Dark, white, milk, and light. Whatever type it is, chocolate is almost universally loved. But the guilt of indulging can sometimes diminish the sweetness of the experience. So we asked Eagranie Yuh, one of Canada’s top chocolate experts, for some good reasons to eat chocolate. And she would know…
As a grand jury member of the International Chocolate Awards and the author of The Chocolate Tasting Kit, Eagranie has travelled the world tasting chocolate and writing about this cocoa-licious delight for The Washington Post, Eater and more.
Just in time for Valentine’s Day, Eagranie explains why consuming chocolate is actually a good thing. Happy indulging!
Eating chocolate trains your palate
Fun fact: chocolate is one of the most complex foods on the planet. In fact, scientists believe it is even more complex than coffee or wine. So grab some high-quality chocolate (the kind made without fillers or preservatives) and indulge in a little taste-testing to train your taste buds. Let the piece of chocolate melt on your tongue. What do you taste? Fruity, nutty or earthy notes? Anyone can taste chocolate – it just takes a bit of practice.
Chocolate Improves Your Cooking and Baking
The saying goes: don’t cook with wine you wouldn’t drink. Similarly, don’t bake or cook with chocolate you wouldn’t eat. Taste chocolate and think about how it might best be used. As a base ingredient for brownies? As a really intense sipping chocolate? As a secret ingredient in chili? Surprisingly, chocolate is an excellent addition to savoury dishes.
Local, award-winning chocolatiers deserve your support
Vancouver is a hotbed of chocolate talent. Our city’s chocolatiers can hold their own against the best in the world. In fact, local favourites Beta5, Chez Christophe and Temper Chocolate and Pastry were all winners in the Canadian International Chocolate Awards, with Beta5 and Chez Christophe taking gold in the World Final, as well. You wouldn’t believe how much hard work goes into winning. So, eating chocolate is a wonderful opportunity to support these local, hard-working chocolate-makers.
Chocolate Provides Energy
Contrary to popular belief, chocolate doesn’t contain much caffeine. But its ingredients do list a similar compound called theobromine, a mild stimulant. You’ll also find epicatechin, a strong antioxidant, in chocolate, which helps dilate blood vessels and create a feeling of relaxation. To get through an afternoon energy slump, a square (or two) of chocolate may just be the boost you need.
Chocolate Makes Us Happy
Truthfully, you don’t need an excuse to eat chocolate. Sure, it can offer health benefits, but turning chocolate into a health food defeats its purpose. Chocolate tastes great, and eating it makes you feel good. There’s nothing wrong with indulging in a small piece of really good chocolate every once in a while. The pleasure of the experience is arguably healthier than any scientific claim out there.
So go ahead, eat chocolate. Because the truth is, you don’t need an excuse.
Here’s more info about our local International Chocolate Awards winners…
Gold: Carrot Cake, Fisherman’s Friend, Rosemary Caramel, Yuzu Curd
Silver: Rhubarb Crumble, Tropical Crunch
Bronze: Sparkling Praline
Chez Christophe Chocolaterie Patisserie
Gold: Bonbons Ananas Avocat
Temper Chocolate and Pastry
Gold: Caramel Salty Ball