Unformatted text preview: arts of the world where working
conditions resembled slavery.
conditions Chocolate is any product made
primarily of cocoa solids and cocoa
fat. The different flavors of
chocolate can be obtained by
varying the time and temperature
when roasting the beans, by
adjusting the relative quantities of
the cocoa solids and cocoa fat, and
by adding non-chocolate
ingredients. Cacao pods ripen to a number of bright
shades, depending upon the variety of
cacao tree. Ripe cacao pods ready to be harvested. Workers use long knives called
machetes to slice off pods that are
within arm’s length. Nestled within each pod are 30 to 50
whitish seeds, covered in tasty, citruswhitish
flavored pulp. HARVESTING: First, the pods, containing
cacao beans, are harvested. The beans,
together with their surrounding pulp, are
removed from the pod and placed in piles or
bins to ferment for three to seven days. The
fermentation process is what gives the
beans their familiar chocolate taste. The
beans must then be quickly dried to prevent
mold growth; weather permitting, this is
done by spreading the beans out in the sun. Inside the ripe pods are the cacao
tree's seeds: the cocoa beans.
tree's Mature Cacao Fruit Fresh Seeds Grow
Into Plants. Seeds surrounded by a sugar type of coating
that when fermented gives chocolate flavor.
that Farmers must split open cacao pods, ferment
the seeds, spread them to dry, and package
them for shipping—all by hand.
them The pulp containing the precious
cocoa beans is then removed from
the pods and collected in large
baskets. The beans are then,
depending on the type, left to
ferment for five to seven days. This
takes place on the ground or in
trays where the beans are covered
with banana leaves.
with During the fermentation process, cacao
seeds can heat up to temperatures as
high as 125°F!
high Seeds are fermented
before they are roasted.
before Spontaneous fermentation of the pulp Spontaneous fermentation of the pulp begins as naturally present yeasts and bacteria convert the sugar to alcohol and, subsequently to lactic and acetic acid. Fermentation can take from 3 to 7days. Proper fermentation is important because it develops flavor in the cacao. A lengthy fermentation process must occur in
order to transform bitter alkaloids and oils
into a product with characteristic chocolate
flavor. Preroasted cacao
Preroasted cacao Seeds are dried before
they are roasted. Dried cacao seeds can be ground for
chocolate but will not grow into plants. Dark cacao seeds are ready to be reduced into
powder, brown ones are half dried and white
ones were just set to be dried.
ones Workers turn seeds frequently to help them
dry. At this time, farmers also check for flat,
split, or germinated seeds.
split, Cocoa beans drying in the sun
Cocoa This method of air d...
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- Fall '11