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general term for the products of the seeds of the cacaocacao
, tropical tree (Theobroma cacao) of the family Sterculiaceae (sterculia family), native to South America, where it was first domesticated and was highly prized by the Aztecs. It has been extensively cultivated in the Old World since the Spanish conquest.
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 or chocolate tree, used for making beverages or confectionery. The flavor of chocolate depends not only on the quality of the cocoa nibs (the remainder after the seeds are fermented, dried, and roasted) and the flavorings but also on a complex process of grinding, heating, and blending. The chocolate liquid formed in an intermediate stage is used in the confectionery trade as a covering for fruits, candies, or cookies, or the process may be continued and the resulting smooth mass of chocolate molded, cooled, and packaged as candy. It should be hard enough to snap when broken, have a mellow flow when melting, be free of gritty particles, and have a rich, dark color and an aromatic smell and flavor.

A chocolate beverage was known to the Aztecs and through Spanish explorers found (c.1500) its way into Europe; the Maya also made such a drink, perhaps as early as 900 B.C., and may also have used chocolate in prepared food. In 1657 a shop was opened in London where chocolate was sold at luxury prices. It became a fashionable drink; many shops sprang up to become centers of political discussion and grow into famous clubs, such as the Cocoa Tree. Chocolate was first manufactured in the United States at Milton Lower Mills, near Dorchester, Mass., in 1765. About 1876, M. D. Peter of Vevey, Switzerland, perfected a process of making milk chocolate by combining the cocoa nib, sugar, fat, and condensed milk. The United States has the world's largest chocolate-manufacturing industry.


See B. W. Minifie, Chocolate, Cocoa and Confectionery (1970); S. Beckett, Industrial Chocolate Manufacture and Use (1982); J. G. Brenner, The Emperors of Chocolate (1999); M. Norton, Sacred Gifts, Profane Pleasures: A History of Tobacco and Chocolate in the Atlantic World (2008).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a confectionery obtained by processing cacao beans with sugar and other food products. Chocolate was long used as a beverage in Mexico. During the 16th century, the Spanish brought cacao beans from Mexico to Europe.

A distinction is made between natural chocolate, which contains only cacao products (cacao beans and cocoa butter) and sugar, and chocolate with additives, such as dried milk, coffee, and nuts. Depending on the fineness of the particles, chocolate is subdivided into plain and dessert chocolate. Chocolate confectioneries often contain various fillings. The fat content of chocolate is 35–37 percent; the caloric value is 2,240 kilojoules, or 540 kilocalories, per 100 g.

After cleaning, sorting, and roasting, cacao beans are broken up into nibs, which are then ground into a plastic liquor. The liquor is then pressed to obtain cocoa butter. Chocolate is obtained by mixing the liquor, cocoa butter, sugar (usually powdered), and the necessary flavorings and aromatic additives. This mixture is then ground until the size of the solid particles does not exceed 20 micrometers. The resulting mass is mixed once more with cocoa butter and cooled to 30°–31°C, whereupon it is ready to be produced into plain chocolate or chocolate-coated candy by chocolate-molding equipment. To produce dessert chocolate, which has improved flavor and aroma, the chocolate mass is subjected to additional processing, at a temperature of 70°C for an average of three nights and days, before it is molded.

Chocolate is manufactured in the form of blocks, various figures, and round medallions; chocolate confectioneries are produced as bars or assorted candies. Natural chocolate can be stored up to six months, and mixed chocolate, up to three months.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

What does it mean when you dream about chocolate?

For most people chocolate is considered an indulgence. Chocolate in a dream may therefore symbolize that the dreamer feels the need to be rewarded and deserves special treatment. Alternatively, perhaps the dreamer has been indulging in too many excesses and needs to practice some restraint.

The Dream Encyclopedia, Second Edition © 2009 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.


(food engineering)
A dark, bitter, or sweet product that is manufactured from chocolate liquor (or nibs), sugar, and cocoa butter.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.


a. a moderate to deep brown colour
b. (as adjective): a chocolate carpet
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
It is an exciting time for the chocolate industry and regardless of the specific path a chocolate maker decides to follow in his or her route from bean-to-bar, each person is filled with passion and conviction and fueled by chocolate.
After its high-flying beginnings, Tcho has settled into being a high-end but large-scale chocolate maker. It creates blends that are better than those of the international mass producers yet not as quirky as Mast Brothers' or those of Taza, an artisan producer in Somerville, Massachusetts, whose stone-ground, gritty blends conform to the earliest, pre-conching methods of making chocolate in Mexico.
Food commodities - from wheat to rice to soybeans - have become objects of speculation; while cocoa speculators are threatening the survival of some of Germany's oldest chocolate makers, entrepreneurs in Ghana are trying to give farmers a larger share of the profits
Thanks to a collaboration between the state's largest utility and chocolate maker Lindt USA, Public Service of New Hampshire tested a new fuel mix in the boiler of its Portsmouth power station--a combination of coal and cocoa bean shells left over from the production of chocolate.
said Monday it has completed the acquisition of chocolate maker Mary Chocolate Co., with an eye to boosting sales of luxury chocolate gifts.
The famous Belgian chocolate maker performed this retrofit in anticipation of the ban on virgin HCFC 22 refrigerant fluid for refrigeration equipment maintenance coming into force on December 31st 2009 as directed by European regulation 2037/2000.
Swiss chocolate maker Lindt & Spruengli posted a 5 per cent rise in first-half net profit and confirmed its targets, despite high inflation and a slowing economy.
The Essence of Chocolate: Recipes for Baking and Cooking with Fine Chocolate offers up the first cookbook from the founders of Scharffen Berger Chocolate Maker, pairing a gorgeous and unusual history of chocolate production and use with recipes from Scharfen Berger Company's own kitchens.
The author explores the story of famous chocolate maker Cadbury's, which came under fire for purchasing chocolate from the slave-holding Agua Ize Plantation in Portuguese West Africa.
The eight-cup drinking chocolate maker uses an integral frother to stir up a treat and the set is complete with two ceramic cups.
Wendy Mullen's The Comprehensive Guide To Chocolate Molds: Objects Of Art & Artist's Tools (0764322788, $49.95) more than just a collector's price guide, Wendy Mullen, chocolate maker for 15 years, delves into the history of antique chocolate molds and their design and production, packing over 1300 photos of such antiques with discussions of all kinds of molds.
The award-winning Belgian chocolate maker, which has locations in nearly a dozen European cities, signed a six-year lease for ground floor space in a Park Avenue residential buildings.