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A presentation on the cacao tree, the origins of chocolate, and the influence it had on the Caribbean.

Jacqueline Lammert

on 6 April 2015

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Transcript of Chocolate!

Where is it Grown?
Step 1: From Tree to Factory
Chocolate is a product of the cacao bean, which you can find in fruit pods that grow on tropical cacao trees.
Where Chocolate Comes From
Step 2: Factory Process
Cacao Around the World
History of Chocolate
Africa- 70%
And its Role in the Caribbean

Côte d'Ivoire- 1.4 million tons of beans a year
Ghana- Over 600,000 tons per
Caribbean share of the market is small.
Bulk Beans vs. Flavor Beans
Africa- Large quantities of good cacao
Latin America and Caribbean-
Production of beans with distinctive
The Caribbean
Dominican Republic-Deep earthy flavor. Fragrant tobacco notes. Some beans have delicate red wine
Trinidad and Tobago: Complex fruitiness with appealing spices such as cinnamon. Very well-

Jamaica: Bright and fruity, with appealing
Three main Trees
Forastero- Produces 90 % of all beans. Clean chocolate flavor. Low acidity. Prized for its disease resistance. No fruity or aromatic flavors. Dependable, favorite of large chocolate producers.
Criollo: Complex, fruity flavor. Grown mainly in Latin America. Susceptible to disease and low productivity, farmers have traded its rich flavor for hardier plants.
Trinitario: A combination of the two strains, good flavor and hardiness. Flavor bean, it gets its name from the island of Trinidad, where it was first grown. Spicy, earthy, fruity to highly acidic flavor notes.
Chocolate, a Reflection of Regional Flavors.
The type of beans grown, climate conditions, and the process of drying and fermenting the beans varies from country to country.
All play an important role in creating a bean’s
flavor characteristics.
Subtle flavor of pineapples.
spice notes.
A hundred years ago, flavor beans made up almost half of all cacao beans. Now they are less than 5%, mainly because of mass production of chocolate in the last 10 years, which relies on a steady supply of inexpensive beans.
The number of flavor beans is speculated to increase as the production of more upscale chocolate products continues (recognized by amount of cacao in each bar), and as consumers learn more about the complexities and intricacies of the flavor of chocolate.
Flavor beans:
The past and the future
How Chocolate is Made
Cacao Tree
Cacao Pod
The cacao beans are covered in sticky, white, sweet tasting pulp which is critical for the bean’s flavor.
A climate within 20 degrees of the equator.
Cacao trees don't grow easily. They require:
Pests and disease destroy 1/3 of the world’s yearly
In addition, Consider:
To be planted next to taller trees which protect it from
direct sun and high wind
A tree must be 5-6 years old before it will bear fruit
Each tree bears only roughly 30 usable pods a year
It takes 500 beans to make 1 pound of bittersweet chocolate
One tree only produces enough beans
(About 1,000 beans)
for 2 lbs of chocolate
Nearly all the world’s cacao trees are grown on small, family farms. Almost 90% of cacao bean production comes from farms under 12 acres.
Broma meaning "food"
Theos meaning "god"
Theobroma Cacao Translates to "food of
the gods"
Every step of farming, the planting, harvesting, and fermenting, is most effectively done by hand.
Cacao Farming: Very Labor Intensive
Farmers use things such as machetes attached to poles to cut down the ripe pods delicately, being sure not to hurt nearby buds.
Pods are removed from the trees individually, because not all ripen together.
The pods are split open,
the beans are scooped out, and the outer
Now, the beans taste a bit sweet, and lemony from the pulp. The bean alone is
shell is discarded.
very bitter.
The Cacao Harvest
The beans are fermented and dried in a 2 step curing process.
This is the first critical process to develop the beans’ flavor. The pulp covered beans are placed in large, shallow wooden boxes or left in piles and covered with banana
Through this step, the sugar in the pulp is converted into acids
that change the chemical composition of the beans.
Fermentation results in temperatures as high as 125° F,
which activates enzymes that create the flavor
precursors which are the beginning of chocolate as we
know it.
Drying Process
The beans are then laid on bamboo mats and dried in the sun.
In humid or rainy climates, beans are dried inside by blowers circulating hot air.
Outdoors is preferred, because if the beans dry too quickly, the chemical process started in fermentation are not allowed to finish.
This can cause an acidic or bitter taste. If the drying is too slow, mold and off- flavors can develop.
To the Market
Farmers then take the beans to collection sites. There, they are mixed with beans from surrounding farms. The beans are loaded into 200 pound sacks and transported to shipping centers.
Buyers cut open a number of beans to see if they were properly fermented.
and be aromatic.
1) roast the beans for a short time at high heat. Strong chocolate flavor, no subtle, floral notes and risks charred flavors from over-roasting.
aromas. Complex and well-balanced.
The beans should have a brown center
The first critical step in flavor development at the factory:
2) Long time roasting at low heat. Allows the more delicate flavors to come through, but sacrifices the big chocolate flavor.
Two main approaches:
After roasting, the beans are put through a winnowing machine, which removes the outer husks, leaving the roasted beans, now referred to as nibs.
The nibs are now ground into a thick liquid called chocolate liquor (cocoa solids suspended in cocoa
The processing now begins to split in to different directions.
Some of the chocolate liquor is pressed to extract the cocoa butter, which leaves a solid mass behind that is pulverized into cocoa powder.
Other batches are used directly to make chocolate.
The different types of chocolate are thoroughly mixed then sent off to be refined. The chocolate is then conched (kneading) for
anywhere between a few hours to 7 days.
This heating, cooling and reheating process
solidifies the chocolate.
Cacao vs. cocoa
Cocoa: Two by-products of the cacao bean – cocoa powder and cocoa butter. Both are extracted from the
Cacao: Refers to the tree, its pods and the beans inside.
bean when it is processed in the factory.
% cacao to sugar determines bitterness
and sweetness of the bar.
tasting notes
Medicinal Use
The Aztecs thought it gave their warriors strength, and early doctors used to prescribe it to cure ailments.
Throughout history, chocolate has been used more for medicinal purposes than for taste.
Fair Trade
Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is
Although chocolate is a huge ($74 billion annually) global business, only about 6-8 percent of this revenue makes its
Labor abuse is common in some cocoa regions, and reports of farmers enslaving thousands of child workers caused widespread criticism of
Labor and environmental issues resulted in the formation of organizations like the Fair Trade Federation, Rainforest Alliance and Equal Exchange.
These are associations of wholesalers, retailers, and producers who are committed to sustainably growing cacao, and providing fair wages, good employment opportunities, and education to economically
way back to the cocoa farmers.
the industry.
disadvantaged farmers worldwide.
We as consumers can help by choosing to purchase chocolates that are labeled organic and “fair trade”.
Interesting Facts:
Chocolate was used in many cultures as
Xocólatl to chocolate, because Spanish couldn't
pronounce "x", which is simply "sh".
Melting point is 98.6 degrees
Chocolate needs to be 78% cacao to be
effectively used for medicinal purposes.
Xòcoc for "bitter" and atl for "water"
Referring to the custom of mixing water, cacao,
vanilla and red pepper to a drink
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