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.
Yes, our Hand Tempered Semi-Sweet Dark Chocolate is what we use to make our vegan chocolate.
The chocolate we use is manufactured and packaged in facilities that DO NOT allow exposure to Peanuts, Wheat / Gluten, Eggs, Tree Nuts, Sesame, Fish, or Crustacean. Our chocolates DO contain Soy Lecithin. The Pre-Tempered Semi-Sweet Dark Chocolate we use does contain milk and / or lactose. Milk is not an ingredient in our Hand Tempered Semi-Sweet Dark Chocolate; however, there is a remote possibility that this “non-milk” product may contain trace amounts of milk, due to the sharing of equipment between milk and non-milk runs. However, our manufacturers clean and purge processing lines when producing a non-milk product after a milk run. This process is documented on each occurrence.
Our suppliers use ethical trade agreements with their suppliers ensuring that there is:
- No use of slavery, child labor or other abusive labor practices
- No physical abuse, psychological abuse, verbal abuse, sexual harassment, or any other form of intimidation is permitted in the workplace and working hours are not excessive
- Workers are entitled to a contract of employment written in a language they understand
- There is no forced labor and people are free to leave their employer
- Wages and benefits paid for work delivered meet national legal minimum standards or higher
- No discrimination at the workplace in hiring, compensation or retirement benefits as a result of: ethnic background, class, religion, culture, age, disability, gender, marital status, sexual orientation, political affiliation or nationality.