Chocolate
Overview
Chocolate is a raw or processed food produced from the seed of the tropical Theobroma cacao tree. Cacao has been cultivated for at least three millennia in Mexico
Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

, Central
Central America
Central America is the central geographic region of the Americas. It is the southernmost, isthmian portion of the North American continent, which connects with South America on the southeast. When considered part of the unified continental model, it is considered a subcontinent...

 and South America
South America
South America is a continent situated in the Western Hemisphere, mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, with a relatively small portion in the Northern Hemisphere. The continent is also considered a subcontinent of the Americas. It is bordered on the west by the Pacific Ocean and on the north and east...

. Its earliest documented use is around 1100 BC. The majority of the Mesoamerican people made chocolate beverages, including the Aztec
Aztec
The Aztec people were certain ethnic groups of central Mexico, particularly those groups who spoke the Nahuatl language and who dominated large parts of Mesoamerica in the 14th, 15th and 16th centuries, a period referred to as the late post-classic period in Mesoamerican chronology.Aztec is the...

s, who made it into a beverage known as xocolātl, a Nahuatl
Nahuatl
Nahuatl is thought to mean "a good, clear sound" This language name has several spellings, among them náhuatl , Naoatl, Nauatl, Nahuatl, Nawatl. In a back formation from the name of the language, the ethnic group of Nahuatl speakers are called Nahua...

 word meaning "bitter water".
Quotations

Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get.

Forrest Gump

Augustus: I'm Augustus Gloop. I love your chocolate.Willy Wonka: I can see that.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Well, folks, it looks like we're up chocolate creek without a popsicle stick.

Gingerbread Man, Shrek 2

Love, biochemically no different than consuming large quantities of chocolate.

The Devil's Advocate

Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're going to get; your life, however, is like a box of active grenades!

Stewie Griffin, Family Guy

Encyclopedia
Chocolate is a raw or processed food produced from the seed of the tropical Theobroma cacao tree. Cacao has been cultivated for at least three millennia in Mexico
Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

, Central
Central America
Central America is the central geographic region of the Americas. It is the southernmost, isthmian portion of the North American continent, which connects with South America on the southeast. When considered part of the unified continental model, it is considered a subcontinent...

 and South America
South America
South America is a continent situated in the Western Hemisphere, mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, with a relatively small portion in the Northern Hemisphere. The continent is also considered a subcontinent of the Americas. It is bordered on the west by the Pacific Ocean and on the north and east...

. Its earliest documented use is around 1100 BC. The majority of the Mesoamerican people made chocolate beverages, including the Aztec
Aztec
The Aztec people were certain ethnic groups of central Mexico, particularly those groups who spoke the Nahuatl language and who dominated large parts of Mesoamerica in the 14th, 15th and 16th centuries, a period referred to as the late post-classic period in Mesoamerican chronology.Aztec is the...

s, who made it into a beverage known as xocolātl, a Nahuatl
Nahuatl
Nahuatl is thought to mean "a good, clear sound" This language name has several spellings, among them náhuatl , Naoatl, Nauatl, Nahuatl, Nawatl. In a back formation from the name of the language, the ethnic group of Nahuatl speakers are called Nahua...

 word meaning "bitter water". The seeds of the cacao tree have an intense bitter taste, and must be fermented
Fermentation (food)
Fermentation in food processing typically is the conversion of carbohydrates to alcohols and carbon dioxide or organic acids using yeasts, bacteria, or a combination thereof, under anaerobic conditions. Fermentation in simple terms is the chemical conversion of sugars into ethanol...

 to develop the flavor.

After fermentation
Fermentation
Fermentation may refer to:* Fermentation , the use of fermentation in food preparation* Fermentation , a metabolic process whereby electrons released from nutrients are ultimately transferred to molecules obtained from the breakdown of those same nutrients* Fermentation , the process of...

, the beans are dried, then cleaned, and then roasted, and the shell is removed to produce cacao nibs. The nibs are then ground to cocoa mass, pure chocolate in rough form. Because this cocoa mass usually is liquefied then molded with or without other ingredients, it is called chocolate liquor
Chocolate liquor
Chocolate liquor is pure chocolate in its liquid form. Like the cocoa beans from which it is produced, it contains both cocoa solids and cocoa butter in roughly equal proportion....

. The liquor also may be processed into two components: cocoa solids
Cocoa solids
Cocoa solids are the low-fat component of chocolate. When sold as an end product, it may also be called cocoa powder, cocoa, and cacao....

 and cocoa butter
Cocoa butter
Cocoa butter, also called theobroma oil, is a pale-yellow, pure edible vegetable fat extracted from the cocoa bean. It is used to make chocolate, biscuits, and baked goods, as well as some pharmaceuticals, ointments, and toiletries...

. Unsweetened baking chocolate
Types of chocolate
Chocolate is a range of products derived from cocoa , mixed with fat and finely powdered sugar to produce a solid confection...

 (bitter chocolate) contains primarily cocoa solids and cocoa butter in varying proportions. Much of the chocolate consumed today is in the form of sweet chocolate, combining cocoa solids, cocoa butter or other fat, and sugar. Milk chocolate is sweet chocolate that additionally contains milk powder or condensed milk. White chocolate
White chocolate
White chocolate is a confectionery derivative of chocolate. It commonly consists of cocoa butter, sugar, milk solids and salt, and is characterized by a pale yellow or ivory appearance...

 contains cocoa butter, sugar, and milk but no cocoa solids.

Cocoa solids contain alkaloid
Alkaloid
Alkaloids are a group of naturally occurring chemical compounds that contain mostly basic nitrogen atoms. This group also includes some related compounds with neutral and even weakly acidic properties. Also some synthetic compounds of similar structure are attributed to alkaloids...

s such as theobromine
Theobromine
Theobromine , also known as xantheose, is a bitter alkaloid of the cacao plant, with the chemical formula C7H8N4O2. It is found in chocolate, as well as in a number of other foods, including the leaves of the tea plant, and the kola nut...

 and phenethylamine
Phenethylamine
Phenylethylamine or phenethylamine is a natural monoamine alkaloid, trace amine, and also the name of a class of chemicals with many members well known for psychoactive drug and stimulant effects. Studies suggest that phenylethylamine functions as a neuromodulator or neurotransmitter in the...

, which have physiological effects on the body. It has been linked to serotonin
Serotonin
Serotonin or 5-hydroxytryptamine is a monoamine neurotransmitter. Biochemically derived from tryptophan, serotonin is primarily found in the gastrointestinal tract, platelets, and in the central nervous system of animals including humans...

 levels in the brain
Brain
The brain is the center of the nervous system in all vertebrate and most invertebrate animals—only a few primitive invertebrates such as sponges, jellyfish, sea squirts and starfishes do not have one. It is located in the head, usually close to primary sensory apparatus such as vision, hearing,...

. Some research found that chocolate, eaten in moderation, can lower blood pressure. The presence of theobromine
Theobromine
Theobromine , also known as xantheose, is a bitter alkaloid of the cacao plant, with the chemical formula C7H8N4O2. It is found in chocolate, as well as in a number of other foods, including the leaves of the tea plant, and the kola nut...

 renders chocolate toxic to some animals, especially dogs and cats.

Chocolate has become one of the most popular food types and flavors in the world. Gifts of chocolate molded into different shapes have become traditional on certain holidays: chocolate bunnies and eggs
Easter egg
Easter eggs are special eggs that are often given to celebrate Easter or springtime.The oldest tradition is to use dyed or painted chicken eggs, but a modern custom is to substitute chocolate eggs, or plastic eggs filled with confectionery such as jelly beans...

 are popular on Easter
Easter
Easter is the central feast in the Christian liturgical year. According to the Canonical gospels, Jesus rose from the dead on the third day after his crucifixion. His resurrection is celebrated on Easter Day or Easter Sunday...

, chocolate coins on Hanukkah
Hanukkah
Hanukkah , also known as the Festival of Lights, is an eight-day Jewish holiday commemorating the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem at the time of the Maccabean Revolt of the 2nd century BCE...

, Santa Claus
Santa Claus
Santa Claus is a folklore figure in various cultures who distributes gifts to children, normally on Christmas Eve. Each name is a variation of Saint Nicholas, but refers to Santa Claus...

 and other holiday symbols on Christmas
Christmas
Christmas or Christmas Day is an annual holiday generally celebrated on December 25 by billions of people around the world. It is a Christian feast that commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ, liturgically closing the Advent season and initiating the season of Christmastide, which lasts twelve days...

, and chocolate heart
Heart (symbol)
The heart has long been used as a symbol to refer to the spiritual, emotional, moral, and in the past, also intellectual core of a human being...

s or chocolate in heart-shaped boxes on Valentine's Day
Valentine's Day
Saint Valentine's Day, commonly shortened to Valentine's Day, is an annual commemoration held on February 14 celebrating love and affection between intimate companions. The day is named after one or more early Christian martyrs named Saint Valentine, and was established by Pope Gelasius I in 496...

. Chocolate is also used in cold and hot beverages, to produce chocolate milk
Chocolate milk
Chocolate milk is a sweetened, usually cold, cocoa-flavored milk drink. It is created when chocolate syrup is mixed with milk . It can be purchased pre-mixed or made at home with either cocoa powder and a sweetener , or with melted chocolate, chocolate syrup, or chocolate milk mix...

 and hot chocolate
Hot chocolate
Hot chocolate is a heated beverage typically consisting of shaved chocolate, melted chocolate or cocoa powder, heated milk or water, and sugar...

. Around three quarters of the world's cacao bean production takes place in West Africa
West Africa
West Africa or Western Africa is the westernmost region of the African continent. Geopolitically, the UN definition of Western Africa includes the following 16 countries and an area of approximately 5 million square km:-Flags of West Africa:...

.

Theobroma cacao, native to Mexico
Mexico
The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

, Central and South America, has been cultivated for at least three millennia in that region. Cocoa mass was used originally in Mesoamerica
Mesoamerica
Mesoamerica is a region and culture area in the Americas, extending approximately from central Mexico to Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica, within which a number of pre-Columbian societies flourished before the Spanish colonization of the Americas in the 15th and...

 both as a beverage and as an ingredient in foods.

