30 Aug Five Things You Didn’t Know About Chocolate
With less than a month to go until our Adult Takeover Evening on the science of Food & Drink (ticket information at the bottom of this post), and to celebrate one the sweetest foods, let’s explore five things you may not know about chocolate:
The pods they harvest from the cacao tree have seeds inside covered in a pulp. Left in the sun, and under some banana leaves, the seeds ferment creating its unique taste.
Once fermented the beans need to be roasted. Unlike coffee, which roasts at very high temperatures, cocoa beans need more gentle treatment at a lower temperature. It takes around 800 beans to make a kilogram of chocolate.
Called ‘tempering chocolate’, this is an essential skill of most chocolatiers! These skilled crafters need the chocolate to be at a very precise temperature in order to prevent the cocoa fat separating from chocolate. You see your favourite contestants sweating the stress out as they temper chocolate on TV because it’s very precise. Too hot or cold and you’ve ruined the process (although it’ll probably still taste okay…) More on this during the night as we explore tempering, printing, and tasting chocolate.
There is a correlation between the amount of chocolate a country consumes on average and the number of Nobel Laureates a country has. Unlikely to be related of course, because correlation does not mean one thing causes another, but we can’t truly know until we test this theory can we? Eat for science!
Recent research has shown that chocolate contains flavonoids (a type of plant pigment) that may be good for your heart.
Re-discover your sense of wonder and discovery at our Science of Food and Drink Adult Takeover night 16 September at 7pm.
You’ll be able to explore the science behind chocolate, wine, your kitchen cupboard and much more during this evening of discovery. With local food and drink producers on hand you can not only explore the science behind their products but try them too.
If you’d like to try making your own ice cream please bring with you a bottle of unopened milk shake (whichever flavour you fancy).