What Makes Chocolate Gourmet?

Feb 16 '15

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What Makes Chocolate Gourmet?

The word “gourmet” is running rampant in the culinary world. You see it in magazines, blogs, T.V. shows, menus, and anywhere else food is talked about or devoured. It is used so frequently that I often wonder what the criteria are for a food that is “gourmet.” I decided to investigate the inner workings of the gourmet chocolate realm, specifically, and see what makes certain chocolates a step above the rest.

When I think about gourmet chocolate, I imagine chocolatiers in crisp white aprons and chef hats carefully inspecting cacao beans one by one and grinding them to perfection. While my romanticized fantasies of chocolate making may be the result of only learning about chocolate production from twenty second T.V. commercials, I’m actually not too far off. The producers of gourmet chocolate have specific, careful standards for making the most delicious and first-rate chocolate.

The three major factors are the place of origin of the cacao beans, the type of cacao bean used, and how the beans are processed. Experienced chocolatiers understand how the different types of beans and growing conditions, such as climate, soil, and sun exposure can affect the taste, and therefore carefully choose where their cacao beans come from.

The three types of cacao beans are Forastero, Criollo, and Trinitario. Each have different flavors, which means that chocolate producers make sure to carefully decide which type of bean they need for their particular recipe.

Possibly one of the most important factors of gourmet chocolate production is the processing of the cacao beans. Cacao beans meant for high-quality chocolate also undergo fermentation and drying processes. These processes are what give the beans their superior flavor.

As you can see, in terms of chocolate, the word “gourmet” has weight and meaning. So next time you’re at the store deciding on your chocolate fix, you might think about reaching for a gourmet chocolate bar. Your taste buds and chocolatiers alike will thank you.


Article Written By


Scott Reade Mauritzen


Amor Chocolate Fountains


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