From the Plant to the Box, The Sweet Magic of Chocolate

 

Since its discovery, during times so ancient that there's no recollection of. This large seed with a unique and strong flavor, conquered the palates of the pre-Columbian civilizations well before the arrival of the great Genovese navigator. "Food of the Gods", as it was called, and was so precious that it was used as currency and offerings for majestic religious ceremonies. When it was brought to Europe, it soon became such a popular and elitist rarity, so much so that it was reserved solely for kings and princes, and over time its reputation has only grown. Today it is undoubtedly the most popular and loved sweet in the world.

We're talking about chocolate of course. The delicious treat holds center stage at the Italian Traditions Special, this week it's tastier than ever. We bring you along to discover the ancient history of cocoa, setting sail from the Amazon at around 6,000 BC to breathe in the scents of its mythical and legendary aura, maintained over the centuries. We have come to reconstruct the past and the complex economic dynamics arising from the myths by explaining its origins to complex economic dynamics that accompanied it on its  arrival to the Old Continent. Varied in name and substance, chocolate differs quite a bit, with over 14,000 variations which have different properties and flavors: milk, hazelnut, white and dark. You can also find all of this information  in the Perugina Chocolate House, the second most visited corporate museum in Italy. It was established in order to share the vast Historical Archive Buitoni-Perugina with the public, rebuilding the effort and creativity passionately, which for more than 100 years has distinguished the mother company of chocolate made in Italy.

Art that is expressed in some of the most delicious specialties of the Belpaese, like the famous chocolate of the Sicilian city of Modica, produced following the original cold temperature work practiced by the Aztecs that allowed for the invention of solid tablets, which were non-existent at the time. The result is a product with a pungent raw flavor, so brittle and tasty but above all, unique in the world. On the other hand there's Gianduiotto, the typical chocolate of Napoleonic origins of Turin, in the shape of an upside down boat made from chocolate and gianduja hazelnut, now internationally known and well appreciated. Speaking of world fame, how can we not to mention the best chocolate spread of the world, Nutella, a true Italian excellence all born in a family business, which now has come to be among the most beloved in the world as well as being an absolute icon of Made in Italy. The chocolate industry is now an important reality, even in Italy, and there are many companies linked to the various processes of production phases of this delicacy. Starting with the plantcare and the land for cultivation. Scoiattolo Rosso, for example grows and markets some of the best hazelnuts in the world, while the Grifo Latte group collects the best Umbrian milk every day, worked with techniques that maintain the freshness and the quality of the product unchanged. There's  also the Distilleria Lidia, which has produced liqueurs and brandies for over 50 years, among the most flavorful of the Belpaese, and always in the family business.

Important raw materials, which are then used to create chocolates and unique delicacies. Later in fact companies like Melit, composed of three foodie old men who love good chocolate, or T'a Milano, high quality pastry shops that combine tradition and creativity, exploit these and other delights to enrich their fine chocolates. Once ready, they are then packaged by companies such as the famous Scatolificio Magia, active since the '70s, which draws on the carton processing techniques belonging to the most ancient Florentine craftsmanship and tradition that has experienced a great and attested experience in manufacturing artisan pastry boxes and gifts. Precisely for this reason, it is able to offer customers a range of formats, unique and customizable graphical materials and solutions, creating an elegant and recognizable aesthetic packaging with attention to detail that is sold in the best handcrafted stationery stores. Companies linked to tradition and its values ​​as innovative and open to new needs and trends, true Italian excellence, which provide their talent and professionalism to one of the sweetest of the market sectors.