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Everything You Don't Know About Chocolate

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https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/11/dining/chocolate-bar.html

nytimes.com

Everything You Don't Know About Chocolate
The beloved bar has come a long way in quality and complexity. Here's a primer on how it's made, and how to choose the best and most ethically produced. Credit... Erin Lubin for The New York Times You probably think you already know everything you need to know about chocolate.

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Chocolates

Chocolates are everyone's favorite treat, and there is more to them than we know. Americans spend $21 Billion on chocolates every year, paying up to $55 for a single bar.

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Creating Chocolate

  • Cacao (or Cocoa) beans are the seeds that grow in the cacao tree, which are plucked, roasted and separated.
  • The 'nibs' from the beans (part solids and part butter) are ground and made ...

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Bean-To-Bar

Authentic chocolate makers are like fine chefs and are obsessed about the texture, character and ethical origins of their beans.

Mainstream industrial chocolate makers buy all the beans, good...

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Origins of Bean-To-Bar Chocolates

The handcrafted chocolate market was re-ignited after 150 years by Mr. John Scharffenberger, and Robert Steinberg. The only other craft chocolate maker at that time, Guittard, had lost the art of m...

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The Chocolatier

Chocolatiers take pre-made chocolate, melt it and combine it with a host of ingredients, turning it into delicacies.

The best Chocolatiers buy from superb bean-to-bar chocolate makers.
Ch...

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Single Origin Chocolate

Single-Origin chocolate refers to the region or area from where the beans have been sourced, lending them a distinct flavor and taste.

Example: Fine Latin American chocolate tastes diffe...

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Cocoa Percentage

  • Cacao (cocoa) percentage is the quantity of ground-up beans that is present in the chocolate bar.
  • Milk chocolates have 10 to 30 % cacao, while dark chocolates have 35 to 55 %
  • W...

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Buying in Bulk Vs Direct Trade

Cacao farmers, who grow any kind of cacao and sell to industrial chocolate makers, have no incentive to grow quality beans.

Many cacao farmers live below the poverty line.

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Environmental Impact

There is a dark side to chocolate making, with children working in hazardous conditions in cacao farms.

Widespread destruction of forests (deforestation) is also a grave concern.

Big C...

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