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Trader Joe’s has ruby chocolate

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20 hours ago, teonzo said:

 

I would say it's the opposite.

As far as I know you need a peculiar variety to produce the Ruby chocolate, you need beans that have a natural purple color, they are a very small percentage in the worldwide production. So they don't have many choices for the starting beans: purple or nothing, can't use the other colors.

Quality wise they can't hide behind fermentation and roasting: if they use poor quality beans then there aren't many ways to mask it (like high roasting does for cheap chocolate).

 

 

 

 

Blending has been the only way used to produce chocolate up to when people started producing grand crus. If you are producing a grand cru then you end up with a different product from season to season: you just depend on that singular bean producer, his trees will give different beans from season to season for basic natural reasons. Most consumers want a consistent product, that must taste almost identical season to season, year after year. This takes HUGE skills production wise: you need great expertise and great nose. High end producers keep using the blending method not for cutting costs, but for being able to produce a chocolate with consistent taste.

If you are a bonbon producer then you need a consistent chocolate for your shells and ganaches: you balance your recipes for a given chocolate, when you buy it you expect it to have the same taste batch after batch, otherwise you would need to fine tune every recipe every time you receive a chocolate purchase (pure nightmare).

 

 

 

Teo

 

Teo, I didn't read the entire article by Becky put it looks like there are issues of quality and the processing method is cheaper (see quote below). But you are in Europe and likely use Callebaut and I'm in the Americas and I'm using beans from the Americas (El Rey) so there could be personal favorites

 

" It’s known that unfermented cocoa beans are way cheaper than fermented cocoa beans. The fermenting process takes up anywhere from 5 to 7 days to complete. This means more labour, more infrastructures and more time than just collecting wet cacao on the field and deliver it (or directly drying it). By using unfermented cacao, Barry Callebaut dramatically reduces the cost of its raw material. Moreover, since the flavor of Ruby chocolate is so subtle (and at this point not particularly relevant), the company can afford to be careless about the quality of the cacao beans used, reflecting in lower prices paid at origin." 

 

https://thechocolatejournalist.com/ruby-chocolate/

 

 

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, eugenep said:

Teo, I didn't read the entire article by Becky put it looks like there are issues of quality and the processing method is cheaper (see quote below). But you are in Europe and likely use Callebaut and I'm in the Americas and I'm using beans from the Americas (El Rey) so there could be personal favorites

 

I don't have any bias against American chocolate (I would be totally dumb to do so since cacao comes from the Americas). I'm not partial to Callebaut (on the contrary, never been a fan). Simply I don't like when people write negative comments basing them on rumours and not facts. Before bashing somebody / some business it would be better to check the facts.

 

The webpage you linked is a perfect example of writing stuff without checking facts. My turn to criticize the critic:

 

 

 

4 hours ago, eugenep said:

By using unfermented cacao, Barry Callebaut dramatically reduces the cost of its raw material.

 

The fermentation part of producing chocolate affects the final price for less than 5% (it takes time, yes, but it's unattended time without using machines). Reducing costs for a 5% is pretty far from "dramatically reducing".

Besides that, are we sure that producing ruby chocolate is the same as producing dark chocolate, just only with 2 steps less? No, we can't. Ruby chocolate is produced from peculiar beans that are purple. Those beans must be sorted. Most cocoa plantations have different cocoa varieties planted on them. This means the farmer can't collect all the mature pods from all the trees like they do for dark chocolate, they need to take them from the right trees. After that, most probably they must sort the beans, not just opening the pod and throwing all the beans together. When a pod has purple beans then most of the times it does not contain ONLY purple beans, there are at least the white beans too. So there must be some manual sorting, which most probably affects final costs more than fermentation (which is just done in bulk). There are other additional steps too: as Kerry pointed out, since there is no roasting the producer must process the beans in another way to reduce microbial activity. This is another cost that is present only in the ruby chain of production. So you take out costs from one side, add costs on the other.

If someone does not know these facts, then better not writing those assumptions, because they are based on nothing.

 

Some other things on that webpage.

She writes "The Switzerland-based company" referring to Callebaut. Too bad Callebaut is based in Belgium (Barry-Callebaut has the headquarters in Switzerland, that is another thing). Someone that makes this mistake looses his/her chocolate credibility in a matter of a second.

