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chocolate, general term for the products of the seeds of the cacao 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).
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.
G. A. MARSHALKIN
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.