Chocolatiers vs. Chocolate Makers: What’s the Difference?
Susan M. Stokes, Chocolate Addict
12 October 2019
Are you thinking of buying craft chocolate? Make sure you read this first to help you understand the difference between chocolatiers vs. chocolate makers.
Each one has a different level of involvement in the chocolate-making process. But both are distinct art forms and should be respected in their own right.
Chocolatiers vs. Chocolate Makers
Chocolatiers are culinary artisans(or chefs) who source and blend high-quality chocolate(couverture), made by chocolate makers, to create their own unique chocolate products e.g. bonbons, truffles, pralines or flavoured bars. Chocolatiers specialise in fancy fillings, flavours and shapes of chocolate, think of all those delicious camels or strawberry cream flavoured delicacies. But very few chocolatiers make their own chocolate.
“Very few chocolatiers make their own chocolate.”
So if in doubt, simply ask the chocolatier where they source their chocolate. Any quality maker should be proud to tell you where they source their chocolate. But if the answer is ‘Belgium’ it’s more than likely mass-produced.
Chocolate makers instead source cocoa beans(which are grown in the tropics, within a range of 20% north and south of the equator) directly from individual cacao farmers. Carving out relationships with them and the surrounding local communities that all depend on cacao farming to exist. Even paying above Fair Trade prices to ensure farmers are not subject to commodity trade pricing and a living wage can be earned plus farmers can give extra attention to give the cacao trees(Theobroma cacao).
You see the unique flavour profile of cacao beans comes to from the earth (terroir) and region in which it grows.
So working closely with farmers helping them improve and implement new cultivation processes, they ensure the chocolate makers get the finest flavour profile possible for the delicious end product of a chocolate bar.
They also have complete farm-to-bar transparency, in an era where we don’t know where our food comes from this is becoming increasingly important.
Once they have soured their cacao beans from the farmer, work begins in their facility to begin the process of turning it into chocolate.
The chocolate-making process consistents of a series of steps, where lots of different pieces of equipment are used, including a:
- refiner mill
- tempering machine
All are needed to get the end product of pure chocolate – usually in bar form. Hence the name bean-to-bar chocolate makers.
As we mentioned earlier very few chocolatiers make their own chocolate but some bean-to-bar producers do create their own chocolate confections (with inclusions or added flavours), making them chocolate makers as well as chocolatiers. What a talented and creative bunch!
Chocolatier vs. Chocolate Maker in Summary
So there you have it Chocolatiers vs. Chocolate Makers the differences explained. Both are two different art forms that bring delicious chocolate we all know and love into our world with passion and dedication.
Let us know your favourite local Chocolatier vs. Chocolate Maker in the comments.
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