Chocolate played a special role in both Maya
Maya peoples
The Maya people constitute a diverse range of the Native American people of southern Mexico and northern Central America. The overarching term "Maya" is a collective designation to include the peoples of the region who share some degree of cultural and linguistic heritage; however, the term...

 and Aztec
Aztec
The Aztec people were certain ethnic groups of central Mexico, particularly those groups who spoke the Nahuatl language and who dominated large parts of Mesoamerica in the 14th, 15th and 16th centuries, a period referred to as the late post-classic period in Mesoamerican chronology.Aztec is the...

 royal and religious events. Priest
Priest
A priest is a person authorized to perform the sacred rites of a religion, especially as a mediatory agent between humans and deities. They also have the authority or power to administer religious rites; in particular, rites of sacrifice to, and propitiation of, a deity or deities...

s presented cacao seeds as offerings to the gods and served chocolate drinks during sacred ceremonies. All of the areas that were conquered by the Aztecs that grew cacao beans were ordered to pay them as a tax
Tax
To tax is to impose a financial charge or other levy upon a taxpayer by a state or the functional equivalent of a state such that failure to pay is punishable by law. Taxes are also imposed by many subnational entities...

, or as the Aztecs called it, a "tribute".

The Europeans sweetened and fat
Fat
Fats consist of a wide group of compounds that are generally soluble in organic solvents and generally insoluble in water. Chemically, fats are triglycerides, triesters of glycerol and any of several fatty acids. Fats may be either solid or liquid at room temperature, depending on their structure...

tened it by adding refined sugar
Sugar
Sugar is a class of edible crystalline carbohydrates, mainly sucrose, lactose, and fructose, characterized by a sweet flavor.Sucrose in its refined form primarily comes from sugar cane and sugar beet...

 and milk
Milk
Milk is a white liquid produced by the mammary glands of mammals. It is the primary source of nutrition for young mammals before they are able to digest other types of food. Early-lactation milk contains colostrum, which carries the mother's antibodies to the baby and can reduce the risk of many...

, two ingredients unknown to the Mexicans. By contrast, the Europeans never infused it into their general diet, but have compartmentalized its use to sweets and desserts. In the 19th century, Briton John Cadbury
John Cadbury
John Cadbury was proprietor of a small chocolate business in Birmingham, England, that later became part of Cadbury plc, one of the world's largest chocolate producers.-Biography:...

 developed an emulsification process to make solid chocolate creating the modern chocolate bar. Although cocoa is originally from the Americas, today Western Africa produces almost two-thirds of the world's cocoa, with Côte d'Ivoire
Côte d'Ivoire
The Republic of Côte d'Ivoire or Ivory Coast is a country in West Africa. It has an area of , and borders the countries Liberia, Guinea, Mali, Burkina Faso and Ghana; its southern boundary is along the Gulf of Guinea. The country's population was 15,366,672 in 1998 and was estimated to be...

 growing almost half of it.

Etymology

The word "chocolate" entered the English language from Spanish
Spanish language
Spanish , also known as Castilian , is a Romance language in the Ibero-Romance group that evolved from several languages and dialects in central-northern Iberia around the 9th century and gradually spread with the expansion of the Kingdom of Castile into central and southern Iberia during the...

. How the word came into Spanish is less certain, and there are multiple competing explanations. Perhaps the most cited explanation is that "chocolate" comes from Nahuatl
Nahuatl
Nahuatl is thought to mean "a good, clear sound" This language name has several spellings, among them náhuatl , Naoatl, Nauatl, Nahuatl, Nawatl. In a back formation from the name of the language, the ethnic group of Nahuatl speakers are called Nahua...

, the language of the Aztec
Aztec
The Aztec people were certain ethnic groups of central Mexico, particularly those groups who spoke the Nahuatl language and who dominated large parts of Mesoamerica in the 14th, 15th and 16th centuries, a period referred to as the late post-classic period in Mesoamerican chronology.Aztec is the...

s, from the word chocolātl, which many sources derived from xocolātl ʃokolaːtɬ, from xococ 'sour' or 'bitter', and ātl 'water' or 'drink'. However, as William Bright
William Bright
William Bright was an American linguist who specialized in Native American and South Asian languages and descriptive linguistics....

 noted the word "chocolatl" does not occur in central Mexican colonial
Colonisation
Colonization occurs whenever any one or more species populate an area. The term, which is derived from the Latin colere, "to inhabit, cultivate, frequent, practice, tend, guard, respect", originally related to humans. However, 19th century biogeographers dominated the term to describe the...

 sources, making this an unlikely derivation. Santamaria
Francisco J. Santamaría
Francisco Javier Santamaría was an influential Mexican writer and politician who is best remembered for his contributions to the study of Mexican literature and lexicography; he variously worked or published as a bibliographer, essayist, geographer, journalist, judge, lawyer, lexicographer,...

 gives a derivation from the Yucatec Maya word "chokol" meaning hot, and the Nahuatl "atl" meaning water. Sophie and Michael D. Coe
Michael D. Coe
Michael D. Coe is an American archaeologist, anthropologist, epigrapher and author. Primarily known for his research in the field of pre-Columbian Mesoamerican studies , Coe has also made extensive investigations across a variety...

 agree with this etymology. Pointing to various sources dating from the time period of the Spanish conquest, they identify cacahuatl ("cacao water") as the original Nahuatl word for the cold beverage consumed by the Aztecs. Noting that using a word with caca in it to describe a thick, brown beverage would not have gone over well with most speakers of Spanish due to the fact that caca means faeces in Spanish, the Coes suggest that the Spanish colonisers combined the Nahuatl atl with the Yucatec Maya chocol, for unlike the Aztec, the Maya tended to drink chocolate heated. The Spanish preferred the warm Mayan preparation of the beverage to the cold Aztec one, and so the colonisers substituted chocol in place of the culturally unacceptable caca. More recently, Dakin and Wichmann
Søren Wichmann
Søren Wichmann , is a Danish linguist specializing in Mesoamerican languages and epigraphy. He has written extensively about Mayan, Oto-Manguean and Mixe–Zoquean languages. He has done fieldwork on Mixe, Texistepec Popoluca and Tlapanec...

 derive it from another Nahuatl term, "chicolatl" from eastern Nahuatl, meaning "beaten drink". They derive this term from the word for the frothing stick, "chicoli". However, the Coes write that xicalli referred to the gourd out of which the beverage was consumed and that the use of a frothing stick (known as a molinollo) was a product of creolisation between the Spanish and Aztec; the original frothing method used by the indigenous people was simply pouring the drink from a height into another vessel.

Mesoamerica history

Chocolate has been used as a drink for nearly all of its history. The earliest record of using chocolate dates back before the Olmec
Olmec
The Olmec were the first major Pre-Columbian civilization in Mexico. They lived in the tropical lowlands of south-central Mexico, in the modern-day states of Veracruz and Tabasco....

. In November 2007, archaeologists reported finding evidence of the oldest known cultivation and use of cacao at a site in Puerto Escondido, Honduras
Honduras
Honduras is a republic in Central America. It was previously known as Spanish Honduras to differentiate it from British Honduras, which became the modern-day state of Belize...

, dating from about 1100 to 1400 BC. The residues found and the kind of vessel they were found in indicate the initial use of cacao was not simply as a beverage, but the white pulp around the cacao beans was likely used as a source of fermentable sugars for an alcoholic drink. The Maya civilization grew cacao trees in their backyards, and used the cacao seeds it produced to make a frothy, bitter drink. Documents in Maya hieroglyphs stated chocolate was used for ceremonial purposes, in addition to everyday life. The chocolate residue found in an early ancient Maya
Maya civilization
The Maya is a Mesoamerican civilization, noted for the only known fully developed written language of the pre-Columbian Americas, as well as for its art, architecture, and mathematical and astronomical systems. Initially established during the Pre-Classic period The Maya is a Mesoamerican...

 pot in Río Azul, Guatemala
Guatemala
Guatemala is a country in Central America bordered by Mexico to the north and west, the Pacific Ocean to the southwest, Belize to the northeast, the Caribbean to the east, and Honduras and El Salvador to the southeast...

, suggests the Maya were drinking chocolate around 400 AD.

The sweet chocolate residue found in jars from the site of Puerto Escondido in Honduras from around 1100 BC is the earliest found evidence of the use of cacao to date. An early Classic (460-480 AD) period Mayan
Maya civilization
The Maya is a Mesoamerican civilization, noted for the only known fully developed written language of the pre-Columbian Americas, as well as for its art, architecture, and mathematical and astronomical systems. Initially established during the Pre-Classic period The Maya is a Mesoamerican...

 tomb from the site of Rio Azul, Guatemala, had vessels with the Maya glyph
Maya script
The Maya script, also known as Maya glyphs or Maya hieroglyphs, is the writing system of the pre-Columbian Maya civilization of Mesoamerica, presently the only Mesoamerican writing system that has been substantially deciphered...

 for cacao on them with residue of a chocolate drink. The Maya are generally given credit for creating the first modern chocolate beverage over 2,000 years ago, despite the fact that the beverage would undergo many more changes in Europe.

By the 15th century, the Aztecs gained control of a large part of Mesoamerica
Mesoamerica
Mesoamerica is a region and culture area in the Americas, extending approximately from central Mexico to Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica, within which a number of pre-Columbian societies flourished before the Spanish colonization of the Americas in the 15th and...

, and adopted cacao into their culture. They associated chocolate with Xochiquetzal
Xochiquetzal
In Aztec mythology, Xochiquetzal was a goddess associated with concepts of fertility, beauty, and female sexual power, serving as a protector of young mothers and a patroness of pregnancy, childbirth, and the crafts practised by women such as weaving and embroidery...

, the goddess of fertility, and often used chocolate beverages as sacred offerings. The Aztec adaptation of the drink was a bitter, frothy, spicy drink called xocolatl, made much the same way as the Mayan chocolate drinks. It was often seasoned with vanilla
Vanilla
Vanilla is a flavoring derived from orchids of the genus Vanilla, primarily from the Mexican species, Flat-leaved Vanilla . The word vanilla derives from the Spanish word "", little pod...

