May 24, 2015

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Some facts about solid chocolate, cocoa powder and nibs

Here are some facts about chocolate in its many forms:


-Quality chocolatiers will frequently list a percentage on the label. This indicates by weight the amount of ingredients derived from the cacao bean. For instance, Lindt & Sprungli (Canada) has a new 90 per cent cacao which falls between the 85 and 99 per cent cacao range. But it's less bitter than one might expect from cacao in this range, with a taste profile of between 70 and 85 per cent.

-Cocoa powder is made by pressing some of the cocoa butter out of roasted cacao beans. This is "natural" cocoa powder. The powder can then be "dutched" or "alkalized," a process of washing the cocoa with an alkaline substance such as potassium carbonate to reduce harshness and acidity.

-Chocolate nibs: Chocolate or cacao nibs taste like chocolatey unsweetened nuts. They are the roasted and chopped nut of the cacao bean with the outer hull removed.

Source: Chocolate for Breakfast by Barbara Passino (Hoberman) and Lindt & Sprungli.


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