Sunday, June 10, 2012

The Perugina Factory

This past Thursday we traveled to the beautiful city of Perugia. Upon our arrival, we toured though the Perugina chocolate factory. Their products vary from rich dark chocolate to white chocolate covered hazelnut treats. We got to walk around and observe the factory in progress, and we even got to have a taste test of all different kinds of their chocolates. The most important ingredient in these chocolates is the cocoa. This is produced from the Cacao tree, or Theobroma cacao, originating in Central and South America. Known as the "food of the gods" by the ancient Mayans, there are actually many different varieties of these trees. Most of the world uses the Forestero variety in their production. These trees produce cacao pods which are picked once they are nice and ripe. Next, they are split open, and the beans are removed. To get that unique taste, the beans are then fermented for a short period of time. In order to turn it into a cocoa butter for production of chocolatey treats, the beans are dried, roasted, and then turned into butter. This is then added to the other ingredients to create the finished chocolate. One variety, dark chocolate, is not only delicious, but also packed with antioxidants, as well as other health benefits. This is important to remember, so you won't feel quite as guilty about the next chocoholic desire that you might encounter.

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