Chocolate cocoa beans are a sweet treat made from the fruit of the cocoa plant. Its roots are firmly rooted in Mexico, and chocolate has been enjoyed for centuries. In the United States, the production of chocolate began in 1765. Beans were shipped from the West Indies to Massachusetts in the late 1700s and the water was used for grinding and making beans.
How is chocolate made?
The cocoa tree is a tropical American tree commonly found in wet, low-lying areas. Today, Keiko trees are found in the islands of the Caribbean, Asia, Africa, and the South Pacific. Cocoa trees are sensitive and cannot withstand much sunlight or wind. Therefore, cocoa thrives in the shade of very tall trees. Cocoa trees are about 40 feet tall and have 1 foot long leaves. Small, pink flowers dot the leaves and trunk of the tree. Hand-shaped pods or fruits hang from different areas of the tree and trunk. Each bean contains 25-50 seeds called cocoa beans. Adult trees bear 50-70 fruits each year.
Cocoa beans are harvested twice a year. During the pruning process, the fruit is cut from the tree and peeled off with a large ax. The beans and pulp are then removed from the pods and placed in holes in the ground or holes, where they will begin the process of boiling.
Common grade pulp is boiled for a period of 5-7 days, during which time workers often mix beans and pulp. Flavor development begins during the fermentation process. As the beans absorb moisture, they spread, turn brownish red, and smell strong. Once the yeast is gone, the beans are dried in the sun or kiln and bagged. Bean bags are now shipped to a cleaning factory.
Bagged beans now have many cleaning methods to remove contaminants. Twigs, rocks, dust, and other debris are separated from the beans. Once cleaned, the beans are weighed and mixed with different types of beans. A special blend of beans is used to make things like candy bars, cocoa mixes, and cocoa butter.
Clean beans are roasted to enhance flavor, reduce acidity and reduce their moisture. The roasting separates the shell from the bean and deepens the color. Roasting can last from 30 minutes to 2 hours, depending on the variety of fruit.
Winning and crushing.
During the winter process, the beans are removed from their thin shells by cracking machines and then separated by a high-speed fan. Bean “nibs”, made from 53% cocoa butter, are delivered to mills, where they will be crushed. The use of large grinding stones or steel discs, friction, and heat dilutes the cocoa butter and make chocolate wine. The wine is poured into molds, where it sits until it hardens.
Hard chocolate cakes are sold to cocoa manufacturers and factories, where dark chocolate is transformed into a variety of products including cocoa mix, chocolate, wine, baking cocoa, and more. In the United States, chocolate is often shipped in liquid form and then processed locally.
CHOCOLATE does not cause or aggravate acne.
ONE ounce of milk chocolate contains the same amount of caffeine found in a cup of decaffeinated coffee.
CHOCOLATE contains nutrients that help to keep the body healthy. Chocolate is high in protein, calcium, and iron.