Of chocolate, Charles M Schulz, the creator of the famous comic strip Peanuts, said: “All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn't hurt.” History suggests that the much-loved preparation made from cacao seeds, dates back to the BCE (Before Common Era) years; with time, it has evolved into dark, white and many other kinds. Among the trends seen in recent years is a fondness for bean-to-bar chocolates, especially among elite customers who have a taste for the finer things in life. 'Bean-to-bar' implies that the chocolate manufacturer has full control over the production process i.e. from sourcing the cacao beans to producing the actual chocolate bars, the entire process is done in-house. This allows the manufacturer to experiment with new flavours and types of chocolate, and bring out intense flavours as required.
The bean-to-bar movement emerged as a huge trend – in all its rich, gooey, sweet glory– in the US in the 1990s. The idea was to look at an alternative to pre-made chocolates supplied by companies such as Moser Roth, and work directly with the farmers. “Many of the best makers share an ethos that puts their products in league more with specialty coffee. They believe in buying cacao directly from growers or cooperatives that treat workers fairly, take care of the environment and handle cacao like the sensitive crop it is. They are willing to pay more for these things, and ask customers to pay more, too,” wrote Pete Wells in his article in The New York Times on this subject. This allowed the makers a greater control over the entire process: from sorting, roasting, crackin