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Category Archives: ChocolateFriends

Its all about chocolate and cocoa with a conscience.

Fermentation & Flavor Development

In the chocolate industry, fermentation is considered one of the crucial steps for the development of all the amazing flavors we experience in fine chocolate. The harvested beans, still covered in their white pulp, are loaded into buckets and transported to a central fermentation area for processing, often mixed in with beans from neighboring farms. Farmers then transfer the cocoa beans to specialized fermenting “sweatboxes”, usually covering them with banana leaves. Here is where the magic happens, or rather where science and nature join forces to develop the precursors of all the chocolatey flavors we so adore.

The process works something like this: the sugars inside the white pulp – glucose, fructose and sucrose – are transformed into alcohol. The alcohol then turns into acetic acid that diffuses into the beans themselves. The chemical reactions involved in fermentation produce a significant amount of heat, making the pile of beans reach temperatures up to 55°C after a few days. The germ within the bean dies and this triggers the release of enzymes. These enzymes are important for the development of chocolate flavors. We can say that these naturally occurring microorganism kick-start the fermentation process, changing the sugars in the pulp to organic acids, and giving the beans their flavor.

After 2-3 days, farmers turn the pile over. This helps to ensure an even fermentation and introduces air into the fermentation process which, depending on the cacao variety, can last up to 7 days.

Fermentation has such a big impact on the cocoa beans that, even by using the same exact cocoa beans, results can vary widely when tiny changes are made during the fermentation process (how long the beans stay inside the boxes, how many times they are turned, etc). Some craft chocolate makers have fun experimenting with cacao that has been subjected to different fermentation protocols. The results are chocolate bars with completely different aromatic profiles, even if they are made with the exact same beans!

thanks to DENNIS VAN ESSEN

 

What’s the REAL expiration date of chocolate bars?

When you buy a chocolate bar, you are inclined to check the expiration date written on the packaging to figure out how long the chocolate will be edible for (in case this is even an issue). Or in other cases, you will find a chocolate bar hidden somewhere in your house and look at the expiration date to see if it’s still safe to eat.

You might be surprised to know that, despite the expiration date, chocolate stays edible and safe to eat for longer than what’s indicated on the packaging.

Chocolate bars last longer than other foods because there is no water activity in them, which means that there is no environment for bacterial growth. Also the amount of cocoa butter in it has a stabilizing effect on the chocolate. This is why you will rarely find a proper Expiration Date on chocolate bars, but most likely a Best Before Date, to indicate that the chocolate will maintain its best aromatic and textural properties until that period of time.

However, chocolate makers, whether artisanal or industrial, are very cautious with best before dates. They’d rather indicate a shorter time-frame than a longer one.

Chocolate bars are best eaten as fresh as possible, but they can still be considered edible a few months after the best before date printed on the packaging. Depending on the type of chocolate, the integrity of the package and the kind of storage, there are some general indications to follow.

Dark chocolate is known for lasting longer than milk and white chocolate.The absence of dairy content makes it less perishable. If unopened and stored properly, dark chocolate lasts 2 years (from the day it was made). If opened, but still stored properly, the rule of thumb is one year.
As for milk and white chocolate bars, the time available is cut in half. One year if unopened and stored properly, and 6-8 months if opened and stored properly.

Some chocolate professionals also believe that chocolate becomes better as time goes by. Like wine, some new flavors may develop in the chocolate bar with aging.

22 SEPTEMBER 2020 BY DENNIS VAN ESSEN

 

Chocolate gets its origin and domestication story rewritten

Long believed to have been domesticated in Central America some 4,000 years ago, cacao has a more interesting story than previously thought #WorldChocolateDay
https://www.nationalgeographic.com/culture/2018/10/chocolate-domestication-cocoa-ecuador/?cmpid=org=ngp::mc=social::src=twitter::cmp=editorial::add=tw20200707hist-resurfcocoahistory::rid=&sf235736518=1
 

For those who think white chocolate isn’t ‘real’ chocolate, have we got bars for you – The Washington Post

White chocolate with almond. Black base, chocolate in the background.
Available in our shop.

for-those-who-think-white-chocolate-isnt-real-chocolate

 

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Eerlijk avondje is gekomen – Pakhuis de Zwijger

  • Als sociale wetenschapper heeft Anna Laven zich gespecialiseerd in duurzame economische ontwikkeling. Meer dan tien jaar is ze hiermee bezig bij het KIT Royal Tropical Institute. Een van haar expertises is duurzame cacao. Zo deed ze grootschalig onderzoek in de groeiende cacao regio’s van Ghana en Ivoorkust naar waarom en hoe huishoudens cacao verbouwen en naar vrouwenongelijkheid in deze sector.
  • Philipp Kauffman is de oprichter en Chief Grower van Original Beans, een chocoladebedrijf dat de wereld beter maakt door chocolade. Original Beans heeft namelijk een Chocolate Foodprint: in 2018 beschermde het bedrijf samen met klanten, partners en boeren bosgebieden ter grootte van 24.300 voetbalvelden en betaalde 210% meer voor cacao dan de Fairtrade prijs. Tijdens zijn presentatie zal Philipp een aantal duurzame kwaliteitschocolades laten proeven. Ervaar dus zelf hoe chocolades van verschillende origine smaken!

Wat moet er nog gebeuren op weg naar écht eerlijke chocola?

 

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When your boy likes chocolate!

 

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Child Labor in Your Chocolate? Check Our Chocolate Scorecard…

Godiva has committed to “100% sustainable cocoa by 2020,” but has not provided information about who is certifying its cocoa, nor shared any progress or plans regarding their commitment.

Green America

 

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Welke chocolade gaan we morgen eten?

Welke chocolade gaan we morgen eten?

Creating awareness for a more direct trade and enhanced cocoa quality for the Democratic Republic of Congo. You want to know more? You want to be the first @patisserievercruysse to try a sample? Find out this weekend #sharewathisgreatandgoodinthisworld #geertvercruysse #kortrijk #doorniksewijk @zotocacao #rikolto #rdc #zoipapalexandratou #smallholders #kilimamwenza #manya — bij Share what is great and good in the world!

 

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Vegan, gluten free and soy free…

BUT WHY UNROASTED?
We simply love the bold, bright, and fruitier flavor of unroasted cacao beans. We couldn’t find these flavors in other chocolate since most of what is available is made with roasted cacao beans, so we decided to make our own.

We go for the yin and the yang, brighten up and cocoa for coconut @raakachocolate.com #nongmo #usda #transparantie #limitedstock #canesugarfree http://www.patisserievercruysse.com #sharewathisgreatandgoodinthisworld #geertvercruysse #kortrijk #doorniksewijk115 #quality #sale #doorniksewijk

 

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Perfect Daily Grind

The Cacao and Coffee series: In coffee we refer to many of the varieties coming from Ethiopia and East Africa, the birthplace of coffee, as “heirloom” and not as each specific variety. There are so many varieties, and local names differ to internationally accepted names in any case.⁣

⁣We can say the same about wild cacao from the Amazon region. There are so many cacao varieties that people decide to call them wild cacao instead of Amelonado, Catongo, Trinitario, etc. These wild cacao varieties usually come with an exotic taste due to its nature, similar to heirloom coffee varieties. You could call it birthplace diversity explosion!⁣

source: PDG Cacao Instagram

 

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