|CHOCOLATE IS CHOCOLATE, RIGHT?
In a nutshell, no.
When it comes to chocolate, there are many levels of quality. Much like wine, the crafting of a fine chocolate involves a complex process with dozens of variables. This process can result in a truly spectacular chocolate (or, one that tastes like leftover rations from WWII).
So without going into too much detail (and trust us, we would LOVE going into great detail about this stuff, but you would probably fall asleep before we got more than a few hundred paragraphs down), here's a few tidbits of information you can share with friends while enjoying your favorite Cocoa Bon chocolates.
Ingredients: Natural or Artificial
Believe it or not, most chocolate contains artificial ingredients and preservatives. We don't use any and think you should avoid chocolates that do. What to avoid:
Vanillin: Sounds like vanilla but it's not. An artificial preservative.
Trans Fats (aka Partially Hydrogenated Oils): Run from these! They are reported to lower your body's good cholesterol and raise the bad cholesterol.
The cacao Bean:
There are different species of cacao trees that yield beans of different characteristics. The quality of the bean is essential to the overall quality of the chocolate it will become. Some blend beans from different species to make their chocolate while some concentrate on using only beans from a particular species or varietal. Criollo, for example, is known as the finest of the cacao bean varietals.
Also known as the soil and/or region where the cacao bean is grown. South America, Africa, Indonesia, all are regions where cacao beans are grown and harvested. Many believe the soil imparts the greatest influence to the flavor of the cacao bean.
This is where man gets involved. And like many things, when man gets involved things can get screwed up. The chocolate maker is a true craftsman. Blending and roasting cacao beans from different regions to make a truly unique product takes years of training and lots of creative talent.