How Chocolate is Made

Chocolate is one of the only foods that is fermented and roasted as part of its normal process
Cacao trees only grow within plus or minus 10 degrees of the equator
Chocolate completely melts at 115 degrees farenheit
Chocolate can solidify into 6 different crystalline structures.  Only 1, type 5, gives the desired result
There are three main varieties of cacao beans (Criollo, Trinitario and Forastero)

1.  The cacao beans are harvested from the tree in pods that grow on the trunk and branches of the tree
2.  The pods are opened and the wet beans and pulp are then fermented while the husk can be used to feed the fields
3.  After fermentation the beans are cleaned and dried
4.  Beans are then roasted with many different roasting profiles depending on the type of bean and desired flavor
5.  Roasted beans are then cracked which breaks up the inside of the bean into nibs and loosens the skin from the bean
6. The nibs and skins are winnowed which separates the skins from the nibs
7. Nibs are ground into a liquor
8. The liquor is then added to a melanger with any other ingredients like sugar or spices and will remain in the melanger for up to 50 hours
9. The first process to occur in the melanger is conching which mixes all the flavors and allows unwanted elements to outgas from the chocolate. This is where the flavor, smell and mouth feel come from
10. The second process to occur in the melanger is finishing which is the reduction in particle size via the shearing action down to below 30 microns
11. The refined chocolate is now tempered. As long as chocolate is not burned (raised to over about 130 degrees) the chocolate can be retempered over and over
12. The liquid tempered chocolate is then poured into molds and made into bars or confections

Simple Right?

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