, chile pepper, and achiote
Achiote
Achiote is a shrub or small tree from the tropical region of the Americas. The name derives from the Nahuatl word for the shrub, achiotl. It is also known as Aploppas, and its original Tupi name urucu. It is cultivated there and in Southeast Asia, where it was introduced by the Spanish in the...

, and was believed to fight fatigue, which is probably attributable to the theobromine
Theobromine
Theobromine , also known as xantheose, is a bitter alkaloid of the cacao plant, with the chemical formula C7H8N4O2. It is found in chocolate, as well as in a number of other foods, including the leaves of the tea plant, and the kola nut...

 content, a mood enhancer. Because cacao would not grow in the dry central Mexican highlands and had to be imported, chocolate was an important luxury good throughout the Aztec empire, and cocoa beans were often used as currency
Currency
In economics, currency refers to a generally accepted medium of exchange. These are usually the coins and banknotes of a particular government, which comprise the physical aspects of a nation's money supply...

. For example, the Aztecs used a system in which one turkey cost one hundred cacao beans and one fresh avocado
Avocado
The avocado is a tree native to Central Mexico, classified in the flowering plant family Lauraceae along with cinnamon, camphor and bay laurel...

 was worth three beans. South American and European cultures have used cocoa to treat diarrhea for hundreds of years. All of the areas ruled by the Aztecs were ordered to pay a tax
Tax
To tax is to impose a financial charge or other levy upon a taxpayer by a state or the functional equivalent of a state such that failure to pay is punishable by law. Taxes are also imposed by many subnational entities...

, leading those that grew the beans to offer cacao seeds as tribute.

European adaptation

The first European contact with chocolate came when Montezuma (then tlatoani
Tlatoani
Tlatoani is the Nahuatl term for the ruler of an altepetl, a pre-Hispanic state. The word literally means "speaker", but may be translated into English as "king". A is a female ruler, or queen regnant....

 of Tenochtitlan) introduced Hernán Cortés
Hernán Cortés
Hernán Cortés de Monroy y Pizarro, 1st Marquis of the Valley of Oaxaca was a Spanish Conquistador who led an expedition that caused the fall of the Aztec Empire and brought large portions of mainland Mexico under the rule of the King of Castile in the early 16th century...

, a Spanish
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

 conquistador
Conquistador
Conquistadors were Spanish soldiers, explorers, and adventurers who brought much of the Americas under the control of Spain in the 15th to 16th centuries, following Europe's discovery of the New World by Christopher Columbus in 1492...

, to xocolatl in the 16th century. Antonio de Solís, Philip IV
Philip IV of Spain
Philip IV was King of Spain between 1621 and 1665, sovereign of the Spanish Netherlands, and King of Portugal until 1640...

's official Chronicler of the Indies, described Montezuma customarily taking a chocolate beverage after meals, as part of a sumptuous daily ritual:
He had Cups of Gold, and Salvers of the same; and sometimes he drank out of Cocoas [i.e., coconut shells], and natural Shells, very richly set with Jewels.[...] When he had done eating, he usually took a Kind of Chocolate, made after the Manner of the Country, that is, the Substance of the Nut beat up with the Mill till the Cup was filled more with Froth than with Liquor; after which he used to smoak Tobacco perfum'd with liquid Amber.


Jose de Acosta
José de Acosta
José de Acosta was a Spanish 16th-century Jesuit missionary and naturalist in Latin America.-Life:...

, a Spanish Jesuit
Society of Jesus
The Society of Jesus is a Catholic male religious order that follows the teachings of the Catholic Church. The members are called Jesuits, and are also known colloquially as "God's Army" and as "The Company," these being references to founder Ignatius of Loyola's military background and a...

 missionary who lived in Peru and then Mexico in the later 16th century, wrote of it:

Loathsome to such as are not acquainted with it, having a scum or froth that is very unpleasant taste. Yet it is a drink very much esteemed among the Indians, where with they feast noble men who pass through their country. The Spaniards, both men and women that are accustomed to the country are very greedy of this Chocolate. They say they make diverse sorts of it, some hot, some cold, and some temperate, and put therein much of that "chili"; yea, they make paste thereof, the which they say is good for the stomach and against the catarrh
Catarrh
Catarrh is a disorder of inflammation of the mucous membranes in one of the airways or cavities of the body. It can result in a thick exudate of mucus and white blood cells caused by the swelling of the mucous membranes in the head in response to an infection...

.


The first recorded shipment of chocolate to Europe for commercial purposes was in a shipment from Veracruz to Sevilla in 1585. It was still served as a beverage, but the Europeans added cane sugar to counteract the natural bitterness and removed the chili pepper while retaining the vanilla, in addition they added cinnamon as well as other spices.

What the Spaniards then called "chocolatl" was said to be a beverage consisting of a chocolate base flavored with vanilla and other spices that was served cold. Montezuma's court reportedly drank about 2,000 cups of xocolatl per day, 50 of which were consumed by Montezuma himself.

Until the 16th century, no European had ever heard of the popular drink from the Central
Central America
Central America is the central geographic region of the Americas. It is the southernmost, isthmian portion of the North American continent, which connects with South America on the southeast. When considered part of the unified continental model, it is considered a subcontinent...

 and South American peoples. It was not until the Spanish conquest of the Aztecs that chocolate could be imported to Europe. In Spain, it quickly became a court favorite. In a century it had spread and become popular throughout the European continent. To keep up with the high demand for this new drink, Spanish armies began enslaving Mesoamericans to produce cacao. Even with cacao harvesting becoming a regular business, only royalty and the well-connected could afford to drink this expensive import. Before long, the Spanish began growing cacao beans on plantations, and using an African workforce to help manage them. The situation was different in England. Put simply, anyone with money could buy it. The first chocolate house opened in London in 1657. In 1689, noted physician and collector Hans Sloane
Hans Sloane
Sir Hans Sloane, 1st Baronet, PRS was an Ulster-Scot physician and collector, notable for bequeathing his collection to the British nation which became the foundation of the British Museum...

 developed a milk chocolate drink in Jamaica
Jamaica
Jamaica is an island nation of the Greater Antilles, in length, up to in width and 10,990 square kilometres in area. It is situated in the Caribbean Sea, about south of Cuba, and west of Hispaniola, the island harbouring the nation-states Haiti and the Dominican Republic...

 which was initially used by apothecaries, but later sold to the Cadbury
John Cadbury
John Cadbury was proprietor of a small chocolate business in Birmingham, England, that later became part of Cadbury plc, one of the world's largest chocolate producers.-Biography:...

 brothers in 1897.
For hundreds of years, the chocolate-making process remained unchanged. When the Industrial Revolution
Industrial Revolution
The Industrial Revolution was a period from the 18th to the 19th century where major changes in agriculture, manufacturing, mining, transportation, and technology had a profound effect on the social, economic and cultural conditions of the times...

 arrived, many changes occurred that brought about the food today in its modern form. A Dutch family's (van Houten
Coenraad Johannes van Houten
Coenraad Johannes van Houten was a Dutch chemist and chocolate maker known for the treatment of cocoa mass with alkaline salts to remove the bitter taste and make cocoa solids more water-soluble; the resulting product is still called "Dutch process" chocolate...

) inventions made mass production of shiny, tasty chocolate bars and related products possible. In the 18th century, mechanical mills were created that squeezed out cocoa butter, which in turn helped to create hard, durable chocolate. But, it was not until the arrival of the Industrial Revolution that these mills were put to bigger use. Not long after the revolution cooled down, companies began advertising this new invention to sell many of the chocolate treats we see today. When new machines were produced, people began experiencing and consuming chocolate worldwide.

At the end of the 18th century, the first form of solid chocolate was invented in Turin
Turin
Turin is a city and major business and cultural centre in northern Italy, capital of the Piedmont region, located mainly on the left bank of the Po River and surrounded by the Alpine arch. The population of the city proper is 909,193 while the population of the urban area is estimated by Eurostat...

 by Doret. This chocolate was sold in large quantities from 1826 by Pierre Paul Caffarel
Pierre Paul Caffarel
Pierre Paul Caffarel , Italian entrepreneur who created the chocolate company Caffarel.In 1826 Caffarel purchased a revolutionary industrial machine, invented by Bozelli of Genoa, which was able to produce more than 300 kilos a day...

. In 1819, F. L. Cailler opened the first Swiss
Switzerland
Switzerland name of one of the Swiss cantons. ; ; ; or ), in its full name the Swiss Confederation , is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in Western Europe,Or Central Europe depending on the definition....

 chocolate factory. In 1828, Dutchman
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

 Coenraad Johannes van Houten
Coenraad Johannes van Houten
Coenraad Johannes van Houten was a Dutch chemist and chocolate maker known for the treatment of cocoa mass with alkaline salts to remove the bitter taste and make cocoa solids more water-soluble; the resulting product is still called "Dutch process" chocolate...

 patented a method for extracting the fat from cocoa beans and making powdered cocoa
Cocoa solids
Cocoa solids are the low-fat component of chocolate. When sold as an end product, it may also be called cocoa powder, cocoa, and cacao....

 and cocoa butter
Cocoa butter
Cocoa butter, also called theobroma oil, is a pale-yellow, pure edible vegetable fat extracted from the cocoa bean. It is used to make chocolate, biscuits, and baked goods, as well as some pharmaceuticals, ointments, and toiletries...

