Monday, April 5, 2010

French to English: Chocolate, Part 1

Chocolates must be coming out of your ears, now that Easter weekend is almost over.  My brother and I received chocolates and jelly beans from our kind neighbor.  To reciprocate, I made chocolate muffins and sent them over with fresh strawberries.

Client work kept me on my toes and away from my blog, and that's the reason I haven't posted anything since the 19th of March.  My bad. 

I was thinking about what lexicon to give you this week and I decided that since I had just completed some chocolate articles for a client who owns a cookie cutter business and with Easter celebrations in full swing, I thought, why not do a chocolate lexicon?

But first, here's your treat to a chocolate video.  I reviewed many chocolate videos and I picked this one especially for you.  Ever wondered how those chocolate bunnies are made?  Check this out!
Quite an involved process but if you've got the right machines and equipment, you don't need to be bending over hot coals and looking at the timer.  Those epoxy sheets are interesting.  Would making your own homemade chocolate tickle your fancy?

What comes to mind when someone says "chocolate?"  I think of Switzerland, France and Belgium.  I love American chocolate (especially Mars), but every now and then I wouldn't mind spending money on fine, European chocolates. 

It might surprise you that chocolate didn't originate from Switzerland, France or Belgium.  History books tell us that chocolate was first "discovered" among the Aztecs in the 14th century in a place called Tenochtitlán, now known as Mexico City.

It all started when Hernando Cortés went to Monteczuma (Montezuma) to conquer the Aztec empire but instead of stumbling on vast wealth as he had hoped, he discovered the cocoa bean which the natives were very fond of.  It was later used as a trading currency.  When Cortés presented the bean to the Spanish court, the king and queen didn't like it because of its bitterness.

Many, many years later, Cortés made a cocoa drink which changed the minds of royalty.  All of a sudden it was coveted by the upper European classes and only the wealthy could afford it. From then on, the dynamic development of this seductive and mouth-watering delicacy took off.

Here's your first set of chocolate terms:

after taste
chocolat artisanal
artisanal chocolate (home made)
beurre de cacao
cocoa butter
thermomètre à sirop de sucre
bavarois au chocolat
chocolate amer
bitter chocolate
blanchiment gras
matière grasse butyrique
mouleuse à chocolat
chocolate moulding machine
pâte de chocolat
chocolate paste
rapeuse-effileuse de chocolat

One intriguing term is "bloom."  According to a chocolate book I was reading, bloom is what happens to the surface of the chocolate.  It can be in the form of dullness, streaks, graying or discoloration.  When bloom occurs, that means that the chocolate was not tempered properly; it can also mean that it was  stored in a place where there were fluctuating temperatures or moisture. While it is unattractive, bloom on chocolate is safe to consume.

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