Dark Celebrations – The New Indian Express

By Express press service

KOCHI: The word chocolate is enough for a complete collapse of our senses. Nothing can replace the goodness of these rich, dark and sinful sweets, it’s something the world will accept without any debate. On this World Chocolate Day, let’s retrace the roots and the many stories of chocolates.

Story
The history of chocolate dates back 3,000 years. It is said that for the Mayans, Toltecs and Aztecs, a drink made from cocoa beans was a form of currency. The Maya considered chocolate the food of the gods, held the cacao tree sacred, and even buried dignitaries with bowls of the substance. Chocolate was brought to Europe by Christopher Columbus after his voyage around 1500 AD. And it was in 1847 that Joseph Fry and his son created the first mass-produced chocolate bar.

Roots Cocoa beans are produced in tropical areas around the equator. Around 70% of the world’s cocoa beans come from four West African countries: Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria and Cameroon. Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana are by far the two largest producers, accounting for more than 50% of the world’s cocoa. In India, it is mainly grown in Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Kerala is considered to hold the second position in the country’s overall production which is estimated at around 10,904 tons. Idukki district is the leading cocoa producer in Kerala.

The making
Making chocolate is a long process, it takes two to four days to make a single serving chocolate bar. It all starts with the seeds of the Theobroma cocoa tree, aka cocoa beans. The beans are dried and the shells are removed, roasted and ground. Cocoa mass is often liquefied. The chocolate liquor is then transformed into two components – cocoa butter and cocoa solids. It takes 400 cocoa beans to make a pound of chocolate.

The most expensive chocolates

Amedei Porcelana: Dark chocolate made by Amedei chocolatier from Tuscany. It costs at least Rs 1,500 per ounce.

Trinity Truffles Extraordinaire: In 2019, Fabelle Exquisite Chocolates unveiled the most expensive chocolate in the world titled Trinity Truffles Extraordinaire. The limited edition chocolate was priced at Rs 4.3 lakh per kg and it entered the Guinness World Records.

Speckled Golden Chocolate Eggs: The most expensive non-jeweled chocolate egg sold at auction for £7,000 (Rs 7,22,227). Made with Amedei chocolate and edible gold leaf and filled with couture chocolate and truffles.

Medicinal value
The most popular candy in the world is also said to contain certain medicinal values. In fact, in the past, chocolate was used as medicine. A study published in “The Journal of Nutrition” indicates that chocolate consumption may help lower low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels, also known as bad cholesterol. However, chocolate consumption has long been associated with conditions such as diabetes, coronary heart disease and hypertension.

Best chocolates
Of the many types of chocolates available, couverture chocolate is an expensive type that contains a higher percentage of cocoa butter than other varieties. Amedei Porcelana, dark chocolate made by the Amedei chocolatier of Tuscany in Italy, is called the most expensive chocolate in the world. It has won several awards from the “Academy of Chocolate”, including “Best bean to bar”, “Best Dark Chocolate Bar” and the “Golden Bean award”.

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