubt that he truly loved chocolate. He rated his favorite chocolate bar the Snickers a 10 out of 10; with all other chocolate bars having a score of 9 out of 10. Chocolate has helped in his favorite past time as well. Buster is an avid golfer and he finds the Snickers Bars to be a good source of energy on the golf course. “you eat them at the turn and have energy on the backside” while playing a round of golf. The only part of chocolate he does not like is when “you leave them in your golf bag too long in the summer time it melts and its hard to eat”. As one can easily see, Buster is dedicated to his chocolate consumption regularly and the only down fall is he craves it all the time.

must-have-chocolate
Funny images like these are made by people to show the feelings of people who crave chocolate and must have it immediately.

Chocolate cravings are very common for many people, and there is science behind why people crave this delicious delight. The Journal of Nutrition cites that, “chocolate is the most frequently craved food in North America (Yanovski)”. There are ingredients in chocolate that explain why this is true.  Several “studies describe psychoactive substances in chocolate, including theobromine (a weak central nervous system stimulant), anandamide (an endogenous cannabinoid), phenylethylamine (an amphetamine-like compound) and caffeine (Yanovski)”. Though the content of these substances is very low in chocolate it can still affect craving slightly. Chocolate cravings can also occur when the body is going through hormonal changes, for example women on their menstrual cycle (Yanovski). Cravings of chocolate are not people simply wanting their favorite treat, the science behind it shows that chocolate cravings are real and can happen to anyone. Simply watching a chocolate commercial can spark the cravings for many, but for Buster’s case he craves chocolate all the time.

1169124_1358297761063_full.jpgPreferences for the time when people eat chocolate can vary among consumers. Most would argue that people eat chocolate generally as a dessert after meals. While others enjoy chocolate as a snack, usually as an impulse buy at the cash register. Buster noted that he enjoyed eating chocolate after meals because the flavor lasts longer in his mouth. Much to everyone’s disappoint though, too much chocolate can be very bad for you all at once. One story Buster shared with me was how he made a record of eating eleven chocolate milkshakes in one day. Needless to say, he did get quite sick for a moment. Chocolate can be healthy for you and the amount you eat can all depend on when you eat it, but be sure you eat just the right amount to enjoy chocolate at its best.

Some of the greatest aspects of chocolate can be hidden behind the ingredients and packing. Food is a delight and basic necessity for living, and the most powerful part of it is that it has the power to bring people together. Chocolate is able to bring people together to form friendships that may not have happened without the bond of chocolate.Though Buster and I share a work place (and he had to pass my desk to get to his working space), we did not become great friends until he stumbled upon my chocolate textbook on my desk. I found him reading the cover and telling me how fascinated he is with chocolate and how much he absolutely loves eating it. From that day forward, several times a week he would leave chocolate on my desk or hand me some chocolate nuggets from his pockets. Sometimes we even end up exchanging chocolate bars. We now share a unique friendship bonded by our love of chocolate and the enjoyment of consuming the amazing taste of it.

Cites:

Belardo, Carolyn. “Chocolate-history.” Drexel University. N.p., n.d. Web.
“Blots Gumballs – 850 Count.” Blots Berry Gumballs. N.p., n.d. Web.
“Candyrageous » Blog Archive » Hershey’s Symphony.” Candyrageous RSS. N.p., n.d. Web.
“Chocolate Milkshake.” Recipes Hubs. N.p., n.d. Web.
“Hershey®’s Extra Dark and Hershey®’s Special Dark® Dark Chocolate Review.” The WiC Project Faith Free Giveaways Product Reviews Recipes. N.p., 24 Feb. 2010. Web.
“Made At RGU.” : Smart Food Swaps & Alternatives To Chocolate! N.p., 11 Mar. 2016. Web.
Osdoba, Katie E., Traci Mann, Joseph P. Redden, and Zata Vickers. “Using Food to Reduce Stress: Effects of Choosing Meal Components and Preparing a Meal.” Food Quality and Preference 39 (2015): 241-50. Web.
“Pope Francis Chocolate and Treats.” Zazzle. N.p., n.d. Web.
“Snickers®.” Snickers®. N.p., n.d. Web.
Yanovski, Susan. “Journal of Nutrition.” Sugar and Fat: Cravings and Aversions. N.p., 2003. Web.
Zeratsky, Katherine, R.D., L.D. “Can Chocolate Be Good For My Health?” Mayo Clinic. Mayo Clinic, 06 Dec. 2014. Web.

