Thoughts on Chocolate Making by Our Chocolatier.

Thoughts on Chocolate Making by Our Chocolatier.

22nd Aug 2015

1) What makes a quality chocolate? There are many factors that differentiate quality in chocolate. The cocoa bean variety, how ripe it was when picked and how it was handled. Even the sugar content plays into this role and determining quality. We feel lower sugar means higher quality because you get more of the cacao. Our chocolates are made from fresh ripe cocoa beans and with as little sugar to produce the best taste.

http://www.santabarbarachocolate.com/blog/your-wholesale-chocolate-supplier-of-gourmet-bulk-chocolate-couverture/

http://www.santabarbarachocolate.com/shade-grown-chocolate/

2) How do you make gourmet chocolate? The cacao we opt for in making our chocolates must meet several criteria including Ethical trade, cleanliness, GM status and flavor profile. We like to cast the cocoa bean to the chocolate. Some cocoa beans due to their flavor profile are better suited for a particular type of chocolate. For example cocoa beans from the South Pacific tend to be light in flavor with spicy notes and so they work well in milk chocolate. Here are 2 pieces I wrote on the subject.

http://www.santabarbarachocolate.com/cocoa-bean-sourcing-and-testing/

http://www.santabarbarachocolate.com/what-are-the-different-flavor-characteristics-of-cocoa-pods/

3) What is EthicalTrade chocolate? Ethical Trade means we buy our raw ingredients from suppliers that ensure an audit program of fair and living wages along with social and environmental responsibility. Here is a piece I wrote on the subject.

http://www.santabarbarachocolate.com/blog/chocolate-blends-and-ethical-trade-chocolate/

4) Are your chocolate couvertures GMO free? We opt to buy all ingredients that are GM Free.

The truth: But as you likely know pollen floats in the air and settles everywhere (pollen can travel from Canada to Africa for example in the wind and settle in open fields, reservoirs, lakes, rivers etc.). The reality of the situation is GMOs are everywhere and are even found in fields that have never used a GM seed. They could potentially be found in a certified organic food unbeknownst to everyone involved in organic farming. The only way of knowing the truth is if you run a PCR test on every ingredient every time. Most companies do not do this. This is how we approach the subject as we must be conservative under USDA guidelines.

http://www.santabarbarachocolate.com/blog/genetically-engineered-soy-lecithin-and-ge-free-chocolate/

5) What is the difference between your Belgian chocolate versus Rainforest chocolate? Our Belgian chocolate range is made for us in Belgium and has a very distinct European flavor while our Rainforest range is made here in the USA and has a California style and flavor. The Rainforest chocolates are all grown in the natural environment conducive to the best cacao cultivation just like our Rainforest chocolates. Here is a description of what Belgian chocolate tastes like.

http://www.santabarbarachocolate.com/what-is-belgian-chocolate/

Our Rainforest range shows nuances of fruit, nut and fudge like flavors.

Our Belgian chocolates tend to be mild acidity, earthy and with an alkaline like nature.

6) What is the chocolatier's favorite chocolate? All of our chocolates are favorites of mine. I enjoy different ones based on my mood and the day. I feel our 100% cacao is the most amazing of chocolates because it is the true taste of the cacao as raw as it gets. Our unsweetened 100% cacao is made of a blend of our rainforest grown cacao and I feel it exhibits the cocoa bean in the noblest of ways.

http://www.santabarbarachocolate.com/unsweetened-chocolate-100-cacao-medallions/

I hope this helps answer some questions you may have had about Santa Barbara Chocolate.

Sincerely,

Jason