bean to bar
Did you know how hard it is to make chocolates?
Cacao is mostly grown on small family farms. Harvesting cacao is a very labor-intensive job because each and every pod needs to be handpicked in order to avoid disturbing the other not so ready pods. This is usually done by families themselves or the neighbors help each other out since the span is very short.
The pods are then taken to the processing house where they are split open with hand and the seeds are removed. The seeds then go through a two-stepped curing process before they are shipped out to the chocolate manufacturers.
After Fermentation (the process of developing the chocolate flavor) and Drying (the process of reducing the moisture content), the beans are then shipped out to the factories where chocolate bars are made.
After reaching the factory the beans are then inspected. If there is any bad beans, small rock or other debris present, are removed.
The dried cocoa beans are then roasted. This process enhances the flavor and color of the cacao bean. After that the outer skin of the cacao bean is removed by winnowing in which the beans are broken into small pieces called “Cocoa Nibs”.
Then comes the grinding of the cacao nib. The Nibs are grounded until they become a smooth chocolate liquid. This liquid is often called “Cocoa Liquor” or the “Cacao Mass” which is a combination of unsweetened cocoa and cocoa butter.
At this situation, the manufacturer separates the two product from each other and recombines them as they blend them with sugar and other items by which the manufacturer uses to make chocolate formula (each manufacturer has their own secret recipe formula).
After blending, the cocoa mass is allowed to cool and harden into different shapes depending on the mold of the manufacturer.
Next the packaging is done and distributed to stores or chocolatiers to make chocolate candies.
It all starts with the Cacao Tree!
Cacao trees cannot be grown all over the world but only on the belts of the Equator. Precisely, it grows only 20 degrees south and 20 degrees north of the Equator. Cacao trees are grown and cocoa is produced in the following areas varying by year and the quality of cocoa: South America, Central
America, West Africa, Caribbean, and the South Pacific.
So the question is whether one type of chocolate better than the other?
Not really. It just depends on your own taste preference. All of the chocolate is ethically sourced and grown usually on small family farms.
Most of the cacao is grown and harvested all around the year to ensure that each cacao pod is allowed to reach optimal ripeness before being picked.
The pods are then opened up by the farmers to take out the beans covered in a white and very sweet pulp.
When the beans are picked out they are then aged covered with banana leaves for a span of three to five days. Precise aging is significant in building up the flavor attributes of every chocolate.
After drying the beans are then sacked and ready to be shipped. When the beans arrive at the factory they need to be carefully sifted through and checked to get rid of any bad beans or debris before they
are sent out for the chocolate to be prepared.
Chocolate Comes from Cacao which is a Tree. This Makes Chocolate a
Plant. Chocolate is a Salad_Anonymous
Did you know where chocolate begins its Journey?
Chocolate’s journey to life starts as little flower in the tropical trees known as the Theobrama Cacao. Research shows that the first chocolate tree might have been originated from the Amazon Basin of Brazil or the Orinoco Valley of Venezuela. The Olmecs (1500-400BC) are believed to be the first consumers of chocolate as a drink and in fact the word ‘Cacao’ is taken from the word ‘Kakaw’ that was originated in the Mayan and ancient Zoque, the languages of the Olmec people.
Approximately 30ft tall and with the lifespan of around 25-30 years, a cacao tree takes almost 3-5 years
to bear its first fruit. The fruit is produced in form of pods which contains around 30-40 cacao beans
covered in sweet whitish pulp. A cacao tree produces around 50 pods in a year while it takes 500 or so
beans to produce 1 pound of chocolate which means one cacao tree produces only 2 pounds of
chocolate in a year. This shows that there are millions and billions of cacao trees planted around the
world which makes it possible to meet the 7 Billion people’s chocolate needs and that is why consistent
growth practices are so important.
Planning on growing your own cacao tree? Here’s how you can:
“All I Need is Love, But A Little Chocolate Now And Then Doesn’t
Hurt!” _CHARLES SCHUZZ