The three main varieties of cocoa are Forastero, Criollo and Trinitario. Forastero is the most widely available, and comprises 95% of the world's production. Criollo is less resistant to the diseases that normally attack the cocoa plant, and is therefore found in fewer regions. A hybrid of Forastero and Criollo, Trinitario has a higher yield than the former and better resistance than the latter.
The major types of chocolate are dark, milk and white chocolate. Sounds simple but better chocolate manufacturers adhere to higher standards when it comes to producing and naming their goods.
Dark chocolate is generally accepted as having 35% or more cocoa solids. Mokaya Premium contains 60% which more than makes the grade.
In Europe, where they take their chocolate very seriously, not only have they implemented the dark chocolate rule but they also have a milk chocolate rule which requires a minimum of 25% cocoa solids.
In the United States, things are a bit more lax. American chocolate producers require a minimum of 10% chocolate liquor—i.e. the liquid form of chocolate.
White chocolate is not well understood and many substances that are labeled as white chocolate simply are not. In order to truly earn the name in Europe and the United States, wWhite chocolate must contain at least 20% cocoa butter, along with sugar and milk.
The countries that produce the maximum amount of cocoa crops are Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana and Indonesia. However, there are a
number of other countries that contribute to worldwide cocoa production, including Madagascar, Cameroon, Nigeria, Brazil
In its early history cocoa was a form of currency; and a valuable item of trade and tribute. It was an
in negotiations as well as many religious rituals. This sacred nature has transcended millennia to evolve into a love
for chocolate that is omnipresent today. Let's face it, almost everyone loves chocolate. However, like each of us, not all
chocolate is created equally. What separates a mediocre chocolate from a great one?
A lot of what makes a great chocolate is in you—well, in each of us. Our subjective tastes drives our choices. But there are a few things that set up a chocolate to amass a great following.
It starts right at the source: the beans. You don't just select great beans; you ensure optimal fermentation and drying. From there, the process involves a thorough cleaning, proper roasting, gentle grinding, and long periods of conching (or stirring). Above all, an in-depth understanding of flavours and blends, and even textures, goes a long way in creating a recipe for the perfect chocolate.
And your part? That's easy. All you have to do is love it and eat it.