High Quality Chocolate &
- Typically price and high quality chocolate go
together but not always. So, it will be beneficial to know at least as
few simple measures.
- One key indicator is the percentage of cacao
or cocoa. The two words, cacao and cocoa are used interchangeably.
Cacao is used primarily in some countries and cocoa in others, but they
have the same meaning. U.S. Consumers are encouraged to use cacao to
minimize confusion according to the American Cocoa Research Institute.
may see a percentage of cacao prominently listed on chocolate
selections. This is the total percentage of ingredients by weight that
comes from the cacao bean. This is the sum of chocolate liquor, cocoa
butter, and/or cocoa powder found in the chocolate product.
- Display of this percentage is common with
premium chocolates, especially dark chocolate. A higher percentage of
cacao gives deeper chocolate flavor intensity. Remember a higher
percentage cacao means less added sugar.
- The use of “percentage of cacao” labeling began
in Europe where chocolates must be labeled to show the minimum total
cacao content. It is often listed as Percentage Cacao (France, Spain);
Percentage Kakao (Germany); or Percentage Cocoa (UK).
Prestige chocolates are usually hand made with superior ingredients and typically cost $40 or more per pound.
Before Making Selection…
Check Label & Ingredients
- Has a relatively high cacao content for the type of chocolate – dark or milk.
- Contains cocoa butter and not other vegetable fats. The cocoa butter gives a smoother texture and a more chocolaty taste.
- Uses real, not imitation, vanilla. Imitation vanilla will give a chemical taste to the chocolate.
a relatively low sugar content for the type of chocolate because if a
lot is used, especially in bittersweet and semisweet chocolates, this is
often an effort to hide flavors of poor quality cocoa beans.
- Does not have a long list of additives. Check the end of the ingredients list for chemical preservatives.
- Of course, has no “artificial flavor” additive.
- White chocolate should have a relatively high percentage of cocoa butter since that is it’s only source of chocolate flavor.
Hope you enjoy your chocolate shopping! Come back soon.
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