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In case you sell your "posh" chocolate in the UK this will be heartening...!

Tags: economy

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(This is not a reflection upon you Susie, the article is interesting, but it did hit a hot button for me.)

"I am talking top-end, proper, real chocolate with 70 per cent-or-above cocoa solids"

How many dumb things can we find in this statement?


Heh... that and the fact that those fancy chocolates contain closer to 30% cocoa solids. I can't think of any chocolate that has 70% solids, such would not have a good texture. ;)

So by my count... there are four things wrong with the one statement.
I am familiar with the EU's stance on the matter and I strongly disagree with it as illogical. (Especially anything involving Callebaut, who, as I recall pushed hard for their compound products to be "real chocolate." The logical way to do this was to group cocoa solids and cocoa butter discreetly from other solids (nf milk powder) and fats (hydrogenated vegetable... which it should be noted, are solid at room temp), which are regarded separately oddly enough.)

The American system of of segregating the two makes more sense, solids and fats... just like how every other fat containing product is evaluated (e.g. all the pork solids are removed from lard, which is also solid at room temp). Especially since nfcs is more of a theoretical than practical thing (much like non-fat pork solids ;) ).

The reporter can be excused from using the term, but it is still dumb. ;)

Hrm… that looks like a rant... it just bugs me when people try to bend the rules to peddle garbage as the real deal through obfuscation.
I don't see any segregation in the FDA language for chocolate between "solids and fats."

The FDA certainly talks about fat percentages, but it isn't clear that they are, therefore, saying that fat is not a solid. The clearest language that I've seen, which admittedly doesn't use the term "cocoa solid," is:

"chocolate liquor is the solid or semiplastic food prepared by finely grinding cacao nibs. The fat content of the food may be adjusted by adding one or more of the optional ingredients specified in paragraph (b)(1) of this section to the cacao nibs. chocolate liquor contains not less than 50 percent nor more than 60 percent by weight of cacao fat as determined by the method prescribed in 163.5(b)."

For context, the optional ingredients referred to here are cocoa butter and cocoa powder. The chocolate liquor, cocoa butter and all, is referred to as a "solid food." So, unless anyone else can add FDA legalese that impacts the matter, the US definition doesn't seem to contradict what Sam has noted from the EU definitions.
Just because something is solid, doesn't mean it is comprised entirely of solids. I make a chocolate bar that is about 30% olive oil. Would those be "olive solids?" Of course not.

Until 2002 the USDA rejected white chocolate as chocolate because it contained no cocoa solids. Hershey lobbied the change.

Cocoa butter is a liquid with a low crystalization temperature, unlike cocoa solids which are quantifiable solids, with a measruable particle size and everything. There is no debate about this. The term cocoa solids has merely been bastardized to fit some members of the industires desires, while killing off the more logical "cocoa content" statement.

It wasn't even until 2002 that white chocolate could be called chocolate as it had no cocoa solids.

Like I said, the term might be accepted in some circles, but it is still illogical.
By your logic, water in sorbet should be labeled as "water solids," because it is in a crystalline state. Your friend is walking on water, it is still H2O, if your frind took at least a secondary school level of chemistry, she'd tell you that you're right.

And you're right, Cadbury-Schwepps was behind it there.

“Cocoa solids,” inclusive of cocoa butter is an insidious plot by big chocolate to bastardize chocolate, by removing cocoa butter as a discreet component. Thus, since the change in label, we've seen an explosive growth of "chocolate" containing hydrogenated fats.

I for one think this is not only dumb, but outright evil, and find it a shame that some of you are so focused on being right, within the confines of the rules bought by big chocolate that you're unwitting accomplices in this matter.

Clearly you don't see it this way, so yeah... I don't know what else needs to be said on this matter... it was a silly observation that has been met with way more resistance than I was expecting (I thought this was mostly an artisan community) and has taken far more of my time than I would have liked. So yeah... I didn't mean to insult anyone, I'm just terminally tactless.
Ok, so I've been asked to contribute to this community in a helpful and productive way.

Thus far I do not think I'm communicating well my points, so I asked some of my coworkers, many of whom are PhDs (not in chemistry mind you, but many of them have teaching experience), for advice on communicating this point to you.

Water is always water regardless of its state (solid, liquid, gas). Terms like "steam" and "ice" are general and can apply to any number of chemicals ("methane ice," "ammonia steam," etc), water is merely the default because it is so prevalent. You'll note that sorbet ingredients list "water" and not "ice" or "water solids."

When evaluating ingredients, you look to the point where the component was incorporated, not the final state. Cocoa butter is added as an ingredient as a liquid, therefore when being evaluated as an ingredient it must always be considered a liquid.

Ingredients are not dynamic, leaving a chocolate bar in a warm car must not change its cocoa solids content. Thus using cocoa content with a clear divide for solids and butter makes sense (and is better at protecting the integrity of the industry).
Articles like this are fun for the name dropping curiosities you can unearth, but I do wish people weren't quite so obsessed with the "good" percentage nonsense or price consciousness. I found out I didn't generally care for anything under 60% by trial and error, but that doesn't mean I'm better than my husband who includes milk and 90% (gack! gack!) chocolate in his stable of nibbling chocolate.

I wish writers focused on the flavor profiles they liked and used that as framework for their discussions. There's tons of "posh" chocolate of excellent quality that leave me cold, but that's certainly not their fault. My husband adores Domori which I feel like is a "punch-in-the-mouth" chocolate. I like Marcolini which he has likened to battery acid. The difference is the fun part of eating and talking about it! Why waste that fun judging and mean-spirited arguing? (the good-natured arguing is still enjoyable, of course- I found the battery acid comment incessantly amusing) Writers seem so eager to set themselves apart they see disparaging the differences in chocolate -- percentage, bean, country, or price -- as the only path. To what end?


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