The history of chocolatePublié le
1st step: Harvesting the Cabosse
A very delicate step, the producer must cut the peduncle which connects the pod to the cocoa tree, taking care not to damage the floral cushion or the bark on which the flowers depend, and therefore the future harvest.
2nd step: Shelling
About 3 days after harvest, the pods must be opened to separate the cocoa beans from the white pulp (placenta or mucilage) of the pod by hand. There are 16 to 60 beans per pod
3rd step: Fermentation
24 hours after shelling, it is now necessary to stop the germination process of the bean and thus improve the conservation of the fruit. The beans are stored for a week in large wooden baskets containing an average of 100kg of beans, then each basket will be shaken every 24 hours.
4th step: Drying
In order to stop the fermentation process, the cocoa beans must imperatively dry for 1 to 4 weeks. They are therefore placed on large tarpaulins in full sun on a layer of 1 to 4 cm stirred regularly. In order to speed up this stage, manufacturers use thermal ovens which heat the beans for 1 to 2 days. Once the beans are completely dry, they are stored in large burlap bags and then exported to countries that will transform the beans into chocolate.
5th step: Roasting
Once the beans have unloaded from the cargo ship, they are cleaned, then heated for half an hour (from 100° to 140°C depending on the type of cocoa) in order to develop the aroma of the chocolate, defined essentially through the stage of fermentation.
6th step: Shelling
Once roasted, the beans are coarsely ground to separate the pieces of shell and the germs using a ventilation system (the lighter pieces of shell fly away while the heavier bean does not move).
7th step: Grinding and mixing
The cocoa nibs then pass through various grinders according to the desired refinement. They then turn into a thick, liquid paste called cocoa mass. The cocoa mass is then mixed with the other raw materials (sugar and possibly milk) until a homogeneous paste is obtained.
9th step: Conchage
The paste is subjected to constant and sustained agitation, hot, in conches in order to acquire all its finesse and smoothness.
10th step: Tempering
Before shaping, the dough must be precisely brought to the temperature that allows crystallization of the cocoa butter. This operation leads to a shiny, brittle and melting chocolate.
11th Step: Molding and coating
Chocolate can be poured into molds or used in chocolate creations!
The process of going from pure cocoa bean to the soft chocolate you consume is therefore very long and requires a lot of work.
To know :
- It takes between 3 and 4 pods to make a chocolate bar
- Composition of the cocoa bean : Cocoa beans contain about 50% of fat called cocoa butter; 3.5% water; 7% starch; 4% cellulose; 2% theobromine, 20% other proteins and 6% minerals