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The chocolate journey
Transcript of The chocolate journey
Follow me to know more about it… from bean to bar, this is the story of chocolate.
Olmec, Mayan and Aztec civilizations found chocolate to be an invigorating drink, mood enhancer and aphrodisiac, which led them to believe that it possessed mystical and spiritual qualities. The Mayans worshipped a god of cacao and reserved chocolate for rulers, warriors, priests and nobles at sacred ceremonies.
Chocolate remained an aristocratic nectar until Dutch chemist Coenraad Johannes van Houten in 1828 invented the cocoa press, which revolutionized chocolate-making.
In 1847, British chocolate company J.S. Fry & Sons created the first solid edible chocolate bar from cocoa butter, cocoa powder and sugar. Today, the average American consumes 12 lbs. of chocolate each year and more than $75 billion worldwide is spent on chocolate
The treat so loved worldwide has very humble beginnings. The cacao bean begins life inside a fruit, called a pod, on a tree in the tropics, primarily in remote areas of West Africa, Southeast Asia and Central and South America.
These delicate, flower-covered trees need much tending, Grown on small family farms, the beans leave cocoa farms by hand, in carts, on donkeys or rugged trucks to be sold to a local buyer and then to processors abroad.
Once in the factory, they are ground, pressed, heated and stirred to create luxurious chocolate.
Chocolate Tastes around the World:
Chocolate is made to a recipe, and is made with distinctive tastes and traditions in different countries of the world.
Dark chocolate is the most popular chocolate in Europe, where chocolate has a higher level of cocoa solids, giving it a much stronger flavour. Milk chocolate is the preferred choice in Australia, while Americans favour dark chocolate with the smoky flavours of South American beans.
Chocolate may be the “food of the gods,” but for most of its 4,000-year history, it was actually consumed as a bitter beverage rather than as a sweet edible treat. Anthropologists have found evidence that chocolate was produced by pre-Olmec cultures living in present-day Mexico as early as 1900 B.C.
The Chocolate Journey
By: Bouguerra Rihane & Ouartssi Abir.
In the 1500s, Spanish conquistadors who sought gold and silver in Mexico returned instead with chocolate. Although the Spanish sweetened the bitter drink with cane sugar and cinnamon, one thing remained unchanged: chocolate was still a delectable symbol of luxury, wealth and power. Chocolate was sipped by royal lips, and only Spanish elites could afford the expensive import.
Spain managed to keep chocolate a savoury secret for nearly a century, but when the daughter of Spanish King Philip III wed French King Louis XIII in 1615, she brought her love of chocolate with her to France. The popularity of chocolate quickly spread to other European courts, and aristocrats consumed it as a magic elixir with salubrious benefits.
Unfortunately, in realty, there is no such thing like Twixe’s or Willy Wonka’s chocolate factories, real factories are very boring… any way, The first thing that chocolate manufacturers do with cocoa beans is roast them.
Then Grinding, which is the process by which cocoa nibs are ground into “cocoa liquor”, and also known as unsweetened chocolate or cocoa mass.
After the mixing process, the blend is further refined to bring the particle size of the added milk and sugar down to the desired fineness. The Cocoa powder or 'mass' is blended back with the butter and liquor in varying quantities to make different types of chocolate or couverture.
Chocolate is one of the few gifts with which the giver can envisage, with some surety, the sensation that the receiver will experience when they consume it. It is a universal language that chocolate lovers the world over speak and understand. Its very presence makes people smile, eyes glow and hearts beat faster. Its silent language speaks volumes.