Just in time for Valentine’s Day the Colonial Beach Community Foundation hosted their third annual “For the Love of Chocolate and Wine” event. This year it was held at Coldwell Banker Elite Realty with host Eric Nelson.
Nelson – who has a background as a fine chocolatier from his ten-years of owning Artfully Chocolate stores – took the gathered crowd through the history of chocolate to modern pairings with wine from Italy and Chile.
The drinking of chocolate dates back to Mesoamerican in 350 BC. Then, cocoa beans were mixed with water and spices and drunk as a health beverage. The bitter drink resembles nothing like the chocolate consumption of today.
The cocoa pods, in which the beans reside, hold the beans in a sweet pulpy mass. It is believed that the sweet flesh was eaten even prior to the beans being roasted and mashed to be drunk.
Cocoa beans were thought to be gifts from the gods in ancient cultures and treated as such. At times they were even used as currency due to the rarity of the beans.
Growing only in tropical climates the beans are hard to cultivate and succumb to blight and disease easily.
The average tree will only produce one to two pounds of chocolate per year. Nelson spoke of how there are chocolate fanatics similar to wine connoisseurs who can taste certain chocolates and tell you not only what country they came from but also narrow it down to even what plantation on which they were originated.
For the full article, pick up the latest Westmoreland News 2/12/19
Eric Nelson shows the group a cocoa pod while discussing the history of chocolate.