Let’s talk about shopping for pastries, cakes, baked goods and other items that have chocolate in them. If you are shopping in a shop, bakery, café, or chocolate shop it is very likely that the items you are purchasing are made on the premises, and that the ingredients used are nearby.
This makes it easy to ask questions as the staff know where to find the answers.
The kitchen may have many different kinds of chocolate that the pastry chef and others use to create the beautiful cakes, muffins, eclairs, etc., that line their shelves. Different confections have different needs to make them their best, so many different forms of chocolate may be used. Chocolate blocks, chocolate discs, cocoa powder, cocoa butter, tempered chocolate, decorative chocolate, and so many other forms.
Ask about the chocolate.
Staff at small shops are usually happy to answer questions you have.
Who makes the chocolate you use?
This is one of my favourite questions to ask. I am happy with whatever answer they give, usually extra happy if it is made by a local chocolate maker. If it isn’t made by a local chocolate maker I am very likely to still purchase the treat, but I do like to ask if they know if there is a local chocolate maker nearby.
I find that this helps pastry chefs to think outside the box, that hmmm, maybe their customers want local chocolate.
It is often likely that bakeries in particular use local or locally milled flours, so asking about other ingredients doesn’t surprise them at all. If I know a local chocolate maker I ask if they have thought about using that chocolate in some of their products.
The world is shifting to wanting to know about all the things we eat and consume. Chocolate is no different and by asking the questions it shows there is interest in those products. It is likely products made with local products like chocolate and flour are a little bit higher in price, but also easily traceable.
So go ahead and ask.
Then make choices when you shop.
I often buy pastries and treats from a local baker who uses locally made chocolate. I want to support folks who are making little changes to be more local.
Enjoyed this blog? Share it with a friend or check out the other blog posts in this series:
- Chocolate Basics (terms)
- Chocolate Basics ~ Chocolate Maker
- Chocolate Basics ~ Chocolatier
- Chocolate Basics ~ Desserts
- Chocolate Basics ~ Mass Production Chocolate
- Chocolate Basics ~ Shopping for Chocolate (bars)
- Chocolate Basics ~ Tasting Chocolate
- Chocolate Basics ~ Shopping for Bonbons
- Chocolate Basics ~ Tasting Resources (free ones)