vrijdag 20 mei 2016

SCHOKOLADE


Radioactive Chocolate Bar, c.1931. The German company claimed it made people younger.

dinsdag 17 mei 2016

Nacional


One of the oldest cacao varieties in the world, called Nacional, is on the brink of extinction. But we have a plan to rescue it. Stay tuned and we'll soon tell you how you can this historic cacao flourish again.
Toak Chocolate

dinsdag 10 mei 2016

It’s nearly universal: people love chocolate.


Cacao Fruit – It’s Not Just About the Seeds


It’s nearly universal: people love chocolate. Most people know that chocolate is made from the cacao bean, which is actually the seed of the cacao fruit. Those who are interested in health and nutritional supplements may also be aware that chocolate has certain health benefits, such as antioxidants, benefits to the circulatory system, and reduced risk of heart attack. But in their fervor to get to the seeds of the cacao tree, most people have been passing over the actual fruit. But there has been a recent trend towards treating the fruit of the cacao treat like an actual fruit, and enjoying the results.

The cacao tree bears fruit, but you’re not likely to see it on sale at your local supermarket. But some companies are starting to process cacao fruit like a fruit instead of just tossing aside the fruit for its seeds. It’s starting to show up in a form that looks and tastes like a fruit. This is an ingenious thought that also prevents the wasting of some excellent fruit. Once again, the fruit has health benefits of its own, so using it not only prevents waste, but can also have many health benefits for its consumers.

Cacao fruit is full of anthocyanins. These plant pigments are what give chocolate its red tint. Not only that, but anthocyanins have many potential health benefits that are still being researched. It may protect against cancer, aging and neurological diseases, inflammation, diabetes, and bacterial infections. Its usefulness in treating cancer is particularly compelling. Research on anthocyanins so far is showing promise in curbing the growth of pre-malignant cells, apoptosis (cell death) of cancer cells, reducing the inflammation that can initiate tumor growth, inhibiting angiogenesis (the growth of blood vessels that supply nutrients to tumors), and minimizing DNA damage from cancer.

It’s actually rather shocking that it’s taken this long for use and consumption of the cacao fruit to hit the mainstream. With so many potential health benefits, people should have started eating it long ago. In the very near future, it’s sure to become the latest hot trend in health food and nutrition. While it might be a while before you’re able to purchase it at your local grocery store, you should soon start to see it showing up in powdered form at your favorite health food store. Once you do, be sure to give it a try. Your body will thank you for it.

zaterdag 23 april 2016

Artisanaal! Niet helemaal of helemaal niet?

https://www.rtbf.be/auvio/detail_le-chocolat-de-l-or-en-barre?id=2098406

Nogal belachelijk om dit te laten zien op RTBf, Chocolate Belge!!
Maar toch de moeite om eens te bekijken en te glimlachen.

Nog maar eens wat slavenarbeid er bovenop voor onze chocolade in België, wat een reclame!!



woensdag 20 april 2016

Bean to Bar: Fermentation and Drying


We are looking at a few key steps in the process of getting cacao beans.

The task of converting beans to chocolate is a process shrouded in secrecy. Chocolate factories are notoriously secretive and careful about letting outsiders into their process at all. There are a few exceptions to this; Scharffen Berger in Berkeley offers free tours of their factory, which are fascinating.

The basic steps, though, of making chocolate are commonly known, and we're going to explore a few of the most important. First up: fermentation. Did you know that cacao beans should be fermented?

The photos above, from Tava, an Australian cocoa company committed to organic and ethical farming, show some of the steps in the key fermentation process.

When cocoa beans - those white fleshy lumps - come out of the carefully split cocoa pod, they must be fermented in heaps. Their own warmth and usually the warmth of the sun too helps the beans to ferment. The fermentation kills the bean itself and then causes chemical reactions that bring out the flavor of the beans.

This process is delicate and takes skill; the pods must be carefully removed from the tree, and then carefully cut open. If the beans are damaged they can rot.

As they ferment they are turned or raked to allow even heating and fermentation. Then they are spread out to dry. This stops the fermentation and solidifies the bean into the hard, nutlike cocoa bean that is more familiar than the tropical fruit above.

This process generally takes at least a week, although some small growers are experimenting with two-week fermentation to see what kind of flavors can emerge from a longer fermentation period.