Chocolate is a food variety from finely grounded sugar, butter, and cocoa. The latter's botanical name is Theobroma Cacao which translates to Food for the gods. This is a befitting title, seeing that for ages, humans have always had a craving for this heavenly confection. In ancient history, cocoa beans were so revered that they were used as currencies to conduct trade by Aztecs and Mayans of South America.
After Spain's invasion and eventual colonization of the Americas, the Spaniards came to learn of this gem and later introduced new methods of enjoying it as a beverage. This was by adding sugar and other spices to sweeten what was otherwise a bitter delight. The chocolate beverage was so popular among the Spanish that they kept it hidden from the rest of Europe for over 100 years. Highlighted below are the three grand varieties of cocoa beans and the different types of chocolate forms of flavors.
This scarce cocoa bean is the most expensive on the market. It only accounts for just 5% of all the cocoa beans. Criollo cocoa trees are characterized by low production of the beans and are highly susceptible to elements. Lt carries a distinct chocolate flavor that is complex and classic with notes of long duration.
This is the most widely grown cocoa bean and accounts for the largest share in the market. Its tree yields higher than the criollo variety and the nuts are usually harder. Forastero beans have a strong chocolate flavor but with a short duration. Forastero is the main variety of cocoa crop in West Africa. Trinitario This is a hybrid that came about around 1727 after a hurricane hit Trinidad wiping out most of their criollo plantations.
From neighboring Venezuela was cross-fertilized with criollo beans in a bid to rejuvenate the cocoa production. Trinitario accounts for about 12% of the world's cocoa production. The types of chocolate depend on different quantities of the ingredients used and varying temperatures and durations of roasting the beans. Below are major chocolate variations. Unsweetened Chocolate. This chocolate has no added sugars. It is also known as liquor chocolate, baking chocolate, pure chocolate or bitter chocolate. It is mostly used for baking.
Any decent variety of dark chocolate is made of about 35% unsweetened chocolate and small amounts of sugar. It is usually dark in color and can be eaten as is or used in baking.
This chocolate has cocoa butter and sugar added to 35% of pure cocoa. It can be found in different forms of blocks, discs, chips and squares mainly used for eating and baking. Milk Chocolate comprised of cocoa butter and sugar with just 10% of cocoa. Milk chocolate is characterized by milder flavors as compared to dark or semisweet chocolate. Sweet Baking Chocolate. This type of chocolate is sweeter than semisweet chocolate and has a 15% of pure chocolate added to cocoa butter and sugar.
This is pure chocolate but without cocoa butter. It is also treated to counter naturally occurring acids. This process is mostly responsible for its reddened color and mellow flavor.
This is a mixture of cocoa powder with vegetable oil. It is usually in a semi-liquid state and is exclusively used in baking. To enjoy quality chocolate, one has to be privy of the characteristics. Proper chocolate retains a glossy shine with a smooth, non-waxy feel that melts in the mouth.