Monday, May 19, 2014

Chocolate from Bean to Bar

Finally, we get to the actual process of how chocolate is made---from bean to bar, as everyone seems to say. This was fascinating and there are lots of videos and other resources for learning about it.

We liked this page; very simple and clear (with charts!)

This kit (pictured above) is something my mom had given to her years ago---it's from the Hershey's company and it has a little vial of material from each step of the chocolate-making process. It's really cool to see (and taste/smell/feel) these samples. I read somewhere that you could write to the Hershey Company to get this little kit sent to you, but I couldn't find anything about it on their website, so maybe they don't do it anymore. Still, it might be worth calling or emailing the company about, if you're interested.

This is a really fun interactive animation. They had this same thing at the Chocolate Exhibit we went to at the museum, and the children loved playing with it, so they were quite happy when we got home and found we could do it on our own computer as well. I'm having trouble with that link taking me straight to the page, so you can also try going here and clicking on "manufacturing chocolate," on the left side under "Interactives." You can cut the cacao pods off the trees, spread them to dry, put them into the roasting machine, etc. Very fun.

Here's a slideshow about the chocolate-making process (nice pictures)

We learned the difference between milk, dark (including bittersweet, semisweet, and sweet), and white chocolate. White chocolate contains cocoa butter, but no cocoa solids/cocoa liquor.

This brief history of the company is pretty good (you might have to click on "English" at the bottom to change the language), but I absolutely loved these vintage advertisements from Ritter-Sport. Knackish" (or something like that) is probably the best word for "crunchy" I've ever heard, and I only wish I spoke German so I could quote their other slogans in it. "Square. Convenient. Good." "Ritter-Sport: What Else?" So great. (Ritter-sport is my very favorite chocolate, by the way, even after trying many, many others.)

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