Chocolate appeared for the first time in Europe in 1528 during the reign of Charles V. Although it was previously an expensive luxury product, chocolate is now accessible to everyone. Present in various forms: powder, spread, bar or tablet, chocolate can be found everywhere. Hard to believe, but according to statistics, a French person consumes 7 kg of chocolate per year. Did you know that 97% of French people eat chocolate at least once a week?
If for nearly 80 years the world has had the choice between three types of chocolate: dark, milk and white chocolate, the year 2018 is marked by the arrival on the market of pink chocolate also known as Ruby chocolate.
Where does this new type of chocolate come from?
In September 2017, the Swiss group Barry Callebaut, the world leader in chocolate products, officially announced the launch of a new pink-colored chocolate that is 100% natural called Ruby chocolate. This means that even vegetarians will this time be able to enjoy chocolate without feeling guilty. The public as well as professionals were able to discover this famous Swiss chocolate during the 25th Salon de Chocolat which was held in Paris on October 31, 2018.
This new chocolate did not fail to create controversy. Indeed those who have already tested it have found that it tastes like white chocolate with a little red fruit. Can we really talk about a 4th chocolate? It is necessary to think about it. The Swiss chocolate maker reiterates during his interview that chocolate contains neither added flavorings nor coloring agents. However, it seems that the company Barry Callebaut also confirmed that Ruby has a fruity taste of fresh berries. While some believe that this is simply marketing to sell more, others remain convinced that this is an unprecedented innovation.
In fact, Ruby chocolate owes its name and pink color to the cocoa pods called Ruby. Part of the production was carried out in Belgium, in Wieze, the location of the world's largest chocolate factory. According to the Barry Callebaut Group, it took 13 long years of research to develop this new delicacy.
What is so special about this chocolate?
The chocolate is made from the cocoa beans that are usually found in the Ivory Coast, Brazil or Ecuador. It is particularly distinguished by its non-fruity taste, neither sweet, bitter nor milky. Professionals will thus be able to create new flavors for chocolate and candy lovers. The mellow texture of this chocolate is certainly an important criterion given that consumers have tended in recent times to opt for ethical and responsible chocolates. This is what pink chocolate seems to represent.
Professionals in the chocolate and culinary field should be delighted. Indeed, according to surveys and market research carried out by an independent international agency, consumers are eagerly awaiting this product. This should boost chocolate sales in France once again. According to the national chocolate union, chocolate sales in France have stagnated since 2017.
Ruby chocolate, a long term job
The manufacture of Ruby chocolate required the collaboration of researchers and experts, including Jacob University in Germany. Since the beans used for the production are extremely rare, it was necessary to work with tenacity and courage in order to achieve the desired goal. Talent and know-how are involved not only in the selection of the beans or the mastery of their properties, but above all in the implementation of the manufacturing processes.
Pink ruby chocolate
The hardest thing according to the Swiss chocolate maker was to work on the taste, because it is not always easy to create a unique and outstanding flavour. But as they say, "Only he who perseveres to the end wins the prize", Ruby chocolate entered the Guinness Book of Records after only one year of its launch. In September 2018, Davide Comaschi, the director of the Chocolate Academy in Milan, made the world's largest panettone covered entirely with Ruby chocolate.
How to use pink chocolate?
Pink chocolate is intended above all for professionals who want to enhance their creativity. Chefs, chocolatiers, cooks and pastry cooks can use it in different ways. Nevertheless, you will have to take the beast by the horns, because unlike the other types of chocolate we have known for 80 years, Ruby chocolate has different properties. For example, it should be used in its pure state. To benefit from its fresh fruity and sour taste, it should not be exposed directly to air, high temperatures or humidity. You may alter both its natural pink color and taste.
It can be used as topping on desserts or mixed with muesli for breakfast. It is also perfect as a frosting for your cakes, donuts or muffins. Thanks to its fruity and delicious taste, you can create creams for your cakes or cupcakes. However, you must understand that Ruby chocolate can change color when used with other ingredients. Therefore, it is recommended to use raspberries, cherries, strawberries or redcurrants to compensate for the change in color of the chocolate.
But the use of Ruby chocolate is not limited to desserts, it is also suitable for your aperitifs such as rosé wine, rum or whisky. For more originality, the most creative use it to decorate cold starters. For example, to season cheeses such as Roquefort, Camembert or rather to associate with foie gras, caviar, seafood as well as acid vegetables.
The Barry Callebaut Group wants to bring innovation to the world of gastronomy. It is therefore up to professionals in the culinary world to be more creative if they want this new delicacy to bring added value to the world's kitchens.