She notes in her book that The Mayans and Aztecs used chocolate in many forms of their cooking...not just for a treat or dessert as we do today for the most part. I did some further sleuthing and discovered that it has been in use since around 1900 BC.
The Quaker John Cadbury was the first to discover a way to emulsify this delectable food so he could make candy bars from it. While the cocoa bean is still widely grown in Mexico and Guatamala, today 2/3 of all cocoa beans now originate in Africa.
Ms. Doutre-Roussel (we'll call her Chloe for short now) says there has always been a love-hate relationship for chocolate lovers...which must be 99% of us anyway, conservatively speaking of course. People love the stuff but since it's always been thought to make you gain weight, get zits, have migranes, it has a "bad boy" rep as well.
What it is is loaded with antioxidants that fight bad cholesterol (LdL) and help promote good cholesterol (HDL). Chloe adds that a 3,5 oz. dark chocolate bar has twice as many antioxicants as a glass of wine and four times as many as a cup of tea. She notes some of those antioxidants are even good for protecting brain tissue.
Yes, you say, but ask: "Is it an aphrodesiac?" Chloe asserts chocolate "...contains the same mood-lifting chemicals that rush in when we are experiencing feeling of love or lust." Well, there you have it. She notes that this association with love has been around ever since the conquistadors learned Moctesuma ate prodigious amounts of it "allegedly to enhance his sexual powers."
Once word got around Europe with that revelation, chocolate became a favorite not just of royalty but, as you no doubt guessed, also the masses. Today you can buy a 50-cent or $10.00 piece of chocolate and dark chocolate especially is growing in popularity for health (and for love).