Chocolate

«
Theobroma cacao (cocoa). The process for making chocolate is 1) Harvest the pods and scoop out the pulp covered beans 2) Bacterial fermentation over 2-5 days breaks down the pulp so it's easy to remove and warms the beans accelerating chemical changes inside 3) Slow drying in the sun or a dryer over 1-2 weeks followed by roasting at around 250 degrees f for 30 minutes to 2 hours reduces the moisture content and determines the darkness/flavor/strength (much like coffee roasting) 4) Winnowing is the process of breaking open the seeds and removing the husk to leave the cocoa nib. 5) The Cocoa nibs are crushed and warmed to form cocoa liquor (pure unsweetened chocolate) which is then combined with other ingredients to make milk chocolate, sweetened chocolate etc.
» see large image
Coco Pod

Coco Pod 

Fresh hand made chocolate
» see large image
hand made chocolate

hand made chocolate 

The process for making chocolate is 1) Harvest the pods and scoop out the pulp covered beans 2) Bacterial fermentation over 2-5 days breaks down the pulp so it's easy to remove and warms the beans accelerating chemical changes inside 3) Slow drying in the sun or a dryer over 1-2 weeks followed by roasting at around 250 degrees f for 30 minutes to 2 hours reduces the moisture content and determines the darkness/flavor/strength (much like coffee roasting) 4) Winnowing is the process of breaking open the seeds and removing the husk to leave the cocoa nib. 5) The Cocoa nibs are crushed and warmed to form cocoa liquor (pure unsweetened chocolate) which is then combined with other ingredients to make milk chocolate, sweetened chocolate etc.
» see large image
Making Chocolate Costa Rica

Making Chocolate Costa Rica 

Other other ingredients are required to make milk chocolate, sweetened chocolate etc.
» see large image
Other other ingredients are required to make milk chocolate, sweetened chocolate etc.

 

The Cocoa nibs are crushed and warmed to form coca liquor (pure unsweetened chocolate)
» see large image
The Cocoa nibs are crushed and warmed to form coca liquor (pure unsweetened chocolate)

 

The roasted seeds are sorted by quality.
» see large image
Roasted Cocoa Beans

Roasted Cocoa Beans 

Winnowing is the process of breaking open the cocoa seeds and removing the husk to leave the cocoa nib (a shiny dark brown nib is near the center).
» see large image
coco beans

coco beans 

The cocoa liquor is pretty tasty though.
» see large image
Cocoa Liquor

Cocoa Liquor 

Cane sugar waiting to be added to the chocolate
» see large image
Cane sugar waiting to be added to the chocolate

 

Coco seeds fresh out of the pod - The white/pink pulp is removed by allowing bacterial fermentation for a few days then the seeds are dried in the sun for one to two weeks.
» see large image
Coco Seeds

Coco Seeds 

After the seeds are dry they are roasted to the desired darkness. The old fashioned way is with an iron skillet over a wood stove but modern production facilities use gas or electric tumble roasters.
» see large image
wood stove

wood stove 

Coco pod after removing the pulp and seeds - on average there are about 40 seeds to a pod
» see large image
Coco Pod

Coco Pod 

Coco was once a major export from Costa Rica but a fungus damaged many of the plantations.  Now small artisan farms are starting to produce hand made chocolate again and many offer tours with demonstrations of roasting and extracting the coco liquor that is the base of the world's favorite flavor.

»