. Van Houten also developed the "so-called" Dutch process
Dutch process chocolate
Dutch process chocolate, or Dutched chocolate, is chocolate that has been treated with an alkalizing agent to modify its color and give it a milder taste compared to "natural cocoa" extracted with the Broma process...

 of treating chocolate with alkali
Alkali
In chemistry, an alkali is a basic, ionic salt of an alkali metal or alkaline earth metal element. Some authors also define an alkali as a base that dissolves in water. A solution of a soluble base has a pH greater than 7. The adjective alkaline is commonly used in English as a synonym for base,...

 to remove the bitter taste. This made it possible to form the modern chocolate bar.
The German company Jordan & Timaeus sold the first known chocolate bar made from cocoa, sugar and goat's milk in 1839. In England, the company, J. S. Fry & Sons discovered a way to mix some of the cocoa butter back into the Dutched
Dutch process chocolate
Dutch process chocolate, or Dutched chocolate, is chocolate that has been treated with an alkalizing agent to modify its color and give it a milder taste compared to "natural cocoa" extracted with the Broma process...

 chocolate, and added sugar, creating a paste that could be moulded. This led to the first British chocolate bar in 1847, followed in 1849 by the Cadbury brothers.

Daniel Peter
Daniel Peter
Daniel Peter was a famous Swiss chocolatier. He was the first person to make a milk chocolate bar, in 1875. M. Peter began his career as a candle maker in his native Vevey, Switzerland, but soon demand fell due to the emergence of oil lamps....

, a Swiss
Switzerland
Switzerland name of one of the Swiss cantons. ; ; ; or ), in its full name the Swiss Confederation , is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in Western Europe,Or Central Europe depending on the definition....

 candle maker, joined his father-in-law's chocolate business. In 1867, he began experimenting with milk as an ingredient. He brought his new product, milk chocolate, to market in 1875. He was assisted in removing the water content from the milk to prevent mildewing by a neighbour, a baby food manufacturer named Henri Nestlé
Henri Nestlé
Henri Nestlé, born Heinrich Nestle , was a German confectioner and founder of Nestlé, the world's largest food and beverage company, as well as one of the main creators of condensed milk.-Birth:...

. Rodolphe Lindt invented the process called conching
Conche
A conche is a surface scraping mixer and agitator that evenly distributes cocoa butter within chocolate, and may act as a 'polisher' of the particles. It also promotes flavor development through frictional heat and release of volatiles and acids, and oxidation. There are numerous designs of...

, which involves heating and grinding the chocolate solids very finely to ensure that the liquid is evenly blended. This enabled Milton Hershey to make chocolate even more popular by mass producing affordable chocolate bars.

Types

Several types of chocolate can be distinguished. Pure, unsweetened chocolate contains primarily cocoa solids and cocoa butter in varying proportions. Much of the chocolate consumed today is in the form of sweet chocolate, combining chocolate with sugar. Milk chocolate is sweet chocolate that additionally contains milk powder or condensed milk. In the U.K. and Ireland milk chocolate must contain a minimum of 20% total dry cocoa solids; in the rest of the European Union the minimum is 25%. "White chocolate" contains cocoa butter, sugar, and milk, but no cocoa solids. Chocolate contains alkaloid
Alkaloid
Alkaloids are a group of naturally occurring chemical compounds that contain mostly basic nitrogen atoms. This group also includes some related compounds with neutral and even weakly acidic properties. Also some synthetic compounds of similar structure are attributed to alkaloids...

s such as theobromine
Theobromine
Theobromine , also known as xantheose, is a bitter alkaloid of the cacao plant, with the chemical formula C7H8N4O2. It is found in chocolate, as well as in a number of other foods, including the leaves of the tea plant, and the kola nut...

 and phenethylamine
Phenethylamine
Phenylethylamine or phenethylamine is a natural monoamine alkaloid, trace amine, and also the name of a class of chemicals with many members well known for psychoactive drug and stimulant effects. Studies suggest that phenylethylamine functions as a neuromodulator or neurotransmitter in the...

, which have some physiological effects in humans, but the presence of theobromine renders it toxic to some animals, such as dogs and cats. It has been linked to serotonin levels in the brain. Dark chocolate has been promoted for unproven health benefits, as it seems to possess substantial amount of antioxidant
Antioxidant
An antioxidant is a molecule capable of inhibiting the oxidation of other molecules. Oxidation is a chemical reaction that transfers electrons or hydrogen from a substance to an oxidizing agent. Oxidation reactions can produce free radicals. In turn, these radicals can start chain reactions. When...

s that reduce the formation of free radicals.

White chocolate is formed from a mixture of sugar, cocoa butter and milk solids. Although its texture is similar to milk and dark chocolate, it does not contain any cocoa solids. Because of this, many countries do not consider white chocolate as chocolate at all. Although first introduced by Hebert Candies
Hebert Candy Mansion
The Hebert Candy Mansion is an historic property and tourist attraction in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts. The Mansion is the home to the Hebert Candies Company, and is the site of candy production. The Hebert Candies brand was sold in 2005, and the Candy Mansion continues as the Hebert Candies retail...

 in 1955, Mars, Incorporated
Mars, Incorporated
Mars, Incorporated is a worldwide manufacturer of confectionery, pet food, and other food products with US$30 billion in annual sales in 2010, and is ranked as the 5th largest privately held company in the United States by Forbes. Headquartered in McLean, unincorporated Fairfax County, Virginia,...

 was the first to produce white chocolate within the United States. Because it does not contain any cocoa solids, white chocolate does not contain any theobromine, meaning it can be consumed by animals. It is usually not used for cooking.

Dark chocolate is produced by adding fat and sugar to the cacao mixture. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration calls this "sweet chocolate", and requires a 15% concentration of chocolate liquor. European rules specify a minimum of 35% cocoa solids. Dark chocolate, with its high cocoa content, is a rich source of epicatechin and gallic acid
Gallic acid
Gallic acid is a trihydroxybenzoic acid, a type of phenolic acid, a type of organic acid, also known as 3,4,5-trihydroxybenzoic acid, found in gallnuts, sumac, witch hazel, tea leaves, oak bark, and other plants. The chemical formula is C6H23COOH. Gallic acid is found both free and as part of...

, which are thought to possess cardioprotective properties. Dark chocolate has also been said to reduce the possibility of a heart attack when consumed regularly in small amounts. Semisweet chocolate is a dark chocolate with a low sugar content. Bittersweet chocolate is chocolate liquor to which some sugar (typically a third), more cocoa butter, vanilla and sometimes lecithin
Lecithin
Lecithin is a generic term to designate any group of yellow-brownish fatty substances occurring in animal and plant tissues, and in egg yolk, composed of phosphoric acid, choline, fatty acids, glycerol, glycolipids, triglycerides, and phospholipids .The word lecithin was originally coined in 1847 by...

 have been added. It has less sugar and more liquor than semisweet chocolate, but the two are interchangeable in baking.

Unsweetened chocolate is pure chocolate liquor
Chocolate liquor
Chocolate liquor is pure chocolate in its liquid form. Like the cocoa beans from which it is produced, it contains both cocoa solids and cocoa butter in roughly equal proportion....

, also known as bitter or baking chocolate. It is unadulterated chocolate: the pure, ground, roasted chocolate beans impart a strong, deep chocolate flavor.

Raw chocolate, often referred to as raw cacao, is always dark and a minimum of 75% cacao. Because the act of processing results in the loss of certain vitamins and minerals (such as magnesium), some consider raw cacao to be a more nutritious form of chocolate.

Some people who purchase chocolate off the store shelf can be disappointed when they see whitish spots on the dark chocolate part. This is called chocolate bloom
Chocolate bloom
Chocolate bloom is a moldy-looking white coating that can appear on the surface of chocolate. This effect is one of the main concerns in the production of chocolate. There are two types of bloom: fat bloom, arising from changes in the fat in the chocolate; and sugar bloom, formed by the action of...

 and is not an indication of chocolate gone bad. Instead, this is just an indication that sugar and/or fat has separated due to poor storage.

Production

Roughly two-thirds of the entire world's cocoa is produced in West Africa, with 43% sourced from Côte d'Ivoire
Côte d'Ivoire
The Republic of Côte d'Ivoire or Ivory Coast is a country in West Africa. It has an area of , and borders the countries Liberia, Guinea, Mali, Burkina Faso and Ghana; its southern boundary is along the Gulf of Guinea. The country's population was 15,366,672 in 1998 and was estimated to be...

, where child labor is a common practice to obtain the product.
According to the World Cocoa Foundation, some 50 million people around the world depend on cocoa as a source of livelihood. In the UK, most chocolatiers purchase their chocolate from them, to melt, mold and package to their own design.
Despite some disagreement in the EU
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

 about the definition, chocolate is any product made primarily of cocoa solids and cocoa butter.

Production costs can be decreased by reducing cocoa solid content or by substituting cocoa butter with another fat. Cocoa growers object to allowing the resulting food to be called "chocolate", due to the risk of lower demand for their crops. The sequencing in 2010 of genome of the cacao tree may allow yields to be improved.

There are two main jobs associated with creating chocolate candy, chocolate makers and chocolatiers. Chocolate makers use harvested cacao beans and other ingredients to produce couverture chocolate
Couverture chocolate
Couverture chocolate is a very high quality chocolate that contains extra cocoa butter . The higher percentage of cocoa butter, combined with proper tempering, gives the chocolate more sheen, firmer "snap" when broken, and a creamy mellow flavor....

 (covering). Chocolatiers use the finished couverture to make chocolate candies (bars, truffles
Chocolate truffle
A chocolate truffle is a type of chocolate confectionery, traditionally made with a chocolate ganache center coated in chocolate or cocoa powder, usually in a spherical, conical, or curved shape...

, etc.).

Cacao varieties

Chocolate is made from cocoa beans, the dried and partially fermented seeds of the cacao tree (Theobroma cacao), a small (4–8 m (or 15–26 ft) tall) evergreen
Evergreen
In botany, an evergreen plant is a plant that has leaves in all seasons. This contrasts with deciduous plants, which completely lose their foliage during the winter or dry season.There are many different kinds of evergreen plants, both trees and shrubs...

 tree native to the deep tropical region of the Americas. Recent genetic studies suggest that the most common genotype
Genotype
The genotype is the genetic makeup of a cell, an organism, or an individual usually with reference to a specific character under consideration...

 of the plant originated in the Amazon basin
Amazon Basin
The Amazon Basin is the part of South America drained by the Amazon River and its tributaries that drains an area of about , or roughly 40 percent of South America. The basin is located in the countries of Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, and Venezuela...

 and was gradually transported by humans throughout South and Central America. Early forms of another genotype have also been found in what is now Venezuela
Venezuela
Venezuela , officially called the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela , is a tropical country on the northern coast of South America. It borders Colombia to the west, Guyana to the east, and Brazil to the south...

