How can you identify good-quality chocolate?

For a start, you can predict the quality of chocolate from the reputation of the manufacturer. The production of chocolate is a complex process, and the outcome depends on a number of factors. Chief among these are the quality of the ingredients, and the amount of time (equals money) that has been invested in the various procedures.

Start by looking at the ingredients. Good-quality dark chocolate should consist of at least 52% cocoa solids (cocoa with the fats removed); purer dark chocolate has 70% or more cocoa solids (the maximum sustainable is about 90%, but the flavour can become quite winey). Milk chocolate (in Europe) must have at least 25% cocoa solids; good milk chocolate will have around 35%.

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