Thursday, June 7, 2012

Perugia: Chocolate

HB: Today we went to Perugia. Perugia is a beautiful town and most famous for their chocolate. We went to the Perugina Chocolate Factory and learned about the history of the factory; we also taste tested the chocolate, and took a tour of the actual factory. The summer, being very hot here in Italy, is the down season for the Perugina Chocolate Factory because, logically, chocolate melts when it gets too hot and so the factory was not in full production. Horticulture has roots in almost everything in life, such as medicine, wine, and, yes, chocolate! Chocolate is made from cocoa beans which come from the “cabossa” of the plant Theobroma cacao, or more commonly known as a cocoa tree. The biggest producers of these cocoa beans are from the Ivory Coast, Ghana and Indonesia, as well as many other countries. The next step is for the beans to be roasted and for the beans to be cracked open and the husk removed. What is left remaining is made into Cocoa paste. From this you can make the cocoa powder, cocoa butter and chocolate. One fun fact we learned while at the chocolate factory was that while chocolate is clearly made with cocoa, white chocolate is actually not really chocolate because it does not contain cocoa in it. It is simply the absence of the cocoa that makes it white. It is always interesting to learn about things that are present in everyday life and even though chocolate seems simple, it is interesting to see the whole process that it goes through to become the chocolate that we all love to eat.

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