Simon here and today is my turn to talk with you about craft chocolate vs industrialised chocolate.
What's the difference?
The term ‘craft’ has been applied to emerging markets such as coffee, beer and chocolate in recent years. Craft chocolate is made in the kilos rather than the tonnes as is typical of the mass-marketed, conglomerate chocolate industry. Likewise, artisan chocolate typically involves seeking out special, fine cacao with a wide range of flavour notes. Whereas industrialised chocolate uses poorer quality mass commodity beans which produce only very limited flavours.
Craft, or artisan chocolate requires a skilled maker who knows their craft in depth. This also means the forgoing of mechanised tempering machines for the skilled technique of hand-tempering across a marble or granite slab. The focus is on quality and artistry and the use of specially selected fine cacao. Artisan chocolate generally has a lower sugar content and minimal ingredients.
Industrial Mass Market Chocolate
Industrial mass market chocolate has a far higher sugar content and is often filled with many artificial and 'junk' ingredients. The focus here is a standardised flavour and a low cost/high profit based approach.
We shouldn't try to compare artisan chocolate and industrial chocolate directly. They are very different products aimed at different target audiences. Unsurprisingly, craft chocolate is as a rule considerably more expensive due to its quality of ingredients and artisan roots. Don't be discouraged by this though. You are buying chocolate with amazingly developed flavours with low sugar and all the health benefits of great cacao. In short, a work of art!
Check out Fine Chocolate Industry Association for some great snippets of info about chocolate making terms and processes.