For the past several years, one of the better sources for organic couverture for artisan chocolatiers has been (believe it or not) Dagoba. Several well-known and award-winning chocolatiers have built their businesses on that chocolate.
However, since its acquisition by Hershey's Artisan Confections company, Dagoba has been forced to close down several lucrative side businesses, which include short-run bar production and selling couverture. Presumably, Artisan Confections views this as selling basic raw ingredients to competitors.
I've been asked on several occasions to help chocolatiers locate sources for organic couverture. One of those came in my e-mail yesterday and I decided to follow up on it because of an increase in interest in this subject overall.
There is the obvious choice: Barry-Callebaut. They are arguably the largest supplier of organic couverture to artisan chocolatiers. Valrhona has recently entered the business, but its prices make it a no-go option for many. In fact, couvertures imported from Europe are getting increasingly expensive as the dollar shrinks against the Euro.
So - what are you all using these days? Who are you looking to to provide organic couverture of high technical quality (i.e., consistent workability) that also tastes good?
One Canadian (Ottawa, Ontario) company my research unearthed is Cocoa Camino
. They offer only three couvertures (70%, 56%, and a milk) but they are all certified organic, fairtrade, and kosher.
Does anyone have any experience with these - or have other recommendations for organic couverture?