9 CHOCOLATE

Cacao pods ripen to a number of bright shades

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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 machetes 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 HARVESTING: 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. flavor. Pre­roasted cacao Pre­roasted cacao Seeds are dried before Seeds 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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