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New ways to treat yourself on World Chocolate Day

By Anthony Myers contact

- Last updated on GMT

From Fairtrade chocolate to vegan and luxury drinks and exotic recipes  - there are lots of ways to 'celebrate' World Chocolate Day. Pic: Denby
From Fairtrade chocolate to vegan and luxury drinks and exotic recipes - there are lots of ways to 'celebrate' World Chocolate Day. Pic: Denby

Related tags: Chocolate

While we usually think of chocolate as a sweet treat, many cultures and cuisines use chocolate to boost the flavour profiles of their main dishes.

Latest research released for World Chocolate Day (July 7) has revealed that the average British person will eat up to 7,560 chocolate bars in their lifetime.

According to the British Heart Foundation (BHF), that's not including the 8,316 chocolate biscuits and 2,269 slices of chocolate cake also consumed by the nation’s chocoholics.

The BHF study also found the average UK adult will enjoy 6,048 Bounty, Snickers, Milky Ways and KitKats over their lifetime. And around 9,072 Double Deckers, Mars Bars, Twix, KitKat Chunkys, Yorkies and Boost bars will also be consumed alongside 6,804 Cadbury’s Dairy Milk, Twirls, Kinder Buenos and Lion Bars.  

Jo Pullin, a campaign manager at BHF, said: “We know that chocolate isn’t an essential part of a healthy diet but is a much-loved indulgence in the UK. Whether it’s in cakes, biscuits, a tasty dessert or a chocolate bar, there are so many options available it’s easy to lose track of how much chocolate we’re consuming.”

Fairtrade chocolate

'Bitter Sweet,' Fairtrade's World Chocolate Day cocoa campaign, shows data that reveals chocolate remains one of the most iconic Fairtrade products – scoring highest recognition in Ireland and the Netherlands, while six in 10 Gen-Z (18-24 year olds) globally prefer Fairtrade chocolate above other labels.

Younger consumers, especially those between 18 and 24, want to know more about what companies are doing to be socially and environmentally responsible, and less than half agree companies communicate honestly, implying a steep upward trend for a desire for more transparency, according to Fairtrade's GlobeScan’s general public opinion tracking.

Jon Walker, Fairtrade’s Senior Global Cocoa Advisor, said: “People are paying more attention than ever before to the conditions behind the products they buy as a way to make a difference in the world. They don’t want their chocolate to leave a bitter taste. Choosing Fairtrade chocolate unwraps a fairer future for farmers and is a clear way to use their buying power to do good. The pandemic has sparked an increased global consciousness, changing the way we eat, and shop.​”

Chocolate recipes

Adding just a small amount of chocolate to any meal can help transform any weekday dinner into a taste sensation, said Hayley Baddiley, Global Marketing Director at Denby​ kitchenware ceramics.

We're a nation of chocolate lovers. But, while many of us enjoy this delicious confectionary as a dessert, we don't consider how much more potential this little ingredient has.

"The smooth yet bitter taste of dark chocolate can add can extra dimension of flavour to any dish, particularly those that include meat, and it can help cut the acidity of your favourite tomato-based sauces,"​ she said.

The company has come up with unusual recipes inspired by World Chocolate Day, which include:

1. Mix it into your chilli con carne

This is a common practice in Mexico, as the bitterness of the chocolate helps cut the acidity of the tomatoes and the heat of the chilli. The result is a more rounded, well-balanced flavour.

2. Use it as a marinade for meat

While it's not one of the most common combos (you'll more frequently see chocolate and venison together), chocolate and beef pair surprisingly well. So, the next time you prepare a steak, why not try something new and marinade it in a touch of dark chocolate?

3. Dip your bacon in it

It might come as a surprise, but chocolate and bacon are a match made in heaven. The smoky saltiness of the bacon brings out the sweet creaminess of the chocolate for a delicious, albeit a little unusual, dessert. Better yet, it only takes two ingredients to make it!

4. Add it to your Bolognese

Ever wondered why chefs sometimes add cream or butter to their Bolognese sauce? The creaminess of the dairy cuts through the acidity of the tomatoes and adds a delicious velvety texture to the sauce. Dark chocolate does the same thing, and the bitterness can add an extra depth of flavour to your dish. So, next time you prepare a pan of spaghetti Bolognese, add in a teaspoon of grated dark chocolate.

5. Turn it into pasta

Did you know you could make your own dessert version? Chocolate pasta might seem unusual and can take a little bit of prep, but the result is sure to wow your guests at your next dinner party. Chocolate pasta works best if you leave it to dry slightly before cooking, so lay each strand of spaghetti on a baking tray for half an hour before adding to boiling water.

Once it's cooked, add any sweet topping you like. Melted chocolate and berries work well, but you could also add a touch of creamy mascarpone.

Plant-based chocolate

Will Owen from marketing research company Uswitch​, said a ‘Flexitarian’ diet is becoming a lot more popular among Brits, “as we all make small changes to help towards climate change, and supermarkets have catered to this need by expanding their vegan ranges to include everything from desserts to starters.

That’s why, as part of World Chocolate Day, our vegan supermarket index will be particularly helpful for those that are considering the switch to a plant-based diet, and want to know  where you can get the biggest choice and range of sweet treats to suit your needs.”

Uswitch supermarket vegan choc grab
Source: Uswitch

Hot Chocolate

If you prefer your chocolate in liquid form, Hotel Chocolat’s Everything Hot Chocolate Single Serves (£14) paired with its Velvetiser (£99.95) has you covered. With this selection, aficionados get to experience several hot chocolate varieties, starting with the company’s iconic Classic 70% Dark, or Salted Caramel or Mint. All drinks created for the Velvetiser use only pure grated chocolate or cacao butter, with a deep, not-too-sweet flavour profile. The texture of your finished drink is paramount: not too thick, not too watery, but a luxuriously silky-smooth level of “just right​,” said Hotel Chocolat.

Related topics: Chocolate, Retail & Shopper Insights

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