How Chocolate is Made 

How Chocolate is Made 

Just as wine comes from the vine, chocolate comes from the bean. Where both the vine and the bean get their nourishment is their place: their terroir. Understanding terroir will forever change your relationship with your bar of chocolate. Knowing farming and chocolate-making basics will help you understand why you love the chocolates you eat, and then enables you to ask chocolate makers, chocolate tastings host, and a chocolate shop salesperson smart questions. All this knowledge paves the path to more chocolates that delight you.  


The great cliche is that fine chocolate is made only in Switzerland, Belgium or France. Maybe, Germany. Talk to a normal person and you'll hear this so often you'll assume it's merely marketing speak.  But when it comes to fine bean-to-bar chocolate, this is far from the truth. 

But any good point is worth repeating, and when it comes to fine bean-to-bar chocolate, it begins in the cacao farm. To make bean-to-bar chocolate, you need impeccable beans that have their flavour in balance with their acid and tannins That means you better know how to farm or know someone who does. Here's a working example of the impact of farming. Soil nitrogen is essential to cacao tree heath. It also impact aromatics. So, you can either work the soil to get a proper level of nitrogen, or you can just leave the soil as-is and add some nutrients to the chocolate itself once in gets to the chocolate production facility. Guess which one the bean-to-bar maker chooses?

This is but one of the choices a chocolate maker can make (or not) in the cacao farm. Generally, farming can fall into one of five categories: conventional, sustainable, organic, biodynamic, and natural. 

CONVENTIONAL: There are variations on the theme, but basically farming is done by synthetic addition. Herbicides are spayed to remove pests, instead of using manual technics. Can you tell if a farm is conventionally farmed by looking at it? Yes. The earth might be scorched. It may be very hard, compacted.  

(to be continued).    

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Sustainable Ancient Gift Wrapping - Furoshiki and Tenugui

Sustainable Ancient Gift Wrapping - Furoshiki and Tenugui
The Japanese weaves caring and sharing into all layers of society. They believe that politeness engenders order, safety, and cleanliness – significant values to live by. A polite society is a caring society. By being polite, people are considerate – they think of and put the convenience and feelings of others first when serving their friends, families, and even strangers. This permeates through every layer of institution and infrastructure in Japan as evident in the baskets provided to hold handbags and shopping bags at restaurants and trays to proffer money to reduce confusion and facilitate passing of coins and bills, just to name a few.

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The Yellow & The Blue

Dear Friends,

When we started Hello Chocolate in 2015, one of our founding principles was that this business is not supposed to be about us.  It’s about chocolate.  We have no interest in building a cult of personality or farming social media likes and followers.  We believe that our role is behind the scenes as stewards and curators—our job is to support talented independent chocolate makers and to introduce them to a larger family of chocolate lovers around the globe.  In this way, it seemed irrelevant who we are or where we’re from.

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How To: The Pralus - Barre Infernale Edition

How To: The Pralus - Barre Infernale Edition

You see this picture above and find out that it’s the Barre Infernale – Pistache by Pralus. The allure of the luscious praline core beckons you. You order it off Hello Chocolate and once it has arrived at your doorstep, you place it in the refrigerator to enjoy after work.

7pm rolls around, you go to retrieve the well-deserved treat. You cut off the strings then peel off the brown wrapper and gold foil to reveal the immaculately glistening bar you’ve been waiting for. The weight of the bar strikes you. It’s hefty. You gently shift the bar underneath the warm light to admire the glossy look.

“Alright, it’s time to try this.”

Everyone around you and online have been raving about this bar and you’ve got high expectations. You replay the gooey goodness that will be oozing out, in anticipation of what is to come in the following few seconds. You begin to salivate at the thought of possibly biting into the best chocolate bar you’ve ever had in your life and...

The bar is rock solid.

Does the above scene sound all too familiar? Do you wonder how to fully experience the coveted Pralus – Barre Infernale Pistache? Or any other bars of the Barre Infernale series for that matter?

This has been a long-awaited blog post on how to attain the mouthwatering, mesmerizing, and highly ‘grammable stage of eating the chocolate bar. Keep reading on to find out how to get that magnificent *chef’s kiss* bite every single time.

Steps to increase your chances of getting the *perfect* texture for Barre Infernale:

  1. Take the bar out of the refrigerator

  2. Leave it alone in room temperature for at least 15min

  3. Cut the bar with a sharp knife (don’t be a savage) – it should be slightly soft and perfectly gooey, depending on the temperature of your environment

And that’s it! The only difficult part about the three steps is the waiting, but we promise it’s always worth it. All good things come to those who wait after all. Now go forth and indulge yourself. Post as many bait-y pictures as you please, we won’t judge. Just tag us (@hellochocolateshop) in them.

The Pralus Barre Infernale Series:

Pralus Chocolate – Barre Infernale Pistache

The sensational bar of the Barre Infernale series, this is 160g of unadulterated indulgence. A substantial layer of dark chocolate made with fruity Madagascar cacao beans expertly surrounds a praline pistachio center made of sweet and rich pistachio paste coating pieces of crunchy whole pistachios. This pairing culminates in a climax in the mouth, when the dark chocolate melts perfectly on your tongue and lingers while the pistachio paste takes over as the leading lady in a theatrical performance that only your sense of taste can experience. A popular pick among the epicurean.

Pralus Chocolate – Barre Infernale Noire

The perfect example of an extraordinary pairing of chocolate made from the fruit Madagascar cacao beans with a nutty praline core. Let this be the dessert to conclude a romantic night of juicy steak and rich, tannic red wine on a high note. You will not need any more aphrodisiacs.

2014 International Chocolate Awards – Best Dark Chocolate Bars with Fillings - Bronze

Pralus Chocolate – Barre Infernale Lait

Truly a devilishly delicious bar, the shell is made of 45% milk chocolate with a rich cocoa flavor using beans sourced from the best plantations around the world. At its core, you will find tasty praline with toasted whole hazelnuts. A great dessert treat for a post-dinner indulgence.

Pralus Chocolate – Barre Infernale Nougat

Calling this an infernale would be a misleading misnomer. An angelic mix of nougat, French honey, whole chunks of almonds and pistachios are coated in a massive layer of creamy milk chocolate. The honey in this bar is extra special, coming from the little village of Mars near the Loire. Sweet and rich with a satisfying crunch, this bar was surely made for sharing… if you manage to resist wolfing it all down yourself…

Pralus Chocolate – Barre Infernale Orange

A mischievous bar, this dark chocolate bar has a praline core filled with candied orange with a hint of Grand Marnier liquor Talk about a naughty party in your mouth. If you get our drift, no one would blame you for sneaking this into the bedroom.

Pralus Chocolate – Barre Infernale Brut de Plantation

Beans from this bar were sourced from the Sao Tome plantation of Claudiou Corallo. Spicy and fruity notes and a hint of berries. Strong flavours enhanced by the cacao nibs. Pieces of nibs in this bar give it an unusual texture that falls apart when you eat it.

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