Ah, chocolate. In this world, there are all kinds of it – milk, dark, white, hazelnut, caramel, and the list goes to infinity.
And as there are that many kinds, they also vary in quality. Today, you will learn how to recognize good chocolate and know if it’s worth the price tag.
Tip #1: Check the price
Just because these truffles are pretty, it does not signify they are of very good quality. Chocolate from a reputed chocolatier is hand-made and unique – you are paying for special attention to detail, creativity, and top-quality ingredients.
Tip #2: Look at the ingredients
Ingredients that good chocolate is made of are cocoa solids and cocoa butter, as well as vanilla and lecithin. If the ingredients contain additional fats, Dutch cocoa, and sugar at the top of the list, as well as some ingredients you have never heard of – pick a different brand.
Tip #3: Check the date
Commercial or retail chocolates usually have a longer expiration date that quality, handmade chocolates. The more recent manufacture date means the fresher it will be. Remember this information:
- dark chocolate is fine within twelve months
- milk chocolate within six months
- white chocolate within eight months.
Tip #4: Use your sense of smell
High-quality chocolate has a strong “chocolaty” smell. If the chocolate doesn’t have that fragrance, it either means it’s lower in quality or its just old.
Tip #5: Use your sense of sight
If you can see the chocolate through its packaging, look for a smooth, glossy bar, without bubbles and blemishes. If there are white areas on the surface of dark or milk chocolate, it’s a sign that the preservation process has been inferior.
Tip #6: Use your sense of hearing
Although you obviously can’t do this at the store, ask if you could purchase a small sample of the chocolate you have chosen. Break it in half and if it falls apart, or breaks with a dull thud, it’s a fair indication of poor quality. On the other side, high-quality chocolate should break with a sharp, clear ‘snap’.
Tip #7: Use your sense of touch
If you put a small square of chocolate in your hand, close your hand and hold it for 20 seconds. If it melts, it means it’s good quality.
Tip #8: Use your sense of taste
Best quality chocolate is silky smooth and creamy (because of the high cocoa butter content) and instantly begins to melt in your mouth. The flavor will also linger in your mouth. If you notice a gritty texture, it’s likely that it is not of good quality.