. The scientific name, Theobroma
Theobroma
Theobroma is a genus of flowering plants in the mallow family, Malvaceae, that is sometimes classified as a member of Sterculiaceae. It contains roughly 20 species of small understory trees native to the tropical forests of Central and South America...

, means "food of the gods
Deity
A deity is a recognized preternatural or supernatural immortal being, who may be thought of as holy, divine, or sacred, held in high regard, and respected by believers....

". The fruit
Fruit
In broad terms, a fruit is a structure of a plant that contains its seeds.The term has different meanings dependent on context. In non-technical usage, such as food preparation, fruit normally means the fleshy seed-associated structures of certain plants that are sweet and edible in the raw state,...

, called a cacao pod, is ovoid, 15–30 cm (or 6–12 in) long and 8–10 cm (3–4 in) wide, ripening yellow to orange, and weighs about 500 g (1 lb) when ripe.

Cacao trees are small, understory trees that need rich, well-drained soils. They naturally grow within 20 degrees of either side of the equator because they need about 2000 millimeters of rainfall a year, and temperatures in the range of 21 to 32 °C. Cacao trees cannot tolerate a temperature lower than 15 °C (59 °F).

The three main varieties of cacao beans used in chocolate are criollo, forastero, and trinitario.

Representing only five percent of all cocoa beans grown, criollo is the rarest and most expensive cocoa on the market, and is native to Central America, the Caribbean islands and the northern tier of South American states. There is some dispute about the genetic purity of cocoas sold today as criollo, as most populations have been exposed to the genetic influence of other varieties. Criollos are particularly difficult to grow, as they are vulnerable to a variety of environmental threats and produce low yields of cocoa per tree. The flavor of criollo is described as delicate yet complex, low in classic chocolate flavor, but rich in "secondary" notes of long duration.

The most commonly grown bean is forastero, a large group of wild and cultivated cacaos, most likely native to the Amazon basin
Amazon Basin
The Amazon Basin is the part of South America drained by the Amazon River and its tributaries that drains an area of about , or roughly 40 percent of South America. The basin is located in the countries of Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, and Venezuela...

. The African cocoa crop is entirely of the forastero variety. They are significantly hardier and of higher yield than criollo. The source of most chocolate marketed, forastero cocoas are typically strong in classic "chocolate" flavor, but have a short duration and are unsupported by secondary flavors, producing "quite bland" chocolate.

Trinitario is a natural hybrid of criollo and forastero. Trinitario originated in Trinidad
Trinidad
Trinidad is the larger and more populous of the two major islands and numerous landforms which make up the island nation of Trinidad and Tobago. It is the southernmost island in the Caribbean and lies just off the northeastern coast of Venezuela. With an area of it is also the fifth largest in...

 after an introduction of forastero to the local criollo crop. Nearly all cacao produced over the past five decades is of the forastero or lower-grade trinitario varieties.

Processing

Cacao pods are harvested by cutting the pods from the tree using a machete
Machete
The machete is a large cleaver-like cutting tool. The blade is typically long and usually under thick. In the English language, an equivalent term is matchet, though it is less commonly known...

, or by knocking them off the tree using a stick. The beans with their surrounding pulp are removed from the pods and placed in piles or bins, allowing access to microorganisms so that fermentation
Fermentation (food)
Fermentation in food processing typically is the conversion of carbohydrates to alcohols and carbon dioxide or organic acids using yeasts, bacteria, or a combination thereof, under anaerobic conditions. Fermentation in simple terms is the chemical conversion of sugars into ethanol...

 of the pectin
Pectin
Pectin is a structural heteropolysaccharide contained in the primary cell walls of terrestrial plants. It was first isolated and described in 1825 by Henri Braconnot...

-containing material can begin. Yeast
Yeast
Yeasts are eukaryotic micro-organisms classified in the kingdom Fungi, with 1,500 species currently described estimated to be only 1% of all fungal species. Most reproduce asexually by mitosis, and many do so by an asymmetric division process called budding...

 produce ethanol
Ethanol
Ethanol, also called ethyl alcohol, pure alcohol, grain alcohol, or drinking alcohol, is a volatile, flammable, colorless liquid. It is a psychoactive drug and one of the oldest recreational drugs. Best known as the type of alcohol found in alcoholic beverages, it is also used in thermometers, as a...

, lactic acid bacteria
Lactic acid bacteria
The lactic acid bacteria comprise a clade of Gram-positive, low-GC, acid-tolerant, generally non-sporulating, non-respiring rod or cocci that are associated by their common metabolic and physiological characteristics. These bacteria, usually found in decomposing plants and lactic products, produce...

 produce lactic acid
Lactic acid
Lactic acid, also known as milk acid, is a chemical compound that plays a role in various biochemical processes and was first isolated in 1780 by the Swedish chemist Carl Wilhelm Scheele. Lactic acid is a carboxylic acid with the chemical formula C3H6O3...

 and acetic acid bacteria
Acetic acid bacteria
Acetic acid bacteria are bacteria that derive their energy from the oxidation of ethanol to acetic acid during fermentation. They are Gram-negative, aerobic, rod-shaped bacteria. Not to be confused with the genus Acetobacterium which are anaerobic homoacetogenic facultative autotrophs and can...

 produce acetic acid
Acetic acid
Acetic acid is an organic compound with the chemical formula CH3CO2H . It is a colourless liquid that when undiluted is also called glacial acetic acid. Acetic acid is the main component of vinegar , and has a distinctive sour taste and pungent smell...

. The fermentation process, which takes up to seven days, also produces several flavor precursors, eventually resulting in the familiar chocolate taste.

It is important to harvest the pods when they are fully ripe because if the pod is unripe, the beans will have a low cocoa butter content, or there will be insufficient sugars in the white pulp for fermentation, resulting in a weak flavor. After fermentation, the beans must be quickly dried to prevent mold growth. Climate and weather permitting, this is done by spreading the beans out in the sun from five to seven days.

The dried beans are then transported to a chocolate manufacturing facility. The beans are cleaned (removing twigs, stones, and other debris), roasted
Dry roasting
Dry Roasting is a process by which heat is applied to dry foodstuffs without the use of oil or water as a carrier. Unlike other dry heat methods, dry roasting is used with foods such as nuts and seeds, which do not contain significant fat or moisture of their own...

, and graded. Next, the shell of each bean is removed to extract the nib. Finally, the nibs are ground and liquefied, resulting in pure chocolate in fluid form: chocolate liquor
Chocolate liquor
Chocolate liquor is pure chocolate in its liquid form. Like the cocoa beans from which it is produced, it contains both cocoa solids and cocoa butter in roughly equal proportion....

. The liquor can be further processed into two components: cocoa solids and cocoa butter.

Blending

Chocolate liquor is blended with the cocoa butter in varying quantities to make different types of chocolate or couvertures. The basic blends of ingredients for the various types of chocolate (in order of highest quantity of cocoa liquor first), are as follows:
  • Dark chocolate: sugar, cocoa butter, cocoa liquor, and (sometimes) vanilla
  • Milk chocolate: sugar, cocoa butter, cocoa liquor, milk or milk powder, and vanilla
  • White chocolate: sugar, cocoa butter, milk or milk powder, and vanilla


Usually, an emulsifying agent, such as soy lecithin, is added, though a few manufacturers prefer to exclude this ingredient for purity reasons and to remain GMO
Genetically modified organism
A genetically modified organism or genetically engineered organism is an organism whose genetic material has been altered using genetic engineering techniques. These techniques, generally known as recombinant DNA technology, use DNA molecules from different sources, which are combined into one...

-free, sometimes at the cost of a perfectly smooth texture. Some manufacturers are now using PGPR
Polyglycerol Polyricinoleate
Polyglycerol polyricinoleate , E476, an emulsifier made from castor bean oils, reduces the viscosity of chocolate and similar coatings and compounds. It works by decreasing the friction between the particles of cacao, sugar, milk, etc. present so they can flow more easily when melted. It is used at...

, an artificial emulsifier derived from castor oil that allows them to reduce the amount of cocoa butter while maintaining the same mouthfeel
Mouthfeel
Mouthfeel is a product's physical and chemical interaction in the mouth, an aspect of food rheology. It is a concept used in many areas related to the testing and evaluating of foodstuffs, such as wine-tasting and rheology. It is evaluated from initial perception on the palate, to first bite,...

.

The texture is also heavily influenced by processing, specifically conching (see below). The more expensive chocolate tends to be processed longer and thus have a smoother texture and mouthfeel, regardless of whether emulsifying agents are added.

Different manufacturers develop their own "signature" blends based on the above formulas, but varying proportions of the different constituents are used. The finest, plain dark chocolate couvertures contain at least 70% cocoa (both solids and butter), whereas milk chocolate usually contains up to 50%. High-quality white chocolate couvertures contain only about 35% cocoa.

Producers of high quality, small batch chocolate argue that mass production produces bad quality chocolate. Some mass-produced chocolate contains much less cocoa (as low as 7% in many cases), and fats other than cocoa butter. Vegetable oils and artificial vanilla
Vanilla
Vanilla is a flavoring derived from orchids of the genus Vanilla, primarily from the Mexican species, Flat-leaved Vanilla . The word vanilla derives from the Spanish word "", little pod...

 flavor are often used in cheaper chocolate to mask poorly fermented and/or roasted beans.

In 2007, the Chocolate Manufacturers Association in the United States, whose members include Hershey
The Hershey Company
The Hershey Company, known until April 2005 as the Hershey Foods Corporation and commonly called Hershey's, is the largest chocolate manufacturer in North America. Its headquarters are in Hershey, Pennsylvania, which is also home to Hershey's Chocolate World. It was founded by Milton S...

, Nestlé
Nestlé
Nestlé S.A. is the world's largest food and nutrition company. Founded and headquartered in Vevey, Switzerland, Nestlé originated in a 1905 merger of the Anglo-Swiss Milk Company, established in 1867 by brothers George Page and Charles Page, and Farine Lactée Henri Nestlé, founded in 1866 by Henri...

