History of chocolate
been consuming chocolate in various forms for thousands of
years. Made from the seeds of the Cacao tree -- cocoa beans –
chocolate was first used to make delicious beverages. The early
Mayans and Aztecs cultivated the Cacao trees and drank liquid
chocolate on a regular basis.
explorers visited South America, they took the beans back to
Europe where they made a sweetened version of the drink. Their
modified chocolate had sugar and sometimes vanilla and soon
people across the continent were enjoying chocolate.
delicious beverage became common, bakers started experimenting
with cocoa, the dried, powdered form of chocolate. The first
chocolate cake was documented in the 17th century and
other chocolate treats followed soon after. The first
modern-style chocolate bar was produced in England in the 1800s,
starting an entire chocolate candy industry. In Switzerland, the
technique for making chocolate was modified to add dried milk to
the cocoa butter, producing the milk chocolate that is enjoyed
How chocolate is made
So, how is
modern chocolate actually made? The seeds of the Cacao tree are
removed from their pods, fermented and roasted. In the finest
chocolates, the seeds are sun dried for about a week. They are
ground up into very fine bits during a process called "conching."
This grinding process takes hours and causes the chocolate's
smooth texture. When the ground solids are combined with sugar,
it produces chocolate candy. Additional ingredients such as
milk, vanilla or other flavorings may also be added.
chocolate is blended, it is still fairly delicate and does not
have all the properties most people look for in their favorite
treat. In order to achieve the proper consistency and texture,
chocolate must be heated, then slowly cooled, then heated and
cooled again. This process creates the crisp and shiny product
we expect. During its final heating stage, it is in a liquid
form. It can be put in molds to shape it into bars, chips,
chunks and other shapes; when it cools, it hardens. It should
not be overheated since it may scorch or cooled too quickly
since it can become grainy in texture.
continue to "types of chocolate" and "selecting high quality
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