With a variety of complex flavors found in each bite, fine chocolate offers not only a wonderful taste experience, but the oppertunity to develop true connoisseurship. Of course, only some flavors and aromas will be found in some chocolates, but chocolate from the same origin should in general have characteristics (citrus and robust, e.g., vs tobacco, caramel and blueberry).
Geert may not be so well known in this country, well probably no-one here would of heard of him. But I absolutely adored the ganaches he created, the variety of the flavours and the passion that he exhibits. Visit Belgium – if only for his chocolates and check the best chocolaterie in Kortrijk.
For the discerning chocoholic with a passion for flavour, Chocolatier Vercruysse is a delectable dream. Dedicated to the finest quality ingredients and creating inventive yet enticing taste combinations, Geert has a dedicated following among chocophiles. Here you will be savouring some of the best chocolate in the world.
Why should we care about commercial versus fine chocolate?
In order to speak, write and teach about the world of chocolate I have found it necessary to divide it up into two categories "commercial" and "fine". The reason for this is to be able to compare chocolates to others in their general category rather than to compare each individual bar of chocolate to every other chocolate in the world, which would be unfair to both the tried and true everyday chocolates, and also to the fine handwork of a master chocolatier.
To begin describing "fine" chocolate I will appeal to definition created by the Academy of Chocolate.
Chocophile: How can I tell if a chocolate is fine chocolate?
Flip the package over and read the ingredients. For dark chocolate, if the first ingredient is sugar, it is not fine chocolate. If you see vanillin or anything artificial or vegetable fats or butter oil it is not fine chocolate.
What kind of store are you in? Is it air condtioned?
Truly fine chocolate is usually not sold in discount stores or stores with poor climate control.
How much does it cost?
Fine chocolate will usually cost around € 6,00 a bar. Obviously the prices do vary, but this is the base price.
Chocophile: Great. Now I'm in a good, air conditioned store. I have a bar that has enough cocoa mass, no extra ingredients and costs around 5 dollars. Do I have a bar of fine chocolate? Not necessarily.
You have only checked for 3 of the 4 criteria of fine chocolate. You need to know if... "the quality, provenance and treatment of the cocoa beans have been considered".
Chocophile: how am I supposed to know if "the quality, provenance and treatment of the cocoa beans have been considered"?
To become a connaisseur of chocolate, it takes time, energy, devotion, a small sum of money and (hopefully) really good taste buds. Start by simply tasting. Taste plain, unflavored bars so that you can really taste the chocolate. start at the most simple grocery store chocolate and work your way up in price and sophistication (I do not recommend the other way around). Explore bars from different regions (start with Lindt's Madagascar, Equador and Cuba bars) and become familiar with regional varieties in beans. Then the world of chocolate is your oyster. It won't take you too long to be able to tell fine from commercial chocolate apart.
Passion, gourmandise et chocolat
Chocolate is more than just chocolate - the consumer is often uncritical in its selection and simply eats it without giving it a second thought. This blog communicates knowledge about chocolate in order to in crease the pleasure in its consumption. Chocolate, such as is enjoyed today, is the product of a variety of specialist processes tailored to achieve maximum pleasure. This blog(book) contains a wealth of interesting facts and, after reading it, you will no longer just consume chocolate but will really savour and appreciate every bite.