How Women Are Portrayed in Chocolate Advertising

 

 

Early Advertisements

Chocolate companies used women to sell their products from the beginning. Through the years women in advertising became more and more sexualized. Chocolate advertising does not stick to satisfy hunger appetites, but it “arouses appetites of a social nature by promising to satisfy viewers’ deep-seated desires for sexual fulfillment and higher class status” (Fahim, 2). In other words, the advertisements are trying to sell it by saying that by eating the chocolate, one should feel that they have been sexual fulfilled and be in a higher class status. The beginning advertisements of chocolate showed women, but not in a very sexualized manner. The two women shown above are average looking women dressed in day-to-day clothing. The advertisement is says “for her…”, but it is not objectifying the women sexually. As AdWomen sums it up, “Women love chocolate, chocolate loves advertising and advertising loves women. It is a chain like all chains of love”.  Consumers “love feelings and chocolate brings sensations”, it is because of this that chocolate companies focus on women to show those loving feelings and the sensations that accompany eating chocolate (AdWomen). Chocolate advertisements use women to show that eating their chocolate can fulfill sexual desires and show the high class value that comes along with their specific brands of chocolate.

chocolate-dark-chocolate-small-51123.jpg

Advertising Today

In today’s advertising, women are very sexualized when it comes to chocolate especially. The women in this advertisement is dressed in very nice bedroom clothing and has a piece of chocolate placed just above her bust. She is most likely lying on a bed in a bedroom and is posing very seductively. On the advertisement is says, “You can see it in her eyes the joie de Godiva”. She is staring at the viewer by making direct eye contact. The customer can feel beautiful and sexy by eating Godiva chocolate. It plays on the emotions of fulfillment and feeling higher up by eating Godiva chocolate. This is just one image of a set of the “Go Diva” campaign that Godiva launched. All of the ads feature women in very sexualized manners showing their love for Godiva chocolate. Godiva “promotes a more sophisticated chocolate and use powerful imagery to convince consumers that they may attain an unparalleled experience of high-class luxury” (Fahin, 3). Godiva is trying to prove that it is the essence of luxury and power with these sexualized advertisements featuring women. This representation of women in chocolate advertising is the normal standard because chocolate companies must sell the sexualized women for their brands.

MyAd.jpg

My Advertising With Men

In the advertisement I made, it shows a man with chocolate all around his mouth and says, “You can see ti all on his face Godiva”. This man is eating his chocolate and making a mess out of it. He is wearing a plain t-shirt and a neutral background is behind him. This is not the typical ad you would see for chocolate. It is different in the largest extent because he is a male, but there is nothing sexualized about him in the ad. He is your average guy enjoying eating chocolate. This goes against what “sells” in advertising. The story behind this advertisement is that all guys can enjoy their chocolate as messy as they like it. They do not have to look like a model and scream high-class luxury. There are advertisements portraying men in chocolate, but they are usually shirtless and look like perfect models. This representation of a man enjoying chocolate is very far from the standard for chocolate companies. Though, many people could see this ad and want to enjoy chocolate as much as this guy is, companies do not see this as the ideal for selling their chocolate brands.

