The story of chocolate

People passionately love chocolate. It makes them happy. All over the world we can find gourmets and chocolate lovers. Chocolate hides wonderful story ... Let’s explore how chocolate is made…

The history of chocolate dates back over a thousand years in the past, and it is known that cocoa had been planted in the first and second millennium BC. Maya, an ancient people from Central America, were the first to know about chocolate. Christopher Columbus brought cocoa to Europe in the 15th century.  Cocoa became popular in the 16th century when the Spanish and Portuguese explorers spread the word about this interesting fruit.

Chocolate comes from the fruit of the cacao tree, grown primarily in the hot, rainy climates of West Africa, Southeast Asia and Latin America.  Cocoa has been an important ingredient in global cultures and history, evolving over the years.  

The choice of cocoa beans is the first and most important step in the production, and quality of chocolate depends on the quality and origin of the cocoa beans.

Inside the pods are dozens of seeds covered with a white, fruity pulp. The pulped is scooped out and then allowed to ferment under banana leaves. 

After fermenting, the seeds, better known as cocoa beans, are dried in the hot sun for many days before being shipped to chocolate factories.

Our cocoa comes from Ghana or Ivory Coast in jute bags of 62 kg, and before processing goes through quality control.

In 1st phase cocoa beans are cleaned to remove all extraneous material.

Second phase is bean roasting. To bring out the chocolate flavour and colour, the beans are roasted.

A winnowing machine is used to remove the shells from the beans to leave just the cocoa nibs. The cocoa nibs undergo alkalisation, usually with potassium carbonate, to develop the flavour and colour.  The nibs are then milled to create cocoa liquor.  The cocoa liquor is pressed to extract the cocoa butter, leaving a solid mass called cocoa presscake.  The processing now takes two different directions.

The cocoa butter is used in the manufacture of chocolate. The cocoa presscake is broken into small pieces to form kibbled presscake, which is then pulverised to form cocoa powder. 

Cocoa liquor is used to produce chocolate through the addition of cocoa butter. Other ingredients such as sugar, milk, emulsifying agents and cocoa butter equivalents are also added and mixed. The proportions of the different ingredients depend on the type of chocolate being made.

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