Chocolate Facts: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Jennifer Lowery

Jennifer has taught elementary levels K-3 and has master's degrees in elementary education and curriculum/instruction and educational leadership.

Chocolate is one of the most popular sweet treats in the world! In this lesson, learn where chocolate comes from, how it is made, and ways that people can enjoy chocolate.

Where Does Chocolate Come From?

When you think of candy, what comes to your mind? Most likely, you think of chocolate! This candy is one of the most popular treats around the world, but what do you really know about your favorite chocolate candy bar? There is a lot of science that goes into the making of chocolate today.

Chocolate comes from the cocoa bean, which is grown on trees in hot and humid locations near the equator. Countries in Africa and Central and South America are famous for growing cocoa trees. These trees produce large fruits that have beans inside of them. Cocoa beans might seem like they would taste good, but they are actually very bitter.

Cocoa beans come from trees grown in warm, humid climates.
cocoa beans

From Beans to Chocolate

So how do these bitter beans turn into the sweet, creamy chocolate that you love? It takes several steps for cocoa beans to become chocolate that is ready for people to eat. After harvesting, the beans are put in containers to sit for almost a week. Then the beans are dried so they don't get moldy when being shipped to other locations.

After the beans are dried, they are put under heat to be roasted. Once the roasting is completed, the beans go through a process called winnowing. This is where a thin outer shell is taken off of the bean, and fans blow away these shells.

Cocoa beans are roasted in hot temperatures after they are dried.
roasting chocolate

Next, the cocoa beans go through a grinding process. During this step, the beans are ground into two separate parts: cocoa solids and cocoa butter. If you've ever seen lotion that contains cocoa butter, now you know this is the fat found in a cocoa bean!

Once the cocoa beans have been ground and separated, the fun part really begins! The ground up cocoa solids are moved to a machine called a conch, and the process of conching is where the solids are ground up into extremely small pieces. During conching, ingredients such as milk, sugar, and flavors are added to give the chocolate that sweet, creamy taste that everyone loves!

Types of Chocolate

Chocolate that is used for candy bars is melted and put into a mold so it will harden into a certain shape. Chocolate can also be used in powder form, which is often used for baking chocolate desserts.

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