This delicate flower is the start of every piece of chocolate you have ever eaten.
Here you can see the cocoa pods growing directly from large branches of a tree.
This photo, shot in Hawaii, shows the amazing colors that cocoa pods come in.
Every single color of the rainbow!
Each pod contains a white pulp that surrounds 25-40 cocoa beans.
Cocoa beans surrounded by their white pulp.
A closer look inside a cocoa bean.
After harvesting, the pods are cut open and the beans are removed from their pulp. They are then left to ferment in a container for 5-7 days.
After fermentation, the beans are laid out in the sun to dry for 7-10 days.
The beans are turned regularly to ensure that they dry evenly.
After drying, the beans are packed into burlap sacks to be transported to chocolate makers all over the world.
When they receive the beans, the first thing they do is sort them by hand. This ensures that they only use the best beans.
The good beans are then put into a little roaster for about 20 minutes.
After a good roasting, the beans are passed through a contraption known as a breaker and winnower. The breaker breaks the beans (obviously) and the winnower, which is attached to a vacuum, pulls the papery shells away.
Some freshly winnowed cocoa nibs ready for grinding.
The nibs are slowly added to a melanger, which consists of large granite wheels rotating on a granite base. The heat causes the cocoa butter in the nibs to melt. At this stage, sugar cane, milk powder, and any flavorings can be added. The chocolate stays in here for 3 days.
After 3 days, it's finally time to pour the chocolate out.
The chocolate is then tempered to give it a smooth, glossy finish. This is done by raising and lowering the temperature very precisely. After, this, the chocolate is ladled into polycarbonate molds, and are left to set in the fridge for a few hours.
The finished product.