zaterdag 16 januari 2021

The cocoa harvest season.

 


Let’s talk about cocoa harvest season!

Once the flower on the cocoa tree is pollinated, it takes five or six months for the cacao pod to ripen. This period varies depending on the country of cultivation, the climatic conditions and the cacao variety. The harvesting period also depends on the climatic conditions in the country where it is grown. This is why you will hear about different harvest seasons in different countries. Generally, cocoa farmers will start harvesting at the end of the rainy season, until the first few months of the dry season. There are two harvests a year: a main harvest (the biggest one) and a secondary harvest with lower yields.


When harvested, the cacao pods are about 15 to 30 centimeters in length and 300 to 700 grammes in weight and will contain around 30-50 cocoa beans. They take on a wide range of colors, from greenish yellow to a reddish purple. Knowing the right time to harvest the fruits is extremely important and takes a great deal of experience and knowledge, which cocoa farmers develop over time. It is only when the cacao pods are fully ripe that the pulp surrounding the cacao seeds provides enough sugar for optimal post-harvesting processes. This is crucial for the later taste and physical properties of the chocolate. How to know if a cocoa pod is ripe? Not by its color or size, but by the hollow sound it makes when tapped.

During harvesting, the fruits have to be cut from the trunk and branches very carefully with a machete, without cutting off the fruit buds, as they produce new flowers. The cacao pods are collected at special locations in the plantation, where they are carefully opened with the machete to remove the pulp with the undamaged seeds. This mixture of pulp and cacao seeds is then ready for fermentation.



ORIGINAL POST BY DENNIS VAN ESSEN

vrijdag 8 januari 2021

Waarom is vanille zo duur?

Vanille is al jaren een populaire smaak. Veel mensen zijn er dol op en het wordt in veel gerechten verwerkt. Maar wat is vanille precies, wat is de geschiedenis en waarom is het tegenwoordig zo duur? Vanille komt van oorsprong uit Mexico. In het Mexico van die tijd gold de regio die nu als Veracruz bekend is als producent van de beste vanille. Tegenwoordig groeit het ook op andere plaatsen, zoals Java, Sri Lanka en Mauritius. Een van de grootste producenten van vanille is Madagaskar. Vanille werd al vroeg gebruikt als smaakmaker.

Verspreiding van vanille over de wereld.

De Spaanse veroveraars brachten vanille naar Europa. Sinds het begin van de negentiende eeuw werd ook in Europa en de bijbehorende koloniĆ«n vanille geteeld. Helaas bleken er aan deze planten geen vruchten te ontstaan. De oorzaak was dat de bloemen van de planten niet door de juiste bijen werden bestoven. Later ontdekte men dat de bloemen ook met de hand bestoven konden worden en vanaf dat moment kon ook buiten Mexico vanille worden geteeld en geoogst. Het bekende bedrijf Coca-Cola is de grootste verbruiker van natuurlijke vanille. Coca-Cola stapte halverwege de jaren ’80 tijdelijk over op een synthetische vanillesoort. Dit had direct een groot effect op de economie van Madagaskar. De economie herstelde zich pas nadat de nieuwe soort cola niet meer werd verkocht.

Wat is vanille precies?

De vruchten van de vanilleplant, de vanille-orchidee, zien er als ze nog niet rijp zijn ongeveer zo uit als sperziebonen. Deze peulen worden ook geplukt als ze nog niet rijp zijn. Vervolgens worden ze vochtig verhit en langzaam gedroogd. De onrijpe vrucht verandert door een fermentatieproces in een zwart vanillestokje. Als dit stokje in de lengte wordt doorgesneden kan men hierin kleine zaadjes zien. Dit wordt het merg genoemd. Dit merg is erg aromatisch. Bourbon vanille is een soort van bijzonder goede kwaliteit. 

Waar wordt het in gebruikt?

