Chocolate Tales Article

Decoding Chocolate: A Dive into Its Varieties and Vocabulary

Have you ever wondered about the terminology behind the delightful world of chocolate? Let’s unravel the tasty mysteries of chocolate terminology!

Antioxidants: Found in plants, these protect our cells from harmful free radicals. Dark chocolate is packed with them, helping reduce the risks of diseases.

Baker’s Chocolate vs. Baking Chocolate: Yes, there’s a brand named “Baker’s Chocolate,” but baking chocolate is unsweetened, pure chocolate magic, typically used in, well, baking.

Bean to Bar: Chocolate makers get cacao beans and craft chocolate from the ground up. It’s like farm-to-table but for choco-lovers!

Bloom: Have you seen white or greyish spots on chocolate? That’s bloom! There are two kinds:

     Sugar Bloom: Happens in cold, damp places. The chocolate gets white sugar specks and feels a tad gritty.

     Fat Bloom: This happens when chocolate faces temperature changes, resulting in a greyish-white film.

Bittersweet Chocolate: It’s like semisweet chocolate’s intense cousin, with more cacao and less sugar.

Cacao or Cocoa?: Ever noticed these similar-sounding words? While some believe ‘cocoa’ is a typo, the term ‘cacao’ covers everything from the pod to the powder.

Cacao Beans: These are the magical seeds inside cacao pods. Once upon a time, we grouped them as Criollo, Forastero, and Trinitario. But science revealed a wider variety – ten groups to be exact!

Cacao Belt: Imagine a tropical belt around the equator, 20 degrees on each side. This is where cacao plants dance in delight.

Cacao Butter: It’s more than half of a cacao bean, and it’s why white chocolate exists. And it melts like a dream on your tongue.

Cacao Mass: Ground cacao nibs produce this paste, a primary ingredient in chocolate.

Cacao Nibs: The heart of the cacao bean. These are chocolate’s starting point!

Cacao Percentage: Notice a “% Cacao” on a chocolate bar? It shows the cacao content. More percentage means less sugar, but taste varies!

Chocolate Maker vs. Chocolatier: A chocolate maker crafts chocolate from scratch, while a chocolatier uses that chocolate to create heavenly treats.

Conching: A critical step in chocolate-making, churning chocolate for hours or even days, refining its texture and flavour.

Dark Chocolate: Think of it as the superhero of chocolates – made from cacao beans and sugar, sometimes with a hint of vanilla.

Direct Trade: Cutting out the middleman! Chocolate companies deal straight with the cacao farmers.

Dutch Cocoa Powder: Cacao beans treated with alkaline salts produce this, but it might have fewer flavours and antioxidants.

Fair Trade Certified: It’s a stamp ensuring that cacao farmers get a fair deal. However, it’s complex, so always dig deeper if this matters to you!

Fermentation: After harvesting, cacao pods ferment for flavour development. It’s like letting the chocolate’s personality shine!

Lecithin: This tiny ingredient helps make the chocolate’s texture just right.

Melanger: A stone grinder that blends cacao nibs into a smooth liquid known as chocolate liquor. Sugar can be added during this process.

Milk Chocolate: Chocolate made with cacao, sugar, and milk. In the U.S., it must contain at least 10% chocolate liquor and 12% milk solids.

Roasting: The process where cacao beans are heated to bring out flavours and aromas after being harvested, fermented, and dried.

Semisweet Chocolate: It has more sugar and less cacao compared to bittersweet chocolate, but the distinction is sometimes blurred.

Single Estate: Chocolate made from cacao sourced from one specific plantation or estate.

Single-Origin: Chocolate made from cacao sourced from a particular location, emphasizing the unique taste of that region.

Sustainable: Chocolate that is traceable from its source to production, promoting fair practices and environmental care.

Tempering: Heating and cooling chocolate to stabilize cacao butter crystals, ensuring the final product has a shiny finish and a crisp snap.

Terroir: Refers to the environmental factors that influence the flavour of cacao, like soil and climate.

Theobroma Cacao: The scientific name for the cacao tree.

Theobromine: A health-beneficial compound found in chocolate. It’s a mild stimulant with various health advantages.

Tree to Bar: A chocolate production method where the maker oversees every step, starting with the cacao tree’s care.

Unsweetened Chocolate: Chocolate with no sugar, often used in baking.

White Chocolate: Made from cacao butter, sugar, milk solids, and vanilla, but contains no cacao solids.

Winnowing: The process of cracking roasted cacao beans and separating the edible nibs from the shell.

Xocoatl: An ancient term believed to reference cacao, translating to “bitter water.”



What is the term used for chocolate?

The term “chocolate” is derived from the Aztec word “xocolātl,” which translates to “bitter water.” It signifies the original unsweetened beverage made from cacao beans.

What are chocolate pieces called?

Chocolate pieces, especially small, irregular bits, are commonly referred to as “chocolate chips.” They are popular in baking and confections.

What are the 6 types of chocolate?

The six types of chocolate are Milk, Dark, White, Ruby, Bittersweet, and Unsweetened. Each offers a unique flavour and usage in culinary arts.