General ReadingAcademic and General Reading

Chocolate Food of the Gods IELTS Reading

Chocolate Food of the Gods IELTS Reading Answers

Reading Passage 1
Read the Passage to Answer the Following Questions

Chocolate Food of the Gods

A
The story of chocolate begins with the discovery of America in 1492. Columbus was the first European to come into contact with cacao. On August 5th, 1502, on his fourth and last voyage to the Americas, Columbus and his crew met some natives in a canoe that contained beans from the cacao tree. Columbus was struck by how much value the Indians placed on them as he did not know the beans were used for currency. It is unlikely that Columbus brought any of these beans back to Spain and it was not until about twenty years later that Cortez grasped the commercial possibilities when he found the Aztecs using the beans to make the royal drink “chocolate”.

B
The Spanish, in general, were not fond of the bitter drink so Cortez and his followers made it more palatable by adding cane sugar and later cinnamon and vanilla were added. Spanish monks let the secret out back home and, although the Spanish hid it from their neighbours for a hundred years, finally chocolate’s popularity grew until it was the fashionable drink at the French court and the discerning choice of customers at London meeting houses.

C
The cocoa beans are harvested from pods grown on the cacao tree. The pods come in a range of types since cacao trees cross-pollinate freely. These types can be reduced to three classifications. The most common is Forastero, which accounts for nearly 90% of the world’s production of cacao beans. This is the easiest to cultivate and has a thick-walled pod and a pungent aroma. Rarest and most prized are the beans of the Criollo. These beans from the soft, thin-skinned pod have an aroma and delicacy that make them sought after by the world’s best chocolate makers. Finally, there is the Trinitario, which is believed to be a natural cross from strains of the other two types. It has a great variety of characteristics but generally possesses a good, aromatic flavour and the trees are particularly suitable for cultivation.

D
The cocoa tree is strictly a tropical plant thriving only in hot, rainy climates. Thus, its cultivation is confined to countries not more than 20 degrees north or south of the equator. The cacao tree is very delicate and sensitive. It needs protection from the wind and requires a fair amount of shade under most conditions. This is true, especially in its first two or three years of growth. A newly planted cacao seedling is often sheltered by a different type of tree. It is normal to plant food crops for shade such as bananas, plantain, coconuts or cocoyam. Rubber trees and forest trees are also used for shade. Once established, however, cacao trees can grow in full sunlight, provided there are fertile soil conditions and intensive husbandry. With pruning and careful cultivation, the trees of most strains will begin bearing fruit in the fifth year. With extreme care, some strains can be induced to yield good crops in the third and fourth years.

E
The process of turning cocoa into chocolate hasn’t changed much since the Swiss made the major breakthroughs in the process in the late 1800s. First, the beans (up to twelve varieties harvested from all over the world) go through a process of fermentation and drying. They are then sorted by hand before cleaning and then roasting. Winnowing follows which removes the hard outer hulls and leaves what is known as the “nibs”. A crushing and heating process known as Hunter’s Process is then used to remove nearly half of the cocoa butter from the nibs. This makes unsweetened chocolate (also known as cooking chocolate). Basic eating chocolate is made from a blending of the unsweetened chocolate with some of the cocoa butter along with other ingredients such as sugar and vanilla. The resulting product is then “conched” and this conching gives chocolate the velvet texture that we know so well. The finished result is then moulded, cooled, packaged by machine, distributed, sold and, of course, eaten!

F
Where methods of manufacturing are concerned, manufacturers have a completely free hand and have developed individual variations from the pattern. Each manufacturer seeks to protect his own methods by conducting certain operations under an atmosphere of security. No chef guards his favourite recipes more zealously than the chocolate manufacturer guards his formulas for blending the beans. Time intervals, temperatures and proportions are three critical factors that no company wants to divulge.

