All of us crave that chocolate flavor in our desserts, drinks, and snacks. But where does chocolate flavoring come from? Let’s find out.
Chocolate has been around for more than 4000 years. It was first discovered in Mesoamerica, now known as Mexico. It was here that the first cocoa pods were found. Olmec, the first Latin American civilization, converted cocoa plants to chocolate. During prayers and rituals, they would often drink molten chocolate. Apart from that, they also believed in the medicinal properties of chocolate. Years later, the Mayans acknowledged dark chocolate as the drink of the Gods. They would prepare a drink using roasted cocoa beans, corncorns, pepper, and water. In the 15th century, the Aztecs used chocolate as a form of currency, and the list goes on.
There are many different types of chocolate flavoring, but all of them start with cacao beans. Cacao beans are gathered and processed into cocoa mass, butter, and powder. The cocoa butter and powder are then mixed to make chocolate liquor, the main ingredient in most chocolate flavors today.
Chocolate goes well with every flavor, but it tastes exceptionally well with vanilla. For a smooth vanilla taste, real or artificial vanilla is added to chocolate. Besides vanilla, chocolate also tastes well with citrus fruit flavors like orange, lemons, and grapefruits. Other creative pairings for chocolate also include vinegar and bacon. Chocolate comes from the seeds of the cacao plant, which is aromatic but very bitter in taste. Only after fermentation does it gain its taste and flavor.
After scouring the internet for all the information we could find on chocolate flavoring and where it’s derived from, we have written this article to help you answer this question. In the following paragraphs, we will talk about the ingredients used in making chocolate, and the differences between real and fake chocolate flavoring. We will also find out whether or not chocolate flavoring is good for health.
Ingredients in Chocolate Flavoring
So, where does chocolate flavoring chocolate flavoring come from? Oil-based flavorings and candy flavorings are added to chocolate, in a way that it doesn’t turn into a lumpy mass. You can easily find oil-based flavoring in candy stores, and even online.
Some of the most common oil-based flavorings include hazelnut, orange, mint, strawberry, cherry, and cinnamon. Mint is the most potent flavoring, and therefore, it is used less than its liquor-based alternatives.
A critical component of chocolate flavoring is chocolate liquor. After the cacao shell is removed from the beans, the beans undergo fermentation. Then they are roasted and ground, until they melt. Cacao butter and cacao extract are used to make this liquid,. which is then used to make This liquid is used in making dark chocolate.
Another important ingredient in chocolate flavoring is cacao butter. Cacao butter is a natural oil found in cacao beans. Added cacao butter enhances the aftertaste of chocolate in within our mouths. Other ingredients include, vanilla, sugar, and lecithin. Lecithin is an emulsifier made from soy. Its purpose is to bring ingredients together.
Other ingredients include milk, fruit, peanutspeanut, and supplements. Liquor, liquor-based products, and different oils are also used to make in making chocolate flavoring. Liquor-based products are readily available in grocery stores, and they come in flavors like hazelnut, coconut, and almond.
When it comes to baking, a lot of chefs use vanilla extract. As we have discussed above, various liquors and spirits pair up with chocolate pretty well. Some of the most common examples are rum, brandy, Kahlua, and Amaretto. However, before adding liquor to chocolate, it is important to note that liquor can lead to a thick and lumpy battermatter.
LTherefore, liquor should be added to chocolate powders or mixtures to . This way, you will avoid seizing, and your chocolate won’t turn into a thick lumpy mass either. Liquor-based flavorings are perfect for truffles and other chocolate products with cream, milk, or melted chocolate.
Difference Between Real and Fake Flavoring
Real chocolate flavoring contains cacao butter, which is the fat that comes from cacao beans. So how will would you know whether your chocolate has cocoacacao butter? One of the signs of real cacao butter is that it melts at body temperatureheat. That is one of the reasonsreason why high-quality chocolate melts in your mouth. But how do we recognize fake chocolate?
