Based on an article from the American Oil Chemists' Society.
Belgium's castles and rows of intricate neoclassical buildings lining glistening waterways don't just look like the fairy tale cityscapes of childhood storybooks. For chocolate lovers, the tiny country is literally a fantasy come to life. But how did Belgium become a chocolate kingdom? The enchanting tale of Belgian chocolate is a sweeping narrative that involves far-off lands, secret processes and even a little bit of magic.
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- Until the 1800's, chocolate was an indulgence for nobility only.
- Today Belgium supplies 20% of the world's industrial chocolate.
- The chocolate-making process involves grinding the roasted cocoa beans and separating them into cocoa butter and cocoa powder.
- The signature smoothness of Belgian chocolate is owed to sugar and cocoa particles that have been ground to 18 - 20 μm.
- Belgian chocolate producers use dry and liquid conching procedures. But the specifics are kept secret.
- The flavor and color of chocolate is developed early in the process, when cocoa pods ferment in the sun between banana leaves. Microorganisms break down the pulp and produce acetic acid.
Cassiday, Laura. “The secrets of Belgian chocolate.” Inform Magazine. American Oil Chemists’ Society. Web. October 1, 2015. http://www.aocs.org/Membership/FreeCover.cfm?ItemNumber=18144
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