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  1. Copperhead Chocolate Truffles - small

    - THE CHOCOLATE EDIT -

    I’m writing this first ever Cocoa & Heart Chocolate Edit blog after having been last one out of the pub last night. Not only that but the landlord was actually holding open the door waiting for me to leave. Before anyone gets the wrong impression, I can explain. Yes, every man can. It wasn’t a pub. It’s actually a micropub called The Kentish Belle  and although I was the last one out, I was also one of the last ones in, having only got there at 10.00pm.

  2. Cocoa Beans - chocolate timeline

    Here at Cocoa and Heart, we’re fascinated by all things chocolate. And chocolate itself and how it was first cultivated in Central America as a bitter drink and then brought over to Europe and gradually developed into a chocolate bar for eating, has a fascinating history all of its own. Here are some of the key dates in the History of Chocolate Timeline.

    1,500 BC: The people of Central America begin to drink chocolate. The cacao tree may have been cultivated earlier than people first thought. Linguistic links to the words cacao and chocolate can be traced back to the Olmec peoples which pre-dates Maya and Atzec civilisation by several hundred years.

    900 AD: Maya Civilisation: Pottery cups found in the tombs of Maya nobility contain symbols for cacoa and images for its preparation.     

  3. What is chocolate good for you?

    What can chocolate be used for?

    Most of us are quite content just to eat chocolate and savour its gorgeous taste – that’s if we pause long enough to enjoy its rich flavours along the way. And why not? Melting as it does at near body temperature, chocolate has long been a much sought- after treat to be savoured and made to last – or else gulped down in a few eager bites.

    However, have you ever stopped to wonder what chocolate can be used for?

    Not only does it taste good but the uses that chocolate has been put to over the years is a testament to not just human ingenuity but the sheer flexibility of the product of the cacao plant, itself.

  4. Chocolat film

    What’s your favourite chocolate treat when you go to the cinema or settle down at home to watch a film? With me, it’s a Bounty because after I’ve licked away the chocolate, I can silently slowly chew the coconut to enjoy the flavour and try to make the bar last as long as possible. A Crunchie bar, on the other hand, is just too, well crunchy, and every bite can be heard three rows back.

    Buying my favourite chocolates and candy to enjoy a film or tv programme got me thinking about my favourite movies. For many of us, the cinema experience just isn’t complete without diving down into a bag of Revels or Minstrels whilst staring up at the big screen at the same time.

  5. licorice-2543337_1920

    Who loves a bit of Liquorice? As a kid, did you chew on a stick and then rush to the mirror with your mates, to see your tongue and gums turn a sticky shade of black?

    Liquorice, in all its sorts, is a staple of many a candy goody bag and no pick n mix collection would be complete without a gooey stick of black – or Spanish as it’s traditionally referred to either side of the Pennines.

    So what is liquorice, where does it come from, and what is it used for - besides vying for our attention at supermarket checkout tills and cinema ticket queues.

  6. food-2597169_1920

    How could I possibly ask whether chocolate bad for me, when I'm sure you've already heard this: Chocolate is the new wonder food!

    Chocolate is full of minerals such as magnesium, iron and zinc. Chocolate helps release endorphins which are mood enhancers, making us feel good about ourselves. Eating chocolate can combat heart disease. Chocolate contains flavonoids and antioxidants which help to open up the blood vessels to the heart.

    The list seems endless. A multitude of research reports the hidden benefits of chocolate.  Scientific studies point to its many health qualities. Suddenly, there doesn’t seem to be anything that chocolate can’t do.  Goddamit – as the Americans might say – it even tastes good to most of us!

  7. peppermint-2816012_1920

    I love growing my own herbs, so when I saw a chocolate mint in my local garden centre, I though I would give it a go! It was very easy to plant and look after - it practically doesn't need any help.

    Chocolate Mint is a medium growing mint reaching up to 60cm tall, but it can spread quite a bit. The large ovate leaves are a bronze – dark green, with deep reddish-purple stems. 

    It is called chocolate mint, but the aroma and flavour are not always recognisable. I can detect the mint with a hint of chocolate, but my husband can only taste the mint. Not sure whether my palet is more sensitive or whether after years of working with chocolate I can taste chocolate in everything.