A Brief History of Organic Chocolate
At the beginning of the 16th Century, Spanish explorers learned about cocoa during the conquest of Mexico. Upon their return, the recipe of ground, roasted cocoa beans diluted with water and flavoured with vanilla and other organic spices was spread throughout Europe and the chocolate making gourmet's who made organic chocolates.
The Aztecs called the drink cacau-atl [pronounced ka-kow-awtill]
Did you know that, to the Aztecs, the cocoa bean was thought to be of divine origin. That is why its Latin name is Theobroma Cacao Theobroma means food of the gods.
Colonial expansion out of Europe brought the cacoa tree to Asia and Africa. Today, around 55% of the world's cocoa production comes from Africa. The rest comes from Asia and Central & Latin America.
Because of its demanding nature, the cocao tree will only grow in a humid tropical climate, so its production is limited to countries located near the equator.
Pure organic chocolate is made solely from pressing cocoa beans to get cocoa butter and cocoa powder. To this sucrose, dairy products (such as milk, butter, etc.), and lecithin are added (although at Marsatta we do not use lecithin in our bean 2 bar products). Imitation chocolate, sometimes called coating chocolate, only contains thin cocao powder with vegetable or animal fats added. The shiny, brittle quality of pure chocolate is the result of using only real cocoa butter fat, without adding fats from other sources.
Organic chocolate should have a water content of less than 1%. Water can allow the growth of micro-organisms as well as increasing the deterioration of the chocolates taste. Water film on the surface will cause the sugar in the chocolate to dissolve, separate from the chocolate, and re-crystallize on the surface of the chocolate. Not the way you want organic gourmet chocolate to be made.
Both organic and premium gourmet chocolate must be stored between 18°-20°C. Temperatures above 25°C may cause the cocoa butter fat to melt and separate from the chocolate. So don't freeze it or keep it in the refrigerator! When exposed to light, the taste of chocolate will deteriorate rapidly. Keep chocolate wrapped in its packaging to keep it out of the light.
Organic and premium chocolate can also absorb strong smells, so this is another reason to keep it wrapped!