Cocoa content is the percentage of cacao in a particular chocolate. As a rule, a higher cocoa content equates to a more intense chocolate flavor and lower sugar content. However, higher cocoa content does not mean a great tasting chocolate. While many excellent chocolates have high percentages of cocoa so do many inferior chocolates.
The process begins with good quality cocoa beans that are harvested when they become mature. The beans must be properly fermented, dried, roasted, crushed and conched. Failure at any of these steps will produce inferior chocolate. High quality chocolate breaks cleanly and melts uniformly. Good chocolate should feel smooth on the tongue and melt into a lingering velvety finish.
Good quality dark chocolate with a cocoa content of 60% or higher is significantly beneficial to your health. Just an ounce a day provides essential vitamins and trace nutrients such as iron, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and vitamins A, B1, C, D and E.
Chocolate contains flavonoids, part of a group of antioxidants known as polyphenols.Antioxidants delay the aging process at a cellular level and are believed to guard against cancer. Flavonoids are directly related to pigmentation. The darker the chocolate, the higher the antioxidants will be. Milk bonds to antioxidants during digestion, therefore milk chocolate is not considered a source of antioxidants. Recent research shows chocolate flavonoids encourage vascular wall improvement and blood vessel function. Chocolate may also have a beneficial effect on cholesterol levels. It contains both stearic and oleic acids, one a saturated fat which will not raise bad cholesterol and the other which may raise good cholesterol.
Sappho Chocolates should be stored in their original packaging in a cool, dry place. An air-conditioned space is ideal. We do not recommend you refrigerate our chocolates, if you do refrigerate our chocolates, allow them to warm to room temperature before eating. Most refrigerators are too humid for chocolate storage and may affect the texture and/or appearance of our chocolates.
Since we do not use preservatives, our all natural chocolates taste best within 10 days of receiving them. With storage the chocolates lose the complexities of flavors, so eat them all then order more.