Posted in Kafevend Blog
After thinking about it seriously for a moment, it's quite easy to see how wine and chocolate are not that dissimilar. Sure, you typically drink one and eat the other, but they are both traditionally luxury items, reserved for the wealthy and social elite. In modern times however, they are both incredibly easy to get hold of- cast your mind back to your latest shopping trip and I've no doubt you can recall dozens of shelves stretching left and right packed to bursting point with both wine and chocolate. With regards to chocolate however, how can you be sure you're getting the real deal, and not just something brown, packed with sugar and vegetable fat?
Perhaps the easiest means of identifying quality chocolate- outside of checking the price tag- is having a look at the percentage of cocoa solids/liquor it contains. The terminology differs depending on where you are from. Cocoa solids refers to the dry part of the cocoa bean after it has been separated into cocoa powder and cocoa butter, but also to the recombination of the two- a product that is also known as cocoa paste or cocoa liquor. A high percentage of cocoa solids indicates more actual chocolate in the product- beware that the higher the percentage, the more intense the flavour!
Something else to look out for is if vegetable or even animal fats are mentioned. Chocolate comes with its own kind of vegetable fat in the form of cocoa butter, so if other types are mentioned, it can be an indication of sub-par ingredients. Dark chocolate can often contain vanilla flavouring- again, natural vanilla flavouring is preferable to something synthetic. Finally, you might be concerned should you see lecithin listed in the ingredients, but there is nothing to worry about. Lecithin is an emulsifier that helps to stablise chocolate and to absorb moisture.