History-of-Chocolate

Page-Origins and History of Chocolate
Origins and History of Chocolate

ORIGINS

The cacao tree is native to the Amazon Basin. It was domesticated by the Olmecs and Mocayas (Mexico and Central America). More than 4,000 years ago, it was consumed by pre-Columbian cultures along the Yucatán, including the Mayans, and as far back as Olmeca civilization in spiritual ceremonies. It also grows in the foothills of the Andes in the Amazon and Orinoco basins of South America, in Colombia and Venezuela. Wild cacao still grows there. Its range may have been larger in the past; evidence of its wild range may be obscured by cultivation of the tree in these areas since long before the Spanish arrived. New chemical analysis of residue extracted from pottery excavated at an archaeological site at Puerto Escondido, in Honduras, indicates that cocoa products were first consumed there sometime between 1500 and 1400 BC. Evidence also indicates that, long before the flavor of the cacao seed (or bean) became popular, the sweet pulp of the chocolate fruit, used in making a fermented (5% alcohol) beverage, first drew attention to the plant in the Americas. The cocoa bean was a common currency throughout Mesoamerica before the Spanish conquest.

CACAO TREE

Cacao trees grow in a limited geographical zone, of about 20° to the north and south of the Equator. Nearly 70% of the world crop today is grown in West Africa. The cacao plant was first given its botanical name by Swedish natural scientist Carl Linnaeus in his original classification of the plant kingdom, where he called it Theobroma ("food of the gods") cacao.

Cocoa was an important commodity in pre-Columbian Mesoamerica. A Spanish soldier who was part of the conquest of Mexico by Hernán Cortés tells that when Moctezuma II, emperor of the Aztecs, dined, he took no other beverage than chocolate, served in a golden goblet. Flavored with vanilla or other spices, his chocolate was whipped into a froth that dissolved in the mouth. No fewer than 60 portions each day reportedly may have been consumed by Moctezuma II, and 2,000 more by the nobles of his court.

Chocolate was introduced to Europe by the Spaniards, and became a popular beverage by the mid-17th century. Spaniards also introduced the cacao tree into the West Indies and the Philippines. It was also introduced into the rest of Asia and into West Africa by Europeans. In the Gold Coast, modern Ghana, cacao was introduced by a Ghanaian, Tetteh Quarshie.

HISTORY

Cultivation, consumption, and cultural use of cacao were extensive in Mesoamerica where the cacao tree is native. When pollinated, the seed of the cacao tree eventually forms a kind of sheath, or ear, 20" long, hanging from the tree trunk itself. Within the sheath are 30 to 40 brownish-red almond-shaped beans embedded in a sweet viscous pulp. While the beans themselves are bitter due to the alkaloids within them, the sweet pulp may have been the first element consumed by humans.

COCOA POD

Cacao pods themselves can range in a wide range of colors, from pale yellow to bright green, all the way to dark purple or crimson. The skin can also vary greatly - some are sculpted with craters or warts, while others are completely smooth. This wide range in type of pods is unique to cacaos in that their color and texture does not necessarily determine the ripeness or taste of the beans inside.

Evidence suggests that it may have been fermented and served as an alcoholic beverage as early as 1400 BC.

Cultivation of the Cacao was not an easy process. Part of the reason was that was due to the fact that, Cacao trees in their natural environment grew up to 60 or more feet tall. When the trees were grown in a plantation however, they grew to around 20 feet tall.

While researchers do not agree which Mesoamerican culture first domesticated the cacao tree, the use of the fermented bean in a drink seems to have arisen in North America (Mesoamerica—Central America and Mexico). Scientists have been able to confirm its presence in vessels around the world by evaluating the "chemical footprint" detectable in the microsamples of contents that remain. Ceramic vessel with residues from the preparation of chocolate beverages have been found at archaeological sites dating back to the Early Formative (1900–900 BC) period. For example, one such 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 BC. On the Pacific coast of Chiapas, Mexico, a Mokayanan archaeological site provides evidence of cacao beverages dating even earlier, to 1900 BC.

VARIETIES

CACAO POD

The three main varieties of cocoa plant are Forastero, Criollo, and Trinitario. The first (FORASTERO) is the most widely used, comprising 80-90% of the world production of cocoa. Cocoa beans of the Criollo variety are rarer and considered a delicacy. Criollo plantations have lower yields than those of Forastero, and also tend to be less resistant to several diseases that attack the cocoa plant, hence very few countries still produce it. One of the largest producers of Criollo beans is Venezuela (Chuao and Porcelana). Trinitario (from Trinidad) is a hybrid between Criollo and Forastero varieties. It is considered to be of much higher quality than Forastero, has higher yields, and is more resistant to disease than Criollo.

PRODUCTION

A cocoa pod (fruit) has a rough, leathery rind about 2 to 3 cm (0.79 to 1.18 in) thick (this varies with the origin and variety of pod) filled with sweet, mucilaginous pulp (called baba de cacao in South America) with a lemonade-like taste enclosing 30 to 50 large seeds that are fairly soft and a pale lavender to dark brownish purple color.

During harvest, the pods are opened, the seeds are kept, and the empty pods are discarded. The seeds are placed where they can ferment. Due to heat buildup in the fermentation process, cacao beans lose most of the purplish hue and become mostly brown in color, with an adhered skin which includes the dried remains of the fruity pulp. This skin is released easily by winnowing after roasting. White seeds are found in some rare varieties, usually mixed with purples, and are considered of higher value.

