The Geography of Chocolate-Sixth Grade Social Studies.

What
is
chocolate
?

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Questions students should ask after looking at the diagram on this page are:

1.) In what geographic regions are cocoa beans grown?

2.) In what geographic regions are consumers of chocolate most likely to live?

A diagram illustrating the production of chocolate
Fig1. - A diagram illustrating the production of chocolate1.

Chocolate comes from cocoa beans, that comes from cocoa pods. Chocolate beans are inspected through both visual and physical inspection processes to remove anything that isn't cocoa beans. The cocoa beans are then heated to dry them and sharpen their chocolate flavor before being cracked open to get the nibs out of them. The nibs are crushed, turning them into a chocolate paste called "liquor." The chocolate liquor is the essence of what chocolate is and where all chocolate products come from. The purity of the chocolate liquor is determined by the removal or addition of cocoa butter or the addition of ingredients such as milk and sugar to the chocolate liquor. The process of conching is like a giant egg-beater that beats and mixes chocolate until it is of a smooth consistency. The next process involves cooling or "tempering" the chocolate in very specific ways and at very specific rates of cooling to control the texture and appearance of the chocolate that has undergone this tempering process. The chocolate is poured into shaped containers to mold the chocolate into that container shape upon complete cool-down.

1 Courtesy of https://i.pinimg.com/736x/11/47/16/114716a90af63289a ac55dec3b87efe2--chocolate-heaven-chocolate-chocolate.jpg.

The Geography of Chocolate-Sixth Grade Social Studies.