ten chocolate terms you need to know

Creating the chocolate you love is quite an elaborate process—one that makes the end product very much worth the wait. Consider yourself a chocolate lover? There are a few things you should know about your favorite indulgence.

Theobroma: It all begins here. There are over 3,000 plants identified as cacao in the world. Of those plants, just one is produced commercially: Theobroma, which translates to “food of the gods.” Theobroma cacao, the most well-known species of the genus, is used to make chocolate.

Fermentation: Chocolate acquires its desirable color and flavor during the fermentation process, which typically lasts 5-7 days.

Winnowing: This process is one of the more challenging steps in making chocolate. The outer shell of the cocoa bean is removed and leaves only the meat, known as cocoa nibs.

Conching: Cacao is transformed into chocolate when it’s conched. It is ground for hours, polishing the rough particles into a smooth end product. The process is named after the containers originally used to conch chocolate, which resembled shells.

Tempering: This is where the magic happens. Properly tempered (melted, then cooled) chocolate has a smooth mouthfeel, high gloss, and a quality snap. You know the one—that lovely sound you hear when breaking off a square of your favorite chocolate bar.

Enrobing: A solid sheet of chocolate (sounds amazing, doesn’t it?) pours onto product to coat it entirely, or enrobe it. The product, typically on a conveyer belt, is decorated while wet and then sent through a cooling tunnel to ensure it sets properly.

Guitar: No, we’re not going to play you a tune. This professional tool, which uses stainless-steel “guitar” wires, allows chocolate makers to make uniform cuts. It’s the tool of choice in cutting the buttery caramel for our handmade sea salt caramels.

Ganache: This delightful creation lives inside each of our truffles. It’s made from a combination of cream and chocolate, producing a creamy texture and velvety mouthfeel. For our Luscious Collection, it is also combined with fresh ingredients like raspberry purée or vanilla beans for an infusion of flavor.

Couverture: This special form of chocolate is very rich and creamy, boasting high cocoa butter content. Its high quality makes it ideal for dipping, coating, and molding chocolate products.

Flavonols: This is the flavonoid found in chocolate. It boasts antioxidant properties and other potential benefits to vascular health, like improved blood flow to the heart and brain, lowered blood pressure, and makes blood platelets less sticky and able to clot. Want to reap the benefits? One ounce of dark chocolate a day should do the trick.