Chocolate - how delicious and pleasant in this product ... Of course, if we are talking about high-quality chocolate. But how to recognize quality? And there is a difference between chocolate and chocolate products? This was told to us by the creator of the real Ukrainian chocolate Leopol’ - Sergey Danchyshyn.
Costless: How to determine the quality of chocolate? What should and what should not be in the product?
Sergey: To determine the quality of chocolate, first of all, study the composition of the product. Dark chocolate (a product containing at least 55% cocoa) must contain cocoa liquor and cocoa butter, as well as vegetable (soy) lecithin. By the way, many people are surprised at the presence of lecithin in chocolate. But, first, we use no chemicals, but only vegetable lecithin. Secondly, it is lecithin that plays the role of a stabilizer, which helps to give the product the desired shape (tiles, sweets), otherwise, the chocolate will look more like clay.
Real quality chocolate can also be determined by price - it can not be cheap. Reducing the cost of chocolate is achieved through the use of low-quality or cheaper analog of raw materials. For example, cocoa liquor is replaced by cocoa powder (which is essentially the end result processing of cocoa beans and has a minimum benefit). Or instead of cocoa butter use vegetable fats.
Costless: Where and how do you choose the raw materials for your chocolate?
Sergey: For making Leopold chocolate, we use raw materials (chocolate drops), which we order in Belgium. And we order the sublimated berries and other fillers in Ukraine.
We believe that the main advantage of our production is that each tile is made by hand.
Real Belgian chocolate is made without the use of preservatives and artificial additives, but only from real and high-quality cocoa products (Editor's note).
Costless: Tell us a little about the process of making chocolate.
Sergey: Making our chocolate begins with tempering - the process of melting chocolate drops under temperature to a certain liquid state.
In confectionery, accuracy is very important, ± a few degrees, and the whole process can be ruined. After that, each chocolate bar is made by hand, the necessary filling is added. The filled form is placed for 3-4 minutes in the freezer and then sealed.
Costless: You add sublimated fruit to chocolate. Why exactly this type of processing and how much such a product is useful?
Sergey: As part of sublimated berries, a small amount of water is only 3%, but in terms of color, smell, taste, form, and content of healthy substances, they practically do not differ from fresh ones. Сonnected with it the high cost of raw materials (about 50 € per kg).
Sublimation is one of the types of preservation, such products can be stored at temperatures from -50 C to +50 C to 25 years! (Editor's note)
Costless: Does packaging matter and does it affect product safety?
Sergey: Natural chocolate is quite a picky product. It reacts to air temperature, humidity, cold and direct sunlight. With long-term interaction with air, chocolate “oxidizes” and a white-gray bloom appears on it (as cocoa butter manifests itself) - there is nothing scary or dangerous to use here. On the contrary, it is an indicator of high-quality chocolate raw materials, but mistakes made during the manufacture or storage of the product.
To avoid such a reaction, we place our chocolate in hermetically packed food-grade plastic.
Chocolate has a shelf life. After the expiration date of the product is better to throw away, so we advise you to always examine the packaging and pay attention to the dates indicated on it. It is also worth remembering about the shelf life, they are directly dependent on the content of cocoa butter - the more it is, the less you can store the product (Editor's note).
Costless: What are the rules for storing chocolate?
Sergey: Chocolate is very vulnerable to temperatures, with both low and high.
At high temperatures (up to +25°C for normal, up to +30°C - for Leopol’), chocolate begins to lose its structure and simply melts. And in the case of low temperatures, cocoa butter will crystallize and appear on the surface of the tile, due to which chocolate loses its marketable appearance.
The ideal temperature for chocolate is +17 - +20C.
Costless: What is the use of chocolate besides taste in general?
Sergey: Much has been written and said about the benefits of chocolate. Personally, I highlight a few major advantages.
First of all, chocolate invigorates like coffee. But at the same time from chocolate, there is no sharp drop in cheerfulness to relaxation, which is present after drinking coffee. In addition, coffee has a negative effect on blood vessels (caffeine consumption expands blood vessels and lengthens the time they return to normal).
Chocolate is one of the favorite delicacies very justified, it contains endorphin - the hormone of happiness.
Also, black chocolate has a positive effect on the brain and is an important product during vigorous brain activity. It is really advised to use for students, artists, and scientists.
Costless: What is the difference between white chocolate and ordinary chocolate, except for color?
Sergey: White chocolate is called chocolate only because it contains cocoa butter.
Cocoa butter is the first product that is produced when processing cocoa beans.
Cocoa beans are dried, fried, remove the top skin and squeeze under the press until the appearance of cocoa butter. What remains after the release of cocoa butter is called grated cocoa.
The rest of the white chocolate consists of yogurt, powdered milk, sourdoughs, and sugar. If there is no cocoa butter in white chocolate and vegetable fats are indicated, then this is a chocolate or confectionery product, but not chocolate.
In Ukraine, there is a special law, which specifies the requirements for the composition so that the product has the right to be called chocolate. If you pay attention to the composition of any Ukrainian chocolate, then first there is information about the composition of cocoa in the product. There should be at least 43% cocoa products and at least 26% cocoa butter.
Costless: And how did you get the idea to become a chocolate manufacturer?
Sergey: This is my seventh attempt to start a business in Ukraine :)
A couple of years ago, my partner and I gathered sweets from Lviv manufacturers and brought them to sell at fairs in Kyiv. At one of these fairs, I saw a very beautiful handmade chocolate. I returned to Lviv, began to study the market, and realized, no matter how surprising, in Lviv with high-quality chocolate problems. That's where it started Leopol'.
We have safely experienced two summer seasons and the seasons of the New Year holidays. Now our products are sold in major cities of Ukraine, such as Kyiv, Lviv, Odesa, Kharkiv, and Ternopil in the chain of Silpo supermarkets, where there is a Lavka traduce.
We believe that in our country the number of bona fide producers and quality products will grow. And the Costless team will continue to help you understand how to choose and store products, and most importantly, where to make bargains.