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To better acquaint you with the delectable substance know as chocolate, here is the brief story of where it comes from and how it’s made.

The cocoa tree produces the cocoa bean. This bean is processed into cocoa and chocolate. Most cocoa trees are found near the hot and humid equator.

cocoa podsOnce cocoa pods are harvested from the fields, they are elevated to holding bins where they are dried for two to six years.

When dried sufficiently, the cocoa pods are mechanically cut in half and rotated at high speed to release the cocoa beans. The beans are then piled up to allow fermenting to take place. They are dried well and then shipped to the chocolate factory.

cocoa beansAt the factory the beans go into a roaster. The roaster changes the light color bitter beans into dark color ones and gives them the rich distinctive aroma of chocolate as we know it.

After roasting, the beans are de-shelled. The pure cocoa bean is then sent through a grinder to release a natural vegetable oil called cocoa butter. This mixes with the solid cocoa bean to produce a rich thick chocolate liquid. The chocolate liquid then goes through a giant food press.cocoa disks The pressure on the liquid is so great that the cocoa butter is forced off the press. A few seconds later a solid disc of cocoa is formed.

This disc is broken down into cocoa powder, which forms the basis of many of our favorite chocolate products. To make eating chocolate, the pure chocolate powder is mixed with cocoa butter and sugar is added. This gritty chocolate paste is then kneaded for hours or days, until the chocolate master decides it has the desired flavor and smoothness. The chocolate is then poured into molds to make perfectly formed bars, which are then shipped to candy companies like Cerreta’s.chocolate bar

The Cerreta’s use a distinctive robust flavor chocolate that is custom blended exclusively for their use by the family owned Guittard Chocolate company. The oldest chocolate factory on the west coast.

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