All Things Chocolate
All Things Chocolate
Chocolate is one of the most popular confectionary ingredients with a massive range of presentation from bitter, earthy dark chocolate to light, creamy, and super-sweet milk chocolate.
Cacao plants originated in what is now Mexico over 4,000 years ago. One of the earliest civilizations in this area, a people called the Olmec, was the first to harvest the cacao and turn it into chocolate.
However, this traditional chocolate was made as a drink and was extremely bitter as there wasn’t any sugar added to it. The Olmec people used the chocolate in rituals and as a medicine.
During the 17th century, explorers brought chocolate to Europe where it was enjoyed as a delicacy and aphrodisiac by the continent’s elite. It wasn’t until 1828 that a Dutch chemist discovered a process for powdering chocolate by removing much of the natural fat from the chocolate liquor. The powdered chocolate soon became known as Dutch cocoa.
Soon after, the first chocolate candy bar was invented by Joseph Fry in 1847. Soon after, in 1868, Cadbury came onto the scene and just a few short years after that, Nestle began producing milk chocolate.
In the last century, chocolate has become a near-universal experience. Because of this, it is one of the best flavors to use to evoke nostalgia, familiarity, and a positive association. Since chocolate is such a familiar flavor, it is also an excellent way to balance out a more exotic, new, and risky flavor combination.
Due to the strength and distinct nature of chocolate’s flavor, it can pair with virtually any other flavor. Some of the most powerful and classic chocolate combos share either a common roasted quality like coffee, nuts, and many types of liquor or a similar sweetness like pralines, caramel, and fruit.
So if you’re looking to experiment with chocolate, make sure you have the experts at Renaissance Flavors on your side. Our flavorists can help you create the perfect balance of sweet, salty, roasted, bitter, sour, and earthy to make your product stand out and have your customers coming back for more.