When it comes to our national food and drink story, one thing seems clear, quality is becoming more and more important. We look more carefully at the ingredients that are printed in the label, wanting more natural products which not only taste better, but are better for our bodies,and often more ethical too. We want less in the way of preservatives and chemicals, more in the way of natural processes, and we don’t mind paying that little bit more for it. This trend has seen a rise in the popularity of Craft beers and micro breweries, and independent coffee bars serving Craft coffee, now get set for the craft trend for everyone, the trend for Craft chocolate.
So what is Craft Chocolate, and why is the time now right for it to grow in popularity? Well, when it comes to craft chocolate, it seems like the adage less is more certainly rings true. Craft chocolate is often described as a journey from bean to bar, with ingredients kept to a minimum, the emphasis being on the creation of the bar using just the beans and sugar(and maybe a little milk for milk chocolate, but dark chocolate is sooo much nicer), with the chocolatier being an artisan, a creator, rather than the chocolate coming from a mass produced factory source. This will ensure that the taste is deeper and richer and the chocolate is a luxurious treat.
Craft chocolate is the perfect treat for those who like to know exactly where their food comes from. The bean to bar philosophy is not confined to the ingredients of the chocolate, but also to it’s production and transportation. Most Craft chocolate manufacturers go straight to the source when purchasing their beans, forming partnerships that ensure they know the quality of the product, but also supports small collectives and farmers in a way that the large chocolate companies can often overlook.
Chocolate in the UK is a national obsession – we all seem to have our favourite variety and bar, and of course, with Easter almost here, even the most chocolate phobic amongst us may choose to indulge. But it has to be said that, in recent years, there has been some fierce criticism of some of our most beloved bars and brands. Cadburys were the subject of a takeover bid from Kraft which definitely saw changes to some of the nation’s favourite bars. The glass and a half symbol and phase disappeared from wrappers, and many bars seemed to change in flavour (including my faves Dairy Milk and Cadbury’s Caramel). Some bars changed shape – again Dairy Milk, and seemed smaller, whilst the famous Christmas tins became plastic tubs that contained far fewer chocolates. It seems almost sacrilege to change such cherished products and has led to people looking to find new favourite chocolate products elsewhere.
So this Easter, do yourself, and your chocolate loving friends and family a favour. Step away from the supermarket sweetie aisle and look instead for a product that has just those two ingredients on the label. You will never look back!