- Look at the ingredients list on commercially packaged chocolate. Unless it’s a filled chocolate that will have added ingredients that will push it down the list, cocoa butter should almost always be the second or third ingredient listed.
- At chocolatiers that allow to pick the chocolates for your gift box, ask them if they make their chocolates on site. If not, ask them how often they get shipments.
- It is very easy to visually inspect chocolate for a few aspects reflective of good quality. These details include whether or not the chocolate has a good sheen to it, demonstrating that the chocolate has been tempered properly. Chocolate that has a white chalky substance on the surface, something called bloom, indicates that the chocolate has been through an extreme temperature change. The white substance is the cocoa butter rising to the surface of the chocolate. While this does not mean that the chocolate is not safe to eat, it does mean that it will have a subpar texture and mouthfeel because the cocoa butter is no longer evenly distributed throughout the chocolate.
- Recognizable brand names are not necessarily indicative of quality. Many large-scale chocolate makers simply have a much larger budget to spend on marketing. Small, local chocolatiers often make very unique, fresh, small-batch chocolates that will have fewer preservatives and more flavor notes.
- Beware of dipped fruit boxes that take pains to use the word “chocolate” in the labeling. These berries are typically sold at a lower price point than other brands and with good reason. They are not using real chocolate on them. If you want the good stuff, you’ll have to pay a decent amount to get them.
Most of all–remember… when it comes to chocolate, YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR!
Mom deserves the best, so make sure you treat her right on Sunday!