Your Valentine’s Day Chocolate Guide
Your Valentine’s Day Chocolate GuidePosted by Korman Res | Your Valentine’s Day Chocolate Guide
Valentine’s Day and chocolate go together like peanut butter and jelly - but not all chocolate is equal. Like fine wine, there are different types of chocolate with unique flavor profiles (not to mention the myriad of gourmet fillings and toppings). So before you pick up just any old heart-shaped box of chocolates for your honey, stop by a local chocolatier who will introduce you to a whole new world of flavors and textures and help you select a spectacular assortment. In the meantime, here are some interesting facts that will help you navigate your way through the chocolate shop. Happy Valentine’s Day!
Dark Chocolate is made from a combination of cocoa solids, cocoa butter and sugar, but usually contains no milk. Dark chocolate is more intensely flavored and generally less sweet than other types of chocolate, and is often given a percentage to indicate its sweetness. When you see “70% cacao” written on a bar of chocolate, that number indicates the percentage of cocoa (cacao). The remaining 30% is sugar (which, in this case would be 30%). The higher the percentage, the less sweet the chocolate is - and the better it is for you! Studies have shown that dark chocolate (at least 70% cacao) contains powerful antioxidants which provide cardiovascular and anti-inflammatory health benefits.
Milk Chocolate is made from a combination of cocoa solids, cocoa butter, sugar and milk, the latter of which gives it its creaminess. Milk chocolate usually contains more sugar than dark chocolate, so it is also sweeter. Although milk chocolate is still the most popular type of chocolate on the market, it doesn’t provide the health benefits of dark chocolate.
White Chocolate is made from cocoa butter, milk and sugar. Because it contains no cocoa solids, white chocolate doesn’t taste or look like chocolate, but has a sweet, mild flavor and creamy consistency.
Artisan Chocolate is handmade in small batches. You won’t usually find artisan chocolate at your local supermarket, but it can be found in chocolatier shops, boutiques and organic/whole foods markets. Because artisans choose their own cocoa beans rather than buy in bulk like larger chocolate manufacturers, artisan chocolates are generally more expensive than commercial chocolates.
Single Origin chocolate is made from only one type of cocoa bean. Depending on where the beans are harvested from (Venezuela, Ghana, or Costa Rica, for example) the flavor can change significantly. Some taste fruity, some intense and bitter, and some are smooth and mild.
Fair Trade certified cocoa ensures that it is produced by farmers who are paid fairly, and prohibits the purchase of cocoa products from producers who employ slave or child labor (which is a problem in some parts of the world).
Organic chocolate is made from cocoa beans that are harvested from trees free of synthetic herbicides, pesticides or fertilizers. The additional ingredients in organic chocolate (such as sugar or other flavorings) must also be organic.