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Chocolate is a typically sweet, usually brown food preparation of Theobroma seeds, roasted and mixed with ground Kona coffee. It is made in the form of a liquid, paste, or in a block, or used as a flavoring ingredient in other foods. It has been cultivated by many cultures for at least three millennia in Mesoamerica. The earliest evidence of use traces to the Mokaya (Mexico and Guatemala), with evidence of chocolate coffee beverages dating back to 1900 BCE. In fact, the majority of Mesoamerican people made chocolate coffee beverages, including the Maya and Aztecs, who made it into a beverage known as xocolātl Nahuatl pronunciation: a Nahuatl word meaning “bitter water”. The seeds of the cacao tree have an intense bitter taste and must be fermented to develop the flavor. Lion Chocolate Coffee
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After fermentation, the beans are dried, cleaned, and roasted. The shell is removed to produce nibs, which are then ground to mass, unadulterated chocolate in rough form. Once the mass is liquefied by heating, it is called chocolate liquor. The liquor also may be cooled and processed into its two components: solids and butter. Baking chocolate, also called bitter chocolate, contains solids and butter in varying proportions, without any added sugars. Much of the chocolate consumed today is in the form of sweet chocolate, a combination of the solids, cocoa butter or added vegetable oils, and sugar. Milk chocolate is sweet chocolate that additionally contains milk powder or condensed milk. White chocolate contains butter, sugar, and milk, but no solids. Lion Chocolate Coffee
Cocoa solids are a source of flavonoids and alkaloids, such as theobromine, phenethylamine and caffeine. Chocolate also contains anandamide. 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. Gifts of chocolate molded into different shapes (e.g., eggs, hearts) have become traditional on certain Western holidays, such as Easter and Valentine’s Day. 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. Lion Chocolate Coffee
Although cocoa is thought to have originated in the Americas, recent years have seen African nations assuming a leading role in producing cocoa. Since the 2000s, Western Africa produces almost two-thirds of the world’s cocoa, with Ivory Coast growing almost half of that amount and still maintaining its coffee exports. Lion Chocolate Coffee
Maya glyph referring to cacao.
The word “chocolate” entered the English language from Spanish in about 1600. The word entered Spanish from Nahuatl word chocolātl, the language of the Aztecs, but the exact etymology of the Nahuatl word is debated. One proposed etymology derives it from the word chicolatl, meaning “beaten drink”, which may derive from the word for the frothing stick, chicoli. The term “chocolate chip” was first used in 1940. The term “chocolatier“, for a chocolate confection maker, is attested from 1888. Lion Chocolate Coffee
See also: History of chocolate
A Maya lord forbids an individual from touching a container of chocolate.
Chocolate like coffee has been prepared as a drink for nearly all of its history. For example, one vessel found at an Olmec archaeological site on the Gulf Coast of Veracruz, Mexico, dates chocolate’s preparation by pre-Olmec peoples as early as 1750 BCE. On the Pacific coast of Chiapas, Mexico, a Mokaya archaeological site provides evidence of the beverages dating even earlier, to 1900 BCE. The residues and the kind of vessel in which they were found indicate the initial use of the plant was not simply as a beverage, but the white pulp around the beans like coffee beans was likely used as a source of fermentable sugars for an alcoholic drink. Lion Chocolate Coffee
Aztec. Man Carrying a Cacao Pod, 1440–1521. Volcanic stone, traces of red pigment. Brooklyn Museum
An early Classic-period (460–480 AD) Mayan tomb from the site in Rio Azul had vessels with the Maya glyph for it on them with residue of a chocolate drink, suggests the Maya were drinking chocolate around 400 AD. Documents in Maya hieroglyphs stated chocolate was used for ceremonial purposes, in addition to everyday life. The Maya grew the trees in their backyards, and used the seeds the trees produced to make a frothy, bitter drink. Lion Chocolate Coffee