Vanille(smaak) wordt in heel veel gerechten verwerkt. Het past goed bij zoete gerechten, zoals taart, cake, ijs en banketbakkersroom, maar ook in hartige gerechten zoals een visschotel kan het een heerlijke toevoeging zijn. Het is een heel veelzijdig product en wordt niet alleen verwerkt in eten en drinken. Het is bijvoorbeeld ook een veelgebruikt ingrediƫnt voor parfums en soms wordt het ook in tabak gestopt. Vanille geldt als een afrodisiacum, een lustopwekkend middel.

Waarom is vanille zo duur?

Vanille is een van de duurste specerijen ter wereld. De bloemen van de orchidee worden tegenwoordig overal ter wereld met de hand bestoven en daarmee bevrucht. Dit is een arbeidsintensief proces. Vervolgens zit tussen het moment van bestuiven en de uiteindelijke verkoop ruim een jaar de tijd. Wanneer de peulen worden geoogst worden ze gedompeld in heet water. Daarna moeten ze een aantal dagen in de zon liggen. ‘s Nachts worden ze gewikkeld in doeken. De vanille gaat hierdoor broeien. Hierna vindt dan weer een selectie plaats. Maar een klein deel is van voldoende kwaliteit om als vanillestokje te worden verkocht. Slechts 10 tot 15 procent komt hiervoor in aanmerking. Je ziet al dat het telen niet over een nacht ijs gaat en een langdurig proces is. Dit zie je natuurlijk terug in de prijs.

nog wat meer over vanille: https://www.kokswereld.nl/vanille/


donderdag 7 januari 2021

100% cacao chocolate

 


When it comes to sugar-free chocolate, big manufacturers usually rely on sugar substitutes. To make their products palatable without sugar, they use alternatives with lower calories but higher sweetening power. Sorbitol, maltilol, inulin and xylitol are just a few of the ingredients found in mass-produced sugar-free chocolate. They are cheap, produced in laboratories and easy to source in big quantities. These substances also come with contraindications for the human body, and their taste is not so pleasant.

Mass-produced chocolate definitely can’t satisfy the sugar-free demand without compromising on quality and flavor. Lucky for us, craft makers have a better answer: 100% cacao chocolate.

100% cacao chocolate doesn’t contain sugar. Every ingredient comes from the cacao beans. The percentage is divided between cacao solids (the “brown” part that contains health properties and chocolatey flavor) and cacao butter (the “white” part which is the fatty component of the chocolate). The ratio in a bar is approximately 50/50, but will vary depending on the producer.

It is also a similar product to unsweetened chocolate. The difference is that unsweetened chocolate is meant for cooking and baking. While 100% cacao chocolate is meant for tasting and savoring.

Instead of using chemicals like big manufacturers do, craft makers rely on smarter choices. To satisfy the demand for sugar-free chocolate, they are making their 100% cacao bars:

SMOOTHER: adding cacao butter is the most used strategy to make chocolate creamy and smooth. The percentage of cacao still remains the same, but by tweaking the ratio between cacao solids and cacao butter, makers manage to give a more pleasant texture.
CRUNCHIER: to give it a “twist”, craft makers have started including cacao nibs in their bars. Cacao nibs are bits of roasted cacao beans. This addition doesn’t interfere with the 100% definition, as cacao nibs don’t contain sugar.
MORE FLAVORFUL: depending on the origin and many other factors, chocolate can taste fruity, floral, spicy, earthy, nutty. With 100% cacao chocolate made by craft makers, the flavor is never flat or boring.

