The chocolate wrappers museum

 
Basic facts about collecting of chocolate wrappers and my chocolate site.
Updates and news at my chocosite.
Online chocolate museum of wrappers from my collection.
Chocolate blog
What is chocolate wrapper?
Info about my collection of chocolate wrappers.
Statistic facts about my collection.
Top 100 chocolate companies in my collection
Basic info about cocoa tree, its fruits, history of cocoa and chocolate til 1800.
History of chocolate since 1800. Kinds of chocolate, chocolate in world. What is chocolate?
Manufacturing of chocolate.
Nutrition values of chocolate.
Links to most companies producing chocolate bars from entire world.
Chocolate museums in world.
Links to interesting chocolate sites.
Websites of other choco collectors.
Thanks to contributors and companies for their great help.
Contact me!
 


The Cocoa Tree
Cocoa beans come from Amazon and Orinoco rainforest tree Theobroma cacao ( name was given by swedish botanist Carl von Linné ). This tree needs shade so usually grows under rainforest trees near rivers. About 3 or 4 thousand years ago cocoa tree was cultivated and spread out to central America. The tree grows up to 15m height ( if cultivated only about 8m to easier harvesting ).  Theobroma cacao can live up to 100 years. Cacao leaves are bright green, about 15 cm long and 8 cm wide. Stabile temperature between 21 °C to 32°C is needed and a lot of rain during year. Cocoa tree growns worldwide in tropical forest within 20´ latitude of the equator.
Most important producers of cocoa are: Brazil, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Colombia, Cameroon, Cote D´Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria, Indonesia and Malaysia.

 

 
Cocoa pods
Flowers and pods grow exactly from the stem called Chupon or from main branches -cauliflora. The pods can be up to 30 cm long but it can differ a lot. Weight is ussually 300g - 500g and colour red-brown. The fruit grows about 5 months and other month ripes. Its pulp is often eaten by animals and its seeds are used for chocolate. There are 20 - 40 seeds in one pod. Seeds are 2 - 4 cm long and 1 - 2cm wide. Main fruit seasons are in May and in October/November and in this time the crop is ussually harvested. Each tree produces annually about 0,5 -2,5 kg of seed kernels.


Varieties
3 main varieties of cocoa are criollo, forastero and trinitario. The names originate from Venezuela from times when Venezuela was leading producer of cocoa and mean local (Criollo) and foreign (forastero). 
Criollo is smaller, has better taste quality, worth growth and gave the best cacao. It originate in Venezuela when is mostly grown and takes only small part of world crop (up to 5  %). Because it is expensive it is used only for high quality dark chocolate and often is mixed with forastero varieties.
Forastero is dominating world variety of cocoa. It has bigger pods, lower taste and quality and the tree is much more resistent to diseases than Criollo. It makes up over 80 % of world cocoa production, mostly from Africa.
Trinitario comes from Trinidad when was created from Criollo and Forastero to be more resistent than past forms of local trees. Again very good quality cocoa. about 10-15 % in world production.


Short history of cocoa and chocolate till 1800
Cocoa tree became cultural plant in central America probably about 1500 BC when Olmecs established first plantations.
Later central american civilisations of Toltecs and Mayas continued in planting cocoa. About 1000 AD cocoa beens were already used as a currency. Mayas used the cocoa beans to prepare very nourishing drink which was leter called Xocolatl by Aztecs.
Columbus was first European who saw cocoa in today´s Nicaragua in 1502. But he didn´t care about cocoa because he searched way to India.
Hernando Cortez discovered real importance of cocoa in central american society and also thanks to nourishing cocoa drink conquered Aztec empire in 1521.
Cortez bringed back to Europe the first cocoa in 1528. It took more then 100 years to spread cocoa to other european countries. Chocolate became popular drink in european higher society during 17th and 18th century.
The first machine-made chocolate was produced in Barcelona about year 1780. Thanks to industrial revolution and its inventions and massive expansion of sugar production chocolate became not only drink but also confectionery in 19th century.



 

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Chocolate wrappers shown here are scans of real chocolate wrappers from still growing collection of Martin Mihál

 


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