Cocoa

Chocolate is a popular drink in the Caribbean. Itís much oilier than the popular hot chocolate and everyone remembers burning their mouths as children because they couldnít wait for it to cool!

Sloane discovered cocoa while he was in Jamaica, where the locals drank it mixed with water, and he is reported to have found it nauseating. He devised a means of mixing it with milk to make it more pleasant. When he returned to England, he brought his chocolate recipe back with him. Initially, it was manufactured and sold by apothecaries as a medicine; though, by the nineteenth century, the Cadbury Brothers sold tins of Sloane's drinking chocolate.

Cocoa butter, a creamy, rich fat obtained by crushing the seeds, is widely used in cosmetics and in skin creams to treat cuts, for eczema and psoriasis. However, it can itself cause an allergic rash in some people.

Chocolate can poison animals, especially dogs and cats. It contains a substance called theobromine that is toxic to them, even in relatively small quantities.

Scientific research on chocolate suggests itís true: chocolate can be addictive, especially for women. Itís high in calories, but eating small amounts may give some protection against furring of the arteries. On the downside, it can cause migraines.