Tag Archive: flavors

5 Trends in the Chocolate Business

Business success comes from having an edge over your competitors. Though, in the global industry of the chocolate market, reportedly worth $98.3 billion or more, how does a chocolate business find opportunities to get ahead?

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Chocolate Tasting

Chocolate never fails to give an enjoyable experience, especially if you are enjoying quality chocolate. It provides rich and intricate flavors that vary from one chocolate to another.

Truth be told, the flavor components found in chocolate are more than those of red wine. You get the full experience in eating chocolate if you savor it by eating slowly. Every type of chocolate offers a different set of flavor profiles.

We know all too well that chocolate is derived from cacao beans, like wine comes from grapes. The flavors of the cacao beans are hugely affected by certain factors, namely geographical location, climate, conditions of the soil they're planted into, the processes they undergo after being harvested, and their unique genotypes. And since there are a lot of factors that influence the flavor of a single chocolate bar, it's crucial to taste meticulously to get the fullest flavor it can give.
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Chocolate Raspberry Drink with Stevia

I recently attended an outdoor BBQ and at the “drink station” was a pitcher of ice water with an assortment of small bottles sitting next to it.  Each bottle had a dropper style lid and inside was flavored liquid sweetened with stevia.  The host encouraged me to create my own sugar-free beverage.

I was intrigued, of course, and poured myself a glass of water.  Then, as instructed, put 6 to 8 drops of liquid flavoring into my glass.  This was a starting point as more can be added according to individual preference. 
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Chocolatier Hachez

In 1890 Joseph Emile Hachez, originally from Belgium, established the Bremer Hachez Chocolade Company in Bremen, Germany.

In 1922, they began producing what would become their signature product, a chocolate autumn leaf called Brown Leaves.


Brown Leaves comes in either solid milk or dark chocolate or praline leaves filled with fine nougat.  This traditional line of chocolates is only part of what they offer now.
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Changing Reputation in Peru with Cacao

Peru is not known for growing cacao.  It is better know for growing coca.  The leaves of the coca plant are used in the production of cocaine.  Coca is a much more profitable crop for farmers.  Until now.

The San Martin region, after years of programs promoting cacao as an alternative crop to coca, recently won a prestigious award from the Salon du Chocolat in Paris for growing the most aromatic cacao beans.

La Orquidea is one company in Peru dedicated to growing cacao and producing aromatic, flavorful chocolates.  They keep chocolate production near the fields of cacao and provide well paying jobs for women in Peru.   
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Chocolate and Balsamic Vinegar Pair Well

Chocolate and balsamic vinegar doesn’t sound like it would make a good couple, but I recently had a reason to try it.  My sister gave me a bottle of Chocolate Balsamic Vinegar by Oro di Oliva for my birthday.

This unique vinegar makes an outstanding marinade for chicken or pork or pour it over fresh berries.  On the Oro di Oliva label, it is suggested I drizzle it on ice cream – strange, but I’ll try it!
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Defining “Quality” Chocolate

Every chocolate shop I visit insists that their chocolate is the best quality, gourmet, premium.  So, when talking about chocolate, what does “quality” mean exactly?

The U.S. FDA has produced formal standards of identity that legally define chocolate and all its related ingredients and by-products.  But, read through all that and you will discover there is nothing that defines the “quality” of chocolate. 

Of course there are standards of “Quality Assurance” within each processing step of making chocolate.  These control standards start with the cocoa bean and follow through to the finished product.  But following these rules means that pretty much any final chocolate available for purchase could be defined as being a “quality” chocolate.
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Valrhona Chocolate at the Grocery Store

I dislike grocery shopping.  Yet, once in a while, I do have brief feelings of enjoyment when I discover something unexpected.

During my most recent trip to the store I found myself downright giddy.  My thrill came from a new addition in the candy/chocolate aisle – a line of chocolate bars from Valrhona.  It was like finding gemstones among rocks.

Valrhona is known as a top leader in the world of chocolate, Le Grand Chocolat.  They were founded in 1922 in France.  They have a reputation for supplying the finest chocolate ingredients to restaurants, bakeries, and chocolate shops.
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Truffles – Unique Chocolate Gifts

Survey after survey shows chocolate as the number one flavor preferred by American adults.  I admit to being one of those chocolate loving adults!

I’m a chocolate lover that never tires of chocolate as a gift, chocolate as a treat, and chocolate as part of my everyday diet.  At the present, though, I am particularly fond of seeking out unique chocolate.

What do I mean by unique?

Unique can mean different things to different people but for me, unique chocolate is handcrafted, creative in design/presentation, and exotic in flavor.   The chocolate truffle embodies all these characteristics for me.  In my book, the chocolate truffle is the Queen of unique.
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Chocolate and Food Pairings

A few days ago I walked into my kitchen and saw my 12 year old daughter take out a bowl of melted milk chocolate from the microwave and dip a stick of string cheese into it.  Yummy she crooned. 

I was not so sure about that combination, but I tried it anyway.  Actually, it was not bad. 

Lately, I have been eating all sorts of chocolate and food pairings that I never thought I would enjoy.  For example, I recently ate a dark chocolate covered piece of bacon I bought from my local chocolates shop.  You heard right, bacon!  It was very delicious.
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