Talk to any chocolate connoisseur and you’ll soon find out that that milk and dark chocolate are very different. Both forms of chocolate, although similar in nature have their own distinct taste, texture and smell. All chocolate begins from the cacao tree, which produces large football sized cocoons, called pods.
Since the period of the Aztec empire, humans have been cultivating and categorically organizing their efforts to grow chocolate. Historically, humans have always consumed dark chocolate until the mid 1800’s when European manufacturers added milk chocolate and other sweet sugars tomake the chocolate less bitter.
When the first Europeans had their first taste of chocolate they could not get enough. Knowing that this great product’s demand would increase, many European entrepreneurs, in search of riches, searched long and hard risking their lives to find the ever elusive cocoa bean. After long and numerous treks across the world, European traders found the cacao tree’s origin in South America which began a trend that continues to this day.
The plants temperate structure can only be grown in high heat and humidity. To begin the chocolate making process, the cacao trees pods which contain the beans that make chocolate are brought out of its cocoon and smashed and broken down into finer pieces. The smashed chocolate pieces are then put into extremely hot temperatures and begin the fermentation process over the course of seven days.
Fermenting the chocolate releases all the natural flavors of the bean and reduces the acidic level of the chocolate to make the bean tastier. The higher the cacao content is, the more bitter the taste. Although cacao tastes bitter it contains a much higher concentration of antioxidants and nutritional benefits than milk chocolate. Dark chocolate is recommended by doctors around the world for its high antioxidant properties that are considered to be a cleanser of free radicals from the human body.
Dark chocolate in its natural form, usually a content of over 70 percent or higher has a strong cacao bean taste. Milk chocolate is a sweeter chocolate which has a lighter, creamier texture than dark chocolate. Because milk chocolate has additives and do not contain as much cacao, milk chocolate is almost always cheaper and sometimes considered more tasty because of its sweet content and rich texture. The higher the cacao content, the more expensive the price of the chocolate, therefore milk chocolate was a perfect substitute for average people who could not yet afford the expensive pure dark chocolate.
Next time you are at the supermarket stuck between buying milk and dark chocolate you’ll know what chocolate to buy. If you are looking for a sweeter taste and do not care about the extra calories, milk chocolate may be your best buy, but if you are looking for a healthy, heart conscious snack consider the original delectable dark chocolate.