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July 7, 2012

Today is National Chocolate Day!

July 7th is National Chocolate Day, a good reason to enjoy chocolate!

Chocolate — it’s one of the most popular sweets of all time.  But why do we love it so much?  Maybe it’s because it tastes so good.  Maybe it’s because it makes you feel happy.  Maybe it’s because there are so many different types.  Oh, who really cares why — we just love it!  July 7 is National Chocolate Day, and we’re celebrating a few things we love about chocolate!
Perfect Consistency Chocolate contains fat–that’s no surprise. The cocoa butter in chocolate gives it a rich, creamy consistency that also transmits the cocoa’s flavor perfectly. It also has a melting point that’s just a bit lower than the average human body temperature, which gives you that melt-in-your-mouth feeling every time you pop a piece of chocolate in your mouth.
Feel Good Food The cocoa beans from which chocolate is made are not, themselves, sweet. The Mayans and Aztecs in Central America and Mexico consumed chocolate as a bitter, frothy drink mixed with chilies. Among the more than 300 chemicals contained in chocolate are a number of ingredients that help explain why we crave it.
Chocolate triggers the release of endorphins and serotonin, which make us feel good. And while no proof exists that chocolate is an aphrodisiac, it does contain the chemical phenylethylamine, a mild mood elevator that our brain produces when we feel happy or in love.

Chocolate contains the chemical  Theobromine which is what makes it toxic for dogs.  Caffeine is also present in chocolate and a toxic component, but in much smaller amounts than Theobromine.  Well, chocolate lovers, fear no more!  We now can with the delicious goodness that is carob.  Carob is a dog-friendly substitute to chocolate with the same great sweet richness that makes chocolate a delight to eat. Made from the pods of a Carob Tree, it is 100% natural and 100% healthy for dogs.
And it’s healthy too!  Carob contains as much vitamin B1 as asparagus or strawberries, the same amount of niacin as lima beans, lentils or peas, and more vitamin A than eggplant, asparagus and beets. It’s also high in vitamin B2, calcium, magnesium and iron.

On July 7th, when treating yourself to some tasty chocolate don’t forget about your canine companion, throw a little Carob his way – you can indulge together.  Three Dog Bakery offers a grrreat selection of carob treats, such as our Pooch SmoochesUlti”Mutt” Spots, and the carob dipped Dino BoneStock up today!  Your dog will thank you.
Chocolate 101:
  • Cacao trees grow around the world in tropical areas.  They grow pods, which contain about 20 to 40 cacao beans.
  • The beans are removed from the pods, and then fermented in piles for about one week.  This process allows for the beans to dry out and develop their color and flavor.
  • The beans are then taken to the factory and roasted.  Next, they are “hulled” by removing the outside shell from the inside of the bean called the “nib.”
  • The nibs are then ground into a chocolate liquor.  Then, the liquor (it’s not alcoholic) is pressed to remove the fat, called “cocoa butter,” and the residual powder is what is mixed in to create different kinds of chocolate.
  • Depending on the kind of chocolate (milk, bittersweet, semisweet, etc.) cocoa butter, milk and sugar are added to the chocolate powder.
  • White chocolate does not contain the chocolate powder that regular chocolate contains.  It just contains cocoa butter, milk and sugar.

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