Irreplaceable taste that echoes through ages: Chocolate
For many, chocolate is one of life’s greatest indulgences. For centuries it has been used as a part of celebrations and due to its ability to induce a positive chemical reaction is associated by many with happy times and memories.
Chocolate has been used as a drink for nearly all of its history. The earliest record of using chocolate dates back before the Olmec. The oldest known cultivation and use of cacao was in Mexico. Chocolate was brought to Europe by a Spanish traveller, by this time the conquistadors had learned to make the drink more palatable to European tastes by mixing the ground roasted beans with sugar, thus offsetting the spicy bitterness of the brew the Aztec's drank. By the early 17th century chocolate powder - from which the European version of the drink was made - was being exported to other parts of Europe.
Chocolate has a unique ability to satisfy the senses. Its taste is divine, its smell is alluring, its texture is comforting, even the sound has a distinct identity. The most important factor however is the formula and the quality of the raw materials used. The standard of cacao and cacao oil is what generates the difference in the quality of the results. Cacao requires a very specific climate to flourish and is limited to certain geographical zones, approximately 20 degrees to the north and south of the Equator. Nearly 70% of the world crop is grown in West Africa whilst cacao beans are harvested in Brazil, Venezuela, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Malaysia and Ecuador.
Cacao oil is an essential ingredient of chocolate. Directly proportional to the quality of the results is the amount of cacao oil used. A smooth silky appearance is another essential factor of chocolate’s characteristics. A high quality standard of chocolate will begin to melt in your hand within seconds, the reason being that cacao oil will melt at around 34 degrees. Evidence of the presence of cacao oil in chocolate can be found by simply snapping a bar in half as it makes a very distinctive cracking sound. The reason for this is the crystals located within the cacao oil itself. Chocolate must be smooth and soft, melting inside the mouth, delivering a creamy texture, releasing its flavours to the consumer.
Chocolate, when not stored properly, can lose its richness and flavour and may become stale. It is very sensitive to humidity and temperature. Proper storage and packing is needed to preserve its freshness and wonderful taste and aroma. The ideal storage temperature for chocolate is between 15 and 17 °C (59 to 63 °F) with a humidity that is less than 50%. Temperature fluctuations can ruin the chocolate’s nice presentation, texture, and colour; thus chocolate should not be refrigerated.
Chocolate has a whole host of health benefits and is good for just about every part of your body. Chocolate is loaded with antioxidants. Antioxidants help free your body of radicals, which cause oxidative damage to cells. Free radicals are implicated in the aging process and may be a cause of cancer, so eating antioxidant rich foods like chocolate can protect you from many types of cancer and slow the signs of aging. Chocolate contains calcium, potassium, copper, magnesium and iron and several chemical compounds that have a positive effect on your mood and cognitive health.
With its rich history, unique characteristics and benefits, chocolate is the epitome of indulgence and pleasure. Cafer Erol adds depth and variety with its amazing selection of chocolates. Each handmade chocolate has its own identity in taste and appearance. Cafer Erol has a huge assortment of chocolate from madlen chocolate to custom made chocolate designed upon the request of individuals and companies. Cafer Erol has proven its authority on chocolate, illustrated by its own Picotee brand of chocolate.