Last updated: August 16, 2021

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Chocolate comes in all imaginable shapes, flavours and types. From creamy sweet to tart or even bitter. Many people can't imagine life without a piece or even a bar of chocolate every day. But what and how is our chocolate actually made?

To answer this question and many others about chocolate and to give you an overview, we have summarised the most important facts about chocolate. We also present a range of different chocolates that we have compared with each other to make your decision easier.




The most important facts

  • Chocolates come in all imaginable shapes, flavours, price ranges and variations, so everyone can find the right chocolate for them.
  • Chocolates are not only available on the candy shelf, but also as couvertures or fat glazes that are used in baking.
  • Not all chocolate is the same. It has to meet certain criteria in order to be called chocolate.

The Best Chocolate: Our Picks

Here you will find our favourites, which should help you to decide which chocolate is right for you. So that everyone can find something, we haven't focused on one type of chocolate, but have selected something for every taste.

Buying and evaluation criteria for chocolate

To make it easier for you to choose your next chocolate bar, we have listed the most important criteria here so that you can find the right chocolate for you. The criteria are:

We will then explain in more detail what you should look for in these criteria so that you can make an informed decision.

Format, packaging, weight

Chocolates come in all kinds of shapes, packaging and weights. However, a standard bar of chocolate usually weighs 100 grams. There are square bars, oblong bars or chocolate in processed form as pralines, small balls or similar.

The spectrum of packaging is just as wide. These range from noble to very colourful or glittery. You should therefore consider the shape and weight of the chocolate product, whether you are buying it for yourself, or whether you want to pack it or send it. You should also think about what the person would like best about the packaging.

Taste

There is no accounting for taste. However, when buying your chocolate, you can pay attention to what the manufacturer says. For example, you can judge whether it is a very sweet chocolate, a more bitter chocolate or one that has been mixed with additional flavours, such as different spices.

It is best to make sure that you buy a chocolate with at least 70% cocoa content in order to get a really bitter chocolate, otherwise you are more likely to get a dark chocolate or milk chocolate. If you want to buy a chocolate with extra flavour, make sure that little or no artificial ingredients are used, as these usually have a negative impact on the taste experience.

Consistency

When it comes to consistency, you should also pay attention to what you personally value. If you prefer to buy a very creamy chocolate, we recommend that you choose one with a lower cocoa content, as more bitter chocolates are often crumbly and take longer to develop a truly creamy consistency in the mouth.

This does not apply, for example, to pralines or other filled chocolates, which can also be filled with more bitter chocolate.

Production

There are various things you can look out for in the production process, depending on your individual preferences. Chocolate is often produced in large factories, but there are also many smaller companies that still make the chocolate themselves and sprinkle it by hand with flowers, salts or other toppings such as vanilla flakes.

In addition, there are already many manufacturers who attach importance to Fairtrade and also operate and produce in an environmentally friendly and sustainable manner.

Guide: Frequently asked questions about chocolate answered in detail

Here we would like to answer the most frequently asked questions about chocolate so that you have enough information to decide on the right chocolate for your purchase and to deal with it correctly after the purchase.

What is chocolate?

Chocolate is made from the cocoa bean (not to be confused with coffee beans!) through a multi-step process. After being extracted from the cocoa fruit, cleaned, dried and fermented, the cocoa bean must be cleaned again, roasted, crushed, rolled and pressed to produce the pure cocoa mass.

Schokolade

These beans are used to make what is probably the Germans' favourite sweet. (Image source: David Greenwood-Haigh/ Pixabay)

This is divided into cocoa powder and cocoa butter. Since 100 per cent cocoa mass is very bitter and therefore does not taste good to everyone, it is mixed with other ingredients such as sugar, cocoa butter or even milk powder to obtain different types of chocolate.

What types of chocolate are there?

There are white chocolate, light chocolate (milk) and dark chocolate (dark and dark), sugar-free chocolate, vegan chocolate and many more, each with or without nuts, berries, toppings or similar.

However, there are other types of chocolate, such as couverture or fat icing containing cocoa. These are found in baked goods and are often higher quality because they contain more cocoa mass, cocoa butter and less sugar.

How can you tell if it's real chocolate?

Chocolate or couverture always says chocolate or couverture on it. No fantasy names or abbreviations. People often try to mislead you as a consumer with similar product names and sell you a "wannabe chocolate".

In addition, the list of ingredients must not start with foreign fats such as palm oil or clarified butter, as these proportions may only make up a maximum of 5 percent (except for fat glazes containing cocoa).

How should chocolate be stored correctly?

To be able to enjoy your chocolate optimally for longer, the right storage is essential. On the one hand, it should always be hermetically sealed so that it cannot absorb water from humidity and develop an unsightly white edge.

This can also occur if you expose your chocolate to large temperature fluctuations and usually occurs at a temperature of around 25 degrees. Direct sunlight is also not good for your chocolate, so it is best to store it in a dark place away from light.

The most important thing, however, is not to store your chocolate openly, as it quickly takes on foreign odours such as tea aromas and thus changes or even loses its taste.

Conclusion

Depending on what you value, you can choose a chocolate. You can choose between different shapes, packaging and manufacturing processes, as well as between different varieties and types of chocolate.

In our test, we have only looked at the chocolates on the confectionery shelf, so for you it is purely a matter of enjoyment. However, it is entirely up to you which one you finally choose, because your personal preferences play the biggest role here.

(Cover picture: pixabay/ Alexander Stein)

References (1)

1. UTZ und Rainforest Alliance tragen zusammen zur Verbesserung der Existenzgrundlage der Landwirte sowie der Eindämmung des Klimawandels bei.
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UTZ-Zertifizierung
UTZ und Rainforest Alliance tragen zusammen zur Verbesserung der Existenzgrundlage der Landwirte sowie der Eindämmung des Klimawandels bei.
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