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Posts Tagged ‘chocolate’

Tastes of the Region: Fine Chocolate by Ludwig

Saturday, April 23, 2016 @ 08:04 AM
posted by admin

***needs an author**

If you’re a chocolate lover like I am, let me introduce you to some of the finest chocolate I have ever tasted: Fine Chocolate by Ludwig (http://finechocolate.ca), and its created right here in Lanark County.

I’ve never been a fan of dark chocolate. I’ve always found it too bitter, too strong, and sometimes with a grainy texture.  In short, nothing I would ever reach for as a treat.

That changed a couple of years ago, thanks to a client who left me a Christmas gift of a chocolate bar made by Ludwig Ratzinger.  I had never heard of it before, and again, not being a fan of dark chocolate, brought it home and it left it to sit on the counter for a few weeks.  In a moment of desperation, with no other chocolate around, I decided I would break open the gift from my client.   

Well, you could have knocked me over with a feather.  This was the most flavourful, yet delicate and smooth dark chocolate I had ever tasted. I was hooked.   

I had the opportunity to meet Ludwig earlier this year and get a tour of his chocolate making studio, located in Maberly, Ont., just west of Perth. As a professionally trained pastry chef and former employee of both the Chateau Laurier and the Governor General, Ludwig’s talent and experience shines through in his finished product.

Walking into the studio, the scent of chocolate was nothing short of extraordinary.  Ludwig walked me through his chocolate-making process, including everything from the packaging he designed, to how he selects his cacao beans, the custom molds he uses and the process he follows for turning cacao beans into the delectable bars of goodness found at various specialty shops around Eastern Ontario.  

Ludwig produces a wide selection of chocolate, including large bars ranging from 38% cacao to 80% cacao as well as milk chocolate, white chocolate and smaller flavoured chocolate bars.  A definite favourite of mine is the lime chocolate bar; a subtle hint of lime does nothing but enhance the chocolate. His packaging allows for customization for weddings and other special events.  

For more information about Ludwig, the chocolate he creates and locations where you can purchase it, check out Ludwig’s website at www.finechocolate.ca

 

Is chocolate a health food?

Sunday, February 1, 2015 @ 11:02 AM
posted by admin

By Vickie Dickson

Chocolate is a Health Food.

Do I have your attention?

While researching for this article, I came across this set of instructions for eating chocolate:

When tasting chocolate, let it sit in your mouth to release the primary flavours and aromas. Then, chew it a few times to release the secondary aromas. Let it rest against the roof of your mouth to get the full flavour.

Can you taste it? I can! Time to hit the local Health Food Store for some dark, rich, “therapeutic” chocolate.

To be clear, the chocolate that I’m speaking of is dark- the darker, the better. While it may not have the smooth, creamy texture that makes milk chocolate so popular, it lacks the high sugar content. Also, unlike milk chocolate, dark chocolate has not been stripped of its beneficial nutrients. It is an acquired taste, but within a short period of time, your palette will adapt and be completely satisfied with a small serving of dark chocolate. I promise.

There are many health benefits that come from eating dark chocolate, some of which are listed below.

  • It is rich in antioxidants and natural compounds that are good for cardiovascular health. The darker the chocolate, the higher the antioxidants (milk chocolate has few, if any, antioxidants).
  • Bacteria in the gut will break down and ferment components in the dark chocolate, turning them into absorbable, anti-inflammatory compounds.
  • Like aspirin, dark chocolate has a biochemical effect that reduces the excessive accumulation of platelets, which can cause harmful blood clots.
  • The flavonoids in dark chocolate may help the brain after a stroke by increasing cellular signals that shield nerve cells from damage
  • Raw, dark chocolate prevents oxidative damage to blood vessel linings, which effectively relaxes blood vessels and lowers blood pressure.
  • The fat (cocoa butter) found in raw, dark chocolate is a healthy fat and as such, helps to slow the absorption of sugar into the blood stream.

Clearly, we are not talking about your mass produced candy bars here. Please leave the Kit-Kats, the Mars Bars and the Oh Henry’s on the shelf.   The chocolate that boasts the most health benefits is the kind that is closest to the natural, raw state of the cocoa bean. The closer to the raw state, the higher the health benefits (like most foods)!

When purchasing raw, dark chocolate, you will find it on the shelf of your local Health Food Store. To receive the greatest health benefits, look for chocolate that is:

  • fair trade
  • organic
  • non GMO
  • high cocoa content
  • low sugar content
  • not artificially sweetened

As with all things, moderation is key.  Two squares of raw, dark chocolate is a serving, not the whole bar!

Happy Valentines Day!

