"I use to live in Manchester. I moved to Florida and ive been going to Van Otis for 15 years. Ive never had bad service, everyone I have had has always been very helpful. We don’t have any Van Otis’s in Florida so sometimes I will order online. Never had any problems, everything well packaged. Every year I go on vacation to NH I make it a point to go to Van Otis."

-Arlene MacElman

Chocolate 101

White-Chocolate-TruffleWhat is milk chocolate?
In order for chocolate to be considered milk chocolate it must contain at least 10% chocolate liquor, 12% milk solids, and 3.39% milk fat.  Milk chocolate is medium brown in color and has a creamy milk taste.

What is white chocolate?
White chocolate is basically milk chocolate but without chocolate liquor.  Since there is no chocolate liquor in white chocolate it’s technically not “chocolate,” however it is caffeine free.

What is the difference between semisweet and bittersweet chocolate?
There is no technical difference between the two except perhaps for percentage of cacao content.  According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration both must contain at least 35% chocolate liquor and less than 12% milk solids.  Both are considered dark chocolate.

Amaretto-Truffle

Is chocolate healthy?
There is scientific evidence that chocolate in moderation has health benefits because it is rich in antioxidants known as flavonoids.   These antioxidants may enhance cardiovascular health by reducing damage to blood vessels caused by oxidation.

How should I store chocolate?
Contrary to some advice, do not freeze or refrigerate chocolate.  Chocolate is just fine at room temperatures from 60-70 degrees Fahrenheit.  Ideal storage conditions for chocolate are 68F and 25% relative humidity, away from foreign odors that can be easily absorbed by chocolate and hence alter the taste.  Refrigerating or freezing chocolate temporarily alters the true taste and can permanently degrade the look of chocolate.  If you choose to refrigerate your chocolate, make sure it is slowly brought back to room temperature before eating.

What is a chocolate bloom?
Blooming chocolate has a gray haze that forms on the surface.  The haze may seem like mold, but it’s actually tiny particles of fat that migrate over time to the surface of the chocolate.  There are two kinds of chocolate blooms:  fat bloom and sugar bloom.  Fat blooms occur when chocolate experiences changes in temperature or inadequate tempering during production.  Sugar blooms occur from the dissolution and subsequent crystallization of sugar on the surface.  Although blooming chocolate may look unappetizing, the taste and edible safety is not compromised.