 EDUCATIONAL post original by  DENNIS VAN ESSEN


woensdag 9 december 2020

NIEUWJAAR 2020/21

  



NIEUWJAAR 2020/21

ZOALS ELK JAAR 4 BUCHES VERKRIJGBAAR IN 3/4/5 MAX 6 PERSONEN


1/  VOOR DE ECHTE CHOCOLADE-LIEFHEBBERS
twee soorten chocolademousse"Colombia" Original Beans en Ecuador*

2/  ALS HET IETS ZACHTER MAG...
gianduja hazelnoot/amandel en chocolademousse"Chuncho" Original Beans*

3/  WE GAAN VOOR IETS ANDERS...
Amandelmelk, vanille en exotische aromas...**

4/  WE KUNNEN NIET KIEZEN...
Chocolademousse "Chuncho" Peru 65% en frambozen-mango*

*vanilleanglaise   **coulis framboos


VOOR HET OVERIGE ZIJN ER WEL NOG WAT KEUZES TE MAKEN IN WINKEL


NIEUWJAAR OPENINGSUREN

DONDERDAG 31 DEC: 8 uur tot 18 uur
VRIJDAG NIEUWJAAR : 8 uur tot 15 uur
ZATERDAG 2 JANUARI : 8 uur tot 17 uur
ZONDAG 3 JANUARI : 7 uur tot 15 uur
 


 










donderdag 3 december 2020

Cheers To Beans!

 https://www.inpursuitofpurity.com/post/cheers-to-beans-cacao-bean-pairing-part-1-trinidad



donderdag 26 november 2020

Roasting as a crucial step in the bean-to-bar process.

 Roasting is one of the crucial steps in the bean-to-bar process to develop chocolate as we know it. Whether it’s in a coffee roaster, an adapted commercial oven or a dedicated cocoa roaster, chocolate makers play around with timings and temperatures to get the best flavors out of their cocoa beans.

For each origin they use, chocolate makers elaborate a so-called “roasting profile”, which is a protocol that they can follow to get the same result every time. Temperatures usually range from 120°C (225°F) to 150°C (302°F), while times go from a minimum of 15 minutes to a maximum of 40 minutes. Makers can opt for a light, medium or dark roast for a shorter or longer period of time. You will be surprised by how the same cocoa beans can develop extremely different flavors when temperatures and times are changed!

Roasting doesn’t only develop cocoa beans’ natural flavors, but also kills microorganisms such as bacteria on the outer shell, effectively sterilizing the beans. It also helps to separate the outer shell from the inner nibs: cocoa beans have a papery outer shell that must be removed before they can be made into chocolate, and roasting helps to dry and loosen this shell so that it is easier to remove, and only the “meat” of the beans will be left to make the chocolate.

Some chocolate makers decide to skip this process entirely to keep their final product as “raw” as possible. By not exposing the cocoa beans to high temperatures, their intention is to preserve all the nutrients and the health benefits of cacao as much as possible.

When the cocoa beans finish the roasting process, makers crush them and then separate the nibs from the shells during the breaking and winnowing steps, to then proceed into other machines.

The ending aromatic profile will be hugely impacted by the roasting profile chosen by the craft chocolate maker.

thanks @DENNIS VAN ESSEN

woensdag 11 november 2020

The fascinating history behind hot chocolate?

 

As early as 500 BC, the Mayans were drinking chocolate made from ground-up cocoa seeds mixed with water, cornmeal, and chili peppers (as well as other ingredients)—a much different version from the hot chocolate we know today. They would mix the drink by pouring it back and forth from a cup to a pot until a thick foam developed, and then enjoy the beverage cold. Although the chocolate drink was available to all classes of people, the wealthy would drink it from large vessels with spouts, which later would be buried along with them.


In the early 1500s, the explorer Cortez brought cocoa beans and the chocolate drink-making tools to Europe. Although the drink still remained cold and bitter-tasting, it gained popularity and was adopted by the court of King Charles V as well as the Spanish upper class. After its introduction in Spain, the drink began to be served hot, sweetened, and without the chili peppers. The Spanish were very protective of their wonderful new beverage, and it was over a hundred years before news of it began to spread across Europe.


