Do We Really Know Where Cocoa Powder Comes From?
How many times have you made or eaten a chocolate cake? Most probably hundreds, if not thousands. And what is the one ingredient that makes it a chocolate cake? Cocoa powder of course – everyone knows that. Wholesale chocolate suppliers make sure that we can always find it on supermarket shelves under many different brand names. For us, it’s just another ingredient, another raw material to be used in our food and sweets.
But have you ever thought about what it really is? If you say it’s chocolate, then you’re correct, but only partially.
So, Where Does Cocoa Powder Come From?
As the name suggests, it comes from the cacoa bean. The beans are harvested, removed from their hulls and then fermented. After this they are roasted and the beans crushed into what are called "nibs". Using a special grinding process that prevents them from overheating and losing their flavour, they are slowly ground down into "chocolate liquor" – a thick, brown paste.
Finally, in a process similar to the way in which olive oil is extracted from olives, the liquor is placed under pressure which causes it to separate into fat (cocoa butter) and flaky solids. These solids, after being finely ground, become ultra-fine cocoa powder that is the building block for the wholesale chocolate products delivered to factories and shops across the nation.
Worlds of Taste and Aroma Are Built on Powder
We already said that cocoa is the basic building block for everything that we call chocolate. The colour, the taste, the subtle nuances between one chocolate to another are all a function of the type and amount of cocoa powder used in production. Its quality and taste can differ in response to the climate the beans were grown in, the type of cacoa tree and the processes used to produce the final product. The one exception is perhaps white chocolate which contains cocoa butter rather than solids.
It is the cocoa powder which also contains the anti-oxidants and flavonoids which make quality chocolate a real super food. In addition, the powder also contains a range of beneficial minerals such as calcium, copper, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and zinc that help promote your health.
Only Get the BestWholesale chocolate suppliers often supply top quality cocoa powder. They may get this directly from chocolate manufacturers who have an excess or even import it themselves. One thing is certain – for the best chocolate cakes and desserts, be sure to use only the finest available. The difference in the taste and texture of the finished chocolate cake or truffle makes the extra cost well worth it.
The best powders will state on the packaging where the beans come from and whether it is a single origin cocoa (from one country) or a blend. Many different varieties of cacoa beans have a very distinct flavour, so try out a number of different brands until you find the taste that you’re looking for.
As the old saying goes – the proof of the pudding (or cake) is in the eating. Use only the best ingredients for the best result!
Angelina Moufftard works for hf Chocolates, established wholesale chocolates suppliers with decades of experience supplying sweets and high-end chocolates to retailers across the UK. Working with the most dedicated suppliers from France, Spain, Germany, Holland, Belgium, the USA and the UK, hf Chocolates' great tasting and beautifully packaged products add panache to any sweet display.
Writer and Online Marketing Manager in London.