G
Apart from the taste, one of the most pleasant effects of eating chocolate is the “good feeling” that many people experience after indulging. Chocolate contains more than three known chemicals including caffeine, theobromine and phenylethylamine which are stimulants. Some researchers believe that chocolate contains pharmacologically active substances that have the same effect on the brain as marijuana and that these chemicals may be responsible for problems such as the psychoses associated with chocolate craving. However, eating too much of anything can obviously cause health problems and as long as moderation is exercised, chocolate should not cause the average person any harm. ielts-reading.com

Questions 28-33.
The reading passage on The Story of Chocolate has 7 paragraphs A – G.
From the list of headings below choose the most suitable headings for paragraphs B-G
Write the appropriate number (i – xi) in boxes 28 – 33 on your answer sheet.
NB There are more headings than paragraphs, so you will not use them all.

i. Growing The Tree
ii. Problems With Manufacture
iii. Why We Like It
iv. How the Aztecs Discovered Chocolate.
v. Chocolate Spreads to Europe
vi. First Contact
vii. The Countries that Grow Cacao Trees
viii. Secrecy Issues
ix. Recipes for Using Chocolate
x. Varieties of Cacao
xi. From Bean to Bar

28. Paragraph B
29. Paragraph C
30. Paragraph D
31. Paragraph E
32. Paragraph F
33. Paragraph G

Questions 34-37
Do the following statements agree with the information given in The Story of Chocolate?
In boxes 34 – 37 on your answer sheet write:

YES if the statement agrees with the information
NO if the statement contradicts the statement
NOT GIVEN if there is no information on this in the passage

34. Most early Spaniards did not particularly like the chocolate that the Aztecs originally drank.
35. The Forastero bean is generally regarded as making the best chocolate.
36. Cacao trees need a lot of looking after to be used commercially.
37. Some chocolate companies have been known to steal chocolate recipes from other companies.

Questions 38-40
Using the information in the passage, complete the flow chart below.
Write your answers in boxes 38-40 on your answer sheet.
Use NO MORE THAN THREE WORDS from the passage for each answer

The Chocolate Production Process

The beans are (eg) __________ at the farm and are then
fermented, dried, sorted and cleaned. (Answer: harvested)

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The beans are winnowed after (38) __________ and these two processes
produce the nibs.

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Some of the (39) __________ is then extracted using Hunte’s Process to
make cooking chocolate.

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The cooking chocolate is then blended with other ingredients to make the
various types of eating chocolate available today.

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(40) __________ produces the smoothness in the chocolate.

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The chocolate is re-heated to melt it, put into moulds and then cooled to
make its final shapes.

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The finished product is wrapped automatically, sent to the shops and then
sold. Finally the customer eats his or her bar of chocolate.


Chocolate Food of the Gods Reading Answers

28. v

29. x

30. i

31. xi

32. viii

33. iii

34. Yes

35. No

36. Yes

37. Not Given

38. Roasting

39. Cocoa Butter

40. Conching


Chocolate Food of the Gods Reading Answers Location

28. Paragraph B
Answer: v
Supporting Sentence: The Spanish, in general, were not fond of the bitter drink so Cortez and his followers made it more palatable by adding cane sugar and later cinnamon and vanilla were added.
Keywords: Spanish, bitter drink, cane sugar, cinnamon, vanilla
Keyword Locations: Paragraph B, line 1
Explanation: The first sentence of paragraph B states that Cortez and his supporters added cane sugar to the bitter beverage because the majority of the Spanish did not enjoy it. Later, cinnamon and vanilla were also added to make the beverage more pleasant.


29. Paragraph C
Answer: x
Supporting Sentence: The pods come in a range of types since cacao trees cross-pollinate freely.
Keywords: cacao trees, cross pollinate, classification
Keyword Locations: Paragraph C, line 2
Explanation: Line 2 of paragraph C implies that since cocoa plants readily cross-pollinate, there are many different varieties of pods. Three categories can be used to group these sorts.


30. Paragraph D
Answer: i
Supporting Sentence: The cocoa tree is strictly a tropical plant thriving only in hot, rainy climates.
Keywords: cocoa tree, tropical plant, hot, rainy, climate
Keyword Locations: Paragraph D, 1st line
Explanation: The first line of paragraph D explains that the cocoa tree is a completely tropical plant that can only survive in hot, humid regions.


