‘Good bread cannot be baked out of bad wheat’
Mishle Yisrael was right on the money when he said this. Even though it may seem obvious to many, lines may blur or even disappear in today’s world of artificial ingredients and over processed foods. What makes food great is the ingredients and the process. It’s these two sisters that join hands to make food both delectable and satisfying.
Finding kosher chocolate may be easy, but it takes a lot of effort to properly kosherize this sweet treat. For precisely this reason, when it comes to kosher, it’s only the professionals who put their hands up and say ‘Certified’. Like everything else, chocolate in order to be kosher, needs to have the right ingredients and must be cooked the right way.
So if you are looking for Kosher Chocolate, you may want to keep the following points in mind.
- Right Equipment for the Right Chocolate
Chocolate production equipment needs to be ‘kosherized’ in order to eliminate any traces of non kosher ingredients. Equipment can be ‘kosherized’ by boiling it in water. Sounds simple right. There is a catch. Many chocolate manufacturers are hesitant to boil their equipment. Reason being, water reacts adversely with chocolate and there is a higher chance of bacterial contamination. Also chocolate does not mix well with water, unless you want fudge.
- Preventing Bloom
Dark Chocolate may have been considered as a ‘Pareve’ ingredient in the past, but that might not be the case. The equipment on which this delicacy is produced is usually used to prepare dairy, which is difficult to kosherize. Also dark chocolate may contain butter oil as it prevents the chocolate from going white. The industry insiders call this process ‘Bloom Prevention’.
- Citric Acid and Passover don’t mix well
Citric Acid may create issues if it comes in contact with cocoa, chocolate liquor and cocoa butter. It is important to note that this situation may not be that frequent but may happen sometime. This contamination of citric acid in this case can create problems for Passover.
- Cocoa Butter Rocks!
Some of our European cousins allow the use of CBE (Cocoa Butter Equivalent) in the production of chocolate. Now this may be perfectly legal, however the origins of these fats may be non kosher. CBE may have the same ‘melt in your mouth’ texture and consistency, but it doesn’t have the same great taste of good ol’ cocoa butter.
- Beware of Whey Powder
Whey powder is another ingredient whose origins are dubious and may be of a non kosher nature. This ingredient is used widely in the manufacture of chocolates and sometimes in the production of chocolate advertised as kosher. The reason is some butters are produced from whey which is a red flag altogether.
If all of the above information seems complicated or too much of a headache, here’s a simpler way to follow your faith and enjoy chocolate all at the same time. When shopping for kosher chocolate, check the ingredients. Kosher chocolate must be made only from pure cocoa butter. If it has other ingredients, then it’s not kosher. Pareve is another sign you should look out for, this basically confirms that the chocolate does not contain dairy and has not come in contact with non kosher food.
The beauty of Kosher chocolate is that it tastes great whatever the ingredients may be. Chocolate does not discriminate, only people do. It invokes the same feelings in everyone and doesn’t care if you are a Jew, Christian or a Twilight fan.