Vegan Chocolate and “Blooming”

Posted by on Nov 24, 2009 in Ask Makaira | 2 comments

Vegan Chocolate and "Blooming"Another question we get asked quite often is in relation to the sometimes grayish color of our vegan chocolate chips, properly called chocolate bloom, so I thought I’d write a quick post about it to ease our customers’ minds:

Have you ever purchased a chocolate candy bar from the store and had it have a grayish chalky coating on it? If so, that’s something call “blooming” in the world of chocolate.  Chocolate blooming is the most common problem you will encounter, but from the start, let me offer this consolation: blooming, no matter its form, is completely harmless, and at worst, will only make your chocolate slightly more bitter, sometimes a nice side effect when it comes to overly sweet chocolate. Also, like a fine wine, chocolate made from real cacao beans in high concentrations (at least 65%) gets better with age, and chocolate blooming in relation to the aging of REAL chocolate is actually a very good thing!

So, in the world of “chocolate bloom”, there are three distinct forms:

1. Fat Bloom: Fat bloom happens when large concentrations of cocoa crystals rise to the surface of the chocolate.  The thinner the chocolate, the more quickly blooming could potentially happen.  This is often accompanied by small “cracks” in the chocolate as well, making the surface of the chocolate appear less shiny.

2. Sugar Bloom: Sugar Bloom happens when large concentrations of sugar crystals condensate on the surface of the chocolate.  This is often referred to as “sweating” rather than “blooming” but the effect is identical. Sugar Bloom happens most often when the chocolate experiences temperature changes. Believe it or not, chocolate, in its purest form, is a sensitive (and quite healthy) treat.  If chocolate goes from a cold area to a warm area, “sweating” can often happen.

3. Stevia Bloom: Stevia Bloom appears as a grayish coating as well, and as a result, it can often be difficult to differentiate between “Fat Boom” and “Stevia Bloom.” Since Kona Kava Farm’s Vegan Chocolate contains an impressive 72% cacao (which, as stated earlier, sweetens and refines with age) and Stevia as the main sweetener instead of sugar, Stevia naturally produces a very similar grayish color.

Also, it’s the milk fat in non-vegan chocolate that helps prevent that fat-rich dark coating that most consumers are used to and feel comfortable with! Since we use no dairy in our vegan chocolate here at Kona Kava Farm, there’s no way to prevent the Stevia from rising to the surface and sometimes giving our vegan chocolate chips that unique grayish appearance.

In short: Enjoy your chocolate, no matter whether there is chocolate blooming or not, because not only is it harmless, it can often-times make the taste of your chocolate richer and more complex. In relation to Kona Kava Farm’s Vegan Chocolates, our bloom is a sign of purity and freshness, so enjoy, with comfort, enjoying the fact that something you take such decadent pleasure in is actually good for you as well!

From the eternally sunny Hawaii,

Aloha No!


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  1. It means your chocolate has “Bloomed” in one, two or both possible ways.
    One of these is Fat Bloom that can appear on chocolate. It occurs when chocolate is stored at high temperature (above 80 degrees F) or experiences widely fluctuating temperatures, causing cocoa butter to crystallize on the surface as gray streaks.

    Sugar Bloom occurs because of moisture or extremely high humidity,causing sugar to dissolve out of the chocolate. Sugar Bloom has a gritty texture.

    Chocolate that experiences a “Fat” bloom is still edible…”Tempering” – melting the chocolate to redistribute the butter fat will restore it’s color…

  2. I got your product for the first time yesterday. me and my girlfriend had a couple of shells of your powdered mahakea root. we both enjoyed the product. will be ordering more very soon. andrew hoffman. from pa


  1. Kava Article Library - KEITH CLEVERSLEY - […] Vegan Chocolate and “Blooming” Another question we get asked quite often is in relation to the sometimes grayish color of…

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