News 6 Orlando: 8 Central Florida shops where the chocolate flows

The Olmecs thought of it as medicine. The Aztecs saw it as a gift from the gods.

The chocolate those ancient Central American civilizations imbibed may be very different from the chocolate we know today, but for many chocoholics the sentiment probably remains the same.

A search for chocolate on the National Library of Medicine’s PubMed website shows more than 600 reports and studies looking at the health effects of chocolate. Johns Hopkins Medicine extols chocolate’s benefits on heart health, mental health, and even to help fight diabetes.

Some 60% of all candy sales in the U.S. is chocolate – it’s a $21.9 billion business, according to the National Confectioners Association.

While the big candy makers get the bulk of America’s chocolate business, about three in 10 U.S. chocolate consumers like to nibble on fine chocolates once in a while too.

So let’s take a look at some places in Central Florida to get some chocolate worthy of cheat days – or every day.

Peterbrooke Chocolatier of Winter Park | 300 S. Park Ave., Winter Park

Peterbrooke is a franchise with locations all over the U.S. So why do we mention this Winter Park location? Because for local chocolate lovers it is legendary. They have a wide range of chocolates and chocolate-dipped goodies. They’re also one of the few places left that still host chocolate-making activities like camps and classes. And they deliver!