General knowledge about chocolate

There can be no one who does not love and taste chocolate. What do we know about it? Read further this post.

Chocolate is a medieval American term for various products made from a cocoa tree. Chocolate is also an important ingredient in various desserts, cakes, ice creams, and cookies. The chocolate smell is one of the most sought flavors in the world.
The word chocolate is a Navajo word for the Red Indians that originated in central Mexico. Cocoa fossils found in Mayan pottery indicate that cocoa was consumed around 600 BC. The Aztecs associated chocolate with their ancestral god, Quetzalcoatl.

In the New World, chocolate was added with vanilla, chili, and achiote to make a drink called chocotize. Chocotize was considered an energic drink (mostly Theobromine in it). In pre-Columbian medieval America, chocolate was considered a valuable commodity and even used as barter. Other chocolate drinks were served with cornstarch and honey.

Christopher Columbus, who discovered America, brought some cocoa beans to show to the governors of Spain. But it was Hernando de Soto who introduced them widely in Europe.

The first chocolate recipe for the Old World was shipped from Heroica Veracruz to Seville in 1585. That was consumed as a drink. The Europeans used sugar instead of chilies to make it sweet. From this, we come to know that the initial chocolate recipe was spicy. Chocolate was considered a highly traditional commodity during the 17th century.

At the end of the 18th century, the first solid chocolate was made in Turin city. It has been in high demand since 1826 by Pierre Paul Cabrell. In 1828, Coenraad J. van Hutten, a Dutchman, copyrighted the method of making cocoa powder and cocoa butter from cocoa beans. He also developed a method of making cocoa powder called the Dutch method. It is believed that the Englishman Joseph Fry created the first cube of chocolate in 1847. It was soon followed by the Cadbury brothers.

Daniel Peter, a Swiss candle maker, mixed milk in 1867 to make the first milk chocolate. Henry Nestle, a baby food maker, helped him remove water from the milk and make it thicker. This helped protect the chocolates from fungal infestation. Rodolphe Lindt invented a method called conching, which is used to heat and grind chocolate.

The nuts of the Theobroma cacao, which originated in Central America, are fermented, roasted, and ground into a product called chocolate or cocoa. These have an intense flavor and bitterness.

Although these nuts are called differently in different parts of the world, the American Chocolate Industry says:

1. Cocoa is the solid material of the cocoa bean.
2. Cocoa butter is the fatty component of cocoa beans.
3. Chocolate is a combination of these two components.

The dessert, commonly known as chocolate, is made by mixing the solid and fat components of the cocoa nut with the addition of sugar, milk, and many other ingredients. Drinks called cocoa or brewing chocolate are also made using chocolate. These were eaten by medieval Americans and the first European travelers to arrive there.

Chocolate is often molded and made into cubes. During the festivals, chocolate is made in many forms such as animals and humans. For example, they are made in the shape of an egg or rabbit during Easter, in the shape of St. Nicholas during Christmas, and in the shape of a heart during Valentine's day.

Types of Chocolate:

1. Unsweetened Chocolate:

It is a pure unmixed chocolate puree. This pulp, also known as bitter or baking chocolate, is made by grinding cocoa beans. This deep chocolate-flavored puree is used as a base for American-style cakes and brownies with added sugar.

2. Dark Chocolate:

This type of unmixed chocolate is also known as dark chocolate. The US government considers this type of chocolate as sweet chocolate, with the restriction that it should contain 15% chocolate pulp. European rules require that this type of chocolate contain at least 35% chocolate solids.

3. Couverture chocolate:

These are high-quality chocolates with high cocoa butter. These chocolates are high in cocoa pulp and cocoa butter and have a good liquid consistency when melted. These are generally considered to have the highest quality chocolate flavor. These types of chocolates vary from bitter to sweet and can able to distinguish the flavors very well. The most popular products used in desserts by professional chefs are Valrhona, Lint & sprungli, and Guitard.

4. Milk Chocolate:

These chocolates are made by mixing milk powder or condensed milk as the name implies. The US government requires that 10% of these be a chocolate paste, and European rules require at least 25% cocoa solids.

5. Moderately sweetened chocolate:

These types of chocolates are used in everyday cooking. These are usually dark chocolate with high sugar content. But these contain less cocoa than dark chocolate.

6. Bitter-Sweet Chocolate:

It is made by mixing sugar, cocoa butter, lecithin, and vanilla with chocolate paste. These have less sugar and more chocolate pulp than medium-sweetened chocolates. One of these two flavors can be used in cooking based on taste preference. High-quality bitter chocolates are prepared as a Couverture type and their chocolate pulp rate is communicated to the users. The more chocolate pulp there is, the more bitter they will taste. Based on user preferences the sugar and chocolate ratio is being adjusted.

7. White Chocolate:

These are desserts made with only cocoa butter without cocoa solids.

8. Cocoa powder:

There are two types of unsweetened baking cocoa powder. Natural cocoa and Dutch-style cocoa. Both are powdered chocolate without adding cocoa butter. Natural cocoa is light in color, slightly acidic, and has a very high chocolate flavor. Baking soda should be added to this both types of cocoa during baking. Mixing the acidity of cocoa with the alkalinity of soda will make the flour mixture gas-filled and smooth. When Dutch cocoa is used, the salt is added and its acidity is equalized. This type of cocoa has a slightly less flavor and a deeper color.

Also, flavors like mint, orange, or strawberry can be mixed with chocolate. The dessert we usually eat as chocolate is made with chocolate with other ingredients like peanuts, puffed rice, nuts. Chocolate is made by mixing alcoholic beverages as well.

Effects of chocolate:

Health Benefits:

1. Recent studies show that cocoa or dark chocolate may have health benefits for humans.

2. The flavonoids epicatechin and gallic acid found in dark chocolate help protect blood vessels, keeping the heart healthy and preventing cancer.

3. Chocolate has also been found to limit high blood pressure. In fact, chocolate contains more flavonoids than antioxidants such as red wine, green and black tea, and blueberries.

4. Even a scientifically unproven health diet recommends eating chocolate and cocoa powder in pill form. However, eating milk chocolate or white chocolate often does not cause any health effects.

5. Though Chocolate is healthy food and it is not advisable to eat chocolate on a daily basis due to the high fat in it.