Chocolate Terminology

  • Extra Bitter. The cocoa percentage must be at least 85%.
  • Single-origin. Cocoa that comes from a single country or cultivation area and sometimes, even from a single estate. The smaller the single-origin area, the higher the chance of having a more prestigious cocoa. For instance “Venezuela” is a general indication of origin, but “Sur del Lago,” the area south of the Maracaibo Lake and known for growing high-quality cocoa, is a much more meaningful indication of origin and quality.
  • Single-variety. Chocolate produced with cocoa of one single variety.
  • Pure. Without added vegetable fats.
  • Fair Trade. Respectful of the working conditions on cocoa plantations.
  • Organic. Cocoa cultivated according to the organic regulations.
  • Bean-to-bar. A term that refers to the circumstances when a manufacturer purchases the cocoa beans and then completes all of the production steps to produce the chocolate. This is typical of big-industry producers but also of some smaller manufacturers. Be aware that some manufacturers purchase a chocolate block, melt it, re-temper it and put it into their own molds. This chocolate, although it carries the name of the manufacturer, is not really his product. This is not true “craft” chocolate.