Chocolate is made from the seeds of the cacao tree, which grows in tropical climates. It’s a very labor-intensive process that requires many steps and a lot of time to complete.
Cacao trees grow in tropical climates, where their seeds are harvested and fermented before they’re turned into chocolate.
The first step in making chocolate is harvesting the seeds from cacao pods. The fruit is gathered when it’s ripe and then sent to be fermented. This process creates a thick pulp that can be used as fertilizer for growing more plants, but it also releases some of the nutrients from within the seed itself.
After fermentation, the pulp is removed from the seeds by hand or machine. The seeds are then dried out in hot air until they’re ready for roasting or alkaline leaching (the latter produces much more bitter chocolate).
Roasting takes place at temperatures between 130°F – 190°F (55°C – 85°C) depending on how long you want your final product to last without spoiling or melting. The longer you roast it, the darker it will become — but this also increases its bitterness and decreases its nutritional value significantly. Some manufacturers use alkaline leaching instead of roasting because it preserves more of the nutrients found.
Last modified: August 14, 2022