Chocolate truffles made with raw cacao, from Uli Mana, a NIBBLE Top Pick Of The Week. Photo by Corey Lugg | THE NIBBLE.
Last Updated January 2012
Chocolate Terms & Definitions: R
Here you’ll find terms including raw cacao, Rio Caribe cacao and rustic chocolate. If you think we should consider chocolate terms and definitions other than those we have provided click on the Contact Us link on this page. Also enjoy our many other other food glossaries.
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Raw cacao has two meanings. First, it refers to the harvested, fermented and dried cacao beans. They are hand-sorted, graded, packed into jute bags at the farm and ready for sale and processing (as with coffee, each chocolate manufacturer roasts the beans according to its preferences). The bags weigh about 139 pounds (62.54 kg). The second meaning refers to the raw food movement, which does not process food at temperatures higher than 118°F, in order to preserve the nutrients. Here, the beans are barely heated, ripening some of the flavors but leaving the taste of raw (unroasted) cacao beans. Foods produced at low temperatures are said to preserve the nutrients; the beans are not roasted traditionally are processed at 118°F and below. No dairy is used. See Uli Mana Raw Cacao, a NIBBLE Top Pick Of The Week.
A Trinitario bean grown near the Rio Caribe, in the Sucre State of Venezuela. This cacao has a slight dark tone and a refreshing bitterness. Common flavors are coffee, almonds, slight red fruits, and pure cocoa.
Some brands opt to roast cacao beans for a shorter time. This light roast imparts a sharp, fruity tone to the finished chocolate.
A dark roast indicates that the beans have been roasted longer to further mellow the cacao’s flavor. As a result, flavors tend to have “dark” tones with traces of caramel, woods, and coffee.
The first step in producing chocolate from cacao beans. Similar to roasting coffee, the heating process fully develops the chocolate flavors and aromas of the cacao beans. Roasting times vary by producer, but a typical roasting time is 30 minutes. After roasting, the nibs go to the grinding room to be ground.
In French, rocher is a rock. In chocolate, rochers are slivered almonds, coated in chocolate to create clusters that are poetic chocolate “rocks.”
In positive terms, “rustic” chocolate refers to a pre-industrial style of chocolate, before conching was invented. Beans were minimally processed and less refined sugar was used. The texture was rougher and crunchier. Today artisans like Italy’s Claudio Corallo choose to make chocolate in the old style. However, chocolate that was not intended to be made in such fashion, but which has an inferior texture and mouthfeel, can be termed “rustic.”
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