Before you identify fake chocolate identify fake chocolate, you must know that fake chocolate is known as “compound chocolate.”. Unlike “real” chocolate, fake chocolate doesn’t have any cacao butter. In compound chocolate, cacao butter fat is replaced by a cheaper alternative. Moreover, a cheaper bar of chocolate won’t melt in your mouth the same way as real chocolate. The reason is, that the fat alternatives to cacao butter do not melt at body temperatures. As a result, they need higher temperatures to melt.
Compound chocolates are usually used in things that are shipped during the summer. These items include chocolate-coatedchocolate coated cookies. Fake chocolate needs less work, but it is also less flavorsome than real chocolate.
Real chocolate undergoes a fermentation process thatwhich needs a thermometer. TThe reason is, the fat crystals in the chocolate are sensitive to higher temperatures. On the flip side, compound chocolate is not melted with reference to a specific temperature. When real chocolate is melted, the butter separates from the chocolate, and forms a thick film on the surface. With fake chocolate, there is no such thing.
Some fake chocolates contain acids, which aren’t safe for human health. These acids keepkeeps the chocolate intact and safe for transportation.
Are Chocolate Flavorings Healthy?
First of all, it is important to note that both fake and real chocolates undergo several testing stages, to make sure they are safe for consumption. After they are tested and their safety is ensuredfor safety, they are then added to an FDA list known as “generally regarded as safe” or GRAS. This list exists for the purpose of documenting products that are safe for human consumption.
Chocolates and candies lack the savory flavor which is mostly found in monosodium glutamate. Yet, they contain other flavorings to enhance the taste and aroma of those items while the process goes on. Some of the most common natural or artificial flavors used in chocolates are vanilla and caramel.
Well, no one is quite sure about the side effects of natural and artificial flavors, and researchresearches is are still going on. However, one thing is absolutely certain -. rReal chocolate has immense its health benefits.
With In the lack of evidence, it is difficult to talk about the risks of consuming additional flavors. However, people with certain food allergies or chemical allergies are advised not to consume chocolate products in large bulks.
The problem is, that the ingredients section on the packaging says little about these artificial flavorings. Therefore, it is very difficult to predict what ends up in our stomachsstomach. Some people consume chocolate daily, as a snack or as an after-meal dessert.
While real chocolate has its benefits, artificial chocolate contains a huge amount of sugar huge amount of sugar. Sugar is not at all healthy for people who have suffering from diabetes, and it’s not healthy in general, as it can lead to several health issues (diabetes being one of them). Also, the amount of sugar one consumes through artificial chocolate can trigger diabetes.
The good news is, dark chocolate with a high cacao content is packed with health benefits. First of all, dark chocolate has an amazing nutritional value. It contains fiber, iron, copper, magnesium, and manganese. Another great thing about chocolate is that it contains anti-oxidants more than any other food item.
Chocolate can also improve blood flow, while lowering your blood pressure. Chocolate also reduced LDL which is bad cholesterol, while increasing HDL or good cholesterol. It also minimizes the risk for heart diseases. Studies have shown that people who consume chocolate regularly have a much-decreasedmuch decreased chance of developing heart disease, as opposed to those who don’t eat chocolate regularly.
Furthermore, chocolate is also beneficial for skin health. Studies have shown that the flavanols from chocolate enhanceenhances blood flow to the skin, which makes our skin glow, and makes us appear healthy and active. By enhancing the bloodflood flow, cacao can also improve brain function. Some of the stimulants contained in chocolate include caffeine and theobromine.
Even though chocolate has all of these health benefits, it doesn’t mean you can consume a big amount of chocolate on a regular basis. Chocolate also contains calories that which can lead to obesity, so moderation is the key.
About THE AUTHOR
Lori has been a Culinary Arts instructor for twenty years. She has taught in the public school setting, at the collegiate level and through adult continuing education as well as running several cooking and baking camps for children. She has participated in several cooking, cake & chocolate contests and has been well recognized. She has raised thousands of dollars for charities using the byline “Saving the World one Cupcake at a Time”. Additionally, she has had several articles regarding food published in various magazines.Read More About Lori Gilmore