Chocolate, millenary healthy temptation

Chocolate is one of Italy’s gastronomic obsessions, and the nation’s confectioners are renowned for their artistry all over the world. Eataly are bringing the finest Italian chocolate creations to Arabian customers, allowing everyone to share in this incredible heritage.

A short history of chocolate

Chocolate originated in Latin America. Well before Columbus arrived, people in what is now Mexico were fermenting cacao beans and preparing drinks. But those bitter concoctions have little to do with modern chocolate. Starting in the 1800s, manufacturers found ways to take much of the bitterness out of chocolate and to remove “cacao butter” – creating consistent, richly-flavoured mixtures. By the 1840s, inventors had found ways to turn liquid chocolate into bars, while milk was added for the first time in the 1870s. In the process, chocolate became a sweet, easily melted, seductive product. And it found a huge market among Italy’s sugar-loving population.

Where does Italy’s chocolate industry come from?

Chocolate first arrived in Italy soon after it was introduced into Europe by the Spanish in the 16th century. At first, chocolate was almost exclusively taken in the form of a drink, usually heated up and often served as a form of stimulant. Things changed when Piedmontese entrepreneurs began discovering ways to solidify liquid chocolate in the 1800s. Thanks to their efforts, a thriving industry developed in the city of Turin (which is still one of the world’s chocolate centres). In the city’s inventive atmosphere, small chocolatiers created some of Italy’s confectionery masterpieces, with legends like Baratti and Peyrano crafting delights like gianduiotti (a hazelnut and chocolate mix). These creations are still the basis for the chocolates Italians adore, and have been spread across the world by corporations like Ferrero, whose Nutella brand is a global phenomenon.

Chocolate at Eataly

The health benefits of Italy’s chocolate obsession

These days, Italians know that chocolate isn’t just delicious, it’s healthy as well. Again and again, scientists have found that it’s actually a very nutritious food. Dark chocolate is very high in antioxidants which latch onto “free radicals” in our bloodstream, preventing illness and combating ageing, while the flavonoids in chocolate guard against cancer. Other studies have found that chocolate promotes better heart health, reduced harmful cholesterol, limits blood pressure and even promotes better brain functioning. So the Italian passion for chocolate is a smart move.

Join Eataly for our month-long chocolate celebration

At Eataly, we appreciate both the delicious taste and the health benefits of chocolate, which is why we’re making it our monthly theme. Throughout the month, customers will be able to attend our locations and taste all kinds of chocolate delights.
With Chinese New Year and Valentine’s Day on the horizon, now is also a great time to purchase chocolate-based gifts. That’s why we’ve partnered with elite Italian brands like Domori, Venchi, Scyavuru and G.Cova & C. With their help, we’ll be offering exceptional products which include regional ingredients of the highest quality, such as PGI hazelnuts from Langhe, in Piedmont.

Whether you need a Valentine’s Day box of chocolates to impress someone special or you just can’t resist a tasting session, be sure to visit Eataly’s Arabian locations this month. We can’t wait to show off Italy’s magical chocolate-making traditions.