Chocolate is more than a familiar product: affordable and consumed worldwide, it is today part of our daily alimentation. But a few centuries ago, the “Food of Gods” was a very luxurious and singular product.
With the help of Julien Boutonnet, MOF and chef at EHL, we have listed 20 secrets you’ve probably not heard about yet, from its origin to its health benefits…
Cocoa is originally from South America but the 2/3 of the production is nowadays concentrated on the Ivory Coast in Africa.
Chocolate was first consumed as a beverage by the Mayas and the Aztecs during rituals. So when it came to Europe in the 16e century, this very luxurious beverage was reserved for the upper class.
The Swiss chocolate factory Cailler created the milk chocolate in 1875 by adding milk powder into the preparation.
Cocoa beans must be fermented to let the flavors being developed. Then, the beans are dried and roasted. The shell is finally removed to produce the rough form of chocolate: the cocoa mass.
A 100g chocolate bar contains approximately 80 cocoa beans!
The dark chocolate (which must contains at least 35 % of cocoa solids) is the healthiest one. When the percentage goes up to 70 %, notable health benefits appear, such as a risk reduction to develop heart diseases.
White chocolate is often not considered as chocolate, as it does contain only cocoa butter, sugar and milk.
The quality of a bar mainly depends on the beans. The way they are fermented and roasted, as well as whether they all come from a same producer or not differentiate an excellent chocolate from a good one.
Chocolate is one of the most addictive aliment, it’s scientifically proved. Don’t you agree?
The presence of serotonin in chocolate stimulates the brain, relaxes the body and brings to a form of… happiness!
A cocoa bean contains around 0.2% of caffeine.
To pump up the flavor of a bar, chocolate makers usually add coffee or nuts. But much more products goes well with chocolate: have you ever tried a hot pepper chocolate bar?
The best way to store chocolate is to keep it in a dry and cool place. A chocolate bar shouldn’t go into the fridge.
The chocolate has a very low melting temperature, situated between 30°C and 32°C. This is why it melts slowly in our mouth.
Only a few hours are necessary to transform the row chocolate into the finished product that will be sold in the store. Then the bar can be stored for a few weeks.
The chocolate bar is naturally shiny when the chocolate is molded into a plastic container.
Did you know that the best-selling period worldwide is not Easter but Valentine’s Day?
The world’s biggest cocoa consumers are Germany, Switzerland and Belgium, with up to 11kg of chocolate per year and per capita.
Chocolate takes up a major place in global trade: 3 millions of tons of cocoa are exchanged each year.
The best-seller at EHL is incontestably the milk and hazelnut chocolate bar! This may be related to our geographical situation…