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  1. My memories of 1970s chocolate bars

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    My memories of 1970s chocolate bars

    Ah Yes, now you’re talking. As a kid who became a teenager by the end of the decade, this was my time to enjoy a childhood of chocolate. And now get to write about it nearly 40 years later. So, here are my personal memories of 1970s chocolate bars.

    My personal favourite chocolate bar – perhaps influenced by the tv adverts – was Nestle’s Texan.

    ‘Sure is a mighty chew’ was the catch line for this chewy nougat and toffee bar which was briefly back on the shelves in 2005. The cartoon tv ads usually featured a US cowboy who spoke the famous line with a Clint Eastwood mock accent. Often he’d be tied to a cactus plant out in the desert surrounded by Mexican bandits. ‘What is your last request?’ the captain of the firing range would ask before giving the order to shoot. Cue, some hours later, to a sunset, with the bandits by now fast asleep and the cool cowboy still chewing his Texan bar. Cactus plant uprooted, he’d then walk equally slowly into the distance.

  2. Why are chocolate coins used at Christmas?

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    Giving Chocolate Coins for Christmas is a seasonal festive tradition. But what exactly is its origins and what form has it taken over the ages? As a child, I can remember receiving wrapped up shiny and glistening coins in my Christmas stocking. The temptation was always to bite them before unwrapping them. Big mistake!

    Unwrapping the giant coins was always harder than it seemed as well. Maybe, my eager hands were all festive fingers and thumbs. Or perhaps, I tried to heed my Mum’s instructions to look after the wrapper. I doubt Mum’s entreaties to keep the nice shiny paper, had much effort on my as I picked away furiously at the silver foil paper to get to the milk chocolate inside. Either way, the coin itself was probably a sticky mess long before I actually got round to eating it.

  3. Can dogs eat chocolate?

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    Can dogs eat chocolate

    Can dogs eat chocolate?

    Here at Cocoa & Heart we are a dog free house. In fact we don’t keep pets of any kind. But many of the students who come on our chocolate making courses have pets of their own. And many are proud dog lovers. Although the courses require a fair amount of concentration there’s always plenty of time for a bit of social chat and we enjoy getting to know people and what’s important to them.

  4. Copperhead Gin Truffles and 103 old chocolate bar

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    Copperhead Chocolate Truffles - small


    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.

  5. History of Chocolate Timeline

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    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.     

  6. What can chocolate be used for?

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    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.

  7. Chocolate Movies

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    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.

  8. Is chocolate bad for you?

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    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!