It’s National Chocolate Day

                                                                                    Image Credit: Getty Images


There is no better way to celebrate Halloween’s approaching than with a piece of chocolate.  But just in case you need another excuse to try your favorite treat, it’s national chocolate day.

Chocolate can be used in almost any dessert.  It can be enjoyed plain, mixed into your favorite cookie dough or glazed on top of a cake.  While I always enjoy the way chocolate tastes, I never really think about how it’s made.  Here are a few insights into how your chocolate bar makes it into your grocery store.

Chocolate 101:

  • Cacao trees grow around the world in tropical areas.  They grow pods, which contain about 20 to 40 cacao beans.
  • The beans are removed from the pods, and then fermented in piles for about one week.  This process allows for the beans to dry out and develop their color and flavor.
  • The beans are then taken to the factory and roasted.  Next, they are “hulled” by removing the outside shell from the inside of the bean called the “nib.”
  • The nibs are then ground into a chocolate liquor.  Then, the liquor (it’s not alcoholic) is pressed to remove the fat, called “cocoa butter,” and the residual powder is what is mixed in to create different kinds of chocolate.
  • Depending on the kind of chocolate (milk, bittersweet, semisweet, etc.) cocoa butter, milk and sugar are added to the chocolate powder.
  • White chocolate does not contain the chocolate powder that regular chocolate contains.  It just contains cocoa butter, milk and sugar.

Enjoy your favorite chocolate candies this Halloween and make sure to try some of our favorite chocolate recipes listed below.

Chewy Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Chocolate Chocolate Brownie Cups

Mario Batali’s Bitter Chocolate Tart

Emeril’s Flourless Chocolate Cake

Wolfgang’s Decadent Warm Chocolate Cupcakes With Molten Centers