Sources

Fahim, Jamal. “Beyond Cravings: Gender and Class Desires in Chocolate Marketing.” Occidental College, 2010. Web.
MailOnline, Lucy Waterlow for. “Who Were the Aero Women? Chocolate Brand Searches for Mysterious Stars of Vintage Adverts.” Mail Online. Associated Newspapers, 11 Oct. 2013. Web.
“Marketing and Advertising Chocolate Group.” » Godiva Appeals to Women with “Diva” Campaign. N.p., 3 Mar. 2014. Web.
“Reloader.” How To Tell What a Man Will Be Like in Bed by the Way He Eats ~. N.p., n.d. Web.
“Women, Chocolate and Advertising | AdWomen.” AdWomen. N.p., n.d. Web.

 

How the Industrial Revolution Made Chocolate for the Masses Possible

From the Aztec and Mayan Empires to Europe and the New World, the chocolate drink of the elites became the solid treat for the masses. This remarkable transition was no easy process and did not happen over night. Many great minds emerged to shape the production and use of cacao by inventing processes and machinery to meet the world-wide high demand of chocolate. Without the brilliant confectionary minds that shaped the Industrial Revolution, the chocolate the world knows and loves today would not exist.

Sugar Production

19196897723_b27da9dfe6_m
Sugar Plantation in Laurel Valley

One of the most vital components of chocolate is sucrose (sugar), which is commercially extracted from several plants; and the simplification of sugar production is the start of what made chocolate for the masses possible (Mintz 19). The technology required for sugar’s cultivation and conversion encountered many obstacles, but one decisive step emerged (Mintz 25). The vertical three-roller mill was powered by water or animals and it eased the labor and time of sugar production (Mintz 25). The Crusades spread the use of sugar through Europe, and soon European countries were establishing sugar-producing colonies (Mintz 28/42). Without the new machinery and simplification of the sugar process, the sugar plantations would not have been able to meet the high and growing demand of sugar. “No other food in world history has had a comparable performance” in rise in consumption (Mintz 73).

Chocolate Production

The simplification and experimentation with cacao started with early documented uses of power machinery in the American colonies (Coe 227). 1776, in Europe, M. Doret began the use of machinery in chocolate confectionery with his invention of a hydraulic machine to grind chocolate into a paste (Coe 227). While at the larger market, “cacao beans were being ground on a machine that consisted of five rollers of polished steel” (Coe 227). These advances in machinery started to make mass production a reality. The Industrial Revolution started transforming chocolate from a “costly drink to a cheap food” (232). With these changes came the change in the per capita consumption of chocolate, which had maintained consistently, but now was surging dramatically with the rise in sugar consumption following (Coe 234).

The Big Changes

13239110624_b660e8c852_z
Conching machine

1828 started the beginning of the modern era of chocolate making and production with Dutch chemist, Conrad Johanness Van Houten, who took a process patent to manufacture a powdered chocolate with low fat content (Coe 234). He then developed a very efficient hydraulic press, which reduced the cacao butter content of chocolate liquor to 27-28 percent and eventually pulverized it to cacao (Coe 234). This was the fundamental invention that made cheap chocolate for the masses a possible reality. Another important year was 1847, when the Fry firm discovered how to mix a blend of cocoa powder and sugar with melted cacao butter which could be molded into chocolate bars (Coe 241). In 1867, Henri Nestle, a Swiss chemist, discovered how to make powdered milk by evaporation (Coe 247). This discovery made it possible for Daniel Peter, a Swiss chocolate manufacturer, to use Nestle’s powder in a new production of a milk chocolate bar in 1879 (Coe 247).

The changes of quality of chocolate were the next steps in the chocolate making process. 1879, Rudolph Lindt invented “conching”, which made the coarse and gritty chocolate a now smooth and creamy experience (Coe 247). Milton Hershey was another key figure in the chocolate world founding his own in Pennsylvania; with a social conscience he was able to bring chocolate to everyone (Coe 249). Hershey’s Kisses today are made in the millions making chocolate in the masses for the masses (Coe 252). Without the key figures in chocolate manufacturing, chocolate for the masses would have never became a reality. The drink of the elites in Mesoamerica was made into a treat for the masses with the brilliant minds and machinery that emerged from the Industrial Revolution, but without these key figures and inventions, chocolate may never have been available to everyone to enjoy.

