What is Merckens Chocolate?
Merckens is a subsidiary of Cargill. Cargill also owns other chocolate makers such as Peter's (1875) and Wilbur (1865). Merckens has been making chocolate since 1921. They have become a staple in the homes of many bakers and candy makers across the world. They offer a large selection of colors and flavors of classic melting discs.
Most people recognize Merckens because it's been in the family for so long. "My mother always used Merckens, so I just kept the tradition alive" is something we often hear at Mr. Bulky's Foods. While Merckens has been around for a long time, they've gone through many revisions when creating their milk chocolate melting discs.
What Makes Merckens Different?
Merckens chocolate melting discs are not real chocolate. They are actually a chocolate compound. So, what is a chocolate compound? A chocolate compound uses vegetable oil, instead of cocoa butter, in its production. This helps make the melting process smoother. (Pun intended)
Regular chocolate, by comparison, needs to be tempered before you use it. Tempering is a very complicated and delicate process. It takes many years of practice to be able to temper and mold real chocolate. This is why melting discs like Merckens milk chocolate discs are so popular. To melt them, you just put the discs in a microwave safe bowl, run it in thirty second intervals, and stir. Viola!
What is Alpine Chocolate?
Alpine is a brand of chocolate from CQC. (Clasen Quality Chocolate.) Founded in 1959 by two German brothers, Clasen started as a small company in Wisconsin. Since then, it's grown into a larger than life supplier of chocolate and confections all across North America!
What Makes Alpine Different?
Like Merckens, Alpine melting discs are not real chocolate. They are a chocolate compound. Again, this means that there is no complicated tempering process involved with melting this chocolate. Just toss it in the microwave and get to work!
Which One is Better?
Now that we know the differences between Merckens and Alpine, though there's not many. Which one is better? The answer is, whichever one you like more! It truly all comes down to personal preference. If your family has always used Merckens then stick with it. If you like the way Alpine tastes over Merckens, like us at Mr. Bulky's Foods, then stick with that.
At the end of the day, whichever you decide on, remember that these are just two companies making the same product. What really matters is the fun you have making chocolates for and with your friends and family!