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By Lia Blanchard

Of course you love chocolate. We all love chocolate. But do you KNOW chocolate?

Where does it come from?

Chocolate is a product of the tropical cacao plant, which was given the scientific botanical name of Theobroma cacao. Theobroma means “food of the gods” in Greek, and has been cultivated for thousands of years – I think that’s the perfect name for it!

The seeds of the cacao plant are clustered in leathery pods, which are carefully picked and the seeds dried and roasted. The roasted seeds are then sent to chocolate production factories, which use any of a variety of processes to make different kinds of chocolate.

What about all the different kinds of chocolate? Why are they different?

Cocoa butter, cocoa powder, chocolate liquor, unsweetened chocolate, bittersweet chocolate, semi-sweet chocolate, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, white chocolate, raw chocolate, compound chocolate… what do all of these terms mean?

Some of these terms are defined by purpose, some by part of cocoa tree or bean, and some by the process by which the chocolate is handled or the ingredients with which it is mixed. Many definitions vary by region in the world.

This blog article is the first in a series about chocolate. We’ll be exploring the various kinds of this beloved food, how it is produced, and its various uses.

Join us for a very tasty adventure!