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Chocolate is a raw or processed food produced from the seed of the tropical Theobroma cacao tree. Cacao has been cultivated for at least three millennia in Mexico, Central and South America, with its earliest documented use around 1100 BC. The seeds of the cacao tree have an intense bitter taste, and must be fermented to develop the flavor. The type of chocolate is determined by the various amounts of cocoa butter and chocolate liquor the chocolate contains, as well the amount of sugar and any other ingredients added to the mixture.
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TYPES OF CHOCOLATES
Sweetened chocolate with high content of cocoa solids and no or very little milk, it may contain up to 12% milk solids. Dark chocolate can either be sweet, semi-sweet, bittersweet or unsweetened.
Chocolate made with cocoa butter, sugar, milk, emulsifier, vanilla and sometimes other flavorings. It does not contain any non-fat ingredients from the cacao bean and has therefore an off-white color.
Sweet chocolate which normally contains 10-20% cocoa solids (which includes cocoa and cocoa butter) and more than 12% milk solids. It is seldom used for baking, except for cookies.
Sweet dark chocolate
Similar to semi-sweet chocolate, it is not always possible to distinguish between the flavor of sweet and semi-sweet chocolate. If a recipe asks for sweet dark chocolate you may also use semi-sweet chocolate.
This is the classic dark baking chocolate which can be purchased in most grocery stores. It is frequently used for cakes, cookies and brownies. Can be used instead of sweet dark chocolate. It has a good, sweet flavor. Contains often 40-62% cocoa solids.
A dark sweetened chocolate which must contain at least 35% cocoa solids. Good quality bittersweet chocolate usually contains 60% to 85% cocoa solids depending on brand. If the content of cocoa solids is high the content of sugar is low, giving a rich, intense and more or less bitter chocolate flavor. Bittersweet chocolate is often used for baking/cooking.
A bitter chocolate which is only used for baking. The flavor is not good, so it is not suitable for eating.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF CHOCOLATES
Studies show that eating chocolate, primarily dark chocolate, may contribute to improved cardiovascular health. Packed with natural antioxidants, dark chocolate and cocoa sit in the same good-for-you category as green tea and blueberries. That’s because chocolate comes from cacao beans (or cocoa beans), which grow on the cacao tree and are full of natural plant nutrients. Most of the studies to date highlight dark chocolate’s health values because it has the highest percentage of cocoa solids, therefore more flavanol antioxidants.
Heart Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate:
Dark chocolate is good for your heart. A small bar of it everyday can help keep your heart and cardiovascular system running well. Two heart health benefits of dark chocolate are:
Lower Blood Pressure: Studies have shown that consuming a small bar of dark chocolate everyday can reduce blood pressure in individuals with high blood pressure.
Lower Cholesterol: Dark chocolate has also been shown to reduce LDL cholesterol (the bad cholesterol) by up to 10 percent.
Other Benefits of Dark Chocolate:
Chocolate also holds benefits apart from protecting your heart:
it tastes good
it stimulates endorphin production, which gives a feeling of pleasure
it contains serotonin, which acts as an anti-depressant
it contains Theobromine, caffeine and other substances which are stimulants
Ph.D., Mark Stibich, (2006). Health Benefits of Chocolate. Retrieved 6 March 2011 from About.com: http://longevity.about.com/od/lifelongnutrition/p/chocolate.htm
cacaoweb (2005). types of chocolate. Retrieved 6 March 2011 from cacaoweb: http://www.cacaoweb.net/chocolate.html
HISTORY OF CHOCOLATES
1500 B.C. – 300 B.C.
The Olmec Indians are believed to be the first to grow cocoa beans (“kakawa”) as a domestic crop. Cacao trees have grown wild for possibly 10,000 years. The Olmec civilization lasts to about 300 B.C.
300 B.C. – 500 A.D.
250 to 900
The Olmec, a very sophisticated society, give much of their culture to the Maya, including “xocoatl,” sho-KWA-til. Consumption of cocoa beans is restricted to the Mayan society’s elite, in the form of an unsweetened cocoa drink made from the ground beans.
A.D. 600 – 1000
The Maya migrate into northern regions of South America and Mesoamerica, establishing the earliest known cocoa plantations in the Yucatan. Nobles drink frothy “cacau” from tall pottery beakers. Beans are a valuable commodity, used both as a means of payment and as units of calculation.
Beans are local and international currency: a turkey could be bought for 200 beans, a tomato for 3 beans. Later, when the Maya trade with the Aztecs, 400 beans equal 1 Aztec Zontli, 8000 beans equal 1 Aztec Xiquipilli.
Ancient Mexicans believe that Tonacatecutli, the goddess of food, and Calchiuhtlucue, the goddess of water, are guardian goddesses of cocoa. Each year they perform human sacrifices for the goddesses, giving the victim cocoa at his last meal.
The Aztecs believed the first cocoa plant was created by Quetzalcoatl who came from heaven on the morning star. As the Aztecs didn’t know about sugar, other spices were used. Mostly spices like chilli to flavour the drink as it was a little bitter. During this time, cocoa beans were used for currency as they valued the plant so much.
Columbus brings back a few beans to present to the King and Queen. However, they were mostly ignored amongst all the other wonderful array of goods that were brought back.
