CACAO - COCOA - CHOCOLATES
'Cacao' is the plant that produces chocolate. The
cacao tree originally came from Central and South
America, and today is also cultivated in Africa,
Southeast Asia, Hawaii, and the West Indies. We have
a lot of it in our backyard, too. Its seed are
'cocoa beans,' with thirty or forty beans found
inside large seed pods that grow on the trunks of the
trees. The beans are surrounded by a sweet pulp
that you can sulk and really tastes good just like
'santol/sandor' fruit only it's sweet not sour, and that
probably originally drew people to the beans.
After procedures that include fermenting, drying, cleaning,
roasting, winnowing, blending, refining, conching, tempering,
molding - and more others - the beans become cocoa or
PARTS AND PROCESS
'Nibs' is the name given to the cacao seeds, or beans. The
nibs must go through four basic steps before they become
chocolate liquor, the term used for pure chocolate.
'Fermentation' is a process that removes the pulp
that surrounds the nibs when they are removed from the pod.
During fermentation the seeds germinate, then are killed by
high temperatures. Or you can just suck it just like
the way you such the sandor fruit, like I said awhile
'Drying' follows, with the beans losing as much as
half their weight as moisture is removed. Exposure to the
sun is the best way to dry the nibs.
'Roasting' comes next. This takes more than an hour
at temperatures of 94 to 104 degrees Fahrenheit.
Or in our case, we just put in fire while turning it over
once in while to have the nibs roasted equally until
it got dark brown - almost black - but not burned, or until
it is crisp or at least the shell is crisp enough for easy removal
'Winnowing' is what we call the removal of a thin, useless shell.
Now the beans are ready to be ground into that precious "cacao liquor."
MAKING CHOCOLATE CHOCOLATE
From bean to bar, producing chocolate for eating is a complicated process.
Fat — cocoa butter — is removed to make it a dry
powder. It may be treated with alkalines, or “Dutched.”
This powder is the basis of cocoa.
'Cocoa' usually refers to that dry powder used to make a
hot, yummy chocolate drink or in recipes. Cocoa may be either
'dutched' or 'natural'.
Dutched cocoa has been treated with
an alkali to neutralize some of the acidity of chocolate.
It is darker in color than natural cocoa, but has a milder
Fat is then returned to the cocoa, and sugar is added,
as well as other flavorings, such as vanilla. For milk
chocolate, of course, milk is added — either powdered,
condensed, or in small clumps.
The resulting mass is then 'conched.' This is a
grinding and mixing process that may go on for days and
produces the velvety texture of good chocolate. The earliest
conching machines used grinding stones shaped like conch
'Tempering' is a process used to keep chocolate from
developing 'bloom.' Bloom is those white spots found on
chocolate that has become too warm or too damp. It doesn't
hurt the chocolate for eating, but is not considered
Happily, chocolate that gets 'out of temper' can be
melted and tempered again.
I love hot chocolate especially if its pure cocoa made from
cacao. We make it at home and it really is good. I love
munching them too. Cocoa/tablea is good in champorados too.
It tastes better than the commercial cocoa I bought and once
tried to eat or to put on my recipe, they don't just taste like
the natural cacao cocoa.
We really make our own chocolate, we do have cacao on our yard,
maybe atleast 20 trees. But I couldn't find the right words for
the process and terminologies used for these cacao parts without
reading something related to it. Which I mostly owed to
the book "The Chocolate Cupid Killings" by JoAnna Carl. It really
is an interesting book and of course, informative. Thanks JoAnna!!