My numbers on this are three years old, reader Maria, but in 2008 you could buy unrefined chocolate liquor — on an industrial scale — for about $1.60 per pound. Separating the cocoa solids from the cocoa butter is a necessary first step in manufacturing chocolate. But separated out, the cocoa would sell for $0.60 per pound. The separated and filtered cocoa butter, on the other hand, sold for $3.00 a pound. No wonder couverture, which requires so much more cocoa butter, costs so much.