Having special dietary requirement or being told you are sensitive to certain foods can really turn your life upside down. Suddenly you have to figure out what the words on the food labels mean. And if you can still enjoy your favourite treats or not. So what makes artisan chocolate so special, and why do people with dietary requirements love artisan chocolate?
What is artisan chocolate?
Firstly, let me clarify what I mean when I talk about artisan chocolate. In short, the majority of the chocolate found in a supermarket is not artisan (there are a few exceptions). They are mass produced in a big facility where they pop out hundreds of chocolate bars a day. They often contain a lot of sugar and preservatives to make sure they last on the shelves. Don’t get me wrong, I love certain brands from the supermarket shelves. They hit the right spot when I am craving a certain flavour profile and sugar hit.
But artisan chocolate by definition is made in small batches, by micro/small chocolate makers and chocolatiers. It requires a real skill set and massive amounts of knowledge to create amazing tasting chocolate. And they have to control each part of the chocolate making process. Artisan chocolate is made with mostly natural ingredients and very little to no preservatives. They often have a shorter shelf life because of that.
Who makes artisan chocolate?
Chocolate makers are the people who import the cacao beans from other countries and turn it into chocolate. Chocolatiers are people who get the chocolate that is ready to be used from a chocolate maker, and then re-work it to create amazing chocolates for you to eat! (Read my full blog on Chocolatier vs Chocolate Maker here)
Why is artisan chocolate preferred over supermarket chocolate?
Most mass produced chocolate is created in large facilities that often process lots of different ingredients. The chocolate made in those facilities can therefor contain traces of everything you could be allergic to. Artisan chocolate is very different.
Chocolate makers and chocolatiers tend to specialise in making only a few products, with a handful of ingredients. While they still use the same equipment for every product, they simply don’t process certain ingredients. This means there is 0% risk of any trace amounts of that ingredient ending up in your chocolate. That is why people with dietary requirements love artisan chocolate!
Which chocolate is safest for my special diet?
By nature most artisan chocolate is dark chocolate. Chocolate makers and chocolatiers are very passionate about bringing out the natural flavours of the cacao beans used. So most don’t add anything other than natural ingredients. So most artisan chocolate is vegan and dairy-free! There are also plenty of dark chocolate varieties created with Stevia instead of sugar. This makes them suitable for diabetics and keto followers as well.
Some milk chocolate products will use milk powder to help add some creaminess. Some will use extra cacao butter or coconut milk, instead of milk power. So they are suitable for people following a dairy-free or vegan lifestyle.
White chocolate is often unsuitable for a lot of people with dietary requirements. This is because the milk and sugar content is the highest out of the dark, milk, and white varieties.
As someone with special dietary needs you have to be extra careful with any filled truffles, bonbons, and tablets. Any chocolate that has ‘inclusions’ are often unsuitable for people with dietary needs, or allergies. Inclusions are anything other than chocolate, such as nuts, fruits, spices. Because this is where the cross contamination can more easily happen.
How do you get dietary friendly chocolate delivered to you?
Personally I am following a Keto lifestyle. I am loving it, but it was hard to combine that with owning a chocolate business! I realised that there was a big group of people who thought they could no longer enjoy amazing chocolate. So I have created a Special Diets Chocolate Subscription and One-Off Tasting box range. Now people that follow a dairy-free, sugar-free, gluten-free, vegan, or keto lifestyle can enjoy the best chocolate that New Zealand has to offer! Make sure you have a look! If you are not sure if something is suitable for you, please email email@example.com and I can help you find a suitable chocolate box.