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What is CACAO?  
Cacao, Theobroma cacao, is a tropical evergreen tree in the family Byttneriaceae. It is native to Central and South America and is cultivated extensively for its seed, which is the source of COCOA, CHOCOLATE, and cocoa butter. Cacao is a wide-branched evergreen that grows up to 7.5 m (25 ft) tall and bears seedpods up to 30 cm (1 ft) long and 10 cm (4 in) thick, with a hard leathery shell. Pods contain as many as 40 seeds, or beans, some up to 2.5 cm (1 in) wide. Several species of Theobroma are cultivated in tropical America. The principal species used for cocoa, is grown throughout the wet, lowland tropics, especially in south-east Asia, South America, and West Africa, where the trees are planted under the shade of taller trees. They usually bear fruit 4 years after they have been planted. Workers harvest cacao beans with knives. After extraction from the fruit, the beans are placed in piles, covered with banana leaves, and allowed to ferment; afterward they are dried to prevent moulding. They are then sacked and shipped to chocolate or cocoa manufacturers. Cacao beans were once used as money by the people of Mexico and Central America. There are three broad types of cocao plant: FORASTERO and CRILLO plus TRINITARIO which is a hybrid of Forastero and Crillo. Within these types are several varieties.

What is COCOA?  
Cocoa is finely pulverised de-fatted, roasted CACAO kernels, to which natural and artificial spices and flavours may be added. It is commercially manufactured by pumping hot CHOCOLATE liquor (semi-liquid ground cacao kernels) into hydraulic cage presses where, under extreme pressure, part of the fat, or cocoa butter, is removed. The fat content of cocoa varies from less than 10% to 22% or more for breakfast or high fat cocoa. Cocoa may be Dutch-processed by mild alkali treatment to change and darken colour and improve flavour. Cocoa is the flavouring ingredient in many confections, baked goods, ice creams, puddings, and beverages. It is also used to flavour some tobaccos and pharmaceuticals.



Chocolate Manufacturing Print E-mail
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History of Chocolate
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Sunday, 14 December 2008 01:07

In the chocolate manufacturing process, cocoa liquor is mixed with cocoa butter and sugar. In the case of milk chocolate, fresh, sweetened condensed or roller-dry low-heat powdered whole milk is added, depending on the individual manufacturer's formula and manufacturing methods. In the crumb or flake process, liquor is blended with sugar and pre-condensed milk, or sweetened condensed milk. It is then dried on heated rollers to produce the flavor more typical of European chocolate or mixed with slightly acidified milk to produce the typical United States flavor. These distinctions are a matter of taste, not quality.

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Cocoa Processing Print E-mail
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History of Chocolate
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Sunday, 14 December 2008 01:05

After cocoa beans have been received at the processing location, they are inspected and thoroughly cleaned of all extraneous matter, such as sticks, stones, and metal fragments, as well as broken beans. The cleaning process involves blowers, which remove items that are lighter or heavier than cocoa beans, and sieves which eliminate items that are too small or too big.

Last Updated ( Sunday, 14 December 2008 01:06 )
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Chuao a Mystical Place for Chocolate Aficionados Print E-mail
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History of Chocolate
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Sunday, 05 October 2008 21:36

The original objective was modest: to produce the finest chocolate in the world using only the world’s highest quality cocoa. And so it would be. Alessio Tessieri, a Pisan from the town of Pontedera, newbie chocolatier with a lot of determination, had his sights set on that little plantation in Venezuela.  He knew that “you can’t make great chocolate unless you control the farm,” which in this case, was a plantation. This rule holds true for wine as well as for oil. If you want Romanée Conti wine, don't you need to start with Vosne Romanée grapes? Add to this the fact that what we have here isn't just any old plantation, but the plantation in Chuao “where the history of the world’s finest cocoa is planted”.

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History of Chocolate Print E-mail
History of Chocolate
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 05 October 2008 21:35

The source of chocolate, the seeds of the cacao tree, have figured prominently in many different cultures, first in prehistoric Central America, then in Mayan and Aztec civilization, then around the world, spread by the great colonial powers. Chocolate lovers might swear that the cacao tree's major contribution has been gastronomic, but it has also played an important part in religious, medical, economic, and social history

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 14 July 2009 18:17 )
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