For all chocolate lovers like me!!!!!!!
I don’t think anyone of us wouldn’t have tasted chocolates. Chocolates are the savored memories of every little celebration. It is the only delicacy which is relished by all age groups whether a little kid or stooping oldies.
Little story of chocolate
The chocolate was born in the 1900 BCE and cherished by the Maya and Aztecs as a beverage; Nahuatl -“bitter water”.
The chocolate comprises of cocoa seeds, which are fermented causing the bitter taste. The seeds are dried, cleaned and roasted immediately after fermentation.
Transformation of Cocoa to Chocolate
Ivory Coast, in West Africa, is the source of the cocoa cultivation with a production contributing two-thirds of major cocoa cultivation, making it one of the largest cocoa producers in the world. Though the chocolate production provides huge employment yet there is a concern prevailing where maximum work is done by child labor.
Following is the process involved in the preparation of our chocolate
- Harvesting: - Chocolates is formed from cocoa beans. Ripened beans are used for further processing. Usually, cocoa beans are harvested twice in a year, i.e. November to January and May to July. The three varieties of cocoa beans used are Criollo, Forastero and Trinatrio for preparing chocolates.
- Fermenting: - The pulp of the harvested cocoa pods, are treated with yeast for 5 to 7 days fermentation. Thus, it is spread on fermentation boxes. During the process, the color of bean turns darker from gray to purple, becomes aromatic and flavor improves as well.
- Drying: -After fermenting the seeds, to subside the water content, the beans are dried in sunlight for the duration of 6 to 14 days. When the seeds completely dry, they are sent to harvest collection centers. Here at these centers, they are packed in sacks or ampules and shipped to various countries for further cocoa processing to form chocolates.
- Roasting: - Usually dried beans are exported from West Africa, Latin America and Asia. The quality of the dried beans is inspected as well as it is subjected to further cleaning. After cleansing the dirt, the shells of the beans are broken and coco nibs are separated. The beans are roasted in specialized heaters. The temperature maintained is around 210°Fahrenheit for 15 minutes. It enriches the flavor and eases the next step.
- Winnowing: - In this process the chocolate nibs are easily separated from the shells, by breaking of the shell, as they were roasted.
- Grinding: - With the help of grinding machines, the nibs are ground to fine liquefied mass called as Cocoa liquor. This liquor is the main ingredient of chocolate. Cocoa liquor is further processed into cocoa butter and cocoa powder.
Depending upon the type of chocolate required the ingredients are added.
Dark chocolate requires Cocoa liquor, cocoa butter and sugar;
Milk chocolate requires Cocoa liquor, cocoa butter, sugar and milk powder;
White chocolate requires Cocoa butter, sugar and milk powder.
- Conching: - This process involves removing of moisture and further breaking down under a specified temperature. It is kneading procedure which further develops texture and flavor. The flavor depends upon the duration of conching. For the finest chocolates of the world, it might take up to five days.
- Tempering: - This process involves gradual heating, cooling and again reheating to prevent discoloration and solidification of cocoa butter. Perfect temperature control can provide shiny, solid and stable shapes by pouring into separate moulds.
- Storage: - Adequate storage temperature will enhance the longevity of chocolate bar. Therefore, it is wrapped and packed well for marketing and distribution to various countries. Thus our chocolate reaches to every hand.
Chocolates are consumed worldwide in various forms like a chocolate bar, cakes, fudge, brownies, and various desserts. Therefore our chocolate is part of our every little celebration.
Did we know??
- Our first chocolate was invented by Joseph Fry in 1850.
- Chocolates trade contributes $50 million of the global market alone.
- Big chocolate comprises of multinational chocolate companies viz. Mondelez (owns Cadbury), Mars, Nestle and The Hershey Company.
- February is regarded as Chocolate's Month. The markets are found swarming with varieties of mouth-watering chocolates.
- Child labour and human trafficking are the deepest concern involved in cocoa harvest and production.
For all chocolate fantasy lovers, the movie Charlie and Chocolate factory will definitely be a big treat for their hearts.