Today’s chocolate, which we all adore and cannot resist, had a very long and we can say turbulent history.
In one form or the other, chocolate has been used thousands of years ago and based on the research that was conducted by the experts, in its basic, liquid form, and without sweetness, was used as early as 3500 years ago.
We already know that its organs are going back to the time of ancient South and Latin American culture, in the north of Central America, in the remains of Mayan cities.
Over there it was used as money, and this just shows how valuable it truly was that cocoa bean.
Today still there is a fascination with chocolate, having in mind that there are thousands of chocolate brands in the world, and you can choose the one that is suitable for your sweet tooth; dark, or milk, with some additional filling, or maybe with nuts, there is a variety to choose from, but if you belong to the Muslim religion, you may wonder is chocolate haram or halal?
What you should look for in chocolate when you are buying one, of course of advice is to always look at the ingredients, as the chocolate itself may not have any haram ingredients, but some additional flavorings, like vanilla for example, may have.
People of the Islamic religion are instructed to consume only halal food and are instructed to evade food or drink if there is uncertainty regarding whether its ingredients, are halal or not.
It can be very difficult to compute what chocolate bars or their derivatives include because elements could fool us with its name.
When it comes to gelatin and alcohol, or maybe pork then this detection is an easy one, but things become harder when there are some derivates from these haram ingredients.
And this is relevant to know when it comes to the determination of the haram status of chocolate – when a certain haram ingredient is for example boiled or processed in any way, and if that does not alter its haram status, then things remain the same.
Halal elements also must not come into immediate connection with haram foods as when they are made in the same store.
So, you can educate yourself on this matter, and this is particularly true when you are buying brands that are not familiar to you; when you are abroad, or when you want to try something new.
Maybe Muslim women should pay more attention having in mind that the statistic shows that women eat almost double the amount of chocolate than man.
Is Chocolate Halal or Haram In Islam?
Looking at the crucial and main elements of, for example, milk chocolate you will see that chocolate is halal in Islam and that Muslim people could eat it freely.
It contains then cocoa solids, and cocoa butter (which is extracted from the beans); then it contains cocoa liquor that is made when the mass of cocoa is heated and then turned into liquid.
Other ingredients are, of course, sugar than milk, and we know that they are halal and safe for Muslims to eat.
But, when inside of them have some additions, like for example a filling – like liquor flavoring, that could be found in Turkish delight.
Also in M&M’S, and Smarties, there are some colorings and in both cases, they become to this chocolate is not allowed to be eaten.
In some cases, you will find that on the list of the ingredients on milk chocolate, it says that it contains one kind of lecithin, that has the purpose to emulsify, and if it comes from soy then it is halal for consumption.
But the major issue comes when you see that the vanilla extract is added to the chocolate, then it could be haram.
If in the higher quality chocolate, natural vanilla pods are used, then there is no worry, it is safe for consumption, but if in the case vanilla essence was used then it is chemically made, and it can or can have some haram ingredient.
It is most certainly haram when is made out of soaked vanilla beans in a blend of water and ethyl alcohol. It is haram then as ethyl alcohol is forbidden.
We could say that it is usually written on the package of the chocolate what kind of vanilla is used.
In this sense, almost as a rule avoid having strawberry-flavored chocolate or one that has vanilla it likely will have a certain haram ingredient.
Is chocolate with the rum aroma halal?
The question that many Muslim believers have is this – are chocolates and other confectionaries that use rum-flavoring halal, even though the product declaration does not say that it contains alcohol but only flavoring (in this case that comes from rum)?
First of all, it must be said that all these kinds of aromas, like in this case, rum flavoring do contain ethanol a type of alcohol that is forbidden.
In this case, chocolate with rum flavoring is considered to be haram.
However, in addition to ethanol, other kinds of solvents or transports can be utilized, such as propylene glycol and other sugar alcohols that are permitted – halal, but aroma solvents are not recorded on the product proclamation.
If a chocolate or similar product is declared to contain the aroma of rum, it cannot be concluded from this whether that product is halal or haram, because it is not known which alcohol was used to dissolve it.
This is why such products are classified as suspicious – mushbooh products, the use of which should be avoided.
An extra reason for avoiding these derivatives is the name connected to substances (alcohol that can make us drunk) whose consumption is restricted.
More about the chocolate
How many times have you just happened to say to yourself or others: “I’m low on sugar!”?
Probably many, many times. And what do you usually do in those cases?
Look for something sweet, and then they would eat anything, maybe even sugar itself, but there is nothing sweeter and stronger than chocolate!
Chocolate is probably the most famous sweet in the world.
Neither children nor adults can resist her, nor even older people. Chocolate has overflowed the entire planet with its sweet taste.
The Mayans, as we have said were the first ones that have been using cocoa beans, turning them into chocolate.
They made a chocolate drink by mixing crushed cocoa beans, water, and hot peppers, which was used mainly in religious rituals, so they called it the “drink of the gods”.