Chocolate World Tour In Hershey, PA

Sources:

All photos from Flickr.

Coe, Sophie D. and Michael D. Coe. 2013[1996]. The True History of Chocolate. 3rd edition. London: Thames & Hudson.

“Hershey Chocolate World Factory Tour Full Ride – It’s the Milk Chocolate!” YouTube. YouTube, n.d. Web. 11 Mar. 2016.

Mintz, Sidney. 1986[1985]. Sweetness and Power: The Place of Sugar in Modern History. New York: Penguin Books.

 

The European Beginnings of Cacao & Chocolate

Most people are unaware where the chocolate they eat everyday comes from or where chocolate began in the first place. When asked where the finest chocolate comes from in the world, several point to Europe’s diverse sets of chocolatiers, but chocolate was not always a European cuisine. Chocolate finds its humble beginnings with the cacao tree in Central and South America. It was here where the idea of chocolate began and it was here where the Europeans discovered the irresistible delicacy they now know as chocolate, though today, Europe’s chocolate is vastly different from its original beginnings in Mesoamerica.

conquest
A painting depicting Christopher Columbus arriving in the New World with his crew.

Introduction of Cacao to Europe

Christopher Columbus was the reason Europeans first set eyes on cacao beans when he found them in Guanaja (Honduras) in 1502 (Coe 107). Little did he know that these beans were the “New World’s most esteemed beverage” because at first early conquistadors were baffled and repelled by cacao as a drink (Coe 109). Columbus also threw away the first beans he found, not knowing how valued they were to the natives. (Coe 109). The way Mesoamericans prepared and delighted in their cacao beverages would be transformed to adhere to European tastes in Europe.  Several year later, chocolate beverages became an elite drink during the Baroque Age of Europe. Chocolate beverages found there way into Baroque palaces and mansions consumed by Europe’s elite and powerful (Coe 125). Chocolate was a new and exciting cuisine that Europeans began to become very accustomed to even though they had debates on several aspects of it, such as whether it was a beverage or a food. This new treat in Europe quickly spread and became a stable for many in their meals.

 

interior-of-early-c18th-cho-528x3611
A painting of an early European chocolate house. Chocolate houses were social clubs for the elite to socialize while enjoying their chocolate beverages.

By the mid-1600s, chocolate houses had begun to sprout in Europe (Wheatherford). These places were quite more expensive than coffee houses, so they became the social clubs for the elites of Europe (Wheaterford). Chocolate drinks were being made by grinding the whole bean and then adding sugar and hot water (Wheaterford). This preparation was close to the Aztec recipe and therefore a little too rich for European tastes (Wheaterford). In 1828, the Dutch developed a press to force out the fat of cacao which produced the cacao powder that Europeans would add milk to in order to create a chocolate beverage more to their liking (Wheaterford). From here Europeans had added their own unique ingredients to cacao production and formed a beverage more accustomed to their taste buds and they had discovered the cacao butter byproduct that would lead to the production of chocolate bars.

chocolate_heart
Today’s use of cacao beans is nothing like its beginnings in Mesoamerica.

Concluding Thoughts

What began in Mesoamerica as a cold beverage for the elites, cacao beans were then brought to Europe to be adapted to European palates and transformed into their own unique recipes and own forms of the delicacy. The arguments for who in Europe started the chocolate and cacao storm are numerous and varied, but what is known for sure is that chocolate and cacao swept through Europe fast as an exciting new beverage and later solid food (Wheaterford). What began as a tree in Central America, cacao became one of the biggest delights in Europe and still maintains this reputation today.

Sources

*Pictures from Media Library in WordPress

 

 

Coe, Sophie D., and Michael D. Coe. The True History of Chocolate. New York: Thames and Hudson, 2000. Print.

Weatherford, Jack. “All about Chocolate — History.” All about Chocolate — History. N.p., n.d. Web.