She writes "More than the fourth flavor of chocolate, Ruby sounds like a pink cocoa butter with hint of fruitiness." - If so, then the third flavor of chocolate (white chocolate) sounds like what? The taste of white chocolate is given mostly by the milk solids, they do not come from cacao. Ruby chocolate has no milk solids, just like dark chocolate and contrary to milk chocolate and white chocolate. Her sentence simply makes no sense. I stopped here since it's way too long and the few lines I read were so full of basic mistakes that it was just wasted time to continue.

Before claiming to be a "chocolate journalist" someone should study what being a journalist means. First thing a journalist must do is checking sources, a quality that's totally missing in those first lines. Those lines also imply a huge lack of knowledge about basic chocolate notions. It's like someone talking about integrals without knowing what an integer is.

 

Don't misunderstand me as a ruby chocolate maniac or as a Callebaut fan. I'm neither. On one side I think that the technique for producing ruby chocolate has a lot of potential and can lead to many interesting new things for us pastry chefs (what if they use the same technique but starting only from the white beans? what if they ferment and not roast?). On the other side I don't like how Callebaut is marketing it, they are basing the marketing campaign just like it was a new fashion scarf.

 

 

 

Teo

 


Edited by teonzo (log)
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Teo

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I thought Ruby did contain milk. Which made me wonder how it would taste without the milk component?

 

Here's the ingredient list - 

 

Sugar 35.5%, cocoa butter 29.5%, skimmed milk powder, whole milk powder, cocoa mass 4.5%, emulsifier; soya lecithin, citric acid, natural vanilla flavouring.

 

That is a whole lot less cocoa mass than I thought would be in there.

 

 

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4 hours ago, Beckykp27 said:

The Chocolate Journalist has a good article about ruby chocolate. Apparently Callebaut has been quite transparent in the fact that they developed it to appeal to millennials and Instagramers and that it's more about the look than the taste. I have yet to hear anyone speak highly of the flavor. (That being said, I'll still probably pick some up next time I'm near a TJ's)

 

It's pleasant. I dislike most white chocolate, and I'd much rather eat this than white (unadulterated white - I do like some fruity ganaches made with white chocolate). My kid LOVES the ruby (and she tends to have a pretty developed palate for a teen - she's very much a cheese snob), but she also likes white and milk chocolates, so it's not too surprising. For me? Overall, meh. I think it will be useful to provide additional color to a box of chocolates, and I think it will be nice with an appropriately matched fruity ganache. But nothing to get excited about. If my kid wasn't so enthusiastic, I would have stopped at one 5 oz bag.

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1 hour ago, Kerry Beal said:

I thought Ruby did contain milk

 

My mistake, I've always been told it does not have milk.

 

 

 

Teo

 


Teo

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4 minutes ago, Kerry Beal said:

It was my assumption as well when I first heard about it. 

 

I talked with some people in the Callebaut circuit in Italy, they said it was similar to dark chocolate as far as composition (cocoa beans + sugar lecithin + vanilla, no added milk solids). Still haven't seen it for sale here (haven't spent a single energy searching for it, though, hahaha).

If what you wrote is the real data, then things are completely different. If there is only 4.5% cocoa mass, then it must have a really strong taste in origin. This makes me even more curious about all the possibilities and about tasting the raw cocoa beans (just out from a freshly harvested pod, but I'd need to travel to a cocoa producing country). I wonder what could come out producing a chocolate with the same composition of classic dark chocolate, but using only unfermented untoasted white beans, or using fermented but untoasted beans, all the combinations. There is space for a lot of experimenting, so I assume the best thing to do is waiting and seeing what will happen in the next couple years, since the other producers won't stay put and the pastry chefs are only at the beginning of working with ruby.

 

 

 

Teo

 


Teo

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2 hours ago, Kerry Beal said:

I thought Ruby did contain milk. Which made me wonder how it would taste without the milk component?

 

Here's the ingredient list - 

 

Sugar 35.5%, cocoa butter 29.5%, skimmed milk powder, whole milk powder, cocoa mass 4.5%, emulsifier; soya lecithin, citric acid, natural vanilla flavouring.

