Why is Chocolate So Good?

Question: Why is Chocolate So Good?

When people finally stop smiling after tasting our chocolate, they usually inquire why chocolate is so good. There are two ways to explain just why chocolate is so good, and we’ll start with the general explanation first.

One reason chocolate is so good involves its unique sensory characteristics, those related to sight, smell, sound, and taste (if you touch chocolate too much, you’ll end up with a mess on your hands, but for some people, that’s part of the appeal, too). We all know that the mere sight of a beautiful chocolate bar being unwrapped, or a package of bonbons being opened, can start us salivating like one of Pavlov’s celebrated dogs. Nothing else looks like chocolate, and, aside from a few perfumes or extracts that are poor imitations at best, nothing else has chocolate’s unique aroma. Sound factors into our love affair with chocolate to a lesser degree; a high-quality chocolate bar has a definite snap when a section is broken off, the sign that the chocolate has been well-tempered. And it’s hard to avoid the anticipation when you unwrap a box of chocolates, knowing that the sounds you hear will soon result in your enjoying our favorite food. Finally, think about chocolate’s amazing flavor profile and texture. Good-quality chocolate is absolutely smooth and literally melts in your mouth, and as it does so, the flavor of the chocolate is fully released. Having described all of that to you, I need to go get some chocolate right now.

OK, I’m back. The second explanation of why chocolate is so good is about quality, and here we’ll speak from some personal experience. When we were kids, we loved milk chocolate, and any milk chocolate we could get our hands on was great. As we got older, we slowly became more discriminating, and we began to enjoy dark chocolate as well. As time went by and we discovered that we could not live by chocolate alone, or even primarily by chocolate, we found that we had to be ever more discriminating; we had to stick to buying and eating the truly good stuff. The point here is that not all chocolate is so good, but the chocolate that is so good is that way because the manufacturer uses better-quality ingredients.

Mass manufacturers buy their supplies in vast quantities and use cheaper, lower-quality beans and other ingredients to make inexpensive chocolate. Such chocolate is acceptable if you don’t really care about what you eat or are not discerning. But manufacturers of high-quality chocolate (such as Amano) are constantly evaluating and sourcing beans in an attempt to improve their products. These beans are more expensive than the inferior-quality beans used by mass manufacturers, one reason you pay more for good-quality chocolate. But if ever there was a case where you get what you pay for, chocolate is it. Better-quality ingredients mean a better end product, period. And those better-quality ingredients, and the care taken in manufacturing, are what makes chocolate so good.