A story worth tasting

Food of the Gods

  • Chocolate originated in Central and South America. The Maya and Aztecs made it into a drink with pepper and vanilla, calling it xocoatl. They believed that the cocoa tree was a gift from the gods – and the beans were so precious that they were used as currency.
  • In the early 16th century the Spanish conqueror Hernán Cortés brought chocolate to Europe – but there, for a long time, it remained a luxury for the rich and powerful.
  • It was not until the 18th century that a new process was invented for making cocoa powder quickly and efficiently. By 1900 the price of cocoa had fallen so far that it spread to the masses: from being a luxury, chocolate became a drink for the people. Solid chocolate as we now know it was made for the first time in England in the early 19th century.
  • Today chocolate is available everywhere in every form, but the scientific name for the cocoa tree is still a reminder of its precious origins: Theobroma cacao – food of the goods.

From Cocoa to Chocolate

  • The most important raw materials for making chocolate are cocoa mass, cocoa butter and sugar. Milk powder gives a creamy taste to white and milk chocolate.
  • Next come the five work processes that, ever since the beginning of chocolate production, have transformed these ingredients into the most delicious treat of all:
  • Blending:The raw materials are mixed in cylindrical tanks with rough walls. The proportions of the mix determine the aroma and appearance of the chocolate.
  • Rolling:A series of rollers compresses the chocolate mass. Its texture becomes finer and finer.
  • Conching: The compressed mass is now warmed and ground for hours. This removes undesirable bitter and sour aromas from the chocolate.
  • Tempering: For the chocolate to melt perfectly on the tongue later, its fat crystals require ideal tempering. For this purpose the chocolate mass is cooled from 50 °C to 18 °C and then heated again to 30 – 32 °C.
  • Moulding: The liquid chocolate is poured into moulds and vibrated in order to remove air bubbles. Then it is cooled down to 10 °C. If the chocolate was previously well tempered, it has a shine.
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