With such complex processes, and a long, storied history, it’s not a surprise that a complicated language has evolved for all things chocolate.
In this glossary of chocolate terms, we hope that we can give you some definitions of the key words and phrases used in the world of craft chocolate.
Let us know if there’s anything missing!
Arriba NacionalA variety of cocoa bean found in Ecuador.
Artisan ChocolateChocolate made from the bean by an artisan chocolate maker, usually in small batches.
Bean To BarChocolate made from the bean by a chocolate maker.
BloomingA white appearance on the surface of the chocolate, usually caused by temperature fluctuations during storage. This causes the cocoa butter or sugar to rise to the surface of the chocolate. To prevent blooming, store your chocolate in a cool dark place, but not in the fridge!
Bulk ChocolateMass produced chocolate, generally used in confectionery or cakes. Bulk chocolate is commonly made in large factories using cheaper, lower flavour beans than artisan chocolate.
CacaoFrom Theobroma cacao, the scientific name for the cocoa tree. In most cases, the words “cacao” and “cocoa” can be used interchangeably.
CarréFrom the French for “square”, used to refer to small 5-10g square chocolate pieces. Often used as tasting samples.
Chocolate MakerA person or company who makes chocolate from cocoa beans.
ChocolatierA person or company who works with chocolate, usually making truffles, filled chocolates or confectionery. Chocolatiers will generally buy in pre-made chocolate, rather than make it from the bean themselves.
CocoaThe term cocoa is a general term, used to refer to products made from the cocoa bean, the fruit of the Theobroma cacao tree. It’s sometimes used interchangeably with “cacao”.
Cocoa BeanThe seeds of the Theobroma cacao tree, found inside the cocoa pods (fruit).
Cocoa ButterThe natural fat present within the cocoa bean. This can be extracted from roasted beans using a hydraulic press. What’s left behind is called cocoa press cake, which can be ground up to make cocoa powder.