Dark chocolate is popular among chocolate connoisseurs in the U.S., Europe, and all over the world and it is one of the best feel-good snacks for health conscious individuals. In this blog post, we will explain what dark chocolate is and why people love it. Then, we’ll share some dark chocolate health benefits and describe the four main types of cocoa used to make dark chocolate. Finally, we will discuss why it’s important for chocolate enthusiasts to be discerning when choosing dark chocolate products.
What Is Dark Chocolate?
Chocolate is a well-known food product created from cocoa beans that grow on cacao trees, based on Britannica resources. Dark chocolate is a type of chocolate that contains 50% to 90% of cocoa solids plus cocoa butter and sugar, according to the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Unlike milk chocolate, it does not include milk among its ingredients, although some milk traces may be found due to cross-contamination during the manufacturing process.
Why Do People Love Dark Chocolate?
Let us discuss the different reasons why chocolate lovers are passionate about dark chocolate:
Dark chocolate has a higher concentration of cocoa than other forms of chocolate. That’s why it is the preferred chocolate for people who want to enjoy the health benefits and pure taste of cocoa.
Dark chocolate health benefits arise from its rich antioxidant and flavanol content which can improve heart and brain health. BBC Good Food reports that eating foods with these properties can lower the risk of heart conditions, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s disease.
Dark chocolate has a unique taste which features an attractive combination of sweetness, bitterness, and sourness. Many people enjoy the roasted, fruity aroma of cocoa and its creamy, velvety texture. Nevertheless, the flavor of dark chocolate may vary depending on its quality and production process. The percentage of cocoa has a major impact on the level of bitterness present in each chocolate confection. Aside from this, Barry Callebaut explains that the notes of dark chocolate may be fruity, flora, spicy, or vegetal, depending on the origin of the cocoa beans.
What Are The 4 Types Of Cocoa?
There are four main types of cocoa commonly used to make chocolate candy:
- Forastero: Forastero is one of the most common varieties of cocoa used in chocolate production all over the globe, according to the University of Queensland (UQ). This cocoa bean originated in Brazil and is now primarily grown in West Africa and South East Asia. It is the most widely grown cocoa variety because of a robust, earthy flavor, resilience to disease and high yields.
- Trinitario: Trinitario accounts for 15% of the world's cocoa production. It is a hybrid variety, crossed between Forastero and Criollo and was created in Trinidad after a severe plant epidemic destroyed the cacao trees. It has a broad range of flavor profiles and belongs to fine flavor cocoa.
- Arriba Nacional: Nacional is one of the most exclusive types of cocoa because of its rarity and is now exclusively grown in Ecuador. It is a fine flavor cocoa and accounts for 4% of cocoa production. This variety, which was rediscovered in Peru in 2011, showcases a creamy, rich flavor with only hints of bitterness.
- Criollo: Criollo is valued by chocolate manufacturers since the cocoa beans produce extremely fine cocoa with minimal bitterness. Criollo is a very rare and precious variety of cacao native to South America, it is the original cacao of the Maya. Only 1% of cocoa production is Criollo and one of the largest producers of Criollo beans is Venezuela (Chuao and Porcelana). Criollo is a a true delicacy.
Choose High-quality Dark Chocolate
The bitterness of dark chocolate depends on the type of cocoa used, as well as the cocoa quality and production process. High-quality dark chocolate has minimal bitterness and different flavor notes, giving it an interesting, complex flavor.
That’s why chocolate lovers should be discerning when choosing chocolate products. Purchase premium dark chocolate from our website to maximize your enjoyment of cocoa goodness and dark chocolate health benefits.
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