Chocolate’s journey from a cocoa tree to the bar we all love is really fascinating one. The process of making chocolate varies. However the basic process is the same. Let us take an over view of how the cocoa is turned into the brown solid food with surreal taste.
Harvesting – Cocoa harvesting is done twice a year with the ripe cocoa pods being plucked. Immediately the pods are cut my machetes to reveal the white pulp which contains the cocoa beans. The beans are indeed seeds of the cocoa tree.
Fermenting – This is the second step of the process where the cut pods are placed in wooden boxes and the pulp is allowed to ferment for a week. Fermenting is essential for flavor development.
Drying – After fermenting the beans are separated from the pulp and are dried out in the sun. The single layer dries quickly. After proper drying out which prevents fungal growth the beans are packed in sacks to be transported. This is where the role of the farmer ends and of the manufacturer starts.
Roasting – The dried out beans ar4e bought by chocolate manufacturers and then are roasted in machines meant for it. Temperature is regulated to prevent burning.
Winnowing and grinding – The roasted beans are winnowed to remove the shell and get the crust. The crust is the ground into what we call chocolate powder.
Tempering and Molding – The powder is further purified by tempering and then the chocolate paste is made and the mould makes them into the bar which we buy and eat.