While chocolate has long held a big piece of my heart, there's proof that I’m not the only one.  The flavor of chocolate continues to keep an entire world mesmerized.  In fact, we even find researchers trying to scientifically justify our love of the cocoa delight, touting its health benefits.  There is even a current study on purported health properties of the flavonoids and their effect on preventing heart attacks and strokes.  Only caveat, and it’s a big one—it’s concentrated in a pill form.  Personally, I’d just rather treat myself to a gazillion chocolate bars and call it science. 😊

Some of the most delightful chocolate made is, coincidentally, located near my home base of San Francisco.  The Ghirardelli Chocolate Company’s vision is to “change the way the U.S. consumer experiences chocolate”.  Interestingly, they didn’t always start out as a chocolatier.

During the California Gold rush in the mid-1800s, Domingo Ghirardelli shrewdly discovered that the exhausted miners in from the fields were starved for luxuries and needed something to spend their gold dust on.

To capitalize on this opportunity, he stocked chocolate delicacies to ensure that they solicited his shop.

Since their early inception, Ghirardelli has become a specialist in chocolate, and is one of the few companies in America that controls the entire chocolate manufacturing process. 

What’s exciting to this chocolate lover is the new Ghirardelli Chocolate Discovery Center.Ghirardelli developed an initiative with the prestigious Culinary Institute of America and created a symbiotic partnership.  "This partnership offers a unique opportunity to show future chefs first-hand the impact that our high quality chocolate can have on their menu. In turn, we look forward to having these chefs' creativity and passion inform and influence our new recipes and product innovations."  (CIA) As a chocolate addict and food photographer, this makes my heart (and tastebuds) sing and brain tingle with the potential.


If just these two examples are any indication, chocolate is only getting more and more popular over the millenia.  All I can say is “thank you” to those early Mokaya people for inventing the chocolate drink that morphed into the plethora of products we have today!