December 16, 2011 5:45 AM
Kathryn Hobgood Ray
Chocolate and its healthy benefits was the topic for a special tasting event hosted by the Office of Alumni Affairs for alumni and friends at the restored Bea Field Alumni House. As seen in this video, guests sampled chocolates from Venezuela, St. Domingue, St. Thomas, Madacascar and Paouasie (Papua New Guinea).
Dr. Rick Streiffer, a Tulane alumnus and professor of family and community medicine at the Tulane School of Medicine, gave participants an overview of the history of chocolate before the tasting began, and talked about the health benefits of the sweet treat. He and his wife, Ann Streiffer, own Blue Frog Chocolates, 5707 Magazine St. in uptown New Orleans.
“There is a surprising amount of evidence that supports the health benefits of dark chocolate — pure, deep dark, 70 percent chocolate or darker — that contains antioxidants,” Streiffer said. “The evidence shows that regular consumption of chocolate can not only be a healthy part of a diet, but might actually contribute to lowering risk of cardiovascular disease, heart disease and hypertension.”
The Streiffers guided the attendees on how to taste chocolate and how to recognize the unique flavors in the confections.
Kenneth Tedesco, associate director of alumni affairs who organized the event, said he is planning similar “lifecycle” alumni learning events around foods, such as Louisiana seafood, wines and cheeses. “My goal for these events is that they be fun, educational and have a Tulane connection,” said Tedesco.
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