Hernando Cortez again sees the benefit of the cocoa bean and surmises that it might taste a little better if sugar cane was added. Vanilla pods, flowers, cinnamon and other spices were used also. This blending was regarded as a success! Because of the high cost of cocoa, it was still a luxury which only the rich could afford.
Beans were again part of the dowry of Princess Maria Theresa to Louis XIV. This time, the phenomenon of chocolate took off in France. It was also considered an aphrodisiac and was reputed to have helped several Kings and Queens to entice their lovers.
An accident by a kitchen boy leads to the making of praline. A tray of almonds was dropped. Chef tries to whip the kitchen boy but instead drops the pan of hot sugar over the almonds. The Duke of Plesslis-Praslin was served up the cooled mess and was so happy with it, he named it after himself
Late 1600’s to early 1700’s
Chocolate houses spring up all over Europe. During this mass craze for the drink and the increase in growers, cocoa bean prices drop. The invention of a steam engine helps with the grinding of the beans and speeds up manufacturing.
The first chocolate making factory in the USA.
Chocolate becomes an Industry on it’s own.
Milton Hershey creates a model factory town town called Hersheyville dedicated to the production of chocolate. The specialty is the Hershey Kiss. Around 1900, the price of cacao and sugar drop tremendously, making chocolate affordable for the middle classes.
Jean Neuhaus invents the chocolate shell that can be filled with soft centers and nut pastes, offering vast variety to the previous dipping and enrobing of chocolate.
Barry Callebaut begins the production of chocolate couverture, in Belgium. (We don’t know which company made the first couverture.)
The New York Cocoa Exchange begins in New York City.
Belgian chocolatier, Joseph Draps starts the Godiva Company to compete with Hershey’s and Nestlé’s American market.
Nestlé makes first white chocolate, named Galak, although it was called different names, such as Milkybar or Alpine White, in different countries. During the 1930s, brand names become increasingly important. After two years of research, Nestlé launches the Black Magic bar.4
World War II rationing includes chocolate: in Europe it is rationed to 4 ounces per person per week. Sales of chocolate are half of pre-war sales. Production of Kit Kat, a leading brand, is suspended.4
A story of chocolate espionage hit the world press when an apprentice of the Swiss company of Suchard-Tobler unsuccessfully attempted to sell secret chocolate recipes to Russia, China, Saudi Arabia, and other countries.
Valrhona introduces the concept of the single origin chocolate bar, making their first with beans exclusively from South America. The 70% cacao bar is named Guanaja in honor of the island of Guanaja, off Honduras, where Christopher Columbus first tasted chocolate almost 500 years earlier. They call it a Grand Cru chocolate.
Following Valrhona’s pioneering efforts, other “designer chocolate bars” debut, including bars made from the beans of single plantations. Today, annual world consumption of cocoa beans averages approximately 600,000 tons, and per capita chocolate consumption is greatly on the rise. But the best chocolate, made of criollo beans, is just 5% of the world crop.
A new generation of chocolatiers knows no bounds. The fusion cuisine of the late 20th century has logically found its way to chocolate: exotic spices such as saffron, curry and lemongrass are now commonplace in chocolate, as are everyday kitchen foods such as basil, goat cheese and olive oil. Most appropriately, chocolate has returned to its Mesoamerican roots. Many artisan chocolatiers now offer some version of “Aztec” chocolate, spiced with the original “new world” flavors of chile and cinnamon. The market has seen growth in organic and kosher brands and high percentage cacao chocolate is recognized as a functional food, delivering antioxidants. It seems that the Aztecs were right about the health-giving properties of cacao.
The Cote d’Ivoire is the world’s largest exporter of cacao beans, 1.4 million tons. The Netherlands both imports and grinds the most cacao. Some is made into chocolates; the remainder is processed into couverture and cocoa powder and exported to other countries which make their own chocolates from it.
the nibble (2006). The History Of Chocolate. Retrieved 6 March 2011 from the nibble: http://www.thenibble.com/reviews/main/chocolate/the-history-of-chocolate.asp
TASK 2 PROJECT PLAN
The purpose of this research and the aim of the website is to promote chocolate as a versatile and healthy food.
4th to 20th Feb
Produce a project plan for the way you intend to complete the rest of this assignment.
21st to 27th Feb
Using the appropriate techniques to specify the structure and navigation of the proposed site.
27th Feb to 5th Mar
The website must be developed using XHTML 1.0(transitional or strict) and consist of 6 interlinked pages.
A home page from which it is possible to navigate to the other resources in the website.
A page that explains about health and chocolate.
A page that describes the history of chocolate from ancient Mesoamerican times to present day.
A recipe of the month page
A page that provides links to other websites of interest and sources of further information
A page that demonstrates the use of HTML forms
5th Mar to 5 April
A short report of 1000 words analyzing the website you have submitted
5th to 15th April
TASK 3 DESIGN SPECIFICATIONS
Recipe of the month
History of Chocolates
Home page has to communicate purpose of website.
(User will be required to press back button to go back to our site or have external sites open in a new window
New Recipe Entry
Provide forms for users to submit new recipes
Give links to other websites of interest
Recipe of the month
One quality photograph
Clearly structured instructions
History of chocolates
Describe history of chocolates
Health and Chocolates
Provide health benefits of chocolates
Give types and quantities of chocolates that should be eaten
Show drawbacks of chocolates
Health & chocolates
History of chocolates
Recipe of month
New Recipe Entry
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