Fine vs. Bulk
Fine Flavored Cocoa vs. Bulk Cocoa
Without precise consensus but close to reality, it is been said that World cocoa production is around 98% bulk and 2% fine. Among all the possibilities available in groceries, product labeling and marketing adds, how do you know what is fine flavor chocolate and what is not?
Here some tips about it. First, check the amount of Ingredients, fine flavour chocolate is made with no more than three, cocoa mass from nibs, cocoa butter and a sweetener; it is at least 70% and usually the origin is posted. One more, usually retailed at specialized chocolate boutiques.
Now, let's get to the details. fine chocolate is made with fine cocoa which has a particular flavour associated to the bean itself as it happens with fine wine, champagne or coffee or a single scotch.
The environmental and agricultural conditions, such as climate, soil type, temperature, precipitation, amount and intensity of daily sun light, brightness, humidity, associated plants and crops are some of the parameters that characterize what is known as "terroir".
Thus, it is the "terroir" who naturally gives the cocoa bean, besides the particular chocolate taste, different profile notes of fresh fruits, berries, tropical fruits, dry fruits, nuts, herbs, flowers, spices, smoky, earthy, molasses, honey, and more.
The craft chocolate maker enhances the natural flavour of a particular cocoa bean while adding a sweetener and avoiding other ingredients that could affect in any way the inner flavour notes of the cocoa bean.
The origin of the cocoa bean described in the label of fine chocolate allows consumers to associate that specific flavor of chocolate with the "terroir".
On the other corner, bulk cocoa is mainly used to obtain cocoa butter, a very expensive commodity. Once the cocoa butter is extracted from the bean, the byproduct, roughly 50% of the cocoa bean, is what large corporations uses to make candy chocolate.
That byproduct is extremely bitter and unpleasant by itself so with a lot of sugar added and at least five more artificial and natural ingredients it becomes candy chocolate to be retailed at grocery stores. This is the reason why candy chocolates taste almost the same regardless the brand.