Be it baked, melted and made into a delicious beverage, chocolate is still one of the most popular in the world.
Even the greatest lovers of chocolate may be unaware of the ingredients used, its taste is due to its manufacture which is fermentation.
Its delicious flavor is due to the microbes that help transform raw chocolate into what it is.
Scientists from as far away as Peru, Belgium, and Ivory Coast are still conducting research to find out why fermentation changes the taste of chocolate
Sometimes they do artificial insemination in a laboratory. They take cocoa which is like a bean from those who actually fermented it.
They do their experiments and want people to taste its flavor.
After decades of experimentation, researchers have come to the conclusion that many microbes are involved in the extraction of chocolate, its flavor, and its value.
A plantation owner in Ivory Coast checks the pods on one of his cacao trees. Issouf Sanogo / AFP via Getty Images
What you know about chocolate starts as a seed from a cocoa plantation. But it is a long process to turn it into chocolate
First, workers produce the bean seed, which is dried for 3 to 10 days before being exposed to the sun. The seeds are then baked, mixed with sugar and sometimes powdered milk until the mixture is completely smooth.
The drying period is the natural process of fermentation. The chocolate flavor includes a lot at the time. Fermentation is the period during which its value is enhanced through microorganisms, and this is where cocoa that is bitter usually changes and becomes delicious.
Cocoa fermentation is a long process. Insects are the ones that develop that change the taste of the seed and make it delicious.
The first step may be popular with home brewers because it includes yeast - some of the yeast if the same is used to make beer and wine. And as with popular beers, some yeast in fermented cocoa makes alcohol by adding sugar to beans.
The process produces delicious molecules. And they germinate in the seeds and later make themselves into chocolate.
As the process progresses, oxygen enters the fermentation process and the number of yeast continues to decrease as bacteria take over the reins.
And finally, the artificial acid begins to evaporate slowly.
Cocoa is an unusual form of fermentation - in which farmers rely on seals for their sweet taste.
And that process of fermentation: it is the natural cocoa that changes, is made into something ordinary, into the supernatural where the miracles of germs are relied upon.