Commercial chocolate versus small business chocolate
Most of us probably recognize commercial chocolate. It is what most of us grew up eating and what we see in supermarkets. This low cost chocolate is mass-produced and made with bulk commodities cacao. There are differences in ingredients, production aims and differences in processing. Let’s look at each of these factors individually
Differences in Ingredients
Take a look at the back of a chocolate bar and you’ll see a high percentage of sugar relative to other ingredients. It also includes non-essential ingredients like vanilla, lecithin and sometimes artificial flavors. None of these are bad, but they are added to homogenize the flavor of the cacao.
While our energy balls and bars are not exactly a chocolate bar, they do hit the spot when you are craving chocolate. Made with the finest quality bean to bar cacao and sweetened with dates and nuts, you get the mood enhancing, blood pressure relieving benefits of cacao, the fiber and iron rich dates and good fats rich nuts and none of the sugar spike of commercial chocolate.
Differences in production aims
Cacao plants for commercial use versus those grown for fine chocolate differ even at the genetic level. Plants meant for commercial chocolate are grown for yield and disease-resistance. Fine chocolate comes from plants that have been selected for good flavor and aroma and not necessarily productivity. Because of this fragility, a lot of care, time and money go into the growth of these plants and that is why it is expensive.
In case of commercial cacao plants, unique flavor of cacao beans can be considered a bad thing. Indeed the homogenization of cacao for consistent taste can be difficult if the beans have flavors that stand out.
Just like coffee, the environmental conditions and the terrain, can also influence the flavor of cacao in addition to the genetic selection of plants.
Differences in processing
To make chocolate, the cacao beans must be fermented and dried. In commercial chocolate, the emphasis is on volume at a low price. The goal is large volume of consistently flavored chocolate. Cacao from different sources is grouped together as a bulk commodity. The individual nuances of flavor do not matter as the taste will eventually be homogenized in the production process.
Fine cacao come from farms where the plant selection, fermentation and drying of the beans are all done with the end flavor in mind. Different plants have different fermentation and drying protocols to allow for a desirable flavor to develop.
In choosing non-commercial cacao, we have tried to make the most flavorful, healthful and delicious products