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Posts Tagged ‘chocolate’

Tastes of the Region: Fine Chocolate by Ludwig

Saturday, April 23, 2016 @ 08:04 AM
posted by admin

***needs an author**

If you’re a chocolate lover like I am, let me introduce you to some of the finest chocolate I have ever tasted: Fine Chocolate by Ludwig (http://finechocolate.ca), and its created right here in Lanark County.

I’ve never been a fan of dark chocolate. I’ve always found it too bitter, too strong, and sometimes with a grainy texture.  In short, nothing I would ever reach for as a treat.

That changed a couple of years ago, thanks to a client who left me a Christmas gift of a chocolate bar made by Ludwig Ratzinger.  I had never heard of it before, and again, not being a fan of dark chocolate, brought it home and it left it to sit on the counter for a few weeks.  In a moment of desperation, with no other chocolate around, I decided I would break open the gift from my client.   

Well, you could have knocked me over with a feather.  This was the most flavourful, yet delicate and smooth dark chocolate I had ever tasted. I was hooked.   

I had the opportunity to meet Ludwig earlier this year and get a tour of his chocolate making studio, located in Maberly, Ont., just west of Perth. As a professionally trained pastry chef and former employee of both the Chateau Laurier and the Governor General, Ludwig’s talent and experience shines through in his finished product.

Walking into the studio, the scent of chocolate was nothing short of extraordinary.  Ludwig walked me through his chocolate-making process, including everything from the packaging he designed, to how he selects his cacao beans, the custom molds he uses and the process he follows for turning cacao beans into the delectable bars of goodness found at various specialty shops around Eastern Ontario.  

Ludwig produces a wide selection of chocolate, including large bars ranging from 38% cacao to 80% cacao as well as milk chocolate, white chocolate and smaller flavoured chocolate bars.  A definite favourite of mine is the lime chocolate bar; a subtle hint of lime does nothing but enhance the chocolate. His packaging allows for customization for weddings and other special events.  

For more information about Ludwig, the chocolate he creates and locations where you can purchase it, check out Ludwig’s website at www.finechocolate.ca

 

Is chocolate a health food?

Sunday, February 1, 2015 @ 11:02 AM
posted by admin

By Vickie Dickson

Chocolate is a Health Food.

Do I have your attention?

While researching for this article, I came across this set of instructions for eating chocolate:

When tasting chocolate, let it sit in your mouth to release the primary flavours and aromas. Then, chew it a few times to release the secondary aromas. Let it rest against the roof of your mouth to get the full flavour.

Can you taste it? I can! Time to hit the local Health Food Store for some dark, rich, “therapeutic” chocolate.

To be clear, the chocolate that I’m speaking of is dark- the darker, the better. While it may not have the smooth, creamy texture that makes milk chocolate so popular, it lacks the high sugar content. Also, unlike milk chocolate, dark chocolate has not been stripped of its beneficial nutrients. It is an acquired taste, but within a short period of time, your palette will adapt and be completely satisfied with a small serving of dark chocolate. I promise.

There are many health benefits that come from eating dark chocolate, some of which are listed below.

  • It is rich in antioxidants and natural compounds that are good for cardiovascular health. The darker the chocolate, the higher the antioxidants (milk chocolate has few, if any, antioxidants).
  • Bacteria in the gut will break down and ferment components in the dark chocolate, turning them into absorbable, anti-inflammatory compounds.
  • Like aspirin, dark chocolate has a biochemical effect that reduces the excessive accumulation of platelets, which can cause harmful blood clots.
  • The flavonoids in dark chocolate may help the brain after a stroke by increasing cellular signals that shield nerve cells from damage
  • Raw, dark chocolate prevents oxidative damage to blood vessel linings, which effectively relaxes blood vessels and lowers blood pressure.
  • The fat (cocoa butter) found in raw, dark chocolate is a healthy fat and as such, helps to slow the absorption of sugar into the blood stream.

Clearly, we are not talking about your mass produced candy bars here. Please leave the Kit-Kats, the Mars Bars and the Oh Henry’s on the shelf.   The chocolate that boasts the most health benefits is the kind that is closest to the natural, raw state of the cocoa bean. The closer to the raw state, the higher the health benefits (like most foods)!

When purchasing raw, dark chocolate, you will find it on the shelf of your local Health Food Store. To receive the greatest health benefits, look for chocolate that is:

  • fair trade
  • organic
  • non GMO
  • high cocoa content
  • low sugar content
  • not artificially sweetened

As with all things, moderation is key.  Two squares of raw, dark chocolate is a serving, not the whole bar!

Happy Valentines Day!

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