The secret is not in the bag! Chocolate lovers beware. The unbleached burlap sacks move Cacao beans around the world. From first sighting in Santa Ana Ecuador in 3500 BCE to the dark chocolate found on your pillow last night there have been a few steps in the process. The largest step was most likely the development of the conching. The production of a shiny chocolate with fewer granular features was made possible by the introduction of conching as discovered (even if by accident) by Rudolph Lindt. This 1879 claim appears the most reliable. I have had the opportunity to visit Villars, Lindt and yesterday Valrhona. The presentations shared one theme: Chocolate in bar form was made possible by conching (the slow stirring of molten chocolate for periods in excess sometimes of 24 hours.) The signs point to chocolates!!
The old factory operates across the street. In the presentation room a tasting expert not only explained the taste pallet basics but also shattered pre-conceived notions. I still like dark chocolate! One way to bridge generations, gender and geography is with chocolate!
All this from one bean.