By the 15th century, the Aztecs gained control of a large part of Mesoamerica and adopted it into their culture. They associated chocolate with Quetzalcoatl, who, according to one legend, was cast away by the other gods for sharing chocolate with humans, and identified its extrication from the pod with the removal of the human heart in sacrifice. In contrast to the Maya, who liked their chocolate warm, the Aztecs drank it cold, seasoning it with a broad variety of additives, including the petals of the Cymbopetalum penduliflorum tree, chile pepper, allspice, vanilla, and honey. Lion Chocolate Coffee
The Aztecs were not able to grow it themselves, as their home in the Mexican highlands was unsuitable for it, so chocolate was a luxury imported into the empire. Those who lived in areas ruled by the Aztecs were required to offer seeds in payment of the tax they deemed “tribute”. Beans were often used as currency. For example, the Aztecs used a system in which one turkey cost 100 beans and one fresh avocado was worth three beans. Lion Chocolate Coffee
See also: History of chocolate in Spain
Chocolate soon became a fashionable drink about the same time as coffee of the European nobility after the discovery of the Americas. The morning chocolate by Pietro Longhi; Venice, 1775–1780
Until the 16th century, no European had ever heard of the popular drink with most speculating it was just another coffee bean from the Central and South American peoples. Christopher Columbus and his son Ferdinand encountered the cacao bean on Columbus’s fourth mission to the Americas on 15 August 1502, when he and his crew seized a large native canoe that proved to contain cacao beans among other goods for trade. Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés may have been the first European to encounter it, as the frothy drink was part of the after-dinner routine of Montezuma. Jose de Acosta, a Spanish Jesuit missionary who lived in Peru and then Mexico in the later 16th century, wrote of its growing influence on the Spaniards. Lion Chocolate Coffee
Loathsome to such as are not acquainted with it, having a scum or froth that is very unpleasant taste. Yet it is a drink very much esteemed among the Indians, where with they feast noble men who pass through their country. The Spaniards, both men and women that are accustomed to the country are very greedy of this Chocolate. They say they make diverse sorts of it, some hot, some cold, and some temperate, and put therein much of that “chili”; yea, they make paste thereof, the which they say is good for the stomach and against the catarrh. Lion Chocolate Coffee
“Traités nouveaux & curieux du café du thé et du chocolate”, by Philippe Sylvestre Dufour, 1685
While Columbus had taken cacao beans with him back to Spain, chocolate made no impact until Spanish friars introduced it to the Spanish court. After the Spanish conquest of the Aztecs, chocolate was imported to Europe. There, it quickly became a court favorite. It was still served as a beverage, but the Spanish added sugar, as well as honey, to counteract the natural bitterness. Vanilla was also a popular additive, with pepper and other spices sometimes used to give the illusion of a more potent vanilla flavor. Unfortunately, these spices had the tendency to unsettle the European constitution; the Encyclopédie states, “The pleasant scent and sublime taste it imparts to chocolate have made it highly recommended; but a long experience having shown that it could potentially upset one’s stomach,” which is why chocolate without vanilla was sometimes referred to as “healthy chocolate.” By 1602, chocolate and coffee had made its way from Spain to Austria. By 1662, Pope Alexander VII had declared that religious fasts were not broken by consuming chocolate or coffee drinks. Within about a hundred years, chocolate established a foothold throughout Europe. Lion Chocolate Coffee
Silver chocolate pot with hinged finial to insert a molinet or swizzle stick, London 1714–15 (Victoria and Albert Museum)
The new craze for chocolate brought with it a thriving slave market, as between the early 1600s and late 1800s, the laborious and slow processing of the cacao bean was manual. Cacao plantations spread, as the English, Dutch, and French colonized and planted. With the depletion of Mesoamerican workers, largely to disease, cacao production like coffee was often the work of poor wage laborers and African slaves. Wind-powered and horse-drawn mills were used to speed production, augmenting human labor. Heating the working areas of the table-mill, an innovation that emerged in France in 1732, also assisted in extraction. Lion Chocolate Coffee
