Well, thanks to my local Shop Rite magazine, Live Right, that bar is about to be liberated. It seems that dark chocolate has lots of benefits, including improving one's memory. From the article:
Research has shown that flavonol compounds in dark chocolate improve blood flow to the brain for 2 to 3 hours. Consume 1 ounce of chocolate or 1 teaspoon dark cocoa every day for constant improvement.
Of course, I had to employ The Google and found a Wiki entry on the benefits of dark chocolate. Here's an excerpt from that article:
* Dark chocolate (as opposed to other kinds of chocolate) is considered healthy, and recommended for daily consumption in small amounts to maintain a healthy heart and lower cholesterol.I've been to many of the wineries and tasting rooms in Sonoma and Napa counties when I lived in California. I'm not surprised that a chocolate tasting room has blossomed in that part of the country!
* Dark chocolate is also an excellent energy source, because it releases slowly into the bloodstream and does not elevate insulin levels. (Indeed, dark chocolate has a GI rating of a mere 22.) As a result, the sustained energy it provides is ideal for endurance activities and even weight-training routines.
* If you don't like dark chocolate, start with a very mild dark chocolate such as 45-55% cacao. A good example of this is Bournville, an easily available brand (in the UK) with distinctive packaging. The packaging is a dark red. Mild dark chocolate will taste similar to milk chocolate and won't be too bitter. If you are more adventurous, you can get dark chocolates that go all the way up to 100% cacao (i.e., unsweetened).
* The formation of whitish spots, or bloom, on chocolate is due to a separation of some of the fat in the chocolate, caused when it is exposed to heat, and then it is cool again. While it affects the aesthetics of the chocolate somewhat, it isn't harmful to eat or use chocolate that has bloomed. Bloom is related to heat and humidity, so store chocolate in a cool, dry place free of odors.
* Remember that most of all, you should enjoy dark chocolate, and don't be too pretentious, because you'll turn people off instead of turning them on to dark chocolate.
* Here are some excellent brands to try: Omanhene, Michel Cluizel, Boehms, Perugina, Wedel, Domori, Amedei, Valrhona, Neuhaus, Marcolini, Lindt, Felchlin, Guittard, Scharffen Berger, Santander, Malagasy, Weiss, El Rey, Theo, Bonnat, Pralus, Cote D'or, Castelain, Slitti, Dagoba, Green and Black's, Bournville, Ghirardelli, Chocolate Traveler and Xocai.
* Indeed, dark chocolate has as many, likely more, layers and nuances of taste, than wine. During a recent visit to wine country in Sonoma, California, I found a venue that pays such homage: Wine Country Chocolates (photo above). The establishment sports a small chocolate "tasting bar" in the spirit of wine tasting, and the flavors were marvelous!