Well, did you know chocolate comes from the superfood Cacao Beans? Chocolate is one of every household’s most beloved flavors. So, who could resist a rich cup of hot cocoa after learning about all its benefits?
Cocoa powder is high in antioxidants, minerals such as calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, protein, and dietary fiber. Yet, in addition, it may improve cardiovascular health, keep your brain sharper for longer, improve cognition, increase your mood, and help you maintain or lose weight.
Presumably, the Maya civilization of Central America was the first to use the Cacao Beans. During the 16th century, Spanish explorers introduced it to Europe, and it quickly gained popularity as a health-promoting medicine. Eventually, in the 1850s, steam-powered equipment made it possible to mass-produce the beans into a powder. Nowadays, the consumption of Cacao products exceeds over 4.5 million tons of cacao beans worldwide every year.
But Wait, Why Is It Spelled Cacao Sometimes and Cocoa Other Times?
Cacao refers to the original name of the bean preprocessing, and before fermentation. Once the beans have been fermented, processed, and turned into the famous chocolate powder, it becomes known as Cocoa.
Cocoa powder comes from fermented, roasted, shucked, and dried Cacao beans, which are the seeds of the Cacao tree. Cacao beans are pods packed with a sweet and slippery pulp that encases a cluster of roughly 20 to 60 seeds per pod. Cocoa butter, a non-dairy, naturally occurring fat derived from Cacao beans, is produced as an important ingredient during the pulverizing process used to create Cocoa liquor, which is non-alcoholic. Cocoa butter makes up about 50–60% of all Cocoa liquor. This thick liquor is then placed under a powerful press with extreme pressure to extract most of the fat, resulting in Cocoa butter and Cocoa powder.
Chocolate is then made by recombining specific concentrations of Cocoa Butter, cocoa powder, sugar, flavors, and other ingredients. Unfortunately, many cheap chocolates replace authentic cocoa butter with other artificial hydrogenated oils to save money…