Where Does Chocolate Come From?
It all starts with the fruit of a small & fragile tropical tree - Theobroma cacao. Native to South America, cacao is grown commercially throughout the tropics and today more than 80% of cacao comes from Africa, most of it bulk cocoa, while most fine-flavor cocoa still comes from the New World.
Who Invented Chocolate?
Chocolate was consumed in beverage form for hundreds, if not thousands, of years by the Aztec, Maya, and pre-Maya cultures of the Americas, before the arrival of Europeans. (And it still is to this day.) Eating chocolate, as we know it, was invented in Europe in the 1800's over the span of more than 80 years.
The flavor of a chocolate depends on many factors: the type of bean, where the bean is grown, post-harvest processing steps, and then during manufacturing--particularly roasting, conching, and whether flavoring ingredients (e.g. salt, vanilla) are used.
ThE FUTURE OF COCOA
An Industry at Risk:
Steady growth over the last 100 years means that chocolate is nearly a $100 billion industry. Demand for cocoa is predicted to rise by as much as 30% by 2020. But, without empowering and investing in small-scale farmers, the industry will struggle to provide sufficient supply.
Cacao - Health Food
What Are the Health Benefits of Cacao?
Cacao has been treasured for thousands of years for its medicinal properties, and modern science has finally determined what we all knew all along: quality chocolate (consumed in moderation) delivers significant health benefits. It reduces blood pressure, can inhibit the formation of cavities, and even help protect your skin from the sun!
FAIR TRADE CHOCOLATE
Who Decides What's Fair?
We trust "fair" trade certification programs to deliver on their promises of improving the lives of farmers and their families worldwide. Cocoa farmers in West Africa earn, on average, $0.80 a day from cocoa, and fair trade premiums add no more than 10% of that figure. The bottom line is that chocolate is too cheap.
Chocolate - PLEASURE FOOD
Chocolate Makes Us Happy:
Chocolate puts a smile on our faces and makes us happy. That may be the best thing about it. Research suggests that the addictive property of chocolate is the way it melts in the mouth - no other food melts the way chocolate does. Plus, it tastes like chocolate!
BEAN TO BAR
How Chocolate is Made:
Making chocolate is not straightforward, and there are more than 10 distinct steps in the process from harvesting the pods to a finished bar. At any step in the process the chocolate can be ruined, as every step is the most important one. It's easy to make bad chocolate, and hard to make good chocolate consistently.
love, SEX, & CHOCOLATE
Is Chocolate an Aphrodisiac? From Montezuma to the Marquis de Sade, chocolate has earned quite a reputation as an aphrodisiac. There are chemicals in chocolate that change brain chemistry and elevate mood, and are responsible for being psychoactive. Is there anything that delivers a clearer message than a passion fruit truffle in the shape of a heart?