When it hit London in the 1700s, chocolate houses (similar to today’s coffee shops) became popular and very trendy, even though chocolate was very expensive. In the late 1700s, the president of the Royal College of Physicians, Hans Sloane, brought from Jamaica a recipe for mixing chocolate with milk, which made the drink more palatable in his opinion. Well, others agreed and the English started adding milk to their chocolate; it was then enjoyed as an after-dinner beverage.

Up until the 19th century, hot chocolate was used as a treatment for stomach and liver diseases as well as a special drink. Today, however, we simply treat this warm concoction as a beverage to sip and savor.

Now let us know: how do you like to drink your hot chocolate?






donderdag 22 oktober 2020

Complex Superfood


 

Cacao is a highly complex superfood that contains over 300 molecules that include antioxidants, minerals and other complex molecules that help enhance wellbeing naturally.

Cacao is a great source of minerals such as magnesium, calcium, iron, zinc, copper, potassium, magnesium and manganese. Contains Vitamins, natural feel good chemicals and is high in antioxidants such as flavonoids. Listed below are some amazing health benefits of nutrients found in cacao.

• Magnesium : Essential for energy production, for a healthy brain and nervous system, for our muscles and for strong bones and teeth. Magnesium may also support a healthy blood pressure.

• Iron : Cacao is a source of iron which helps to transport oxygen around our body,

• Flavonoids : Cacao is high in flavonoids, which have antioxidant activity. Raw cacao including dark chocolate have been linked with cardiovascular health benefits including increasing the good form of cholesterol (HDL) in our blood, lowering blood pressure and even improving vascular function. These effects are thought to be primarily due to the antioxidants contained in the cacao.

• PEA : A compound called phenylethylamine (PEA for short!). PEA is thought to elevate mood and support energy, and is said to be one of the reasons that many people experience that on top of the world feeling.

Theobromine : Theobromine, found in the cacao may keep your blood pressure down and your mind active without the potential negatives of caffeine. It is in the same class of stimulants as caffeine, but theobromine is quite different from caffeine because it offers a longer lasting, more relaxed energy without the spike and crash.

Unlike caffeine, theobromine is not a central nervous system stimulant and therefore doesn’t typically make you feel as jittery.  

zaterdag 10 oktober 2020

Craft chocolate and the journey of flavors

 


The journey of flavors that you experience every time in craft chocolate is no accident. From the seed to the finished bar, there are many steps that contribute to the resulting tasting notes that we so enjoy in every bite.

Here are just some of the factors that influence the final flavor of your chocolate:

GENETICS. Cacao growers accurately select their favorite cacao varieties depending on their potential aromatic profile. They have a lot of different choices, as many cacao varieties are now often combined in hybrids. It’s not only Criollo, Forastero and Trinitario, but many, many more!

TERROIR. Also the place where the cacao grows has its own impact depending on the type of soil, weather conditions, altitude, intensity of the sun, rainfall and all the other natural elements. This is also what makes cacao from different farms/areas/regions/countries so particularly unique.

FARM PRACTICES. Pruning, fertilizing, monitoring, harvesting. No matter how unrelated these actions seem to the final flavors of the chocolate, even these choices at origin have big consequences. When farm practices are done right, they preserve the natural flavors in the cacao.

FERMENTATION & DRYING METHODS. These are often appointed as the steps that impact the flavors of the chocolate the most. Many cocoa producers have also demonstrated that by tweaking fermentation and drying methods even the same cacao can taste completely different.

THE BEAN-TO-BAR PROCESS. From roasting to conching, from winnowing to ageing, chocolate makers accurately select specific machines, times, temperatures and protocols to get the best flavors out of their raw material. It’s fascinating to see how different chocolate makers working with the same cacao can come up with chocolate bars with extremely different flavor profiles.

This is why we highly suggest you try different origins from different chocolate brands. Depending on genetics, terroir, farm practices, fermentation and drying techniques, and the bean-to-bar process, every chocolate has something extremely unique to offer to your palate!

Thanks to DENNIS VAN ESSEN