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TASTINGS  » Chocolate

There are few foods that people feel as passionate about, a passion that goes beyond a love for the "sweetness" of most candies or desserts: after all, few people crave caramel, whipped cream, or bubble gum. Chocolate is, well, different. For the true chocoholic, just thinking about chocolate can evoke a pleasurable response.


Davide e Simona
LABORATORY of CHOCOLATE with DAVIDE & his mom ALESSANDRA

Make your own chocolate: It's raw, it's healthy, and it's easier than you think! Step by step, follow the process showned by the chocolate maker and create small, beautiful chocolates!

CHOCOLATE TASTING AT THE END OF THE CLASS WILL BE YOUR AWARD!!


ABOUT CHOCOLATE

Chocolate history starts out in Latin America, where cacao trees grow wild. The first people to use chocolate were probably the Olmec of what is today southeast Mexico. They lived in the area around 1000 BC, and their word, “kakawa,” gave us our word “cacao.” Unfortunately, that’s all we know. We don’t know how (or even if) the Olmec actually used chocolate.

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We do know, however, that the Maya, who inhabited the same general area a thousand years later (from about 250-900 AD), did use chocolate. A lot. And not just internally. It is with the Maya that chocolate history really begins. The cacao beans were used as currency. The Maya also used chocolate in religious rituals; it sometimes took the place of blood. Chocolate was used in marriage ceremonies, where it was exchanged by the bride and groom, (I think I will have to revive this tradition), and in baptisms. They even had a cacao god.

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CURIOSITIES:

  • The smell of chocolate increases theta brain waves, which triggers relaxation.
  • White Chocolate isn't technically Chocolate, as it contains no cocoa solids or cocoa liquor. It takes approximately 400 cacao beans to make one pound (450 gr.) of chocolate.
  • Eating dark chocolate every day reduces the risk of heart disease by one-third.
  • Chocolate has an anti-bacterial effect on the mouth and protects against tooth decay
  • Chocolate is the only edible substance to melt around 93° F, just below human body temperature. That's why chocolate melts in your mouth.
  • Nutella was invented during WW2, when an Italian pastry maker mixed hazelnuts into chocolate to extend his cocoa supply.


For more detailed information about LABORATORY of CHOCOLATE, please send an e-mail to info@umbriaintour.it