The Academy of Chocolate Arts joined hands with several NGOs, like People for Animals, Clothes Box Foundation, Music Basti Integrated Education and Chintan Environmental Action to organize a chocolate tasting and fundraising event. The event took place at Hafele Design Centre which is a customer experience center. The various chocolates were on display for tasting. Apart from this Chintan and People for Animals had also displayed their contributions and recycled items. The event began with a brief introduction about various NGO’s followed by the Chocolatiers imparting their wisdom on chocolate, its origin, its types and the process of making the fine chocolate.
Divya Kakkar, the owner of the Sugar Therapy, shined light on the history of chocolate and how the bitter cocoa beans took hundreds of years of iterations to give birth to the delicious chocolate we have today. As a matter of fact, it was a surprise to know that the Milk chocolate, which is relished more by the Indian Palette, was infact a beautiful accident where a worker at Nestle had added milk powder to the chocolate. It was during industrialization when the conching machines were mass produced that the chocolate became more widely produced and famous in the world. We also had a chance to touch and feel the
actual Cocoa Pod and the beans from it.
Did You Know?
The Cocoa beans were once used as currency and a pod containing 100 beans were enough to a slave.
Shalini Sharma Khajuria, the owner of Agape, beautifully explained us the entire process of making chocolate from its inception stage of harvesting the Theobroma Cacao crops, the various stages involved like fermenting, drying, roasting, winnowing, conching, tempering, moulding, till the packaging of the final product.
Anjali Chawla from the Truffle Tree, threw light on the various types of chocolates like milk, dark, white, bitter etc. At the conching stage the Cocoa butter is taken by the cosmetic industry too, to process and further use in their products like creams etc. Cocoa butter adds that glossy sheen to the chocolates. Cocoa liquor is also produced during the process, which is actually a dark bitter liquid.
An interesting question arose from the audience – Why is Swiss chocolate more tasty?
Well that is because of the difference in processing and the proportion of ingredients used.
The countries that are popular for their processed chocolates are surprisingly quite different from where these Theobroma Cacao plants are grown. Vini Soni from Chocomaya spoke about the Chocolate Terroir. There are two types of chocolate with respect to the terroir. The first one is the Single origin chocolate where the plant takes the characteristics of the region where it is grown and gives it a true flavor. The second one is the Blended Chocolate, where cocoa beans from crops of different regions are mixed together to give a new characteristic or flavor.
Ritu Dutt from Essenza helped us appreciate the chocolate even more with certain heath benefit of consuming chocolate.
Last but not the least Aparna Attrish from ChocoLush enlightened us about the various key pointer to keep in mind while choosing a chocolate. The first thing one should do is look for the first ingredient on the packet. The terminology used for that ingredient should be related to the term Cocoa. Vegetable oils in chocolate is not good for health and hence chocolates with those should be avoided. Nowadays a lot of sugar is being added by manufacturers to sweeten the chocolate. These are more like chocolate candy and again are not very good for one’s health. Then what is a good chocolate? A good chocolate is the one which has atleast 80% of cocoa butter in it. The texture of the chocolate should be smooth and it should have that snap sound when you break it. One must choose one’s chocolate wisely after testing its quality and judging which one suits to their taste palette better.
Did You Know?
Storing of chocolates should be done as the same as wine. In fact, the way you store your chocolate is quite important. It should not be stored in the refrigerator, but in a cool and dry place and in an air tight container. Proper storage will help improve the quality and life of the chocolate and avoid forming of blooms on it or the chocolate turning grainy.
If you want to keep relishing these delicacies the earth provides us, it’s time to give back to the earth and help improve our environment. It’s late to wake up, but like it’s also said – It’s never too late to change something!!