31. Paragraph E
Answer: xi
Supporting Sentence: The process of turning cocoa into chocolate hasn’t changed much since the Swiss made the major breakthroughs in the process in the late 1800s.
Keywords: cocoa, chocolate, swiss, process,1800
Keyword Locations: Paragraph E, line 1
Explanation: The first part of paragraph E implies that since the significant developments in the production process were made by the Swiss in the late 1800s, the method of turning cocoa into chocolate hasn’t changed all that much.


32. Paragraph F
Answer: viii
Supporting Sentence: Each manufacturer seeks to protect his own methods by conducting certain operations under an atmosphere of security.
Keywords: protect, methods, operations, security
Keyword Locations: Paragraph F, line 2
Explanation: Line 2 of paragraph F says that by performing specific procedures in a secure environment, each producer tries to protect his unique ways.


33. Paragraph G
Answer: iii
Supporting Sentence: Apart from the taste, one of the most pleasant effects of eating chocolate is the “good feeling” that many people experience after indulging.
Keywords: pleasant effect, eating, good feeling, experience
Keyword Locations: Paragraph G, line 1
Explanation: The first part of paragraph G enhances that in addition to the taste, one of the best things about eating chocolate is the “good feeling” that many people get afterward.


34. Most early Spaniards did not particularly like the chocolate that the Aztecs originally drank.
Answer: Yes
Supporting Sentence: The Spanish, in general, were not fond of the bitter drink so Cortez and his followers made it more palatable by adding cane sugar and later cinnamon and vanilla were added.
Keywords: spanish, bitter drink, Cortez, not fond
Keyword Locations: Paragraph B, line 1
Explanation: Paragraph B implies that since the majority of the Spanish did not enjoy the bitter beverage, Cortez and his followers added cane sugar and eventually added cinnamon and vanilla to make it more palatable. So, the statement is correct.


35. The Forastero bean is generally regarded as making the best chocolate.
Answer: No
Supporting Sentence: Rarest and most prized are the beans of the Criollo.
Keywords: rarest, most prized, beans. criollo
Keyword Locations: Paragraph C, 6th line
Explanation: The sixth line of paragraph C says that the Criollo bean is the most expensive, and exotic. Thus, the statement is incorrect.


36. Cocoa trees need a lot of looking after to be used commercially.
Answer: Yes
Supporting Sentence: It needs protection from the wind and requires a fair amount of shade under most conditions.
Keywords: delicate, sensitive, protection, wind, shade
Keyword Locations: Paragraph D, 3rd and 4th line
Explanation: Paragraph D implies that Cacao trees are extremely sensitive and delicate. Under most circumstances, it needs some degree of wind shelter and shade. So, the above sentence stands as a valid one.


37. Some chocolate companies have been known to steal chocolate recipes from other companies.
Answer: Not Given
Explanation: No such pertinent information to justify the above statement has been provided in the passage.


38.

Answer: Roasting
Supporting Sentence: Winnowing follows which removes the hard outer hulls and leaves what is known as the “nibs”.
Keywords: cleaning, winnowing, hard outer hulls, nibs


Keyword Locations: Paragraph E, lines 3 and 4
Explanation: The third and fourth line of paragraph E states that before being cleaned and subsequently roasted, the beans are manually sorted. The next step is winnowing, which eliminates the tough outer hulls and leaves the “nibs.”


39.

Answer: Cocoa Butter
Supporting Sentence: A crushing and heating process known as Hunter’s Process is then used to remove nearly half of the cocoa butter from the nibs.
Keywords: crushing, heating, Hunter’s process
Keyword Locations: Paragraph E, line 5
Explanation: The fifth line of paragraph E says that the remainder of the cocoa butter is subsequently extracted from the nibs using a crushing and heating procedure called Hunter’s Process.


40.

Answer: Conching
Supporting Sentence: The resulting product is then “conched” and this conching gives chocolate the velvet texture that we know so well.
Keywords: chocolate, conched, velvet texture
Keyword Locations: Paragraph E, second last line
Explanation: Line 2 of paragraph E suggests that once the final product has been conched, it has the familiar velvety feel that is characteristic of chocolate.

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