The origin of the word chocolate
The word chocolate comes from the Castilian chocolate, originating from Mesoamerican indigenous languages.
Although its origin is not completely enlightening, one of the theories of the origin of the word derives from chokola’j, which means “to drink chocolate together”, originating from the Aztec language, resulting in the fusion of xococ (meaning “bitter”) with atl (meaning “water”).
Another theory says that the Spanish built the word by joining the Mayan term chocol with the Aztec term atl, which meant “hot” and “water”, respectively. Much is due to the fact that in the late XVI century the knowledge of the drink in Europe was called “chocolate” and not “cacao”, a word of Mayan origin, also adopted by Aztecs and other Mexican peoples.
Ingredients and types of chocolate
Chocolate is, in general, a blend of cocoa powder, cocoa butter and sugar. Depending on the proportions used, different qualities, textures and aromas are obtained. Cocoa is the basis of chocolate and contributes to texture, color, taste and water reduction, increasing durability.
The chocolates with more percentage of cocoa butter are the most greasy and melt better in the mouth. The chocolates with the highest amount of cocoa powder are the most intense flavor and aroma.
Top-quality chocolates exclusively use the fat of the cocoa itself, at a ratio of approximately 30%.
Chocolate is divided into:
Chocolate Powder – It’s made with the ground cocoa nut, without the butter, being used in cooking recipes and hot chocolate.
Dark chocolate – It is obtained through the roasted cocoa beans, without added milk, being characterized by the dark color and a bitter taste. It is also called “pure chocolate”, because besides cocoa it only takes sugar. In this case there are the variations extra bitter (75 to 85% cocoa), bitter (50 to 75%) and medium bitter (35 to 50%). It is mainly used in confectionery, as a base for desserts, cakes or biscuits.
Milk chocolate – Take milk powder or condensed milk. Most European manufacturers use condensed milk. In this type of chocolate, the cocoa contents are between 30 and 40%.
White chocolate – Made with cocoa butter, milk, sugar, lecithin and aromas such as vanilla can be added. It was created only in the 20th century, being the sweetest and the most creamy texture.
Our products with chocolate tablets
The festive tradition
Throughout the world, chocolate traditionally appears in popular festivities such as Easter, Christmas, Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day, Halloween in the United States or Day of the Dead in Mexico, among others.
At Easter it is presented in the shape of eggs, filled with small toys or with various sweets, being one of the symbols of the date.
The tradition of the couples sweetened the date with chocolate, probably arose from the engagement between Princess Maria Theresa of Spain and King Louis XIV of France when she received a heart-shaped basket of chocolates.
On the Day of the Dead, Mexicans use it as an offering, in the form of a traditional sauce that, among other ingredients, can be made with pepper and chocolate.
In one of the most important Jewish celebrations, children are presented with chocolate in the form of coins wrapped in paper.
In the United States of America, Halloween is the second largest event in the chocolate market, behind Christmas.
Effects on health
Although chocolate is generally consumed for pleasure, there are some positive health effects.
Cocoa powder or dark chocolate are beneficial to the circulatory system, also serving as a brain stimulant, among others. Without scientific proof of its aphrodisiac properties, chocolate is a highly energetic food and its excessive consumption increases the risk of obesity.
As for the nutriconal value, it’s a food with high caloric content, especially for its high fat contents. It is rich in some minerals, such as manganese, potassium and magnesium, and has some vitamins like B in addition to iron and copper.
The fat content of chocolate is essentially of vegetable origin, which means it is low in cholesterol.