How do you like your chocolate? Single origin or blended? Kinder or Lindt? My guess is that you choose chocolate by brand, so your answer is likely to be either Kinder, Lindt, or any other brand that satisfies your chocolate cravings!
Indeed, many chocolate lovers don't know much about chocolate beyond the top brands on the market. As a chocolate aficionado, you should also be able to tell whether your chocolate is single origin or blended.
This article presents what you need to know about single origin chocolate so that when you pop into a café for your daily chocolate fix, you know exactly what you’re getting. Let’s get into it.
What’s Single Origin Chocolate?
What’s the meaning of single origin chocolate? It’s really simple. Single origin chocolate is manufactured from a single variety of cocoa beans grown and harvested in a specific region. However, the debate about whether origin refers to a region in general (such as South America) or a country in particular (such as Brazil) has never really been settled. Nonetheless, this is an important debate, because a single variety of cocoa beans can grow in two or more regions or countries.
For example, Forastero, which makes up 85% of the world’s cocoa production - grows in a number of countries, including Brazil, Ghana, and Malaysia. Does this mean a chocolate bar that features Forastero cocoa beans harvested in Brazil and Ghana is single origin? Absolutely not. But if you’ve got candy produced only from Forastero cocoa beans harvested in either Brazil or Ghana, you’re staring at a single origin chocolate bar!
Why Does It Matter?
Why is it important to know whether the chocolate you consume is single origin? Cocoa beans from different regions have different flavors. Like other fruits, type of soil, climate, and other growing conditions define the flavor of cocoa beans.
Even though the ingredients and production techniques used by a manufacturer can spice up the taste experience of chocolate, the origin of the beans makes a big difference. This means if the cocoa beans are naturally bitter, there is only so much a manufacturer can do to substantially change the taste of the final product. Therefore, knowing the origin of various cocoa beans helps you understand why some chocolates are sweet, bitter, salty, savory, or acidic.
Develop a Better Awareness of Chocolate Origin
If you’re passionate about chocolate, then you ought to care about your favorite chocolate beyond its taste, aroma, and mouthfeel. Understanding its origins gives you a better perspective of the conditions in the fields where the beans used to make your favorite chocolate are grown.
For instance, you will know whether the farmers use organic or other farming methods. Such information can change your views about different brands, especially when you learn that some manufacturers use inorganic cocoa beans.
Summing Things Up
Knowing whether chocolate is single origin or blended can shape your preferences. But if you’re a purist looking for chocolate with a unique flavor that reflects the origin of the beans, always choose single origin chocolate. The higher quality Trinitario beans are typically used for the production of single origin chocolate. Do you prefer single origin chocolate? We'd love to hear your thoughts!
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