Real Chocolate Deadline Extended
Thanks largely to the Guittard company's Don't Mess with Our Chocolate Campaign and the tireless online efforts of Cybele May of Candy Blog, the US Food and Drug Administration has extended the period during which consumers can protest the proposed substitution of low-quality vegetable fats for cocoa butter in chocolate. The original deadline for consumer comments was April 25, but the FDA told Guittard vice president Ed Seguine on Monday that they would extend the comments period for another month.
Cocoa butter, the ingredient at the center of all this clammor, is the life-blood of chocolate. It makes up about fifty percent of the cacao bean and plays an even bigger role in artisanal chocolate bars. Chocolate makers generally mix crushed cacao beans (called cacao liquor) with extra cocoa butter extracted from other beans. Solid at room temperature but liquid at body temperature, the tropical fat is responsible for chocolate's melt-in-your-mouth, tickle-your-tongue properties.
(Photo courtesy of Guittard)