“I recently purchased a bar of Amedei Porcelana chocolate. Fog City News sells them for $11 here in San Francisco. When a bar of chocolate is individually numbered in a limited edition, you know it is going to be expensive… There are two reasons why boutique chocolates bars made in small quantities are better than mass-produced ones.
The first one is they don’t adulterate the cocoa butter with vegetable fats (a.k.a. margarine). The European Union yielded to British lobbying efforts and allowed this indefensible practice. Not that chocolate is the only products that legendarily taste-impaired nation tampers with. I lived in London in 1982, and remember my horror at finding out that vanilla “ice cream” included such fine ingredients as fish oil…
The second one is that big manufacturers like Nestle, Kraft Jacobs Suchard, Cadbury or Lindt produce such large volumes they can only retain cocoa varietals that are also grown in large quantities in industrial scale plantations, just as McDonald’s uses standardized potatoes grown to order. Furthermore, several varieties are usually blended for homogeneity, at the expense of character (echoes of the debate between proponents of blended vs. single malt Scotch whiskey). Smaller companies or smaller production runs do not have these constraints and can purchase high-quality cocoa beans that are grown in small quantities.”
Low Intensity Blog