Your Foolproof Guide to Understanding Artisanal Chocolates
The word "artisan" resonates with authenticity, goodwill, and trust for most of us. As for artisanal chocolates, they are made by hand and in small batches, using pure cocoa butter from sustainable cocoa sources around the world. However, you won't find it in the mass-produced chocolates that dominate the chocolate industry.
What Is The Process Of Producing Artisanal Chocolate?
Artisanal chocolate production starts by melting the cocoa butter. As it melts, it is mixed with multiple fresh ingredients with minimal preservatives to ensure that the result will have the most refined and exquisite taste unique to artisanal chocolates.
A rigorous process – crafting artisanal chocolate involves roasting, winnowing, grinding, pressing, conching, tempering, molding, & packing the ingredient.
How Nutritious Is Artisanal Chocolate?
Since artisanal chocolates boast high cocoa content, such as dark artisanal chocolates, it contains about 70% – 99% cocoa, whereas the artisanal milk chocolates have about 35% – 65%. So, when you buy a bar of artisanal chocolate, it's quite nutritious as it holds a decent amount of soluble fiber and is loaded with minerals.
Is Artisanal Chocolate Healthy & Organic?
All chocolate bars may not be made with the same components, but most artisanal chocolates surely have the following pointed out on their labels:
- Certified Organic
- Vegan Friendly
- Dairy-Free (for dark chocolate bars)
- Zero Preservatives
What Are The Two Kinds Of Artisanal Chocolate?
Let's start with bean-to-bar chocolates to understand the two kinds of artisanal chocolates. Best described as an all-inclusive process, where the brand controls every stage of production. It describes the process from the purchasing of the beans to the actual creation of the chocolate bar. Nowadays, many chocolatiers are using this trade model to encourage traceability & ensure best practices are employed and regulated on how workers are treated.
Now, for fine chocolates (specialty chocolates), it refers to the quality of cocoa used during production. This chocolate is made with the finest cocoa beans. But to produce these high-quality cocoa beans, the farmers ferment the pulp for 5-6 days & then dry them manually or via mechanical dryers. Once the beans reach about 7% – 7.5% moisture content, they are packaged and made available for production.
How Do You Store Artisanal Chocolates?
We're used to storing our regular chocolates in the refrigerator in freezing temperatures, but artisanal chocolates need a little more care. Ideally, the chocolate is kept at temperatures ranging from 16°C to 22°C for the perfect taste & keeping it in a cool & dry container helps avoid condensation on the surface.
Avoid storing your chocolates in places where the taste of the chocolate might get affected. Keeping it away from strong odors & extreme temperatures can maintain good quality and rich flavor.
So enjoy the world of artisanal chocolates and savor every bite of it!