How is Chocolate Made?

It all begins with the cacao tree which grows large pods containing seeds known as cacao. These trees need a rainforest climate to grow, so they’re only found around the equator. The pods hang from the trunk and the thickest branches, and when they’re ripe for harvest they’ll turn a yellowish-orange color. Then, the seeds are extracted from the pod along with the surrounding pulp for cleaning.

The seeds are cleaned by hand and then wrapped in banana leaves for the fermentation process, which takes 2-9 days. The seeds then need to be dried, a process in which they’re placed on mats and left under the sun for one to two weeks. They’re turned over with a rake to ensure they dry consistently. Now, they’re finally ready to be shipped to the factory of the processor.

In the factory, the seeds are cleaned and slowly roasted to develop the flavor. Then, the seeds are shelled through a process called winnowing, which extracts the nibs or “meat” of the seed from the shell. The nibs are then ground into a cocoa mass, which under high pressure can become either cocoa butter or cocoa powder.

Now, the chocolate process begins. The cocoa mass is mixed with cocoa butter and a sweetener to make the actual chocolate. These ingredients are ground into a paste, and if the desired chocolate is milk chocolate, then milk powder is added here. This is then put through a process called conching, which heats, rolls, kneads and aerates the mixture. More cocoa butter and soy lecithin can be added here to reach the desired fluidity.

Finally, once it’s tempered (meaning brought to a certain temperature), it can be delivered to the chocolatier who uses it in their own unique way! The possibilities are endless, and every day all around the world, those treats are used by people to share love and happiness.

You can always count on Lazar’s for some delicious chocolatey treats! Discover our selection on our website or give us a call at (516) 829-5875.