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Thursday, 12 December 2013

Chocolate



















this lens' photo
Chocolate is a raw or processed food produced from the seed of the tropical Theobroma cacao tree. Cacao has been cultivated for at least three millennia in Mexico, Central and South America, with its earliest documented use around 1100 BC.

After fermentation, the beans are dried, then cleaned, and then roasted, and the shell is removed to produce cacao nibs. The nibs are then ground to cocoa mass, pure chocolate in rough form. Because this cocoa mass usually is liquefied then 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, combining 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.
Cocoa solids contain alkaloids such as theobromine and phenethylamine, which have physiological effects on the body. It has been linked to serotonin levels in the brain. Some research found that chocolate, eaten in moderation, can lower blood pressure. The presence of theobromine renders chocolate toxic to some animals,especially dogs and cats.
Chocolate has become one of the most popular food types and flavors in the world. Gifts of chocolate molded into different shapes have become traditional on certain holidays: chocolate bunnies and eggs are popular on Easter, chocolate coins on Hanukkah, Santa Claus and other holiday symbols on Christmas, and chocolate hearts or chocolate in heart-shaped boxes on Valentine's Day. Chocolate is also used in cold and hot beverages, to produce chocolate milk and hot chocolate. Around three quarters of the world's cacao bean production takes place in West Africa.

History of Chocolate
The history of chocolate begins in Mesoamerica. Chocolate, the fermented, roasted, and ground beans of the Theobroma Cacao, can be traced to the Mokaya and other pre-Olmec people, with evidence of chocolate beverages dating back to 1900 BC. The Aztecs believed that Cacao seeds were the gift of Quetzalcoatl, the God of wisdom, and the seeds had so much value they were used as a form of currency. Originally prepared only as a drink, chocolate was served as a bitter, frothy liquid, mixed with spices, wine or corn puree. It was believed to have aphrodisiac powers and to give the drinker strength.
After its arrival in Spain in the sixteenth century, sugar was added to it and it became popular through Europe, first among the ruling classes and then among the common people. In the 20th century, chocolate was considered a staple, essential in the rations of United States soldiers at war.
The origins of the word "chocolate" probably comes from the Classical  Nahuatl word xocolātl (meaning "bitter water"), and entered the English language from Spanish.


Images of Chocolate







Types of Chocolate


www.cacaoweb.net


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Worlds 50 best chocolate


Amedei
Italy


Antidote
New York, NY
 


Boissier
Paris, France
 


Charles Chocolates
Emeryville, California
 


Chocolat Moderne
New York, New York 


Chocolates El Rey
Venezuela
 


Christopher Norman Chocolates
New York, New York
 


Christophe Roussel
Paris, France
 


Chuao Chocolatier
Carlsbad, California 


Comptoir du Cacao
Betz, France
 


Coppeneur
Bad Honnef, Germany


Dagoba Organic Chocolate
Ashland,Oregon
 


Éclat
West Chester, PA 


Galler Chocolatiers
Belgium


Génaveh
Luxembourg


Gnosis
New York, NY


Green & Black's
London, England


Guido Gobino Chocolate
Torino, Italy
 


Guittard Chocolate Company
Burlingame, California
 


Hampton Chocolate Factory
Hamptons, NY
 


Hotel Chocolat
Royston, England
 


J. Emanuel
Chester, New Jersey
 


Jacques Torres Chocolate
New York, New York


John & Kira's
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 


K Shocolât
Scotland, U.K. 


La Maison du Chocolat
Paris, France  


Leonidas Chocolates
Brussels, Belgium  


Lillie Belle Farms
Jacksonville, Oregon


Lindt & Sprüngli
Zurich, Switzerland
 


MarieBelle
New York, New York


Marquise de Sévigné
France
 


Mary's Chocolate Japan
Tokyo, Japan
 


Michel Cluizel Chocolates
Damville, France
 


Neuhaus
Belgium
 


NEWTREE Chocolate
Belgium
 


Oliver Kita
Rhinebeck, New York


Pacari
Ecuador
 


Payard
New York, New York


Pralus
Roanne, France
 


Prestat
London, England  


Richart
Paris, France
 


Tcho
San Francisco, California
 


Teuscher
Zurich, Switzerland
 


Theo Chocolate
Seattle, Washington


Valrhona
France
 


Vivani
Germany


Vosges
Chicago, Illinois
 


William Dean
Largo, Florida