Guide to buying the best chocolates

January 28th, 2016

There was a time when chocolates were mainly associated with Hershey’s and Lindt bars. Now, there a variety of new chocolate brands in the market. All of these are pretty expensive and you need to know the tips to paying the price if you buy chocolates online or offline. So let’s get started.

See that the chocolate has ‘bean to bar’ written on it – For a good dark chocolate, this phrase is a must on the wrapper. Many of the brands make use of cocoa mass or cocoa powder from other big companies and add a few ingredients to these and then shape them into bars. The makers of beans to bars commence with roast and whole cocoa bean and together conche them into bars in their respective factories.  The companies make use of flavour beans, and it means that the cocoa itself is of a high quality, and its bars reflect the distinct flavour and fragrance. There are lots and lots of makers of bean to bar chocolates. Their labels will be a proof of their designation.

Look for direct trade or fair trade chocolates – One issue with chocolates is the ethics, just the way many ingredients, which come from the third world countries. The farmers are paid very less for all their hard work, and even in the cocoa industry, child slavery has paved its way. A fair trade chocolate signifies that, in the developing countries, the farmers are paid well and sometimes even more than entitled, from third parties. On the other hand, the direct trade chocolate signifies that the maker of the chocolate has bought and made the pay for the beans from the farmer directly and for them making good terms with good farmers is very important. They are this secretive about the source from where they get the beans. So, if you read direct trade on the chocolate, you are buying good stuff.

The country where it came from –Hershey’s used uses a mix of chocolates from various countries to make a signature taste. Many other high-end makers too blend beans, but they often make what we call the “single-origin” chocolates, in which all of the beans are from the same country — and one single farm. Each country’s beans are different in taste, and you get an amazing sense of these flavours in the bar with only those beans. Whether they are creating single-origin bar or even a blend, any high-quality brands will for sure list the beans’ countries on the label. Most flavourful of all beans come from South and Central America or the Southeast Asia, but occasionally you can also find few from Africa.

Ingredients and amount of cocoa – Eventually, how the chocolate will look and taste depends upon the ingredients and the percentage of cocoa. If you want milk chocolate, it should have at least 60% cocoa content.

So, when you buy chocolates by post or send as gifts to your loved ones, keep all of these points in mind to buy the best quality chocolates.