WHY WE SELL WHAT WE DO, INCLUDING THE GU
At gustologia we are always in search of that next amazing thing. And while we are at it, we look into who backs the various brands we sell - who has created them, and what they are all about. So all of our suppliers are independant businesses, all of whom support equal rights, and all genders. Many are woman based, and equal opportunity employers. They source ingredients to make their wonderful gourmet and chocolate carefully, and look to provide a superior product for not only enjoyment, but also because they are passionate about what they do. So feel good about what you are purchasing from gustologia -
we are a small business
we are independant,
we are woman-based
we are thoughful
and we really do care!
SOME IMPORTANT CHOCOLATE FACTS
What is Chocolate Bloom?
Chocolate bloom is a white/grayish coating (or blotches or streaks) that can appear on the surface of chocolate. Although it may have an unappetizing appearance and texture, chocolate that has "bloomed" is still generally safe to eat. There are actually two forms of chocolate bloom, Fat Bloom and Sugar Bloom, read more about these below.
Fat bloom happens if the chocolate has encountered temperature changes. Fat bloom is when the fat (cocoa butter) melts and separates itself from the cocoa solids. As the cocoa butter re-solidifies it works its way to the surface of the chocolate, leaving those gray streaks or white blotches.
Fat bloom is often due to poor storage conditions. Chocolate hates temperature changes, and should be stored and set in a cool, dry location. Chocolate should never be placed or stored in the refrigerator or freezer.
Fat bloom does affect the color and sometimes texture of the chocolate, turning it soft and crumbly. But, in most cases it is still safe to eat and usually doesn’t affect the taste.
But, more often than not, fat bloom is caused by improper tempering. To temper chocolate correctly, the temperature of melted chocolate has to be steadily raised and lowered and then raised again to create uniform cocoa butter crystals. If this isn’t done right, the cocoa butter crystals will form in different sizes and show as a fat bloom on the surface. Tempering chocolate properly is a tedious and time consuming task and has to do with a chocolatier’s skill and proper equipment.
Sugar bloom happens when chocolate is exposed to moisture. It is the result of water, in the form of dampness or condensation, interacting with the chocolate. Just like the cocoa butter in fat bloom, the sugar separates itself in sugar bloom. This will cause your chocolate to look white and grainy.
When chocolate is stored or exposed to warm or moist conditions, moisture collects on the surface of the chocolate and draws out the sugar. and then this dries and crystalizes on the surface. Sugar bloom can be avoided by keeping chocolate away from moisture and storing it in a cool, dry location (not in the refrigerator or freezer!). This is not similar to sugar crystals that are in a particular bar for a crunchy texture.
If the sugar bloom is mild, the chocolate may be saved by scraping the bloom off.
How To Avoid Bloom
- Always make sure your chocolate is stored in a cool dry place.
- Never store chocolate in the refrigerator or freezer.
- Ensure your melted / tempered chocolate (and finished product) does not come into contact with ANY water or condensation (or high humidity). Make sure all machine parts, tools and utensils are dried completely before they touch the chocolate (make sure anything you dip into the chocolate is dry, wet items like berries and fruit can also cause bloom!).
Purchase your chocolate from a reputable supplier who offers fresh chocolate that has been stored properly, like gustologia!
At Gustologia we are concerned with our customers knowing everything about the chocolate they are purchasing. In terms of ingredients we are doing our best to provide this information online, but feel free to reach out on any information if there are doubts as to allergies. Most of our brands do process chocolate in a facility that also processes nuts, soy and milk.
Although we completely sympathize that individuals will have allergies, we cannot be held responsible if an item was purchased mistakenly, and this will not automatically be a basis for a return or refund. But we do encourage our customer to reach out to us, and we will help to find a solution.
What is soy lecithin?
Some products with chocolate contain soy lecithin, which is an emulsifier, preventing the cocoa butter from separating from the cocoa mass. It is a natural ingredient and it does not alter the final product. We do carry some products that are soy lecithin free.