navigation bar Houghton Mifflin History-Social Science Communities
eWord Game

Chocolate!

Ah, chocolate! More than any other sweet, chocolate is considered the perfect gift. It is loved by nearly all people, regardless of age. It is used in cookies, cakes, candies—or eaten plain. But where does it come from, before it shows up in grocery stores or movie theatres? How is chocolate made?

Making Chocolate

1. Growing the Seeds
The process of making chocolate begins with the cacao seed. Cacao trees grow in some tropical places. Tropical places are warm and wet. Cacao trees grow big, melon-like fruits shaped like footballs. About 25 seeds are inside each fruit.

2. Drying the Seeds
Workers gather the seeds, then let them dry for about one week. The hard, dried seeds are called cacao beans. The cacao beans give chocolate its flavor.

3. Roasting the Beans
The dried cacao beans are sent to a factory. In the factory, workers clean the beans, then roast them in large, hot ovens. Roasting helps give the beans their special taste.

4. Grinding the Beans
The beans are put into a special machine that separates the shells from the nibs. Used to make chocolate, nibs are the inside part of the cacao bean. The nibs are ground until they make a smooth liquid.

5. Mixing the Ingredients
Then the smooth liquid is mixed with milk and sugar until it is thick. Now, at last, the thick mixture has the “chocolate taste” that everyone loves; but the mixture is still liquid, not solid. Other things, such as nuts or fruit, can be added to the liquid chocolate.

6. Molding the Chocolate
The liquid mixture is poured into molds, such as bars. The filled molds are cooled. When the liquid cools, it becomes solid. Now the chocolate is ready to be eaten or used in recipes.

Yum!

Chocolate-chip cookies, hot chocolate, chocolate bars, or chocolate cake with chocolate frosting—how do you like your chocolate?