 

That is a whole lot less cocoa mass than I thought would be in there.

 

 

This is what I have been wondering about all along.  The packaging on the Trader Joe's product stops short of calling it's contents chocolate.  I believe (I do not have a package handy) I says it is made with Ruby cocoa.  The package says it contains a confectionery.

 

Is this really Ruby chocolate?  Or is it really a product maid with Ruby chocolate?  I am waiting for an authoritative answer. 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, donk79 said:

This is what I have been wondering about all along.  The packaging on the Trader Joe's product stops short of calling it's contents chocolate.  I believe (I do not have a package handy) I says it is made with Ruby cocoa.  The package says it contains a confectionery.

 

Is this really Ruby chocolate?  Or is it really a product maid with Ruby chocolate?  I am waiting for an authoritative answer. 

It is really Ruby chocolate - apparently they can't call it chocolate in the states. 

 

Ingredient list - 

 

SUGAR, COCOA BUTTER, WHOLE MILK POWDER, UNSWEETENED CHOCOLATE, SOY LECITHIN (EMULSIFIER), CITRIC ACID (ACIDULANT), NATURAL FLAVOR.


Edited by Kerry Beal (log)
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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, Kerry Beal said:

It is really Ruby chocolate - apparently they can't call it chocolate in the states. 

 

Ingredient list - 

 

SUGAR, COCOA BUTTER, WHOLE MILK POWDER, UNSWEETENED CHOCOLATE, SOY LECITHIN (EMULSIFIER), CITRIC ACID (ACIDULANT), NATURAL FLAVOR.

 

 

One of the UK sellers has a product specification and according to it Ruby callets contain:

 

"Typical composition sugar 35.5%; cocoa butter 29.5%; skimmed milk powder 16.5%; whole milk powder 12.5%; cocoa mass 4.5%; emulsifier: soya lecithin <1%; acid: citric acid <1%; natural vanilla flavouring <1% "


Edited by EllaCh (log)
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Thank you to both of you.  That it was not being called chocolate in the US was what felt out of step with the marketing I had read from Callebaut.  And now it makes sense to me.  And I am afraid that I will have to say that the marketing is out of step with the product.  Of course, I guess that is what marketing is often all about...

 

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Is this thread just about the Trader Joe's product? I bought some Ruby Chocolate Kit Kat bars on Amazon from a European importer. I liked them OK - even if it's not a big thrill it was still fun to try them!  (One or two of them had @Smithy's name on them, but we didn't manage to connect this time.   😞 )

 

The ingredients list includes:  sugar, cocoa butter, wheat flour, milk powder, palm fat, cocoa solids, low fat cocoa, skim milk powder, concentrated butter, whey products. Of course this is the biscuit as well as the chocolate covering and I translated it from the German so my terminology may not be ideal. 

 

IMG_20190409_175436.thumb.jpg.b9b73862b7170df737f7f69bbd2e727e.jpg

 

IMG_20190409_175342.thumb.jpg.a04d3d05fcbb49ffd0afbd556a7a531e.jpg

 

IMG_20190409_175312.thumb.jpg.647a96f94186dd8b21c4c9508499b4fb.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)
On 3/6/2019 at 11:24 AM, EllaCh said:

I have got some Ruby chocolate (callets from Callebaut, obviously) and moulded some sample bars for my friends. One person didn't like it at all (spat it out, to be truthful), one person said it tasted like white chocolate with added fruits but majority was happy with its taste and colour. Personally, I like it, it is very fruity but it is not "chocolatey enough" if that makes sense. Sorry the picture is not the best.

 

 

 

I was at Trader Joe today picked up a bag of the Ruby chocolate as I had never tried it before.  I think  "fruity white chocolate" is a perfect description.  I do have to say that I find the color off-putting.  It is not an attractive shade.


Edited by Bentley (log)
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On 4/12/2019 at 2:07 AM, Bentley said:

 

I was at Trader Joe today picked up a bag of the Ruby chocolate as I had never tried it before.  I think  "fruity white chocolate" is a perfect description.  I do have to say that I find the color off-putting.  It is not an attractive shade.

 

To be honest I am quite surprised how many people is not that keen on the colour. To me, it is all right 😁

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