Have you just had a tasty cup of hot chocolate or sneaked in a chocolate candy bar for some extra energy? Chocolate hasn’t always been easy to obtain and certainly in the past was not readily available.
The Virginia Museum of History and Culture, in its recent 18th Century Chocolate Making demonstrations, opened eyes and minds to how much labor was required to create chocolate for a chocolate drink during that period.
Michael Plumb, who has been with the museum “just over a year,” and his assistant Effie Mezger, who has been with the museum since 1995, took the audience from the cacao tree’s pod to the chocolate pot step-by-step, showing how a homemaker could have some chocolate to put on her pantry shelf.
First, the seeds are removed from the cacao pod and are allowed to ferment and dry. It takes several days to complete this process. The seeds are then roasted; when cooled the seeds, called nibs, are shelled and put into a container where they are mas...
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