How much do you know about this irresistable favourite? Swot up on all things cocoa and become a chocolate connoisseur.
A good bar of chocolate should have an even shine, with no blotches or white bloom. It should break with a good snap, and feel smooth in your mouth.
Keep chocolate in a cool, dark place, well wrapped so it doesn’t take on the flavour of other foods. Never store it in the fridge as temperature changes can spoil a bar.
Try to resist gobbling it all at once. Allow one piece of chocolate to melt in your mouth and take time to notice the different flavours. Enjoy the aromas, too.
Types of chocolate
finest* 85% Dominican Republic Dark
Dark chocolate is made with a high percentage of cocoa mass (the middle of the bean that is milled down into a dark, rich liquid). It ususally contains no added milk.This bar is made with beans from the Dominican Republic and has an intense, fruity, flavour.
finest* 71% Madagascan Dark
Made with cocoa beans from plantations in the Sambirano region of Madagascar, this bar has well-balanced acidity and sweetness. The flavour is of richly roasted cocoa with a hint of honey.
finest* 43% Peruvian Milk
Milk chocolate is made by adding sufficient milk to the mix to give a paler finish and creamy taste and texture. This particular bar is high in cocoa solids, but still has a creamy flavour, with a hint of butterscotch.
finest* Swiss White Chocolate with Vanilla
Unlike milk and dark, white chocolate contains no cocoa mass. Instead, it's made with cocoa butter (the fat that is extracted from the cocoa mass) and milk. This creamy white chocolate has aromatic Madagascan vanilla seeds running through the bar.
finest* Cooking Chocolate Plain
Cooking chocolate is different to eating chocolate. It contains more emulsifiers which make it softer, easier to melt and so perfect for cooking and baking. Plain chocolate is another name for dark chocolate.
Cocoa powder is what’s left after the cocoa butter has been extracted from the cocoa mass. Use it as flavouring in baking or simply add hot milk or hot water to make hot chocolate.
Meet the Expert: Orshi Nementh, Tesco Technical Manager
What do people look for in chocolate?
It wasn’t long ago that we were all happy with just a bar of milk chocolate, but we’re demanding more choice now. Dark chocolate is increasingly popular and people are more aware of the significance of a bar's cocoa percentage. Interesting flavour combinations, such as salted chocolate, are becoming more popular, too.
What’s special about cocoa beans?
A cocoa bean’s flavour profile depends on the variety, where it’s grown and the fermenting process. Beans from the Dominican Republic and Peru tend to have fruity notes, whereas beans from Ecuador tend to have spicy, warm flavours. People want to know more about the provenance of food and chocolate is no exception. It’s why we often state the origin of the beans on the pack.
How do you make sure every bar is delicious?
Our chocolatiers select the very best beans. They oversee every element of the chocolate-making process – from roasting and blending the beans to ‘conching’ or working the chocolate to help bring out whe wonderful flavours.
As featured in the One Mag April 2014.