…Great chocolate manufacturers choose their beans in the same way as a
wine-maker chooses his or her grape varieties.
…Years ago, when harvesting was over, a dance was performed on the cocoa
seeds which had been put out to dry in the sun. This tradition continues
today in certain regions of Central and South America.
…Africa is now the world's leading producer of cacao , Ghana is a leading
…In the Chuao Valley, In Venezuela, the cacao bean is still cultivated just
as it was at the time of the Aztecs.
…Wicker baskets, filled with cacao beans, were among the gifts which the
Aztecs offered to the conquistadors.
…For the Aztecs, cocao chocolate was a luxury and the cocao beans were like gold,
a rare commodity that served as both currency and gifts for kinds and gods.
…The Aztecs used to prepare a drink for the gods made up of ground cocao bean
paste mixed with spices and corn.
…The Imperial torte, a square chocolate cake with five thin layers of almond paste,
was created by a master pastry chef at the court of Emperor Franz Joseph (1830 - 1916).
…In 1900, Queen Victoria sent her New Year's greetings to the British troops
stationed in South Africa during the Boer War in the form of a specially molded chocolate bar.
…The end of the Second World War marked a new era in chocolate advertising and
image-making, which henceforth would be based on photography rather than the graphic arts.
…On April 4, 1828, Coenraad Johannes Van Houten took out a patent for his newly
invented cocoa press, which extracted the cocoa butter from the chocolate liquor, leaving behind powdered cocoa.
…The fruits of the cocao tree, which take the form of pods, are very colorful - from
bright red to lemon yellow.