Happy Valentine's Day to eveyone!
I was presented with a big bar of chocolate this morning. YUM!!
This year we did not do much crafts and baking for Valentine's Day since we have done lots of that in the previous years. Nonetheless, we did not miss out on the learning opportunity presented by this day. We attended a chocolate workshop:
The workshop was very interactive, and started by asking the children which country consumes the most amount of chocolate. Are you surprised by the answer shown below?
We also learned about:
1) The relationship between the cocoa tree (Theobroma Cacao), the fruit of the tree (the cocoa pod), the seed of the tree (the cocoa bean) and then the cocoa nib (the inside of the bean and the source of all chocolate). The children were shown real cocoa pods and cocoa beans. They even tasted the actual cocoa nib!
2) The history and origins of chocolate from 1000 BC to date.
3) Sensory evaluation of chocolate i.e. using our 5 senses to understand (especially listening to the sound of the chocolate 'snap'), since chocolate is comprised of cocoa butter crystals and these need to be tempered first in order to produce 'stable' chocolate.
4) The cocoa harvesting process - what happens on a cocoa tree plantation. We watched a short film of Ghanaian farmers harvesting cocoa.
5) The principles and practices of Fairtrade (chocolate).
6) The health aspects of chocolate, in terms of what Dark, Milk and White chocolate is made from.The children were asked to analyse the key differences in the recipes and explain what is good and not good about each.
7) How chocolate is made in a factory.
8) A practical chocolate making session where the children make moulded chocolates using a selection of ingredient.
Tiger named his chocolate creation "Chocolate Surprise". According to him, the name has come about because he put so much different ingredients into his chocolate mix that whoever eats it will be surprised at what he/she will find.