What is bean to bar chocolate ?
I have been looking at unsweetened chocolate. I came across a term that was new to me. What is a 'Bean to Bar' chocolate producer?
Most of the small chocolate companies buy in readymade chocolate called couverture (just a fancy name for bulk or cooking chocolate.) They then melt and temper the chocolate to make their own chocolate bars and confectionery products.
A bean to bar chocolate producer starts by selecting the beans from the grower. Then they will roast the cocoa beans and create the chocolate from which they will make their own bars and products.
This gives the chocolate producer much more control over the final product. They can be sure that they are using an ethical source where the growers are paid properly for the raw cocoa beans and that the farm labourers are treated well. Not only that but they can ensure that the beans are grown in a sustainable agricultural environment. They can also be confident in the maintenance of organic standards.
However it is also about the taste and texture of the finished product. Using beans from a single source and having complete control over the balance of cocoa solids and other ingredients means that the end product can have a unique character.
So it is not just about "dark" or "milk" and 50% or 60% cocoa solids. There is more to chocolate than you thought !