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Chocolate Terms

Chocolate Makers often use terms that may be a little confusing.  Here are some of the terms we use and what they mean:

Cacao.  This is used interchangeably with Cocoa.  In Latin America where PASCHA sources its chocolate the Cacao is what the farmers refer to.  The word cocoa is really just a translation of cacao.

Cocoa Pod.  The pods grow on the cocoa trees and contain cocoa beans.

Nibs.  When a cocoa bean has been roasted and de-shelled, the cocoa inside crumbles very easily into small pieces of bean - these are referred to as nibs.

Cocoa Liquor.  When the cocoa nibs are heated and crushed they form a liquid cocoa mass that is refreed to as cocoa liquor.  It has no connection to any alcoholic liquor.  The liquor can be dried and it forms a cocoa mass, that is an unrefined unsweetened chocolate.

Cocoa Butter.  The cocoa mass is made up of natural fat and cocoa powder, which can be separated.  By separating them they can be combined in different proportions to create different flavors and consistencies of chocolate.  Cocoa butter is therefore nothing to do with butter but is the naturally occuring fat from the cocoa bean.  This fat is a polyunsaturated fat primarily made up of Oleic acid - the main fat found in olive oil. 

Cocoa Powder.  The unsweetend powder residue left from the cocoa liquor after separating the cocoa butter.

"55% Cacao".  When a chocolate bar refres to the Cacao (or cocoa) % it means the weight of that bar that is made up of cocoa solids - which can come from the cocoa liquor, or powder or butter.  What it also tells you is that the rest of the bar is not from cocoa, and is almost entirely made up of sugar.  In PASCHA  products we use a tiny amount of organic vanilla bean, so our 55% bar contains nearly 45% sugar, and our 85% bar contains nearly 15% sugar - yes, 3 times as much sugar in the 55% bar compared to the 85% bar.