How many of us have not eaten a chocolate bar? I am sure the count isn't many, unless you are allergic to the delicious confectionary. From the simple milk chocolate bar to the elaborate bars that include caramel, marshmallows, nuts, or coconut there probably isn't a more popular type of chocolate in the world. From its beginning in the 1800s it quickly became a much desired product and by the early 1900s was a huge commercial success that has done nothing but increase since its introduction.
Many of the bars that are sold on the market today are still the exact recipe of those from the beginning and have also remained affordable. Until the late 1940s you could buy chocolate bars for a few pennies, even though they are more than that now they are worth it! Even though there are thousands of different types of chocolate bars being marketed now the number of actual chocolate making companies is much smaller. The industry is dominated by a handful of giants in the chocolate business that will go out and buy smaller companies and absorb that company's products into their mix.
The chocolate bar is one of the most widespread forms of chocolate and commonly found even in vending machines. One of the biggest introductions lately has been the addition of nutritional value by adding protein and additional vitamins to the delicious confection. Of course there is no way that one can talk about chocolate bars without covering Hershey's chocolate bars. These delicious and popular milk chocolate bars are created in a wide variety of flavors that all get their origin from the classic Hershey's chocolate bar made by the founder, Milton Hershey in 1900. The way the bars are made today hasn't changed much; they still select the most high quality cocoa beans and then roast them. Afterwards the process consists of winnowing, conching, tempering, and then molding and packaging for shipping.
The vast majority of chocolate makers that produce chocolate bars use the same exact recipe for their products. What makes them different in taste and quality is the cocoa beans they select, the taste of chocolate can vary greatly depending upon the different plant varieties and even from where in the world they come. One of the most popular chocolate makers, Nestle, actually has three bars hailing from three different countries. Like other manufacturers, the makers of chocolate may also produce their bars in one country and then have them packaged in another.
There are some ingredients that are absolutely crucial to create all chocolate bars including cocoa paste, cocoa butter and sugar. Some of the optional ingredients are lecithin and vanilla. White chocolate contains more of the cocoa butter. Have fun and experiment with different brands and varieties to find the one you prefer the most.
Gregg Hall is an author living in Navarre Beach, Florida. Find more about this as well as fine chocolate bars at http://www.chocolates-plus.com