A Journey Around the World
Did you know...?
The history of cocoa and chocolate goes back almost 4,000 years?
Or that cocoa played an important role as a currency in the Mayan and Aztec cultures?
Cocoa and chocolate are not merely the sensual foodstuffs that make people happy; they have a rich history too. Cocoa and chocolate were first consumed for medicinal purposes. It was only later that they became popular as foodstuffs due to their seductive taste. There are few foodstuffs which have such a rich and intriguing history as cocoa and chocolate.
4,000 years ago, the inhabitants of a small village in the Ulúa valley in Honduras used drinking cups and plates exclusively for the consumption of Xocoatl, the original chocolate drink. Scientists now consider this small village as the true birthplace of chocolate.
Between 250 and 900 AD, cocoa became a major part of the Mayan culture and religion. It also played an essential role as currency. 'Cacau' originally meant 'carrying over from those who walk, work or cultivate,' which should be interpreted as exchanging or paying.
Which Countries Produce the Most Cacao Beans?
The Ivory Coast is the world's largest cocoa bean producing countries producing 21 million tons, supplying 30% of the world's cocoa. Ghana comes in second as the largest producer producing 811 thousand tons in 2019.
These two countries alone produce half of the world's cocoa beans. The following largest cocoa producing countries, are Indonesia, Nigeria, Cameroon, Brazil, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru and the Dominican Republic.
Which Countries Sell the Most Chocolate?
Some 18.1 pounds of chocolate were purchased per person in Switzerland in 2015. Nestle and Lindt, both having headquarters in Switzerland, are two of the top 10 confectionary companies in the world in terms of sales, according to Candy Industry.
Close but no cigar, 16.3 pounds of chocolate were purchased per person in Germany in 2015. Alpenmilch-Schokolade is a special type of milk chocolate that uses milk sourced from farms in and around the Alps region.
Some 15.7 pounds of chocolate were purchased per person in Austria in 2015. A Mozartkugel is a treat named after Austrian composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Traditionally round, filled with marzipan and covered in dark chocolate, it was created by the confectioner Paul Furst in Salzburg in 1890.
The Irish purchased 15.1 pounds of chocolate per person in 2015. Bord Bia, the Irish Food Board of the Department of Agriculture, conducted a study of the boxed chocolate industry. They found that Irish consumers most often purchase their chocolate in supermarket chain Tesco and considered Irish chocolate worth paying more for.
Brits purchased 14.6 pounds of chocolate per person in 2015. Cadbury founder Richard Cadbury is credited with being the first to present an assortment of chocolates in a decorative, heart-shaped box in the 1840s. The marketing scheme appealed to the lavish tastes of the Victorian Era, which helped boost sales and establish the brand.
What is meant by Sustainability?
Sustainability is defined 'as meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs' (Source: United Nations).. Sustainability in the chocolate supply chain, means that the chocolate can continue to be enjoyed by future generations forever. This means that it is produced while ensuring regard for a diverse environment and the farming communities. The five main issues facing the cocoa industry are farmer poverty, poor productivity, child labour, deforestation and climate change.
What is 'Fine' Chocolate?
Fine chocolate makers are committed to bringing about the unique flavours from each bean. Textures should be smooth and creamy, unless purposely creating unrefined chocolate.
Chocolate professionals are committed to creating stunning visual experiences through perfectly finished products which are often artfully designed.
Chocolatiers use artisan methods to create minimally processed chocolate with flavour complexity.
Finally, chocolate makers use ethical practices to source the highest quality flavour beans and cocoa, often from single countries of origin and individual growers as a commitment to farmers, which is why 3d Chocolate Hub supports only the finest of chocolates!