At one point in time, you’ve probably had some chocolate. That’s nothing to think twice about. In fact, it’s estimated that around 1 billion people eat chocolate every day. But what is it that drives people to buy a certain chocolate? While a shiny wrapper may be appealing to the eyes, it doesn’t necessarily translate to great flavor or attention to detail. That’s where craft chocolate comes in.You’ve heard of craft beer and specialty coffee, but what is craft chocolate?
Many terms used to define it are ubiquitous - there are no standardized definitions to explain “artisanal” or “bean-to-bar”. The truth is, specialty chocolate is still defining itself. What isn’t up for debate is the underlying feature of craft chocolate: the quality, the flavor, and process it takes to make it. Craft chocolate is made through rigorous oversight and a careful blending of cacaos that are processed through a season.
As an agricultural product, a variety of growing, processing and mixing conditions affect the flavors and smell of the end product. While mass-produced bars come from companies that use any of the cacao they can get their hands on, craft chocolate makers discard inferior cacao beans.This puts specialty chocolate is in a league of its own when it comes to quality. The industry is being built on a fraction of 1 percent of the cacao supply - the best of the best - and it’s still growing.
So how does a chocolate lover make an informed decision on what to pick? It starts by tasting all you can. And walking into chocolate specialty store with a $10 bill can lead you to eat some of the best chocolates in the world.