, and Archer Daniels Midland
Archer Daniels Midland
The Archer Daniels Midland Company is a conglomerate headquartered in Decatur, Illinois. ADM operates more than 270 plants worldwide, where cereal grains and oilseeds are processed into products used in food, beverage, nutraceutical, industrial and animal feed markets worldwide.ADM was named the...

, lobbied
Lobbying
Lobbying is the act of attempting to influence decisions made by officials in the government, most often legislators or members of regulatory agencies. Lobbying is done by various people or groups, from private-sector individuals or corporations, fellow legislators or government officials, or...

 the Food and Drug Administration
Food and Drug Administration
The Food and Drug Administration is an agency of the United States Department of Health and Human Services, one of the United States federal executive departments...

 to change the legal definition of chocolate to let them substitute partially hydrogenated vegetable oils for cocoa butter, in addition to using artificial sweeteners and milk substitutes. Currently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not allow a product to be referred to as "chocolate" if the product contains any of these ingredients.

Conching

The penultimate process is called conching. A conche is a container filled with metal beads, which act as grinders. The refined and blended chocolate mass is kept in a liquid state by frictional heat. Chocolate prior to conching has an uneven and gritty texture. The conching process produces cocoa and sugar particles smaller than the tongue can detect, hence the smooth feel in the mouth. The length of the conching process determines the final smoothness and quality of the chocolate. High-quality chocolate is conched for about 72 hours, lesser grades about four to six hours. After the process is complete, the chocolate mass is stored in tanks heated to approximately 45 – until final processing.

Tempering

The final process is called temper
Temper
Temperare is the Latin origin of words like "temperature" and "tempering"; it and "tempo" come, in turn, from tempus...

ing
. Uncontrolled crystallization of cocoa butter typically results in crystals of varying size, some or all large enough to be clearly seen with the naked eye. This causes the surface of the chocolate to appear mottled and matte, and causes the chocolate to crumble rather than snap when broken. The uniform sheen and crisp bite of properly processed chocolate are the result of consistently small cocoa butter crystals produced by the tempering process.

The fats in cocoa butter can crystallize in six different forms (polymorphous crystallization
Polymorphism (materials science)
Polymorphism in materials science is the ability of a solid material to exist in more than one form or crystal structure. Polymorphism can potentially be found in any crystalline material including polymers, minerals, and metals, and is related to allotropy, which refers to chemical elements...

). The primary purpose of tempering is to assure that only the best form is present. The six different crystal forms have different properties.
Crystal Melting temp. Notes
I 17 °C (62.6 °F) Soft, crumbly, melts too easily
II 21 °C (69.8 °F) Soft, crumbly, melts too easily
III 26 °C (78.8 °F) Firm, poor snap, melts too easily
IV 28 °C (82.4 °F) Firm, good snap, melts too easily
V 34 °C (93.2 °F) Glossy, firm, best snap, melts near body temperature (37°C)
VI 36 °C (96.8 °F) Hard, takes weeks to form

Making chocolate considered "good" is about forming as many type V crystals as possible. This provides the best appearance and texture and creates the most stable crystals, so the texture and appearance will not degrade over time. To accomplish this, the temperature is carefully manipulated during the crystallization.

Generally, the chocolate is first heated to 45 °C (113 °F) to melt all six forms of crystals. Next, the chocolate is cooled to about 27 °C (80.6 °F), which will allow crystal types IV and V to form. At this temperature, the chocolate is agitated to create many small crystal "seeds" which will serve as nuclei to create small crystals in the chocolate. The chocolate is then heated to about 31 °C (87.8 °F) to eliminate any type IV crystals, leaving just type V. After this point, any excessive heating of the chocolate will destroy the temper and this process will have to be repeated. However, there are other methods of chocolate tempering used. The most common variant is introducing already tempered, solid "seed" chocolate. The temper of chocolate can be measured with a chocolate temper meter
Chocolate temper meter
A chocolate temper meter is used to measure the presence of various types of the crystal forms IV, V in semi-molten cocoa butter in the preparation of well tempered chocolate...

 to ensure accuracy and consistency. A sample cup is filled with the chocolate and placed in the unit which then displays or prints the results.

Two classic ways of manually tempering chocolate are:
  • Working the molten chocolate on a heat-absorbing surface, such as a stone slab, until thickening indicates the presence of sufficient crystal "seeds"; the chocolate is then gently warmed to working temperature.
  • Stirring solid chocolate into molten chocolate to "inoculate" the liquid chocolate with crystals (this method uses the already formed crystals of the solid chocolate to "seed" the molten chocolate).


Chocolate tempering machines (or temperers) with computer controls can be used for producing consistently tempered chocolate, particularly for large volume applications.

Storage

Chocolate is very sensitive to temperature and humidity. Ideal storage temperatures are between 15 and 17 °C (59 and 62.6 F), with a relative humidity of less than 50%. Chocolate is generally stored away from other foods, as it can absorb different aromas. Ideally, chocolates are packed or wrapped, and placed in proper storage with the correct humidity and temperature. Additionally, chocolate is frequently stored in a dark place or protected from light by wrapping paper. Various types of "blooming
Chocolate bloom
Chocolate bloom is a moldy-looking white coating that can appear on the surface of chocolate. This effect is one of the main concerns in the production of chocolate. There are two types of bloom: fat bloom, arising from changes in the fat in the chocolate; and sugar bloom, formed by the action of...

" effects can occur if chocolate is stored or served improperly. If refrigerated or frozen without containment, chocolate can absorb enough moisture to cause a whitish discoloration, the result of fat or sugar crystals rising to the surface. Moving chocolate from one temperature extreme to another, such as from a refrigerator on a hot day, can result in an oily texture. Although visually unappealing, chocolate suffering from bloom is perfectly safe for consumption.

Potential health effects

Even though chocolate is regularly eaten for pleasure
Epicureanism
Epicureanism is a system of philosophy based upon the teachings of Epicurus, founded around 307 BC. Epicurus was an atomic materialist, following in the steps of Democritus. His materialism led him to a general attack on superstition and divine intervention. Following Aristippus—about whom...

, there are potentially a lot of health effects, both negative and positive. Cocoa or dark chocolate may positively affect the circulatory system
Circulatory system
The circulatory system is an organ system that passes nutrients , gases, hormones, blood cells, etc...

. Other possible effects under basic research
Basic Research
Basic Research is an herbal supplement and cosmetics manufacturer based in Salt Lake City, Utah that distributes products through a large number of subsidiaries. In addition, their products are sold domestically and internationally through a number of high-end retailers. Dennis Gay is the...

 include anticancer, brain stimulator
Nootropic
Nootropics , also referred to as smart drugs, brain steroids, memory enhancers, cognitive enhancers, and intelligence enhancers, are drugs, supplements, nutraceuticals, and functional foods that improve mental functions such as cognition, memory, intelligence, motivation, attention, and concentration...

, cough preventor
Cough medicine
A cough medicine is a medicinal drug used in an attempt to treat coughing and related conditions. For dry coughs, treatment with cough suppressants may be attempted to suppress the body's urge to cough...

 and antidiarrhoeal
Antidiarrhoeal
An anti-diarrhoeal drug is any medication which provides symptomatic relief for diarrhoea.-Types:* Electrolyte solutions are used to replace lost fluids and salts in acute cases....

 activities. An aphrodisiac
Aphrodisiac
An aphrodisiac is a substance that increases sexual desire. The name comes from Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of sexuality and love. Throughout history, many foods, drinks, and behaviors have had a reputation for making sex more attainable and/or pleasurable...

 effect is yet unproven.

According to research, limited amounts of dark chocolate appear to help prevent heart disease. The oxidation of LDL cholesterol is considered a major factor in the promotion of coronary disease. When this waxy substance oxidizes, it tends to stick to artery walls, increasing the risk of a heart attack or stroke. Research has shown the polyphenols in chocolate inhibit oxidation of LDL cholesterol.

On the other hand, the unconstrained consumption of large quantities of any energy-rich food, such as chocolate, without a corresponding increase in activity, is thought to increase the risk of obesity
Obesity
Obesity is a medical condition in which excess body fat has accumulated to the extent that it may have an adverse effect on health, leading to reduced life expectancy and/or increased health problems...

. Raw chocolate is high in cocoa butter
Cocoa butter
Cocoa butter, also called theobroma oil, is a pale-yellow, pure edible vegetable fat extracted from the cocoa bean. It is used to make chocolate, biscuits, and baked goods, as well as some pharmaceuticals, ointments, and toiletries...

, a fat which is removed during chocolate refining, then added back in in varying proportions during the manufacturing process. Manufacturers may add other fats, sugar
Sugar
Sugar is a class of edible crystalline carbohydrates, mainly sucrose, lactose, and fructose, characterized by a sweet flavor.Sucrose in its refined form primarily comes from sugar cane and sugar beet...

s, and milk
Milk
Milk is a white liquid produced by the mammary glands of mammals. It is the primary source of nutrition for young mammals before they are able to digest other types of food. Early-lactation milk contains colostrum, which carries the mother's antibodies to the baby and can reduce the risk of many...

 as well, all of which increase the caloric content of chocolate.

Chocolate absorbs lead from the environment during production, and there is a slight concern of mild lead poisoning
Lead poisoning
Lead poisoning is a medical condition caused by increased levels of the heavy metal lead in the body. Lead interferes with a variety of body processes and is toxic to many organs and tissues including the heart, bones, intestines, kidneys, and reproductive and nervous systems...

 for some types of chocolate. The average lead concentration of cocoa beans was a very low ≤ 0.5 ng/g, one of the lowest reported values for a natural food. Lead concentration of chocolate was as high as 70 ng/g for chocolate products and 230 ng/g for manufactured cocoa. 200,000 ng is the WHO tolerable daily limit for lead consumption. Additionally, chocolate is toxic
Theobromine poisoning
Theobromine poisoning or chocolate poisoning is an adverse reaction to the alkaloid theobromine, found in chocolate, tea, cola beverages, açaí berries, and some other foods. Cacao beans contain about 1.2% theobromine by weight, while processed chocolate, in general, has smaller amounts...

 to many animals because of insufficient capacity to metabolize theobromine
Theobromine
Theobromine , also known as xantheose, is a bitter alkaloid of the cacao plant, with the chemical formula C7H8N4O2. It is found in chocolate, as well as in a number of other foods, including the leaves of the tea plant, and the kola nut...