The importance of the cacao plant at that time was enormous, it was said to have magical powers, and even the walls of their palaces were painted with cacao fruits.
This makes chocolate one of the oldest drinks known to mankind, and it has remained to be one of the most beloved sweets ever.
Around 600 AD. during the migrations to the north, the Mayans created the first large cocoa plantation in Yucatan.
That time, for a long time after, the nobles were intrigued by chocolate in its original form, and it was thought to be a prestigious food only meant to be consumed by the richest people.
Apart from the Mayans, the chocolate drink that the Aztecs prepared from cocoa beans and water was called ‘xokoati’, which means ‘bitter water’.
How much significance was attached to cocoa beans at that time, is shown by the fact that the common people in the Aztec era used these beans as money.
A lot for sure.
And it was seen in some ancient writings Spanish conqueror of Mexico, noticed the habit of the Aztecs drinking this chocolate drink, and decided in 1528 to present chocolate to the Spanish king Charles V.
Not long after, Spain held a monopoly in the production of chocolate for the needs of the then-European markets.
At that time, chocolate acquired a completely new taste, because sugar cane began to be added to it.
It was not bitter anymore but it was very very sweet, and over time new flavorings were added.
Spanish soldiers were the first in Europe to start preparing chocolate, they added sugar and cinnamon to it, but they still prepared it as a drink.
The cocoa bean remains the means of payment in Spain (200 small cocoa beans are worth 1 Spanish real or 4 cents).
The magic of the chocolate drink quickly spread throughout the “old continent”, conquering first the nobility and the nobles, and then the whole world.
In 1609, the first book completely dedicated to chocolate appeared in Mexico and it was called “Libro en el cual se trata del chocolate”.
The first chocolate shop was opened in London in 1657 as a “chocolate house” where the increasingly popular beverage was prepared and was enormously popular.
It was not until the early nineteenth century in the Netherlands that chemists found ways to give chocolate the hard form we know today.
Chocolate, as we know it today, was created thanks to Dutchman Konrad J. van Houten, who in 1828 patented a hydraulic press for crushing cocoa beans, from which cocoa powder was created.
The next innovation in the world of chocolate, the production of the first bars, belongs to Joseph Frey, who utilized a distinctive combination of cocoa and a Dutch interpretation of chocolate to make molds of solid bars.
Although chocolate arrived in Switzerland in 1750 thanks to Italian chocolate makers and traders, the first chocolate factory in this country was opened only 70 years later.
Only half a century later, Daniel Peter, the son of a butcher from the Swiss town of Vevey, put the first milk chocolate on the market in 1875.
The first official chocolate cake, the Austrian Zacher cake, was created in Austria in 1778.
It is still considered to be one of the most popular cakes in the world.
After that, in the modern era, the chocolate we know appears in many forms and flavors: loaded, filled, mixed with fruit, cereals, and numerous other forms of this sweet pleasure.
There are so many additions to chocolate, that we cannot count them all here, and for everyone, there is something to try.
Today there are more than many hundred different flavors of chocolate, but they are far from all identical quality.
When choosing chocolate, be sure to read its composition and country of origin, and those who belong to the Muslim faith, should always look for the halal certification, and if there is not any they should observe the list of ingredients for sure.
Have in mind also that the manufacture of artificial chocolate is virtually impossible, or maybe too complicated, while the creation of strawberry and vanilla flavors is normal, as it is a very simple process.
So, this is the area where all Muslim believers should pay extra attention, cause it is very likely that there are some haram ingredients.
In the most general way, we could say that the majority of various sorts of confectionaries or desserts are considered to be halal in Muslim tradition and this usually includes regular chocolate.
Nevertheless, candies or desserts are harams if they include any non-halal animal by-products.
Accordingly, certain emulsifiers or gelatin are very likely to be restricted.
Halal chocolate is thought suitable for consummation concerning Islamic food procedures expressed in the Quran.
Foods that include prohibited components or are made and transported in manners that violate these policies are deemed to be haram.
Halal chocolate doesn’t include prohibited elements like alcohol or animal lard and doesn’t come into connection with haram essences while it has been processed, transported, or packaged.
A Chocolate bar that has components like animal lard or alcohol is not allowed to be eaten.
For example, if alcohol is utilized to cleanse the machine on which the chocolate was made, then it could be said that the consumption of that chocolate is haram.
Some Islamic scholars even claim that the glue on the package for the chocolate bar has animal fat, which makes chocolate unsafe for consumption for Muslims.
Halal chocolate started as a delicacy in some chosen stores but has gained major popularity all over the world.
In the end, here is some advice certain chocolate brands have Halal certification, like for example KitKat.
On their list of components, it is stated their products are halal, and that is clearly written on the packaging.
But in some other cases, you need to look for what is said on the label.
In the same case, Twix chocolate (some kinds are definitely).
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