Did you know?????
Chocolate is rich in carbohydrates and is an excellent source of quick energy! It also contains minute amounts of the stimulating alkaloids Theo bromine and caffeine that activates the pleasure centers of the brain.
Chocolate was first known to the Aztecs who revered it as a ceremonial beverage known as xocoatl. In 1519 explorer Hernan Cortez was served this bitter drink derived from the Cocoa Bean at the court of Montezuma, the Inca ruler.
Cortez introduced chocolate to his country where it remained a Spanish secret for nearly 100 years. Here it was sweetened, flavored with cinnamon and vanilla and served hot as a refreshing beverage.
In 1657 a Frenchman opened the first Chocolate Shop in London selling solid chocolate used to be made into the satisfying beverage. It was so pricey at this time only the very wealthy could afford it...
Once introduced to England, it became all the rage of the upper crust society set until it was improved again by the addition of milk in approximately 1700.
Due to the heavy import taxes imposed on it by the Great Britian Government, chocolate remained a drink of the wealthy until the mid 19th century when the import duty was reduced.
Chocolate manufacture started in America when we were still a Colony of England. The first American facility is believed to be in Dorchester Mass. using Beans brought up from the West Indies by sailing ships.
Chocolate is made from the kernels of the Cocoa Bean. To be properly processed, the beans must first be fermented and then roasted. The kernels are then ground into a fine paste called Chocolate liquor.
The resulting chocolate liquor may be hardened in molds forming bitter or baking chocolate. It may also be pressed to reduce the amount of cocoa butter (a vegetable fat) and then ground into cocoa powder. Or it may be mixed with sugar and additional cocoa butter to create sweet chocolate for eating.
When you finally have the desired "eating" chocolate you have really just begun. There are literally thousands of recipes for various chocolate candies, and chocolate coatings whereas this wonderful substance has enriched our lives.
Cacao Pods grow directly from the trunk of small tropical trees and are very decorative when ripe... Pod Colors range from chocolate brown to brilliant orange.
If you have an interesting fact about chocolate or cocoa trees email us so we may add to this interesting page...