Artisanal chocolates & Commercial chocolates: Know the difference
Every chocolate maker is an artist & everything they make, is a masterpiece!
Having said this, chocolate makers out there have experimented with various cocoa beans, combinations, flavours, blends and cocoa percentages for ages and what has that given us?
A wide range of unique & delectable artisanal chocolates, each a star in its own right.
Chocolate has become an everyday staple, thanks to the abundance of varieties out there. Definitions and categories of chocolates are ever-evolving, with words like ‘artisanal’, ‘industrial’, ‘gourmet’, and ‘crafted chocolate’ being tossed around.
While some of these terms are synonymously used, these birds of a feather do not always flock together! Tobe precise, we separate chocolate into two categories: Artisanal and Commercial/Mass Production chocolates. They differ primarily, based on their processes, ingredients used, availability and pricing. While we at Toska are fueled with the passion to provide you with the finest chocolate offerings, it’s just fair to know what distinguishes us from the rest.
As much as we wish it did, no chocolate bar grows in a paddy field or a tree. Each bar is subjected to multiple processes. Commercial chocolate is made with a variety of cocoa beans, processed together and treated with stipulated additives for a homogenous taste. Artisanal chocolate, on the other hand, is made in small batches, uses single-origin cocoa and follows a 9-step ritualistic process to get the final product. Bean-to-Bar is the precise process that goes into artisanal chocolate making. Read more about the Bean-to-Bar process here. (hyperlink text)
Toska chocolates hence are artisanal blends, with each batch handcrafted and unique. Each cocoa bean is handpicked to perfection so the final product is no less than a work of art!
Use Of Ingredients And Alternatives
While one may notice the high composition of sugar, emulsifiers, and lecithin in commercial bars, natural solutions exist.
Ever wondered why artisanal chocolate bars are mostly dark? In the equation of chocolate making, the more the cocoa mass (combination of cocoa butter and powder formed after grinding), the lower the space for sugars & additives. Hence, a bar of darker artisanal chocolate is a healthier pick & a more premium chocolate experience too!
Speaking of emulsifiers, the naturally occurring Cocoa butter is the perfect emulsifier for smooth and silky chocolate. Commercial chocolate, usually operating on a tighter price point, looks for synthetic emulsifiers as a replacement for cocoa butter hence making an unhealthy compromise.
Toska is proud that cocoa butter and cocoa powder form the base of each chocolate in turn making them completely emulsifier and lecithin free. After all, nothing beats the real element of chocolate!
The Health Factor
Bean-to-Bar chocolate is a powerhouse of antioxidants and flavonoids. In addition to this, the flavour is also better as bean-to-bar chocolate is likely to use high-quality ingredients and 100% natural flavours.
On the other hand, in a bid to homogenise the flavours and give an illusion of richness, commercially produced chocolates notoriously use more sugar & cream, further diminishing the purity of a chocolate bar.
Be rest assured that the next artisanal chocolate bar you grab is fresh! Created in small batches, artisanal chocolate bars always use fresh and natural ingredients, ensuring not only that the product is fresh but also contributing to a lower carbon footprint.
Commercial bars, on the other hand, go out in huge batches and hence you will easily find your favourite bars weeks after you last picked them up!
Visit the Toska House to experience artisanal chocolate bars being made with pure love and ingredients!
As discussed before, natural alternatives exist not only in the sense of emulsifiers and additives but also to make delicious chocolate bars available to a vegan audience, which Toska is glad to be doing.
Every single bar at Toska is 100% vegan, made with organic ingredients, and uses fair trade cocoa. Our white chocolate bars are one-of-a-kind with 100% pure coconut milk.
Because artisanal, hand-crafted chocolates involve manual labour, production in huge batches is simply out of question. This works out to be an advantage as it ensures your favourite artisanal bar never sits too long on the shelves, making online stores the way for you to get your hands on the freshest batch!
Chocolate is considered a superfood nowadays, not only for your health but also for the environment. Proudly, artisanal chocolates take the score here with their fair-trade practices, sustainable ingredient sourcing, healthier ingredient choices, and in our case, even recyclable packaging! The artisanal community strives to ensure that your chocolate is organic which means no use of pesticides & lesser environmental damage.
Craft chocolate, although on the premium end of the shelf, comes with the promise of health and quality in a way that mass-produced chocolates don’t. That goes unsaid that the production cost goes high with artisanal chocolates. After all, being pricey demands the best, right?
Product And Flavour Range
Swearing by single origin cocoa had a simple rationale-to let the cocoa nib and natural flavours be a pair made in heaven. By using single-origin chocolates, craft chocolatiers ensure that only one type of cocoa flavour stands out hence making room for experimentation. Hence, one may easily notice a wider flavour and product range with artisanal chocolates. These flavour profiles in turn allow the leeway of playing around with cocoa percentages. It all depends on whether you want the cocoa/flavour to stand out!
With a range of benefits to its advantage, it's only fair to consider artisanal chocolate as the best buy. Still, have your doubts? You won’t after you see how a bar of artisanal chocolate is made. All chocolate and no-nonsense, is Toska’s soul. As a saying goes, “When no one understands you, chocolate is here!” You too need to understand your chocolate better. After all, trysts continue with two-sided love!