Fine chocolate, unlike commercial chocolate, contains aromas such as pear, bread, and hazelnut. This is due to the volatile aroma molecules developed during processing. Take a peek into the flavour profile of one specific chocolate bar, Blanco de Criollo by Amedei.
Dark fine chocolate will contain aromas other than chocolate. Just as fine wine and coffee can be described with containing notes of cherry, wood, or roasted almond, fine dark chocolate can be explained in the same way. Where does this flavour come from? It's not added to the chocolate, its contained within the cacao seed, and is created and maintained through quality processing.
"What is the best chocolate?" I get asked that question often. It may seem like a simple question like that should have some sort of straight forward answer. Is it a brand? A nationality? Percentage? Or maybe it's variety or terroir of where the cacao tree grew. The answer is, good chocolate is none of those, and it's all of those and more. Not the answer you were hoping for? Let's begin to unpack...
Fine chocolate is making headway in today's market. You may see fine chocolate popping up in high end supermarkets, boutique shops, and local high end food retailers. Terms such as "fine", "craft", "artisan", and mostly "bean to bar" are being thrown around, without people understanding what they mean. Generally, they are all terms used to describe the growing phenomenon of bean to bar chocolate. But what is bean to bar chocolate in the first place?