The success of the summertime movie "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" gives CBS News Sunday Morning reason enough to ponder anew the dark beauty of chocolate.
It's an assignment Correspondent Martha Teichner is happy to sink her teeth into.
So here goes.
Cocoa beans come from pulpy pods that grow on the trunks, not the branches of cacao trees. The beans are fermented and dried before being shipped.
Cacao trees only grow in a narrow band around the equator.
Cocoa beans from over a dozen countries arrive at the Guittard Chocolate Company, near San Francisco.
Gary Guittard is the fourth generation in his family's chocolate business, founded in 1868 by his great grandfather. "The inside of the bean is, after we roast them, clean them and roast them, you have what is called the nib. (It's) what chocolate is made of.
"We take those nibs, and we grind them…to a chocolate liquor, which is the base ingredient. Then sugar, and sometimes milk are added. It's kneaded and heated and ground again.
And finally, it's turned into chocolate as we know it.
Guittard supplies Kellogg's and Baskin-Robbins, as well as candy companies and pastry chefs.
Ten-pond bars are often used.
Even the fanciest chocolate makers buy the chocolate they melt and mold, Teichner notes.
The Olmec Indians of Central America were the first known users of chocolate, 3,000 years ago. They drank it, as did the Mayans and the Aztecs, who poured it from one pot to another in order create a froth on top, the part they liked best.
Cocoa beans were also used for money.
Spanish conquistadores and missionaries took the drink back to Europe, where it became fashionable with the aristocracy, who added sugar to it.
The chocolate bar didn't exist until a British company called J.S. Fry and Sons invented it in 1847.
Hershey bars didn't come along until 1894.
Chocolate is a $13 billion a year business in the U.S.
Americans' average annual consumption of chocolate candy is nearly twelve pounds per person, good for eleventh place in that category worldwide. Switzerland consumes more chocolate per capita than any other nation.
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