142. Underfermented Beans

BROGUHE, COTE D’IVOIRE, 2007. These beans look good, but they are underfermented. Fermentation removes the bitter-tasting, purple anthocyanins used by the beans as natural insecticides. Chocolate made from underfermented beans requires milk powder and sugar to mask the bitterness. This is why cheap supermarket chocolate contains milk powder and a lot of sugar. Dark chocolate made from such beans is alkalized and over-roasted to produce an alikaline, soapy flavor. Vanilla and other flavors are used to hide such undesirable flavors.

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