Janice Stanger, PhD

Janice Stanger, PhD

Posted April 26, 2015

Published in Food

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My Day At the Dark Chocolate Factory

Read More: dark chocolate

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Sorting, Sniffing, and Tasting Are All Part of the Job of Making Intense Dark Chocolate Bars

Chocolate has always been one of my favorite foods. An allergy to chocolate in childhood was tough for me, and I could sneak only occasional bites. This sensitivity persisted, punishing me with a rash, a severe cough, and/or an excruciating headache if I dared eat chocolate even as an adult.

Happily, when I got rid of all the animal foods in my diet, I discovered I had never been allergic to chocolate at all. I had choc remelted to temper it change chemical bonds and flavor.jpgbeen allergic to the combination of chocolate made with milk. I could eat as much vegan dark chocolate as I wanted with no allergy symptoms.

While dark chocolate can be healthy, the amount you need to eat for health benefits is small - one to three ounces a week will do it. Eat too much, and you're liable to contribute to weight gain and diminishing returns. So, since the optimal allowance of chocolate is not very big, you'll want to enjoy the best chocolate you can to get the maximum enjoyment and benefit from it.

The most intensely flavored chocolate bars I'd ever eaten were from Dandelion Chocolate, so I decided to take the tour of their manufacturing facility in San Francisco's Mission District. Dandelion's dark chocolate bars are made by hand, from whole chocolate beans, in small batches. The entire factory would fit into a large living room, yet the results are amazing.

Only organic sugar is added to the beans during the manufacturing process- no excess fats or other chemicals. The bars are dairy-free. (Full disclosure - I have no financial connection to Dandelion Chocolate, nor have I received anything from them other than the free public tour and small tastes of their bars. The chocolate samples are available to everyone who visits).

Click here to read about how to make artisan dark chocolate bars, and see pictures of the process