COCOA BEANS DRYING IN THE SUN

Extracted from Wikipedia.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cocoa_bean

9- COUCHING

A conche is a surface scraping mixer and agitator that evenly distributes cocoa butter within chocolate, and may act as a "polisher" of the particles. It also promotes flavor development through frictional heat, release of volatiles and acids, and oxidation. There are numerous designs of conches. Food scientists are still studying precisely what happens during conching and why. The name arises from the shape of the vessels initially used which resembled conch shells.

When ingredients are mixed in this way, sometimes for up to 78 hours, chocolate can be produced with a mild, rich taste. Lower quality chocolate is conched for as little as six hours. Since the process is so important to the final texture and flavor of chocolate, manufacturers keep the details of their conching process proprietary.

Rodolphe Lindt invented the "conche" in Berne, Switzerland in 1879. It produced chocolate with superior aroma and melting characteristics compared to other processes used at that time. Legend has it that Lindt mistakenly left a mixer containing chocolate running overnight. Though he was initially distraught at the waste of energy and machine wear and tear, he quickly realized he had made a major breakthrough. Before conching was invented, solid chocolate was gritty and not very popular. Lindt's invention rapidly changed chocolate from being mainly a drink to being made into bars and other confections.

Lindt's original conche consisted of a granite roller and granite trough; such a configuration is now called a "long conche" and can take more than a day to process a tonne of chocolate. The ends of the trough were shaped to allow the chocolate to be thrown back over the roller at the end of each stroke, increasing the surface area exposed to air. A modern rotary conche can process 3 to 10 tonnes of chocolate in less than 12 hours. Modern conches have cooled jacketed vessels containing long mixer shafts with radial arms that press the chocolate against vessel sides. A single machine can carry out all the steps of grinding, mixing, and conching required for small batches of chocolate.

COUCHING PROCESS

Conching redistributes the substances from the dry cocoa that create flavor into the fat phase. Air flowing through the conche removes some unwanted acetic, propionic, and butyric acids from the chocolate and reduces moisture. A small amount of moisture greatly increases viscosity of the finished chocolate so machinery is cleaned with cocoa butter instead of water. Some of the substances produced in roasting of cocoa beans are oxidized in the conche, mellowing the flavor of the product.

The temperature of the conche is controlled and varies for different types of chocolate. Generally higher temperature leads to a shorter required processing time. Temperature varies from around 49 °C (120 °F) for milk chocolate to up to 82 °C (180 °F) for dark chocolate. The elevated temperature leads to a partially caramelized flavor and in milk chocolate promotes the Maillard reaction.

The chocolate passes through three phases during conching. In the dry phase the material is in powdery form, and the mixing coats the particles with fat. Air movement through the conche removes some moisture and volatile substances, which may give an acidic note to the flavor. Moisture balance affects the flavor and texture of the finished product because, after the particles are coated with fat, moisture and volatile chemicals are less likely to escape.

In the pasty phase more of the particles are coated with the fats from the cocoa. The power required to turn the conche shafts increases at this step.

The final liquid phase allows minor adjustment to the viscosity of the finished product by addition of fats and emulsifiers, depending on the intended use of the chocolate.

While most conches are batch process machines, continuous flow conches separate the stages with weirs over which the product travels through separate parts of the machine. A continuous conche can reduce the conching time for milk chocolate to as little as four hours.

The Couching info above was extracted from Wikipedia.

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FACTS on THE BEANS

I wanted to know the Weight of the Shells compare to the Weight of the Beans to find out their percentage of each, so I took a bunch of Beans that I roasted them and then I weighted them and I had 237 grams. So then I peeled them all by hand carefully so as not to lose any shells and any Nibs either to find out what is their respective Weight.

Photo-1 Whole Beans Roasted PHOTO-1 WHOLE ROASTED BEANS= 237 grams.

Photo-2 Beans De-Shelled PHOTO-2 BEANS DE-SHELLED= 204 grams.

Photo-3 Shells PHOTO-3 SHELLS= 33 grams.

Photo-1 Whole Roasted Beans= 237 grams so that would Equal 100 %

Photo-2 Beans De-Shelled= 204 grams, so 204 X 100 and Divided by 237= 86.08 %

Photo-2 Shells= 33 grams, so 33 X 100 and Divided by 237= 13.92 %

If you ad up 86.08 + 13.92= 100

So the Shells account for 13.92 % of the total weight of the Beans once roasted. Those are Criollo Beans and I imagine that the margin would not be too big or different then this even if they where different type of Beans, and if it is different in weight, it would not be much more nor much less.

So now I just did a batch that I had just passed in the Champion Juicer and then I extracted the Dust so as not to be in the way and I used my New Bonneauwing Board to removed the Shells and if I want to find out what is my loss while extracting the Shells this way I must have the total of Materiel before and after.

Materiel before removing the shells (Dust was Removed)= 1,174 grams.

After shells removed= 938 grams of Nibs left.

So 1,174 - 938= 236 grams.

So if I want to know my loss I have to figure the percentage of 236 compare to 1,174

236 X 100 divided by 1,174= 20.10 % of loss.

BUT now I know that the Shells actually account for 13.92 % of the whole Beans, so I must subtract this 13.92 % of the 20.10 % I had above to find out my Real loss.

20.10 - 13.92= 6.18 % so this is my Real loss, and I lost that because some Nibs fell on the floor, because I am very tight in my working space and my tray was not big enough to catch them all, and I did not recuperate them, and If I did I would probably have 0 % loss.

SO NOW LISTEN UP YOU ALL PEOPLE USING WINNOWING MACHINES.

The guys that have big winnowing Machine tells me that they have only between 3-5 % loss of Nibs. Well I say they are deluding themselves and that their loss is probably around the 25 % mark. Show me your Numbers, and how you come up with your 3% to 5% Loss that does not make any sens. ! ! ! ? ? ?

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