.

A BBC
BBC
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

 report indicated that melting chocolate in one's mouth produced an increase in brain activity and heart rate
Heart rate
Heart rate is the number of heartbeats per unit of time, typically expressed as beats per minute . Heart rate can vary as the body's need to absorb oxygen and excrete carbon dioxide changes, such as during exercise or sleep....

 that was more intense than that associated with passionate kissing, and also lasted four times as long after the activity had ended.

In later research, chocolate has been linked with multiple health benefits and liabilities. Research on elderly people showed chocolate might cause osteoporosis
Osteoporosis
Osteoporosis is a disease of bones that leads to an increased risk of fracture. In osteoporosis the bone mineral density is reduced, bone microarchitecture is deteriorating, and the amount and variety of proteins in bone is altered...

. However, more research has shown that it will boost cognitive abilities. Further, dark chocolate and cocoa butter have been linked with multiple positive effects. Scientific evidence has suggested dark chocolate can help reduce the risk of cardiovascular problems and also reduce blood pressure
Blood pressure
Blood pressure is the pressure exerted by circulating blood upon the walls of blood vessels, and is one of the principal vital signs. When used without further specification, "blood pressure" usually refers to the arterial pressure of the systemic circulation. During each heartbeat, BP varies...

 in both overweight and normal adults. Finally, studies have shown dark chocolate as part of a low-fat diet can lower cholesterol
Cholesterol
Cholesterol is a complex isoprenoid. Specifically, it is a waxy steroid of fat that is produced in the liver or intestines. It is used to produce hormones and cell membranes and is transported in the blood plasma of all mammals. It is an essential structural component of mammalian cell membranes...

 levels in adults.

In August 2011, Cambridge research published in the British Medical Journal:
Eating high levels of chocolate could be associated with a significant reduction in the risk of certain cardiovascular disorders.

Labelling

Some manufacturers provide the percentage of chocolate in a finished chocolate confection as a label quoting percentage of "cocoa" or "cacao". It should be noted that this refers to the combined percentage of both cocoa solids
Cocoa solids
Cocoa solids are the low-fat component of chocolate. When sold as an end product, it may also be called cocoa powder, cocoa, and cacao....

 and cocoa butter
Cocoa butter
Cocoa butter, also called theobroma oil, is a pale-yellow, pure edible vegetable fat extracted from the cocoa bean. It is used to make chocolate, biscuits, and baked goods, as well as some pharmaceuticals, ointments, and toiletries...

 in the bar, not just the percentage of cocoa solids
Cocoa solids
Cocoa solids are the low-fat component of chocolate. When sold as an end product, it may also be called cocoa powder, cocoa, and cacao....

.

Chocolates that are organic
Organic food
Organic foods are foods that are produced using methods that do not involve modern synthetic inputs such as synthetic pesticides and chemical fertilizers, do not contain genetically modified organisms, and are not processed using irradiation, industrial solvents, or chemical food additives.For the...

 or fair trade certified carry labels accordingly.

In the United States, some large chocolate manufacturers lobbied the federal government to permit confections containing cheaper hydrogenated vegetable oil in place of cocoa butter
Cocoa butter
Cocoa butter, also called theobroma oil, is a pale-yellow, pure edible vegetable fat extracted from the cocoa bean. It is used to make chocolate, biscuits, and baked goods, as well as some pharmaceuticals, ointments, and toiletries...

 to be sold as "chocolate". In June 2007, as a response to consumer concern after the proposed change, the FDA reiterated "Cacao fat, as one of the signature characteristics of the product, will remain a principal component of standardized chocolate."

Manufacturers

Many chocolate manufacturers have created products from chocolate bars to fudge
Fudge
Fudge is a type of Western confectionery which is usually very sweet, and extremely rich. It is made by mixing sugar, butter, and milk and heating it to the soft-ball stage at , and then beating the mixture while it cools so that it acquires a smooth, creamy consistency...

, hoping to attract more consumers with each creation. Both The Hershey Company and Mars have become the largest manufacturers in the world. Other significant players include Nestlé
Nestlé
Nestlé S.A. is the world's largest food and nutrition company. Founded and headquartered in Vevey, Switzerland, Nestlé originated in a 1905 merger of the Anglo-Swiss Milk Company, established in 1867 by brothers George Page and Charles Page, and Farine Lactée Henri Nestlé, founded in 1866 by Henri...

, Kraft Foods
Kraft Foods
Kraft Foods Inc. is an American confectionery, food and beverage conglomerate. It markets many brands in more than 170 countries. 12 of its brands annually earn more than $1 billion worldwide: Cadbury, Jacobs, Kraft, LU, Maxwell House, Milka, Nabisco, Oscar Mayer, Philadelphia, Trident, Tang...

  and Lindt.

The Hershey Company
The Hershey Company
The Hershey Company, known until April 2005 as the Hershey Foods Corporation and commonly called Hershey's, is the largest chocolate manufacturer in North America. Its headquarters are in Hershey, Pennsylvania, which is also home to Hershey's Chocolate World. It was founded by Milton S...

, known for their Hershey bar
Hershey bar
The Hershey's chocolate bar is a flagship chocolate bar described as "The Great American Chocolate Bar" manufactured by the Hershey Company, invented by Logan Hall and Zach Phillips. Hershey Milk Chocolate and Milk Chocolate with almonds and peanuts were both introduced in 1894...

, Hershey's Kisses and Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, is the largest chocolate manufacturer in North America. Mars, Incorporated
Mars, Incorporated
Mars, Incorporated is a worldwide manufacturer of confectionery, pet food, and other food products with US$30 billion in annual sales in 2010, and is ranked as the 5th largest privately held company in the United States by Forbes. Headquartered in McLean, unincorporated Fairfax County, Virginia,...

, one of the largest privately owned U.S. corporations, is a worldwide manufacturer of confectionery and other food products, with US$21 billion in annual sales in 2006. Mars is known for Mars Bar
Mars Bar
Mars is a chocolate bar manufactured by Mars, Incorporated. It was first manufactured in Slough, Berkshire in the United Kingdom in 1932 as a sweeter version of the US Milky Way bar which Mars, Inc. produced...

, Milky Way
Milky Way bar
The Milky Way bar is a chocolate bar distributed by the Mars confectionery company. The American version of the Milky Way bar is made of chocolate-malt nougat topped with caramel and covered with milk chocolate and is very similar to the Mars bar sold in other countries...

, M&M's
M&M's
M&M's are dragée-like "colorful button-shaped candies" produced by Mars, Incorporated...

, Twix
Twix
Twix is a chocolate bar made by Mars, Inc., consisting of a biscuit finger, topped with caramel and coated in milk chocolate. Being somewhat smaller in width than other confectionery bars, Twix bars are typically packaged in pairs...

 and Snickers
Snickers
Snickers is a brand name chocolate bar made by Mars, Incorporated. It consists of peanut nougat topped with roasted peanuts and caramel, enrobed in milk chocolate. Snickers has annual global sales of $2 billion....

, as well as other confectionery items, such Skittles
Skittles (confectionery)
Skittles is a brand of fruit-flavoured sweets, currently produced and marketed by the Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company, a division of Mars, Inc. They have hard sugar shells which carry the letter S. The inside is mainly sugar, corn syrup, and hydrogenated palm kernel oil along with fruit juice, citric acid,...

.

Food conglomerates Nestlé SA and Kraft Foods both have chocolate brands. Nestlé
Nestlé
Nestlé S.A. is the world's largest food and nutrition company. Founded and headquartered in Vevey, Switzerland, Nestlé originated in a 1905 merger of the Anglo-Swiss Milk Company, established in 1867 by brothers George Page and Charles Page, and Farine Lactée Henri Nestlé, founded in 1866 by Henri...

 acquired Rowntree's
Rowntree's
Rowntree's was a confectionery business based in York, England. It is now a historic brand owned by Nestlé, used to market a range of fruit gums and pastilles formerly owned by Rowntree's. Following a merger with John Mackintosh & Co., the Company became known as Rowntree Mackintosh, was listed on...

 in 1988 and now market chocolates under their own brand, including Smarties and Kit Kat
Kit Kat
Kit Kat is a chocolate-coated wafer confection that was created by Rowntree's of York, England, and is now produced worldwide by Nestlé, which acquired Rowntree in 1988, except in the United States where it is made under licence by The Hershey Company. Each bar consists of fingers composed of three...

; Kraft Foods
Kraft Foods
Kraft Foods Inc. is an American confectionery, food and beverage conglomerate. It markets many brands in more than 170 countries. 12 of its brands annually earn more than $1 billion worldwide: Cadbury, Jacobs, Kraft, LU, Maxwell House, Milka, Nabisco, Oscar Mayer, Philadelphia, Trident, Tang...

 through its 1990 acquisition of Jacobs Suchard, now own Milka
Milka
Milka is a brand of milk chocolate manufactured by Kraft Foods. It is sold in bar form, in holiday shapes, and in a variety of specialty forms....

and Suchard. In February 2010, Kraft also acquired British-based Cadbury plc, the world's largest confectionery manufacturer. Cadbury is well known for its Dairy Milk range and Creme Egg; Fry's
J. S. Fry & Sons
J. S. Fry & Sons, Ltd. was a British chocolate company owned by Joseph Storrs Fry and his family.This business moved through several names and hands before ending up as J. S. Fry & Sons.- History :*circa 1759 — Joseph Fry starts making chocolate...

, Trebor Basset, the fair-trade brand Green & Black's
Green & Black's
Green & Black's is a UK-based chocolate company, owned by Kraft Foods. The company produces a range of chocolate bars, ice cream, biscuits and hot chocolate with its principal manufacturing sites in Poland and Italy...

 also belong to the group.

