KEYWORD: Switzerland Chocolate
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KEYWORD DENSITY: 10/469 x 100 = 2.1 %
For a country that never had any colonies in countries like South America and Africa, known for growing cocoa, it is rather odd that Switzerland manufacturers one of the world's leading chocolate brands. Or is it?
Switzerland Chocolate: Background
The first people to use the beans of the cacao tree were the Mayas of South America. They called the drink created from it 'xocolatl' and its consumption was restricted only to high-born males. However, when Christopher Columbus encountered the Mayas, he did not at once realize the importance of this drink. It was Hernando Cortes, the Spanish conquistador, who understood its potential. He established a cocoa plantation in Mexico and also introduced the drink, along with the methodologies involved, to the Spanish court.
The Spanish did not like it right away. But after much experimentation with ingredients, chocolate drink was consumed as a fashionable drink for the wealth in such countries as France and the rest of Europe.
It was in 1697 that chocolate was first introduced to Switzerland. The mayor of Zurich, Heinrich Escher brought it to his home after tasting the drink in Brussels. Chocolate, at this point in history, was largely known as an aphrodisiac, and was thus only discreetly consumed at feasts.
Then the Italians came, but their first attempt at making a milling business out of Switzerland chocolate was a failure. The locals did not take to it and the mill had to be converted for use in the production of flour. Nevertheless, other Switzerland chocolate factories appeared all over the western regions before the end of the century. Places like Vevey, Lausanne, Morges, and the Blenio Valley in canton Ticino were the first sites of Switzerland chocolate factories with the first chocolate shop opening in Bern in 1792.
How Switzerland Chocolate Goes From Tree to Sweet
Switzerland chocolate comes from the beans of the pod-bearing cacao tree. After harvest and removing the beans from the pods, they are left to ferment for some days in order to remove some of the bitterness.
Fermentation is followed by sun-drying, after which the beans are crushed, their husks removed. Then, the beans are roasted, grinded, and liquefied to produce a thick paste, known as 'chocolate liquor.'
By the end of the whole process, the Switzerland chocolate mixer has three ingredients at hand:
* Cocoa paste
* Cocoa butter
* Cocoa cake, which is what's left of the paste after the butter is pressed out
In order to make plain or milk Switzerland chocolate, the mixture consists of cocoa paste, butter, sugar, and vanilla. After mixing all the ingredients, the whole thing is kneaded in order to create a paste, which is then rolled and conched (stirring the paste continuously). Conching liquefies the Switzerland chocolate, as well as give it its final aroma and texture.