Share A Gourmet Food Basket With Your Lover

Written by Marguerite Bonneville

A gourmet food basket is an excellent gift forrepparttar man or woman who 'has everything'. Most gourmet foods available inrepparttar 113157 delicatessens and supermarket 'delis' of western countries are derived from European and Middle Eastern cuisines. Each culture has its own range of gourmet or highly prized foodstuffs, and as a result of large-scale migration, it's now possible for most people to haverepparttar 113158 opportunity of trying delicacies from aroundrepparttar 113159 globe. But in this article, we'll focus primarily on European foods.

Gourmet gift baskets usually contain savory (or salty) foods, although you can also buy gift baskets containing your favorite sweets. Often these are primarily what we call 'junk food'. Savory gourmet foods are a fabulous way to totally indulgerepparttar 113160 senses, primarilyrepparttar 113161 senses of taste, texture and smell. They include foods like

Cheese There are all kinds of wonderful cheeses available on your supermarket shelves. Some ofrepparttar 113162 most popular are - Emmentaler (from Switzerland) - Jarlsberg (from Norway) - Gouda (from The Netherlands) - Edam (from The Netherlands) - Parmesan (from Italy) - Romano (from Italy)

Olives Most ofrepparttar 113163 Mediterranean countries grow olives and pickle them in a variety of marinades. Greek olives differ from Italian olives because ofrepparttar 113164 ingredients used in their dressings.

Pickled & Marinated Vegetables Each country has its own specific recipes and methods of pickling vegetables, most of which are delectable. Sun dried tomatoes, pickled cucumbers, marinated eggplant, artichoke hearts and marinated mushrooms are just a few ofrepparttar 113165 items available in this category.

Most gourmet foodstuffs have a high salt component. They are astringent or tangy, as most marinades include vinegars and oils. They stimulaterepparttar 113166 savory areas of our taste buds.

Dried Breads Again, every country has its wheat-based gourmet products, from crisp breads to papadams. They provide an excellent base on which to add a combination of ingredients, much like a standard savory biscuit or cracker.

Smoked Seafood You can include a variety of seafood products in a gourmet treat. Pickled herrings, smoked oysters, smoked mussels or clams all blend well with other savory gourmet products.

Pates And Meats Pates are used as spreads on dried biscuits while meats such as salami, ham and prosciutto blend well with cheese, olives and pickled vegetables.

Wine Because wine is usually a savory taste and blends well with gourmet foods items, it is often included in gourmet gift baskets. Again, there are thousands of types of wines from different countries andrepparttar 113167 individual regions within them. Wines differ as a result ofrepparttar 113168 type of grape used,repparttar 113169 soil in whichrepparttar 113170 grapes grow,repparttar 113171 climate ofrepparttar 113172 region,repparttar 113173 harvesting and preserving procedures, plusrepparttar 113174 overall winemaking process. The result isrepparttar 113175 incredible range of wines available to most of us living in western countries.

Can Chocolate Benefit Your Health?

Written by Marguerite Bonneville

If you're a fan of chocolate you're in good company. Chocolate is one ofrepparttar most popular sweet-tasting treats inrepparttar 113156 world and has been for centuries. But part ofrepparttar 113157 myth surrounding chocolate is that it tastes so good it must be bad for your health. Which gives it an air ofrepparttar 113158 forbidden.

A beautifully wrapped box of chocolates has always been considered a very romantic gift. So ifrepparttar 113159 special person in your life is a self-confessed chocoholic, you know one surefire way to please them on special occasions. Butrepparttar 113160 surprising news fromrepparttar 113161 scientific community is that this reputedly decadent treat actually has some health benefits, especially if you choose your chocolate wisely.

Is Chocolate A Health Food?

Chocolate contains over 300 chemicals, and has beenrepparttar 113162 subject of a number of studies by universities and other scientific organizations. Here's a quick rundown ofrepparttar 113163 results. We have no way of proving or disproving these claims so we offer them here as a stimulus for further research. If you're really interested inrepparttar 113164 subject, this may provide you with a starting point.

* Cacao,repparttar 113165 source of chocolate, contains antibacterial agents that fight tooth decay. Of course this is counteracted byrepparttar 113166 high sugar content of milk chocolate.

* The smell of chocolate may increase theta brain waves, resulting in relaxation.

* Chocolate contains phenyl ethylamine, a mild mood elevator.

* The cocoa butter in chocolate contains oleic acid, a mono-unsaturated fat which may raise good cholesterol.

* Drinking a cup of hot chocolate before meals may actually diminish appetite.

* Men who eat chocolate live a year longer than those who don't.

* The flavanoids in chocolate may help keep blood vessels elastic.

* Chocolate increases antioxidant levels inrepparttar 113167 blood.

* Mexican healers use chocolate to treat bronchitis and insect bites.

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