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Month: October, 2012

Gummy Bear Dress

A dress (on the right)  inspired by the late Alexander McQueen seen above at left, made of 50,000 gummy bear candies has hit runways and caused a stir in the fashion world. Although rare, the dress is only one of several made of unusual materials.

TWELV Magazine featured the dress in its inaugural issue, released this month. Designers Hissa Igarashi and Sayuri Marakumi created the piece to pay tribute to late designer Alexander McQueen. The colorful ensemble reportedly weighed 220 pounds when finished and was molded to model Jessica Pitti’s body.

Each of the 50,000 gummy bears was hand-glued to the steel frame, resulting in a massively detailed garment designed for only one wear. The photo shoot for TWELV took five hours to complete, adding to the heightened uniqueness of the dress.



Chocolate Quiz

(In 1940, an emergency ration: a Hershey’s chocolate bar, served at Fort Myers. Photo: LIFE Magazine)


If you thought you knew everything there is to know about chocolate, think again! This world famous decadent dessert certainly has some dark secrets of its own – a treasure that has been enriched over the past three centuries. Try the following trivia and sharpen your knowledge of the indulgent, yet exquisite confection. Check out the links and learn more about your favorite sweet on Google Books.


Q: Which ancient civilizations were the first to discover chocolate?

A. The Aztecs and the Mayans of Central America – (The taste of chocolate has only been perfected ever since.)


Q. Where is the world’s largest chocolate museum?

A. Cologne Chocolate Museum in Germany – (Here’s where the flavours are immortalized.)


Q. In which city was the world’s largest chocolate sculpted?

A. Milan, Italy. In May, 2010, Italian chocolatier, Mirco Della Vecchia sculpted a 1.5 meters tall, Dome of Milan, to bag the Guinness World Record for the largest ever chocolate art. (Beat that!)


Q. Where is the world’s largest chocolate factory?

A. No, it’s neither Willy Wonka’s nor Charlie’s chocolate factory. It’s Hershey’s, in Pennsylvania.


Q. In which city is Ghirardelli headquartered?

A. San Leandro, California (Did I hear San Fransisco? If yes, give yourself half a point, as it was first incorporated and formerly headquartered in San Francisco.)


Q. Which country is the largest consumer of chocolate?

A. Switzerland… Swiss Chocolate, anyone?


Q. Which country is the largest cocoa bean producer?

A. Côte d’Ivoire (44% of all the cocoa beans exported in the world come from this West African nation.)


Q. What is the scientific name for chocolate?

A. Theobroma cacao (Try saying that five times fast!)


Q. Name a beneficial health effect of chocolate?

A. Chocolate enhances the circulatory system. (Flavanoids in chocolate increase antioxidants in the blood, protecting against heart damage.)


Q. Name the author of the best-selling book, Chocolat, which was later made into a Hollywood blockbuster starring Juliette Binoche and Johnny Depp?

A. Joanne Harris (Why is it that the book is always better than the movie?)




0-2: You’re a choco-novice!


3-5: You’re choco-connoisseur!


6-8: You’re a choco-guru!


9-10: You’re a choco-holic!


World’s tallest chocolate sculpture

Alain Roby creates the world’s tallest chocolate sculpture

by Sarah J. Gim, Posted Oct 13th 2006 @ 1:47PM

If you were thinking about going for the world record in chocolate sculpture, you might have some extra work to do. Chef Alain Roby has just set a new World Record with his 6.6 meter tall (that’s about 22 feet) chocolate sculpture that replicates the Rockefeller Center, the Empire State Building and the Chrysler Building.


The entire sculpture is made of more than 1000 kg of chocolate and took over 30 hours to build. Guinness representatives were present at the scene and have officially confirmed it as the world’s tallest sculpture made from chocolate.

What Vitamin Are You Missing If You Crave Chocolate?



If you have ever thrown a coat over your pajamas and driven across town in quest of chocolate, or at least considered doing so, you understand how powerful the craving for this tasty bean can be. While some claim the stuff is addictive, your craving could be driven by a more primal need to satisfy a nutritional deficiency.

Food Cravings and Nutritional Deficiency

The powerful need for chocolate has been recognized by the scientific community to be based on the cocoa bean’s unique properties. According to the folks at Yale-New Haven Hospital, phenylethylamine found in chocolate gives us a feeling similar to falling in love. The substance anadamide stimulates brain receptors in the same way as other addictive substances. The European Food Information Council explains that a diet that restricts certain nutrients can stimulate a desire, making the food more salient. However, the EFIC also recognizes that food cravings have an emotional component, noting that some foods like chocolate just make us feel better.

Nutritional Value of Chocolate

Chocolate is a rich source of a number of vitamins and minerals, which could partially explain strong cravings. The vitamins A, B-1, B-2, B-3, C, E and pantothenic acid and the minerals magnesium, calcium, iron, zinc, copper, potassium and manganese all play important roles in vital metabolic functions. Magnesium in particular is known to alleviate symptoms associated with premenstrual syndrome. The Yale-New Haven Hospital notes that the darker the chocolate, the more health benefits it provides, due to a higher concentration of cocoa butter.

Antioxidants and Other Properties

Cocoa beans contain polyphenols known as flavinoids, the same as those found in red wine that have antioxidant properties which reduce the risk of stroke and heart attack due to blood clots. Cocoa also inhibits LDL cholesterol, the “bad” cholesterol, from building up on arterial walls. Chocolate is a potent mood elevator, increasing serotonine levels in the brain. Chocolate contains the stimulants phenylethylamine and caffeine, and theobromine, known to be toxic to dogs, cats and other pets.

Chocolate and Weight Control

While many dieters and weight-conscious individuals steer clear of chocolate, a 2008 study conducted by the Faculty of Life Sciences at the University of Copenhagen found dark chocolate to be effective in diminishing cravings for sweet, salty and fatty foods. The subjects, healthy young men of normal weight, were divided into two groups and given either milk or dark chocolate of equal calories. The men, who had been fasting for 12 hours prior to the study, were asked to journal every half hour for the following five hours, making note of hunger, food cravings and satiety. They were then given pizza and told to eat until they felt satisfied. The dark chocolate group ate 15 percent less than the milk chocolate group, and reported less desire for sweet, salty or fatty foods.

The world’s largest chocolate bar weighs 5.4 tons


The creators of the world’s biggest chocolate bar say their giant slab of calories can help teach  school students about the importance of good nutrition, the Chicago Tribune reported Wednesday.

The 12,000-pound chocolate slab — officially recognized by a Guinness World Records official as the largest ever made — stands 3-feet high and 21-feet long.

It contains a whopping 1,200 pounds of almonds, 5,500 pounds of sugar, 2,000 pounds of milk powder, 1,700 pounds of cocoa butter and 1,400 pounds of chocolate liquor.

Chicago-based World’s Finest Chocolate unveiled the bar this week and said it would be taken on a tour of US schools, where students would be taught to “think big” by eating smart.

“We purposely made this bar to be an example of ‘portion distortion,'” the company’s CEO Eddie Opler said in a statement.

“We’re committed to educating families about eating right and staying active and doing it in a fun and engaging way.

Chicago Tribune