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Gift of God:  Everything You Want to Know About Chocolate

Gift of God: Everything You Want to Know About Chocolate

posted: 2023-10-23 14:50:00 +0800

Basically no one can resist the temptation of chocolate. It is the love elixir for both women and men and a magical dessert that please from children to the elderly around the world. A fragile seed from god growing in the South American continent, changed and reformed over time, finally became a piece of delicate chocolate in our hand carrying unlimited joy and satisfaction. Come and learn everything you want to know about chocolate with Give Gift Boutique.


The Origin of Chocolate

People used to believe that cocoa, the main raw material of chocolate, was first used by the Mayan civilization in Central America four thousand years ago. However, the latest archaeological research has found cocoa starch particles and theobromine in pottery unearthed from the Santa Ana (la Florida) site in Ecuador, confirming that as early as 5300 years ago, the Mayo-Chinchipe people living around upper Amazon River already made use of cocoa and made drinks with cocoa seed powder and sweet fruit pulp around the cocoa pods. Cocoa spread along the Amazon River to Panama and Colombia, and ultimately arrived in Mexico.


The Process of Chocolate Production

From the bright-colored cocoa pod to finish chocolate, it generally goes through five steps. Firstly, harvest fully ripen cocoa pod and collect cocoa seeds and pulp. The second step, fermentation. It begins with fermenting the cocoa seeds with pulp in an anaerobic environment to decrease the sourness and then ferment them again in an aerobic environment at 47 ℃ for three days. How the worker control the fermentation time and process directly determines the sourness of cocoa. The third step is dehydration. After fermentation, the pulp is completely gone. Sun dry the cocoa seeds to humidity of 6-7.5%, but remember not to dry them under strong sunlight, otherwise the seeds dry too soon and leave the sourness inside. Rainy and humid weather should also be avoided. Step 4, roast cocoa seeds at low temperature and allow them to slowly release the sourness and bitterness. Removed the shell of the roasted seeds and grind the seeds for around 72 to 84 hours to obtain liquid cocoa. At this point, add an appropriate amount of sugar and mold the liquid cocao, you will get the semi-finished product, which are cocoa bricks. The fifth step is to make chocolate. Chocolate manufacturers separate cocoa butter during the grinding process. The defatted cocoa powder can make drinks with hot water. When you mix cocoa butter, dairy product and defatted cocoa bricks, you will have the finish milk chocolate. The quality of cocoa from different tree species makes a huge difference, long with and the cumbersome production process, low yield rate and high waste rate, contributing to the high listed price of a fine chocolate piece.


The Development of Chocolate Industry

The delicate and fragile cocoa tree requires protection from wind, sun, rain and pests and it takes as long as five years to harvest. The chocolate business has been a challenging task from growing cocoa trees to making the finish product, so that it is indeed a labor-intensive industry. The main cocoa producing areas are locates in the West Bank of Africa, where labor costs is low and the climate within the area of Tropic of Capricorn and Cancer is suitable for growing terrific cocoa trees. According to statistics of 2019, the four West African countries including Cote d'Ivoire, Ghana, Cameroon, and Nigeria account for over 74% of global cocoa production. While the main chocolate manufactures and companies of well-known brands gather in Europe and America. In the 16th century, cocoa was introduced to Europe by the Spanish, and in the 18th century, the Dutch established numerous chocolate factories. Taking advantages of the well-developed Armstrong port transportation and railway and highway, mild climate suitable for storing chocolate and technology of patented paste grinding and ingredient separation, the Dutch established an irreplaceable position in the trade of semi-finished chocolate products. Switzerland has a long history of manufacturing chocolate. It was the first to establish mechanized production facilities for chocolate and invented the most important refining technology for chocolate production. The United States, on the other hand, is largest chocolate consumer in the world. During World War II, the US military included chocolate in military supplies, then it was popularized after the war. A fine piece of chocolate may travel across three continents: Africa, America, and Asia from production of raw material, semi-finished product and finished product to packaging and distribution before it finally reaches us.


