Braşov, a city in central Romania, takes up a special place in the hearts of many, including mine. Even though I've seen its sights tens of times, they still reel me in and make me see the magic of the city. In the past couple of years, I've established a ritual after taking a stroll in the midst of legends in Braşov or visiting the Black and White Towers, to go to the Luado Chocolate shop. There, I made a big discovery the day I found Romania's best chocolate.
Easter is soon upon us, and all over the world, people are celebrating the resurrection of Christ. The art of Easter Egg decorating is highly spread in many of the country's regions, due to the fact that Romanians place great importance on this international holiday. Chocolate is also a big part of Easter in Romania, being the ideal gift for children and adults alike. But how did chocolate make its way to Europe in the first place?
Initially, chocolate wasn't consumed in its solid form but as a bitter drink by the first populations of Central America. They believed that the cacao beans were a gift from God, the Maya people even worshiping a cacao bean spirit. This bitter concoction was only ingested by noble men or during rituals. The first lucky European to try the chocolate drink was a famous explorer, Christopher Columbus, in 1502. He was followed by a Spanish conqueror Hernan Cortesa. Slowly but surely, chocolate made its way into Spain, where different ingredients, such as honey or sugar, were added to sweeten the drink. The cocoa beans were soon on demand in entire Europe, becoming one of the continent's favored sweets.
What if this dessert didn't only become so adored as a result of a delicious taste but also because it makes us happy? Recent studies have shown that there are ingredients in chocolate that affect our brain and thus how we feel. Therefore, eating chocolate can actually make us feel happy.
The culprits in making us feel this way are Theobromine, Phenylethylalanine, and Tryptophane. All of these substances, found in chocolate, create feelings of happiness. Tryptophane makes serotonin in the brain, while Phenylethylalanine acts as an anti-depressant and produces feelings of attraction and excitement. Lastly, Theobromine in big quantities is a substance that can produce a „high” sensation, which can lead us to feel happy after eating chocolate. And all this knowledge I gathered because, as you already can assume, I am a chocolate lover.
A delicious taste of chocolate, coupled with the power to make us happy, should be enough to make us go to the store right now to get some. And knowing that a type of chocolate is also very healthy should seal the deal. The healthiest chocolate is the one with the highest concentration of cocoa. Dark chocolate is a known antioxidant and neuroprotective, improving health and lowering heart disease risk. So, next time you're eating dark chocolate, remember its benefits and enjoy it wholeheartedly.
I can't think of a better place to enjoy not only dark chocolate but chocolate of all tastes and forms than at Luado. Located in Braşov's city center, Luado is a chocolate shop opened in 2012. What makes it so special? The shop sells handmade artisanal chocolate and ice cream, using only top-quality ingredients. To manufacture pralines, chocolate tablets or figurines, Luado uses only Belgian chocolate. One can feel the quality of the ingredients right after the first bite. All of Luado's chocolate makers are specialized in Belgium and combine flavors you'd least expect. Raspberry with saffron, lavender with milk chocolate, cream infused with mint, ginger with rum, coffee with Bailey's liquor, all of these are at the customer's fingertips.
Being an avid chocolate admirer, I tasted chocolate in many parts of Romania. Nothing compared to the finesse and richness in flavor that I found in Luado's chocolate. Each year, Luado makes a special Easter chocolate egg collection, which is almost too beautiful to eat. Having sold over 21 tonnes of chocolate and 18 tonnes of ice cream up until the year 2018, the shop's success seems to only grow year after year.
If you ever find yourself in the Hollywood of Eastern Europe, Brașov, don't let the opportunity of tasting Romania's best chocolate at Luado pass you by. Please your taste palate and spoil yourself with chocolate that won't only make you happy but will place Romania in your top picks when it comes to getting chocolate that you'll forever love.
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