All Things Chocolate

This page is dedicated to everything Chocolate! I love Chocolate! Did I say I love Chocolate?

I like to think of my self as a Chocolate Connoisseur.  I sometimes struggle with calling myself that, or using Chocolate Aficionado. Maybe, I should just go for Connoicionado. I must heretofore confess that, I am a Chocoholic!

So here’s what I have to say about Chocolate.

Chocolate is a typically sweet, usually brown, food preparation of Cocoa seeds  (Theobroma cacao), roasted and ground, often flavored, as with vanilla or other ingredients. It is made in the form of a liquid, paste, or in a block, or used as a flavoring ingredient in many foods. In 1753, Linnaeus designated the tree Theobroma cacao, which translates to “cocoa, food of the gods.”

The seeds of the Cocoa tree have an intense bitter taste and must be fermented to develop the flavor. Cocoa has been cultivated by many cultures. The earliest evidence of use traces to the Mokaya (Mexico and Guatemala), with evidence of chocolate beverages dating back to 1900 BC. Majority of Mesoamerican people made chocolate beverages, including the Maya and Aztecs, who made it into a beverage known as xocolātl Nahuatl pronunciation: [ʃoˈkolaːt͡ɬ], a Nahuatl word meaning “bitter water”.

After fermentation, the beans are dried, cleaned, and roasted. The shell is removed to produce cocoa nibs, which are then ground to cocoa mass, pure chocolate in rough form. Because the cocoa mass is usually liquefied before being molded with or without other ingredients, it is called chocolate liquor.

The liquor also may be processed into two components: cocoa solids and cocoa butter. Unsweetened baking chocolate (bitter chocolate) contains primarily cocoa solids and cocoa butter in varying proportions.

Much of the chocolate consumed today is in the form of sweet chocolate, a combination of cocoa solids, cocoa butter or other fat, and sugar. Milk chocolate is sweet chocolate that additionally contains milk powder or condensed milk. White chocolate contains cocoa butter, sugar, and milk, but no cocoa solids. I find it difficult because of this, to agree that there is such a thing as ‘White chocolate’.

Cocoa solids are a source of flavonoids and alkaloids, such as theobromine, phenethylamine and caffeine.

To the tune of $74 billion annually, chocolate has become one of the most popular food types and flavors in the world, and a vast number of foodstuffs involving chocolate have been created,
particularly desserts including cakes, pudding, mousse, chocolate brownies, and chocolate chip cookies. Many candies are filled with or coated with sweetened chocolate, and bars of solid chocolate and candy bars coated in chocolate are eaten as snacks.

Chocolate is also used in cold and hot beverages such as chocolate milk and hot chocolate and in some alcoholic drinks, such as creme de cacao.

Although cocoa originated in the Americas, in the 2000s, Western Africa produces almost two-thirds of the world’s cocoa. Ghana (the country of my birth) was projected to be the largest producer in the world as of 2015.

If you’re interested in learning more about Chocolate, please go here.

Click here is to find out more about my ongoing love affair and adventures with chocolate.  From destinations, to desserts and everything in between. Rest assured, this is a thinking look at chocolate.

And oh, feel free to share your experiences or make recommendations about any chocolate adventures.