Who doesn’t love chocolate? Its luxurious, it melts in your mouth, all of it just leaves your mind craving more. We exchange chocolate for holidays as a sign of love, we read books and watch movies about chocolate factories and dream of drinking from a fountain of chocolate. Some people incorporate chocolate in their everyday lives. It can consume some people. But there is more to chocolate than one might think.
Chocolate is a polymorph. This means that it takes on different shapes when it goes from a solid to a liquid. There are 6 different ways that it can crystalize after it has been melted and cooled. As chocolate is heated and then cooled, chocolatiers are able to manipulate the chocolate and make it different forms. There is a precise process that chocolatiers have to follow to produce chocolate that is glossy, firm and the kind that will melt in your mouth. Sometimes when the chocolate hasn’t been stored properly, or the heating and cooling process hasn’t been accurate, the cocoa butter separates from the chocolate and whiteness will be created. This is called a chocolate bloom. If this happens, the chocolate is still safe to eat, but it just doesn’t look as nice and isn’t as pleasing to the eye.
The melting process of the chocolate is a science. Chocolatiers melt the chocolate to be able to change the flavor and the shape. The actual temperature setting is very important. When chocolate is heated to around 63 degrees Fahrenheit before starting the cooling process, the chocolate will be soft and crumbly. When chocolate is heated to 93 degrees Fahrenheit it is considered the ultimate sweet spot. This is when the crystal structure of the chocolate beings to melt away. This is the optimal temperature because after the chocolate has solidified, it is firm and will snap easily and will melt at body temperature. When chocolate melts in your mouth it means it has been tempered to an exact precision.
Why is it when we eat chocolate that we have a feeling of satisfaction and a desire to eat more chocolate? Chocolate contains phenylethylamine, which is a compound that will stimulate the brain to release dopamine. Dopamine is what control’s the reward system in our body; this is released anytime we experience a positive experience. So when this dopamine is released a feeling of satisfaction is present and you will feel happy just from eating some chocolate. Since we now associate this feeling of happiness with chocolate, we will desire more of it.
When we understand the reasoning behind why chocolate makes us feel the way we do, it makes us appreciate the product more. The process of making the chocolate and crafting it at such an exact precision is an art and skill that takes practice. We make sure that our chocolate is tempered to the exact temperature setting, so that when you bite into our truffles, you will have the chocolate that melts in your mouth and releases the feeling of happiness.