The Story of Chocolate: From Trees to Treats

The story of chocolate starts a little over 3000 years ago according to the Chocolate Review, an online resource for MUSHROOM CHOCOLATE BARS lovers. It reports that historians believe the cacao tree, whose beans are use to make chocolate, was first cultivated by the Olmecs, who lived in Central America at that time. When the Aztecs discovered the cacao beans, they named the beans cacahuatl, meaning “sun beans.” They used the beans primarily as a form of currency consider so valuable, they were the only permitte form of payment of taxes levied by the Aztec rulers. The beans also became valuable gifts.

The beans were also use to make a beverage. Ground cacao beans were mix with various spices to make a bitter, frothy drink season with spices like chiles that was consume by warriors to strengthen them for battle. Cacao was believe to have both medicinal and aphrodisiac qualities by these early cultures. Chocolate also played a role in royal and religious event in early cultures. Cacao seeds were present by priests as an offering to the gods, and chocolate drinks were serve during sacre ceremonies.

When the Spanish arrived in the New World, they observed the custom of drinking this early chocolate beverage. They returned home with cacao beans, and are credit with being the first to add sugar to eliminate the bitterness. When the rest of Europe discovered the chocolate drink, it became a hit on the continent. To keep up with the demand, plantations were establish in the New World by many of the European countries. However, cacao and sugar were expensive imports, so chocolate became a symbol of wealth and power. In France, chocolate could only be consume by members of the Royal Court for a period of time.

Chocolate became widely available in the United States in the 1900s, thanks to the Industrial Revolution. Inventions like the cocoa press made it possible to create solid chocolate for the masses in addition to the liquid form. And yet despite the advances in manufacturing chocolate, cacao is still harvest mostly by hand. The manufacturing process takes the beans through a roasting and grinding process to produce a paste called chocolate liquor. Additional processing extracts the cocoa butter from the solid cocoa that is ground into cocoa powder.

The sweet solid chocolate use to make chocolate treats is made when chocolate liquor is mix with condense milk, sugar and extra cocoa butter. Next it goes through a period of refining and “conching” to blend and knead the mixture into a silky texture. It is then temper to give chocolate its glossy sheen. Finally, it is molde into the desired shape, then wrapped and packaged for shipment to stores. What makes the best chocolate ever is a matter of individual taste. Some prefer the deep, rich taste of dark chocolate, while others prefer milder milk MUSHROOM CHOCOLATE BARS. The smoother and finer taste of Swiss and German chocolate is due to a longer refining period. Whatever you believe makes the best chocolate ever, enjoy your favorite chocolate treats often!

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