We proudly manufacture our chocolate directly from the cocoa bean.
At World’s Finest® Chocolate, we import, roast, and grind all of our cocoa beans at our Chicago headquarters, personally controlling every step of the chocolate-making process. Properly roasted cocoa beans are the foundation and first step towards a rich and delicious World’s Finest® Chocolate product. By using only the finest raw ingredients and our special family recipe, we are able to deliver consistently well-balanced flavor, smooth, creamy texture and shiny color.
Harvesting the Cocoa Bean
Growing on the tree trunks of our St. Lucia Farm are cocoa pods filled with cocoa beans. The pods are harvested, cut open and 20 to 50 cream-colored beans are scooped out to be fermented and dried. Approximately 400 beans are required to make one pound of chocolate.
Next the beans are passed through a winnower machine, which cracks open the bean and removes the thin shell from the nib, which is the part of the bean that provides a delicious, chocolate flavor.
The nibs are then roasted to specific temperatures, which brings out their aroma, color, and rich flavor. After roasting, the nibs are crushed by hammer mills to produce a thick paste called chocolate liquor (non-alcoholic liquid).
Chocolate liquor is used to manufacture cocoa and chocolate. Some of the liquor is processed through presses that remove the cocoa butter. That cocoa butter is either sold as a by-product or saved to be added back during chocolate manufacturing. The pressed cake that is left after the cocoa butter is removed can be cooled, pulverized and sifted into cocoa powder.
To make eating chocolate, extra cocoa butter is added to the chocolate liquor, plus other ingredients:
- Dark Chocolate = Cocoa butter, chocolate liquor, sugar, soya lecithin
- Milk Chocolate = Cocoa butter, chocolate liquor, sugar, milk powder, vanillin, soya lecithin
- White Chocolate = Cocoa butter, sugar and milk
To develop the flavor and a smooth texture, the chocolate is put through a kneading action called conching. The rotating arms move back and forth through the mixture, continually breaking down any particles and thoroughly blending the ingredients.
Next the chocolate goes through a tempering process, which consists of heating, cooling and reheating. Tempering gives chocolate its shiny appearance and smooth texture, allowing it to set quickly so it will release easily from molds.
The Finished Product
The chocolate is then poured in molds, panned, enrobed or dipped with other products to create the chocolate items that we love.
The World’s Finest Chocolate Chicago Facility is 100% peanut free.
With state-of-the-art technology and use of only the finest ingredients obtainable, we are able to guarantee consistently fresh and premium quality chocolate products. Strict controls throughout the manufacturing process guarantee that World’s Finest® chocolate products are truly fresh and will consistently deliver a well-balanced flavor, smooth, creamy texture, and a shiny, even color. The exquisite chocolate it offers is available in many styles, including bars, individually wrapped pieces and panned items.
Chocolate Storage and Conditions
If stored properly, most chocolate has a shelf life of more than one year. Cocoa butter, like any fat, can absorb odors or spoil. Therefore, chocolate should be well wrapped and stored away from pungent odors or flavors, which could affect its taste. Chocolate should be stored in a cool, dry, airy place at a recommended temperature of 65 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Orders shipped during warmer months are packed with dry ice to maintain the integrity of our chocolate products while in transit.