The Ultimate Chocolate Glossary: L


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Lecithin is used as a thinner in chocolate. Thinner chocolate is more fluid, or pliable, and easier to mold. (Cocoa butter may also be used to thin chocolate, but lecithin is cheaper.) Lecithin can be extracted from egg yolks or soybeans; the latter is referred to as soy lecithin or soya lecithin, and it’s the type most frequently used by chocolate manufacturers. Without the addition of lecithin, chocolate bars tend to be dense and thick. This thicker chocolate tends to trap air inside the bar, resulting in a surface with a rough texture. In recent years, however, there has been a trend toward omitting lecithin in more upscale bars, as many chocolate makers believe it interferes with subtle flavors in the cacao.


Amano's Cuyagua Limited Edition Chocolate Bar

Amano’s Cuyagua Limited Edition Chocolate Bar

As with anything else, a limited edition chocolate bar is only produced in small quantities. In some instances, harvests of particular cacao beans with a certain flavor profile may be so small that there aren’t enough beans to store for future batches. A limited edition bar allows the chocolate manufacturer to use this small harvest, with the understanding that the flavor profile might not be reproducible, even from the next harvest of the same type of beans.


This is not real chocolate. It was developed for convenience, so home bakers and cooks wouldn’t have to melt chocolate to use in a recipe. Liquid chocolate is made with vegetable oil instead of cocoa butter; it has neither the texture nor the taste of real chocolate.

This glossary would not have been possible without the kind assistance of my good friend Karen Hochman who runs the website: The Nibble. Karen gave us permission to base our chocolate glossary on hers. TheNibble is one of the Internet’s best resources for food articles, reviews, history, and just about anything when it comes to quality food. Please, if you have a few moments, visit my friend Karen’s website and you’ll be amazed at what a valuable resource it is. Thanks for all your help Karen!

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