World Chocolate Day 2020 - Here Are Some Things You Should Know About Your Favourite Chocolates

opened box of chocolate

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World Chocolate Day is observed on 7 July. Albeit, all around the globe, some countries may observe it on different days, for instance, the United States celebrates it on 28 October, Ghana on 14 February, Latvia on 11 July, and so on. Chocolate industry around the globe is worth 100 billion dollars and chocolates are one of the planet's favourite food. It's not a surprise that chocolate is admired by many, so here are some interesting facts about chocolates.

How is Chocolate Produced and Processed?

Chocolate is produced after a long process that includes- the cultivation of cacao tree (theobroma cacao), which bear fruits or pods that comprise of thirty to fifty seeds, that we know as cacao or cocoa beans. Cocoa is obtained only after cacao is harvested, fermented, dried and roasted.

It is then shipped to the markets, where it is traded and exported to the chocolate makers. When they receive the beans, they might blend it with other origins, before they are cleaned and roasted at low temperatures. This is done for it to develop flavour. After the process of winnowing and placing the nibs that are ground into cocoa mass, it is placed under extremely high pressure that yields cocoa powder or butter.

According to the type of chocolate that is being made, the cocoa powder is mixed with ingredients to produce chocolate. It involves mixing, grinding and kneading it all together, which provides a paste. Among other steps, after the process of conching, that is- the rolling, kneading and aeration which smoothens and refines the chocolate, the chocolate is ready for final processing wherein tempering and moulding takes place.

The most common types of chocolate are -

Dark Chocolate:

Dark Chocolate was developed as a beverage around 1900 B.C and was the only form of chocolate available. It was found in Central and South America, later it was used to make bitter dark chocolate beverages by the Mayans and the Aztecs. Dark Chocolate is made with more cocoa and less sugar without adding milk solids. Its main ingredients include cacao beans, sugar, soy lecithin to preserve texture and vanilla for flavour.

It is one of the best sources of antioxidants on earth. Dark Chocolate is rich in iron, copper, magnesium, zinc, phosphorous and flavanol. It contains 50 to 90 per cent of cocoa solids.

Milk Chocolate:

Milk chocolate is widely regarded as the most famous type of chocolate. In 1867, Henri Nestlé, a Swiss chemist invented powdered milk which made the development of milk chocolate likely, as mixing liquid milk and chocolate liquor didn't prove successful. However, Nestlé and Daniel Peter- his neighbour, a Swiss chocolate maker, chose to blend powdered milk with chocolate liquor in 1879, which led to the birth of milk chocolate.

The ingredients used to prepare milk chocolate are chocolate liquor, cocoa butter, sugar, flavourings, sweetened, condensed or powdered whole milk. It is all blended, mixed and after conching, it is refined. Milk chocolate contains at least 10 per cent cocoa and 12 per cent milk solids.

White Chocolate:

Following the invention of powdered milk and milk chocolate, Nestlé introduced the first white chocolate bar in the 1930s, after it was developed by the Nestlé company in Switzerland. It is prepared by mixing sugar, milk, cream and vanilla flavouring with cocoa butter.

White chocolate contains cocoa butter which in itself is colourless- is mixed with butter. When cocoa solids are roasted they turn brown but they are not present in milk chocolate, therefore white chocolate remain white. It is made up of a minimum of 20 per cent cocoa butter, 14 per cent milk solids and 3.5 per cent milk fats.

Fun Facts About Chocolate:

Theobroma Cacao is the scientific name of the tree that bears cocoa beans. Its name means "food of the Gods".

1. Most cocoa (70 per cent), comes from the estimated 1.5 million cocoa farms in West Africa.

2. 1 pound of chocolate is made up of 400 cocoa beans.

3. Chocolate is made from the fruits of a tree, from its seeds.

4. Globally, 40 to 50 million people depend upon cocoa for their livelihood.

5. Once upon a time, the value of cocoa was so high that it was used as a barter trade currency by the Mesoamericans to exchange for food and clothes.

6. Cacao in Spanish translates to Cocoa in English.

7. A cacao tree takes up to 4 to 5 years to produce its first beans.

Although, eating too many chocolates is not healthy but it's undeniable that it does not make one feel good. Eat it in a healthy amount, and you won't be in trouble.

Written by - Ivanova

Edited by - Nidhi Verma

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