Artisan chocolate is somewhat of a niche concept, but educated chocaholics know that it can be quite difficult to sift through the charlatans and get to the real deal.
The thing with small-scale chocolatiers is that their products are made in small quantities, and the beans are ecologically sourced. However, some of the bars can go for more than ten bucks.
Turns out that ”artisan” is one of the most misunderstood and overly used phrases in the chocolatier world. There are many easily accessible chocolate bars labeled as ”artisan” but are they really?
It has become a very common misconception that artisan chocolate is one that is produced 100 percent natural ingredients and includes no coloring whatsoever. The truth is that all more chocolate even real artisan chocolate contains some kind of coloring. Artisan chocolate has to color on the chocolate from transfer sheets for example. Chocolate bars that are on the cheaper side, however, have a lot of artificial coloring.
What is artisan chocolate? Well, for starters the chocolate is made by hand in small batches as opposed to mass production by corporations who distribute mainstream chocolate brands. The chocolatiers that make artisan chocolate bar or bonbons usually have only a handful of people as personnel, and most of them are in fact family businesses.
A lot of work and dedication goes into every batch.While factories mass produce treats by the millions, artisan chocolate takes several days to make. The product is natural and does not contain additives with difficult chemical names; the ingredients are quite simple and straightforward. Very often chocolatiers will incorporate artistic touches to the chocolate products by adding designs and shaping to the treats. All of that extra work and soul that is put into each treat easily justifies the price for some people while others still remain doubtful.
In the end, it is up to the consumer to decide which chocolatier makes artisan chocolate and what meaning they will give to the word, whether it is going to be the misconception or the purpose that true chocolatiers put into the description.
For reference, reading up on the opinions and recommendations of chocolate experts might be a good way to get into artisan chocolate and to learn more about it.