There is chocolate on our minds and chocolate on our tounges.
Flower Art With Belcolade
Belcolade have produced a series of 6 short educational videos featuring Stéphane Leroux explaining how he created a chocolate show piece.
Chocolate fuelled thoughts and ramblings
Chocolate is what the industrial revolution was for.
What is chocolate for us modern humans? It is a luxury food, a comfort food, a gift, a snack, a food for campers to take on hikes, a gourmet food, an ingredient for desserts and drinks, a symbol for relaxation, and more. As a food in the crowded market of gourmet foods in a modern western country, it can seem to have similarities with other gourmet foods and drinks like cheese, wine, boutique beer, etc. When one visits those trendy “growers markets” or a winery or similar, one usually meets the people who saw the creation of their product from soil to palette. The joy is in the producer staying with the food through the marketing process. This is possible due to the nature of their produce, processes and final product. Chocolate is very different.
Chocolate has a long history, over many centuries. For much of its history it was used as a drink which though chocolaty would probably be rejected by most modern palates. It was not until the industrial revolution offered the efficient application of heavy machinery, and the progress of chemistry and food technology, which allowed tight quality control of temperature, pressure and timing of processes, that chocolate in its modern form could be created. Chocolate is a food of natural plant ingredients and a complicated and difficult process which is almost impossible to duplicate in a home kitchen or as a hobby business. The final chocolate is very dependant upon the variety of cocao tree which grew the pods and beans, the soil in which the plant grew, the climate, the yeast in the fermentation stage and a host of other natural variables. In this chocolate is a vegetable product, but it is also very dependant upon the processing which unfortunately does require a factory. The processing separates the components of the cocoa bean and blends these back together along with sugar and other ingredients in a controlled way. There is much more to it than that but it is this processing that results in the product which melts in our mouth in such a wonderful way, and we call chocolate.
So, although the industrial revolution gave us all those handy mechanical devices such as washing machines and cars, it also allowed the creation of modern chocolate. One could claim it is chocolate which redeems the industrial revolution.