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Steering the Flavour of Chocolate through Pod Storage & Roasting techniques.

Steering the Flavour of Chocolate through Pod Storage & Roasting techniques.

An analysis of various dark chocolates made with the same cacao, but with various treatments applied during the process. The aroma profile of these chocolates were altered according to how long the pods were stored before fermentation, and the temperature at which the cacao was roasted.

Roasting conditions & polyphenol levels in cocoa beans.

Roasting conditions & polyphenol levels in cocoa beans.

Raw chocolate versus traditional roasted chocolate. Raw chocolate is a growing sector within the chocolate industry, and often boasts high levels of antioxidants, higher than traditional roasted chocolate. However, we often don’t get a chance to see actual hard evidence of the levels of antioxidants in such foods. Zyzelewicz et al. analyzed how various roasting techniques changed the levels of polyphenols within raw versus roasted cacao beans.

The flavour of chocolate explained

The flavour of chocolate explained

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 quality chocolate?

What is quality chocolate?

"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...

From bean to bar. Taking chocolate into your own hands.

From bean to bar.  Taking chocolate into your own hands.

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?