Chocolate is made from the meat (or nibs) of cacao beans. Great chocolate can be made only from top-quality cacao beans, and top chocolate makers put great effort into sourcing their raw material. Genetics, origin, farming, processing-every detail is examined and finessed to produce a raw material with great character and complexity. But chocolate made from nibs alone has a drawback: It often lacks the voluptuous mouthfeel and the meltability that consumers want. That has led to a little-known practice of many chocolate makers, even the best: They supplement the top beans with bleached and deodorized butter that has nothing to do with the cacao that stars in the chocolate. Wine Spectator's Owen Dugan explains.
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