What Sets French Chocolate Apart From Other Varieties?

All chocolate is not created equal, particularly when discussing couverture, some of the highest-grade chocolate available for purchase. Under this overarching umbrella of fine chocolates lies several chocolate subcategories, however, and understanding the differences in taste can help you create the dessert recipes of your dreams. When stacked against other types of chocolate, French chocolates offer a noticeably bolder flavor. French chocolates present a bitter taste, and chocolatiers have perfected the art of using French chocolate to make chocolate bars, bonbons, pastries, and an assortment of chocolate-covered treats.

When France's love affair with chocolate began in the 1600s, the exotic treat was a luxury afforded predominately to the higher echelon of society. Royalty would sip cups of paste made from cocoa beans that were blended with water, milk, and spices. To this day, only the best ingredients are used to create French chocolate. When shopping for chocolate, you may notice that French chocolates aren't necessarily cheap, but the time and commitment to excellence are considered when determining the price of the rich ingredient. 

Subtleties in chocolate flavors

French chocolate is known to be less sweet than other chocolate types, and French chocolates can deliver cocoa content ranging from 62% to 80%. This is an important detail to consider when using chocolate in recipes at home. French chocolate has earned a reputation not only for its intense taste and complex flavor but also for chocolate textures that include delicately smooth truffles and silky-rich ganache. If you were to sample Belgian and Swiss chocolate and then compare a bite of the French creation, you may notice that the chocolates hailing from other European countries taste significantly sweeter.  

Depending on what you're making in your kitchen, these subtle differences in flavor can have a big impact on the recipes you set out to perfect, and you may need to include other sweeteners if you're wanting a sweeter dish. Because French chocolates are often made with higher cocoa contents, the ingredient is perfect to mix into richer hot chocolate recipes and decadent chocolate layer cakes.