The First recorded evidence of chocolate as a food product goes back to Pre-Columbian Mexico. The Mayans and Aztecs were known to make a drink called “Xocoatll from the beans of the cocoa tree. In 1528, the conquering Spaniards returned to Spain with chocolate still consumed as a beverage. A similar chocolate drink was brought to a royal wedding in France in 1615.
England welcomed chocolate in 1662. To this point “chocolate” as we spell it today, had been spelled variously as “chocalatall”, “jocolatte”, “jacolatte” and “chockelet”.
Cocoa beans are usually grown on small plantations in suitable land areas 20 degrees north or south of the equator. Cocoa trees take five to eight years to mature. After cleaning, the beans are weighed, selected and blended before roasting at 250 degrees Fahrenheit for two hours. Then shells are removed leaving the “nib”. Nibs are crushed to create a chocolate “mass”.
KINDS OF CHOCOLATE……..
Milk Chocolate …..
This consists of at least 10% chocolate liquor and 12% milk solids combined with sugar, cocoa butter and vanilla. Sweet and semi-sweet chocolate are made from 15%-35%choco liquor, plus sugar , cocoa butter, and vanilla. Commonly called “dark”, “plan” chocolate.
Cream and Variations …..
Bite sized and chocolate covered.
They are filled with caramels, nuts, creams, jellies, and so forth.
Bittersweet and Bitter Chocolate …..
Bittersweet usually contains 50% chocolate liguor and has a distinct “bite” to the taste. Bitter or unsweetened chocolate liquor also is used in baking and is also referred to as “bakers” chocolate.
White Chocolate ……
Is not really chocolate as it contains no chocolate liquor, Carob. This is a brown powder made from the pulverized fruit of a Mediterranean evergreen. It is used by some as a substitute for chocolate because it can be combined with vegetable fat and sugar, and made to approximately the color and consistency of chocolate.