Debunking chocolate myths: #2

All chocolate is not the same.

I’ve been known to spend a ridiculous amount of money on artisan chocolate. While in New York City a few summers ago, I visited four chocolate shops. I wanted to try everything and couldn’t choose, so I ended up buying the largest box possible from each chocolatier. Let’s just say that it wasn’t cheap.

Why spend so much money on something so fleeting? Well, I’d like to turn the question around: wouldn’t you rather spend good money on good products, rather than spend little money on something bad?

Good chocolatiers will only use real ingredients that you can pronounce. Typically, that means cream, chocolate, butter, and whatever flavours they’re adding. The main concern is for richness, mouth feel, and the flavour profile. You’re paying for the time and care that went into developing the recipe, and for the expertise of the people making the chocolate.

On the other hand, cheap, mass-produced is full of fillers: fondant (sugar, sugar, and more sugar), corn syrup (blech), stabilizers, cheap oils, and goodness konws what else. The main concern is to extend shelf life. Flavour is non-existent. You’re more likely to notice that your teeth feeling like they’re rotting.

Just like with anything else, you get what you pay for. I choose to spend my money on high-quality, artisan chocolateĀ – maybe a little less often than I’d like, but those are the breaks. Life is too short to eat cheap chocolate.

Published by: Eagranie

7 years as a chemist + 9 months of culinary school + 2 years as a pastry chef & chocolatier + a lifetime of writing = this blog. This blog won't always be about chocolate, but it will almost certainly be about food. The name of the blog is a triple play on words. 1. It's a nod to my training as a classical pianist. Among other fantastic accomplishments, J.S. Bach combined technical prowess with artistic inspiration and penned the 24 preludes & fugues that make up The Well-Tempered Clavier, Books I and II. 2. In order to behave properly, chocolate needs to be tempered. In a nutshell, tempering prompts the chocolate to assume its most stable crystalline form (beta prime, if you're interested) so that it is shiny, snappy, and as stable as it can be. 3. Depending on my mood and how we meet, you might agree that I'm well-tempered. Or not.

Categories 2009, Food scienceTags4 Comments

4 thoughts on “Debunking chocolate myths: #2”

  1. Do you know why cheap chocolate bars usually have a waxy look /texture to them? They don’t literally add wax do they?? :S

  2. Hear, hear. I remember when I was a teenager discovering Lindt chocolate for the first time, and I actually was angry that I spent so many years thinking that Hershey’s was all there was!

    Casual Kitchen

  3. Sometimes they do add wax. Gross, eh? More often, companies add hydrogenated or modified vegetable oils to their chocolate. The combination of fats results in a waxy texture, and that gross feeling on your tongue. They will also add more sugar and less actual cocoa mass, in an attempt to fool your taste buds.

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