The chocolate industry, a steadily growing, $50 billion-a-year worldwide business centered on the sale and consumption of chocolate, is prevalent on five out of seven continents. Big Chocolate
Big Chocolate
"Big Chocolate" is a business term assigned to multi-national chocolate food producers, much akin to the terms assigned to "Big Oil" and "Big Tobacco"....

, as it is also called, is essentially an oligopoly
Oligopoly
An oligopoly is a market form in which a market or industry is dominated by a small number of sellers . The word is derived, by analogy with "monopoly", from the Greek ὀλίγοι "few" + πόλειν "to sell". Because there are few sellers, each oligopolist is likely to be aware of the actions of the others...

 between major international chocolate companies in Europe and the U.S. These U.S. companies, such as Mars and Hershey’s alone, generate $13 billion a year in chocolate sales and account for two-thirds of U.S. manufacturers. However, Europe accounts for 45% of the world's chocolate revenue.

In popular culture

Holidays

Chocolate is one of the most popular holiday gifts. On Valentine's Day
Valentine's Day
Saint Valentine's Day, commonly shortened to Valentine's Day, is an annual commemoration held on February 14 celebrating love and affection between intimate companions. The day is named after one or more early Christian martyrs named Saint Valentine, and was established by Pope Gelasius I in 496...

, a box of chocolates is traditional, usually presented with flower
Flower
A flower, sometimes known as a bloom or blossom, is the reproductive structure found in flowering plants . The biological function of a flower is to effect reproduction, usually by providing a mechanism for the union of sperm with eggs...

s and a greeting card
Greeting card
A greeting card is an illustrated, folded card featuring an expression of friendship or other sentiment. Although greeting cards are usually given on special occasions such as birthdays, Christmas or other holidays, they are also sent to convey thanks or express other feeling. Greeting cards,...

. It may be given on other holidays, and birthdays. At Easter
Easter customs
As with other Christian festivals, the celebration of Easter extends beyond the church. Since its origins, it has been a time of celebration and feasting and many Traditional Easter games and customs developed, such as egg rolling, egg tapping, Pace egging and egg decorating...

, chocolate eggs are traditional. This is a confectionery made primarily of chocolate, and can either be solid, hollow, or filled with other sweets or fondant. Many confectioners make holiday-specific chocolate candies, usually variants of their standard fare.

Books and film

Chocolate has been the center of several successful book and film adaptations. In 1964, Roald Dahl
Roald Dahl
Roald Dahl was a British novelist, short story writer, fighter pilot and screenwriter.Born in Wales to Norwegian parents, he served in the Royal Air Force during the Second World War, in which he became a flying ace and intelligence agent, rising to the rank of Wing Commander...

 published a children's novel titled Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is a 1964 children's book by British author Roald Dahl. The story features the adventures of young Charlie Bucket inside the chocolate factory of the eccentric chocolatier, Willy Wonka....

. The novel centers on a poor boy named Charlie Bucket who takes a tour through the greatest chocolate factory in the world, owned by Willy Wonka
Willy Wonka
This article is about the fictional character. For the candy company, see, The Willy Wonka Candy Company.Willy Wonka is a fictional character in the 1964 Roald Dahl novel Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and the film adaptations that followed. The book and the 1971 film adaption both vividly...

. Two film adaptations of the novel were produced. The first was Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory
Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory
Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory is a 1971 musical film adaptation of the 1964 novel Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl, directed by Mel Stuart, and starring Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka. The film tells the story of Charlie Bucket as he receives a golden ticket and visits Willy...

, a 1971 film which later became a cult classic
Cult Classic
Cult Classic is a Blue Öyster Cult studio recording released in 1994, containing remakes of many of the band's previous hits.-Track listing:# " The Reaper" - 5:05# "E.T.I...

. Thirty-four years later, a second film adaptation was produced, titled Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (film)
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is a 2005 film adaptation of the 1964 book of the same name by Roald Dahl. The film was directed by Tim Burton. The film stars Freddie Highmore as Charlie Bucket and Johnny Depp as Willy Wonka...

. The 2005 film was very well received by critics and was one of the highest grossing films that year, earning over US$470,000,000 worldwide. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was also recognized at the 78th Academy Awards
78th Academy Awards
The 78th Academy Awards honored the best films of 2005 and were held on March 5, 2006, at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, California. They were hosted by The Daily Show host Jon Stewart, with Tom Kane making his first appearance as the show's announcer...

, where it was nominated for Best Costume Design for Gabriella Pesucci.

Like Water for Chocolate
Like Water for Chocolate
Like Water for Chocolate is a popular novel published in 1989 by first-time Mexican novelist Laura Esquivel.The novel follows the story of a young girl named Tita who longs her entire life to marry her lover, Pedro, but can never have him because of her mother's upholding of the family tradition...

(Como agua para chocolate), a 1989 love story by novelist Laura Esquivel
Laura Esquivel
Laura Esquivel is a Mexican author making a noted contribution to Latin-American literature. She was born the third of four children of Julio César Esquivel, a telegraph operator, and Josefa Valdés.-Literary career:...

, was adapted to film in 1992. The plot incorporates magical realism with Mexican cuisine, and the title is a double entendre
Double entendre
A double entendre or adianoeta is a figure of speech in which a spoken phrase is devised to be understood in either of two ways. Often the first meaning is straightforward, while the second meaning is less so: often risqué or ironic....

 in its native language, referring both to a recipe for hot chocolate
Hot chocolate
Hot chocolate is a heated beverage typically consisting of shaved chocolate, melted chocolate or cocoa powder, heated milk or water, and sugar...

 and to an idiom that is a metaphor for sexual arousal. The film earned 11 Ariel Award
Ariel Award
The Ariel is the Mexican Academy of Film Award. It has been awarded annually since 1947. The award recognizes excellence in motion picture making, such as acting, directing and screenwriting in Mexican cinema. It is considered the most prestigious award in the Mexican movie industry.- History :The...

s from the Academia Mexicana de Artes y Ciencias Cinematográficas
Academia Mexicana de Artes y Ciencias Cinematográficas
The Academia Mexicana de Artes y Ciencias Cinematográficas was founded on July 3, 1946 in Mexico City.-History:The following people were present before a notary public during the signing of the document:...

, including Best Picture.

Chocolat
Chocolat
Chocolat is a 1999 novel by Joanne Harris. It tells the story of Vianne Rocher, a young mother, who arrives at a fictional insular French village of Lansquenet-sous-Tannes with her six-year-old daughter, Anouk...

, a 1999 novel
Novel
A novel is a book of long narrative in literary prose. The genre has historical roots both in the fields of the medieval and early modern romance and in the tradition of the novella. The latter supplied the present generic term in the late 18th century....

 by Joanne Harris
Joanne Harris
Joanne Michèle Sylvie Harris is a British author.Biography=Born to a French mother and an English father in her grandparents' sweet shop, her family life was filled with food and folklore. Her great-grandmother had an odd reputation and enjoyed letting the gullible think she was a witch and healer...

, tells the story of Vianne Rocher, a young mother, whose confections change the lives of the townspeople. The 2000 film adaptation, Chocolat, also proved successful, grossing over US$150,000,000 worldwide, and receiving Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations for Best Picture, Best Actress
Academy Award for Best Actress
Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role is one of the Academy Awards of merit presented annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to recognize an actress who has delivered an outstanding performance while working within the film industry...

, and Best Original Score.

Chocolate also features in a large number of other literary works, often in a role central to the plot such as JoAnna Carl's Chocoholic Mysteries series and Toby Moore's Death by Chocolate.

See also

  • Candida krusei
    Candida krusei
    Candida krusei is a budding yeast involved in chocolate production. Candida krusei is an emerging fungal nosocomial pathogen primarily found in the immunocompromised and those with hematological malignancies. It has natural resistance to fluconazole, a standard antifungal agent...

  • Chocolate chip
    Chocolate chip
    Chocolate chips are small chunks of chocolate. They are often sold in a round, flat-bottomed teardrop shape. They are available in numerous sizes, from large to miniature, but are usually around 1 cm in diameter.-Origin:...

  • Cocoa (disambiguation)
    Cocoa (disambiguation)
    -Related to chocolate:*Theobroma cacao, the cocoa tree* Cocoa bean, seed of Theobroma cacao* Cocoa liquor or chocolate liquor, pure liquid chocolate extracted from the cocoa bean, including both cocoa butter and cocoa solids* Cocoa butter...

  • The chocolate game
    The chocolate game
    The Chocolate Game is a game often played at children's parties.Sometimes the game is referred to as "Dog's Dinner"-Items needed:* A bar of chocolate* A die* A set of clothes - usually a hat, scarf, and pair of gloves* A knife and fork* Wrapping paper...

  • United States military chocolate
    United States military chocolate
    Military chocolate has been a part of standard United States military ration since the original Ration D or D ration bar of 1937. Today, military chocolate is issued to troops as part of basic field rations and sundry packs. Chocolate rations served two purposes: as a morale boost, and as a...

  • Adelbert Bucher, Chocolatier
    Adelbert Bucher
    Adelbert Bucher is a Swiss master chocolatier, currently employed by the Swiss chocolate company Lindt and Sprüngli Schweiz AG.Bucher, of Luzern, Switzerland, has sculpted iconic monuments such as the Blue Mosque of Istanbul, Turkey, San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge, the Titanic, as well as...


Further reading

Books
  • Coe, S.D. / Coe, M.D. (2007). The True Story of Chocolate (2nd edition). Thames & Hudson. ISBN 9780500286968
  • Rosenblum, Mort (2006). Chocolate: A Bittersweet Saga of Dark and Light. North Point Press. ISBN 9780865477308
  • Ryan, Órla (2011). Chocolate Nations: Living and Dying for Cocoa in West Africa. Zed Books. ISBN 9781848130050
  • Young, Allen M. (2007). The Chocolate Tree: A Natural History of Cacao (Rev. and expanded ed.). University Press of Florida. ISBN 9780813030449


Review articles on possible health benefits

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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