Chocolate is a popular treat among many, and the list of flavors to choose from is endless. Vanilla is a common flavoring, and most candy manufacturers use pure vanilla results in a light undertone cherished by many. Also, you’ll get chocolate in many other flavorings, and fruity flavors are pretty common.
Let’s begin by understanding vanilla extracts.
The Vanilla bean is a fruit of orchids that grow in a few places in the world. This has led to high demand making vanilla one of the most expensive spices. Vanilla extract and whole beans are popular sources of vanilla flavor. But, you can still buy vanilla in the form of bean paste, which combines sugar, extract, vanilla bean seed, and natural gum thickeners.
Where does vanilla flavoring come from? Vanilla extract is created by soaking vanilla beans in an alcohol solution. A high-quality extract should include beans, alcohol, and water with no additives such as sugar or artificial flavors. Pure vanilla extract contains hundreds of flavor compounds and is used to make vanilla flavorings. It’s the most common form of vanilla at present.
What factors determine chocolate flavor?
The flavor in finished chocolate is mainly determined by the tree’s genetics, harvest time, terroir, the local environment. However, these components are significantly altered during drying, fermenting, roasting, and conching. And this is why expert handling and processing is vital for good quality chocolate.
The flavor of the beans and the completed product can still be altered by conditions surrounding transit and storage since the beans can absorb scents from crates and truck exhaust.
The main factors determining chocolate flavor are;
Cacao has been cultivated for years, and the varieties have for long been selected depending on the flavor and adaptability. Today, different cultivators meet distinct demands, yields, and flavor profiles. The variety of cacao determines the flavor. For instance, Porcelana criollo cacao is famous for its light-colored beans and is inherently mild with pleasant nutty flavors and fewer bitter and compounds. Similarly, CCN-51 is high-yielding and highly resistant to diseases and produces chocolate with an acidic flavor.
The growing environment can influence the flavor of the beans. Also, the conditions influence the fruitiness, and the many flavors in processed cocoa beans. The environment will also affect different cacao varieties regarding acidity, bitterness, floral, and other flavors. Furthermore, fermentation also reflects terroir. And this is why cacao beans fermented in different areas may have varying flavor profiles.
Fermentation takes place immediately after harvesting the beans. In most cases, the beans are placed on wooden boxes and covered with clot or banana leaves. The type of materials used during storage can influence the flavor. And this is why some beans have woody or vegetal flavors. Fermentation is presumably the most critical step, even than roasting. You can make quality chocolate from unfermented beans no mate how well they are roasted.
The type flavoring used will determine the flavor of your chocolate bars. Vanilla is commonly used, but you can now get chocolate in other fruity notes.
In summary, chocolate comes in distinct flavors, and the flavorings determine the taste and cost. Nowadays, most manufacturers use cocoa enhances to maximize the flavoring, and you’ll get chocolate in unique flavor profiles.