Feb 132008
Authors: Maggie Canty

I love Valentines Day.

That may sound shocking, coming from someone who has almost always been single on this much-feared holiday.

But it’s not because of the starry-eyed romance that this day is one of my favorites.

It’s because of the chocolate. Produced from seeds of cacao trees grown in Central and South America and Africa, chocolate has made its way to the U.S. and become a Valentines Day tradition for many, and a staple food group for some.

Like a miracle drug, it can cure heartbreak, spark love and make a week of constant cramping seem bearable.

However, phrases like “sinful,” “devil’s food cake” and “death by chocolate” have labeled this heavenly dessert as a guilty pleasure, to be avoided at all costs.

But I bear tidings of good news for fellow chocolate lovers.

Chocolate is healthy.

Kathy Speer, owner of the Chocolate Café in downtown Fort Collins, said chocolate can be good for your heart, aide in lowering cholesterol and help control blood pressure.

Not to mention the good it does for the well-being.

According to Facts-about-chocolate.com, chocolate is choc full of antioxidants, which mask signs of aging by ridding the body of free radicals.

It’s like a vitamin that tastes good. Real good.

But don’t spring for the biggie size frosty just yet.

Chocolate is best for the body in its purest form, right out of the bean.

The sugar and fat we tend to add to it, however, can make it into a less-than- healthy choice.

However, this can be avoided by purchasing chocolate with a higher cocoa content. In layman’s terms, this means more chocolate, less crap.

Dark chocolate is especially high in cocoa content, beating out even blueberries in antioxidant levels.

Some doctor’s even recommend a small amount as part of a healthy diet.

So when it comes to Valentine’s Day traditions, my advice is don’t fix it if it’s not broken. Stick to chocolate.

You can even experiment with all different kinds at Speer’s café.

She suggests the chocolate Kahlua mousse, chocolate martini or the chocolate eruption cheesecake.

I erupted a little myself just thinking about it.

And trust me, it tastes just as good when you buy it for yourself.

Even if it is in a heart shaped box.

Entertainment Editor Maggie Canty can be reached at verve@collegian.com.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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