Before reaching the actual realization of bars, chocolates and various sweets, the chocolate undergoes and goes through various stages.
The plants from which cocoa is extracted are grown in Latin America: Mexico, Venezuela and Colombia.
Once harvested, the cocoa fruit is split and cocoa beans are extracted from it.
These beans are then fermented either in baskets or in banana leaves and buried.
The fermentation will begin under the ground, the so-called leavening phase, the purpose of which is to reduce and subsequently completely eliminate that very bitter taste that distinguishes cocoa beans.
The next step involves drying, since excess moisture must be removed to be well preserved.
Depending on the areas in which this process takes place, the cocoa beans are either left to dry directly in the sun or left to dry with hot air emissions.
The last option is used if the climate is too humid that it does not allow drying.
At the end of drying, which lasts on average three to five days, the beans will have halved their volume – having in fact lost a lot of humidity – and will take the name of green cocoa.
After having completely dried and placed inside bags, the cocoa beans will be roasted, during which they will be divided by any waste, mixed with other types of beans and finally toasted.
We then move on to the grinding phase: the cocoa beans are stripped of the outer shell and ground, thus producing the cocoa powder.
The powder thus obtained is purified and, if necessary, additional persimmon butter is added.
The characteristic and indispensable phase in the cocoa processing process is certainly the addition of soy lecithin, which serves to make the chocolate smoother and more homogeneous.
The last two phases are conching and tempering.
As for the first, the chocolate will be placed inside a machine which, by shaking it, will release all the acidic substances.
The tempering, on the other hand, aims to crystallize the cocoa butter and keep the characteristics of the chocolate unaltered for a long time.