There is a Lot More to Chocolate Than a Delicious Dessert

Penelope K., Staff Writer

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 Have you ever wonder when chocolate was invented, why it was invented, who invented it, how it is made? Have you ever wondered about cocoa, and what you can do with it, or what it can turn into? Well if you have been wondering those questions or other questions about cocoa or chocolate, in today’s article it will be about Chocolate and Cocoa! I will uncover and find out all about chocolate and get the answers to our questions, so you can read all about chocolate and cocoa, and hopefully you will learn something new today!

                                                Cacao Trees

    Chocolate is made from the seeds of the cacao trees. Cacao trees are native to South and Central America. There are cacao tree farms in, Africa, India, Indonesia, and Southeast Asia. Cacao is different from cocoa. (See picture below)

 

                                       The fruit of a cacao tree

    For everyone’s information, chocolate bars do not grow from trees. The fruit of a cacao tree is a dark red or yellow pod,  and it is the size of a small football. Chocolate is made from the seed inside the fruit, called the cocoa beans. Each of the fruit hold up to about 40 of beans that are whitish or purple in color.

Chocolate making process

    The chocolate making process takes some time to make. Making the chocolate we like to eat is kind of an art farm. 1 way to make chocolate starts with the unsweetened baker’s chocolate, since it still has all the yummy cocoa butter in it, and then, most of the recipes call for even more cocoa butter to be added. Next, sugar and flavorings like vanilla are mixed in. For milk chocolate, there is lots of milk added. Then the ingredients go into a conche. Finally the conched chocolate is heated and then cooled in s complex process called tempering.

      Another way to make chocolate is to first,  the cacao beans have to be harvested, then for about one week, they have to be fermented, then fired in the sun for even longer. In fermentation, yeast will break down the bean’s complex sugars, giving them the chocolatey flavor. The fermented and dried beans get roasted to bring out their flavor even more. The roasted beans, then get winnowed, which means de-shelled, then they are mashed into a gooey liquid called chocolate liquor. Just so you know, if you taste chocolate liquor, it won’t taste to good because it still needs flavoring and sugar, to make it taste good. Some chocolate liquor is poured into molds, then it is cooled until it turns solid, (that gets sold as unsweetened baking chocolate). Some of the chocolate liquor is solidified and crushed into a hydraulic press to separate the cocoa solid from the cocoa butter or fat.

                                  Cocoa Butter uses and benefits

    Cocoa butter is used in hair and skin products. It’s the main ingredient in white chocolate. Cocoa butter can help prevent skin dryness and peeling of skin, it can help heal chapped/dry lips, it can help fight signs of aging, it soothes burns, rashes, and infections, it can help treat mouth sores, it can make a great shaving cream, and it raises your immunity. If you have any of the problems, then I suggest you try using cocoa butter.

                                  White Chocolate and Cocoa Solids

    White chocolate isn’t actually chocolate at all, because white chocolate contains no cocoa solids. Cocoa solids are ground into cocoa powder, (like the stuff you use to make hot chocolate, when you want it). In white chocolate, the ingredients consist of sugar, cocoa butter, and milk solids. When cocoa solids are sold as a product, they are sometimes called cocoa powder or cocoa.

                                                In Conclusion

    I hope you have learned something new today, whether it was about chocolate or cocoa, or both! Sorry if I couldn’t answer all your questions, or questions I stated, information can only takes us so far. If you have any other unanswered questions about: chocolate, cocoa, or the creation process, feel free to comment your question in the comments section, I will hopefully get you an answer.

                                                Words to learn

Winnowed: de-shell

Conche: a machine in which chocolate is worked in the preparation of fine grades

Fermented: having undergone fermentation (fermentation is a chemical change with effervescence)

Hydraulic: operated, moved, or effected by the means of water.

 

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