What’s dark, brown and sometimes melts in your hands, sweet and not always good for your body, but is, most times, good for the soul? If you guess chocolate, you probably are having more than your share of that sweet thing.
This year, in celebration of the annual World Chocolate Day, Marhaba is once again giving you another set of trivia about chocolates.
Qatar has locally-made chocolate candies. Did you know that most locally-made chocolate products in Qatar are made by small and medium businesses? In terms of commercial production, the only chocolate manufacturing company in the country using automated production is the Munah Factory. Their more popular chocolate product is Silinco and A&M, available in supermarkets and local retail shops in Qatar.
Larissa, meanwhile, is considered one of the oldest boutique chocolate sellers in Qatar. This shop offers a range of artisan chocolate products in specially designed boxes and trays.
The most expensive chocolate in the world is Amedei Porcelana. This dark chocolate is made by the artisan chocolate company Amedei which is based in Tuscany, Italy. A 50 g bar of this chocolate sells for €14.00 (or QAR57.25). If you’d like a taste of this expensive treat, you can order direct from the Amedei website.
Why is this chocolate considered the most expensive in the world? The cocoa beans used in these chocolates are translucent in colour due to the genetically pure strain of criollo, a bean which can only be found in Venezuela.
Cocoa farming is a labour-intensive process and currently, at least 70% of the world’s cocoa supply is sourced from West Africa.
The Ivory Coast and Ghana are the two largest producers of cocoa, cultivating more than half of the world’s cocoa supply, followed by Indonesia, Nigeria, Cameroon, Brazil and Ecuador.
Chocolate and COVID-19. Chocolate per se is not bad during these COVID-19 times healthwise, as it is a powerful source of antioxidants. Industry-wise, chocolate is suffering because of the lockdowns, disrupting the international markets and the supply chain from cocoa-producing countries.
High protein chocolate bars – Mars, Bounty, Snickers and Milky Way – are banned in Qatar. These high protein chocolate bars do not meet halal requirements and differ in composition from the same brand products available locally, according to the Ministry of Public Health.