The Competition for the Title of Worlds Best Chocolate

Although the United States is the largest chocolate consumer in the world, with two companies respectively ranking the first and fourth in the top ten global largest chocolate manufacturers, their chocolate contains too much sugar and dairy product, which might not please everyone. Switzerland, France, the United Kingdom, Italy competed intensely for the title. Once a writer conducted a semi scientific and roughly fair experiments on the worlds best chocolate in a small area, requesting judges to taste and rank their favourite chocolate from these countries without knowing any background information. It turns out that Belgium won the crowns of laurel leaves and the winning product was the soft center chocolate from the PIERRE MARCOLINI store. The key to winning must include the choice of materials, craftsmanship and formula. It is said that the winner chocolate was purely handmade, with a high content of pure cocoa and no added preservatives. How the craftman balance the bitterness of chocolate while retaining its tempting characteristics is indeed the secret of each chocolate manufacture.

For a country like Belgium, whose land area is relatively small, treasures the reputation of making the world's best chocolate. In order to protect the legitimacy of this national cultural heritage, Belgium stipulates that chocolate only produced fully abiding by all rules can be labeled with Belgian chocolate on the packaging, which is : chocolate should be 100% mixed, refined and produced within Belgian territory from the moment raw material arrives and should be produced under the most rigorous production standards.


Unveiling the Charm of Chocolate

Chocolate has rich taste with moderate sourness and a hint of astringency retained in the pure bitterness. Strong aroma of cocao burst as it melts. You are immediately mesmerized by the taste and delicate texture when subtle aftertaste comes across back and forth. Thick and sweet milk and sugar gently blend in and keep luring, you yield to the temptation and anxiously yearn for more. Total solid cacao content, including cocoa butter, cocoa powder and cocoa paste, over 70% qualifies a piece of dark chocolate. The higher the percentage, the more cocoa nutrients it contains. To make milk chocolate, the ingredient includes cocoa butter and cocoa paste or cocoa powder, as well as milk powder or cream and other dairy products and sugar. As for white chocolate, it is made from cocoa butter and dairy products as well as sugar.

At the same time chocolate please your taste buds, it also blow happy bubbles in the brain. Chocolate contains dopamine and serotonin, which improves mood and create a happy and relaxed experience; caffeine and vitamin B group boosts spirits and energy; And the flavanols, helps reduce the risk of cardiovascular problems. To learn the worlds popular chocolate product you could read our original blog: Global Chocolate Brand Recommendations - 8 Legendary Stories to Make Your Gift Impressive


Chocolate Products and By-products

A simple scoop of fine cocoa powder adds to the deliciousness of food, and how cocoa is widely used in the food industry may surprise us. The interaction with various stimulating ingredients such as mint, chili peppers, nuts, jam, toffee, and liqueur greatly enhance the excitement of chocolate. When the quality of fruit may vary by season, chocolate flavor will always be the safe choice. Chocolate is used to make so many desserts, for example, cakes, brownies, macaroons, ice cream, crust for fruits, mooncakes, popcorn & chips, dips, chocolate lava fountain and etc. Not only can chocolate be served with wine, but it can also make wine. The strong and sweet aroma of chocolate neutralizes and complements the strength and burning sense of wine. Roasted cocoa bean shells are fine spices to add rich sweetness to dull and plain tea. Chocolate is a popular gift for Valentine's Day and many other festivals and celebration, It is suitable in terms of both meaning and value. Good chocolate has a low melting point, making possible to create three-dimensional shapes. You can find chocolate signs and chocolate-made figure on top of a birthday cake, chocolate eggs and chocolate rabbits for Easter, and even chocolate sculpture artwork of the statue of David and the famous architecture such as Louvre in a chocolate museum. Milk chocolate spread on bread slice are one of children's favorite breakfast, its nutritious and brings up the flavour of carbohydrate. Cocoa butter separated from the grinding procedure is a precious vegetable oil with natural antioxidant properties, rich in vitamins, minerals, and monounsaturated fatty acids, which is a precious and effective ingredient in many high quality skincare and beauty products.


Today, with the highly-developed merchandise trade, we can enjoy wonderful chocolate anytime and anywhere, just like the aristocrats of the Spanish and Dubai royal families. Give Gift Boutique keep searching for the world's top chocolate and other premium food for you, you simply order online and we will deliver. Our gift hampers absorb the latest delicacy, limited-edition product only available at certain stores and traditional food worldwide for festivals, packaged with beautiful decoration and distinctive styles, creating surprises and pleasure for both the sender and and the recipients. How to match different food to make it more traditional, how to prepare a proper and pleasant gift for different occasions, Give Gift Boutique will keep you navigated.

This is a Hong Kong GGB original 'Gift of God: Everything You Want to Know About Chocolate' blogpost.
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blog written by: # GGB Florist (102)
GGB Florist, Editor

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