Fun Facts about Dark Chocolate – Ghiradelli

Fun Facts about Dark ChocolateDark Chocolate History

Dating back into the golden old days of California’s gold rush, the Ghirardelli milk and dark chocolate has been present ever since. A 31-year-old native of Rapallo, Italy, who goes by the name of Domenico “Domingo” Ghirardelli, had been a very successful owner of the confectionery business situated in Lima, Peru, where dark chocolate was very popular. However, he was enticed to travel to California because the news of fabulous gold and riches lured him so in the year 1849 so he put aside the dark chocolate world.

He was able to buy himself a way to sail up and down, back and forth, in the San Joaquin River.  He acquired supplies as far as San Francisco and then carried his merchandise into Stockton. By 1851, he found himself a new start but never forgetting his love of dark chocolate.

Fire Changes Dark Chocolate History

On the 3rd of May 1851, the Great Fire of San Francisco destroyed a total of 1500 buildings. Coincidentally, a fire broke out and destroyed half the city of Stockton. In a span of one week, Domingo lost everything he had. He even tried to open up a coffee shop but it didn’t go so well.  Therefore he decided to go back to his roots as a confectioner focusing on dark chocolate.

Domingo was able to form a partnership with a colleague named Girard.  Together, they opened a confectionery store located at Washington and Kearny, in San Francisco. He even urged his wife to come to America. When she finally came, Domingo bought out the share of his co-proprietor and renamed the store “Mrs. Ghirardelli and Company.” Eventually, this seemingly ordinary milk and dark chocolate factory would become the largest in western North America.

A worker in his factory discovered something that allowed Domingo’s chocolate to skyrocket into fame and prominence and gave the chocolate making in the United States a whole new face.

In the year 1865, a worker put ground cocoa beans in a bag and left the bag to hang overnight in a warm room. By morning a pool of butter was found on the floor. The residue in the bag was found to be fat free. This residual part of the chocolate (when ground is now called cocoa powder) came to be the secret ingredient of the world famous Ghirardelli Chocolate and Cocoa.

By Joanna Maligaya on May 3, 2012

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