6 things you didn’t know about chocolate

6 things you didn’t know about chocolate: 

1. It’s good for you! Now I am not advocating eating entire packets of chocolate covered biscuits, or a whole tin of roses/quality streets. These are all loaded with refined sugar which really isn’t good for you. But the key ingredient, Cacao, has been used as a medicine for centuries. Good news, right? 

2. It originates in South America, where it grows as an understory layer of the rainforest. But now, most commercial chocolate you eat comes from West Africa where farmers grow new crosses and subspecies on small holdings. 

3. It was first available in the UK in the early 1600s when you could drink it in private clubs. When it first came to Europe it was brought as a currency. It was later that the Dutch worked out a way to process it and remove some of the bitterness. 

4. Which brings me to number four - it is very bitter in its natural state. Pure sugar - saccharine - is also very bitter. Strange,  I know. When I serve it in the Cacao ceremonies, I always warn people of the bitterness. When i first drank it in Ceremony, I felt like I was taking in bitter, warm mud. But I love it now... and I always add a drop of rose and geranium oils to give it an essence of sweetness. 

5. And finally, a bit of plant geek vocabulary: Cacao is ‘cauliferous’. Like a cauliflower, it’s flowers grow straight out of the trunk. The flowers are very 3 dimensional. You can see pictures (and visit them to see the real thing growing!) on the Eden Project’s website: 

http://www.edenproject.com/learn/for-everyone/plant-profiles/cacao

My next Cacao ceremony is on 14th February 2018, 11am -2pm. Celebrate Valentine’s Day with a bit of self-love and nurture. Booking and info link here:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/valentines-day-cacao-ceremony-tickets-41643120695?ref=eios&aff=eios