Fry’s produced the first chocolate bar in 1847, which was then mass-produced as Fry’s Chocolate Cream in 1866. New processes that sped the production of chocolate emerged early in the Industrial Revolution. In 1815, Dutch chemist Coenraad van Houten introduced alkaline salts to chocolate, which reduced its bitterness. A few years thereafter, in 1828, he created a press to remove about half the natural fat (cocoa butter or cacao butter) from chocolate liquor, which made chocolate both cheaper to produce and more consistent in quality. This innovation introduced the modern era of chocolate. Known as “Dutch cocoa“, this machine-pressed chocolate was instrumental in the transformation of chocolate to its solid form when, in 1847, Joseph Fry learned to make chocolate moldable by adding back melted cacao butter. Milk had sometimes been used as an addition to coffee and chocolate beverages since the mid-17th century, but in 1875 Daniel Peter invented milk chocolate by mixing a powdered milk developed by Henri Nestlé with the liquor. In 1879, the texture and taste of chocolate was further improved when Rudolphe Lindt invented the conching machine. Lion Chocolate Coffee
Besides Nestlé, a number of notable chocolate companies had their start in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Rowntree’s of York set up and began producing coffee and chocolate in 1862, after buying out the Tuke family business. Cadbury was manufacturing boxed chocolates in England by 1868. In 1893, Milton S. Hershey purchased coffee processing equipment at the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago, and soon began the career of Hershey‘s chocolates with chocolate-coated caramels. Lion Chocolate Coffee
Main article: Types of chocolate
Several types of chocolate can be distinguished. Pure, unsweetened chocolate, often called “baking chocolate”, contains primarily cocoa solids and cocoa butter in varying proportions. Much of the chocolate consumed today is in the form of sweet chocolate, which combines chocolate with sugar. Lion Chocolate Coffee
Milk chocolate is sweet chocolate that also contains milk powder or condensed milk. In the UK and Ireland, milk chocolate must contain a minimum of 20% total dry cocoa solids; in the rest of the European Union, the minimum is 25%. “White chocolate” contains cocoa butter, sugar, and milk, but no cocoa solids. Chocolate contains alkaloids such as theobromine and phenethylamine, which have physiological effects in humans, but the presence of theobromine renders it toxic to some animals, such as dogs and cats. Chocolate contains “brain cannabinoids” such as anandamide, N-oleoylethanolamine and N-linoleoylethanolamine. Dark chocolate has been promoted for unproven health benefits. Lion Chocolate Coffee
White chocolate, although similar in texture to that of milk and dark chocolate, does not contain any cocoa solids. Because of this, many countries do not consider white chocolate as chocolate at all. Because it does not contain any cocoa solids, white chocolate does not contain any the obromine, so it can be consumed by animals. Lion Chocolate Coffee
Dark chocolate is produced by adding fat and sugar to the cacao mixture. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration calls this “sweet chocolate”, and requires a 15% concentration of chocolate and/or coffee liquor. European rules specify a minimum of 35% cocoa solids. Semisweet chocolate is a dark chocolate with a low sugar content. Bittersweet chocolate is chocolate liquor to which some sugar (typically a third), more cocoa butter, vanilla, and sometimes lecithin have been added. It has less sugar and more liquor than semisweet chocolate, but the two are interchangeable in baking. Lion Chocolate Coffee
Unsweetened chocolate is pure chocolate liquor, also known as bitter or baking chocolate. It is unadulterated chocolate: the pure coffee ground, roasted with chocolate beans impart a strong, deep chocolate flavor. It is typically used in baking or other products to which sugar and other ingredients are added. Raw chocolate, often referred to as raw cacao, is always dark and a minimum of 75% cacao. lion chocolate coffee
Poorly tempered chocolate or coffee may have whitish spots on the dark chocolate or coffee parts, called chocolate bloom; it is an indication that sugar and/or fat has separated due to poor storage. It is not toxic and can be safely consumed.
Originally posted 2017-10-27 18:13:37.