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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?

Tags: couverture, fairtrade, kosher, organic

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Yes, it's in the bulk bins, big chunks. They usually say Callebaut semi-sweet, milk etc., that's couverture. Hope that works for you.
Hey all
Late to the game on this response.
Tim, and others in the Vancouver area,
Cocoa Camino's Organic and Fair Trade couverture is available bulk in Whole Foods as well as Capers Markets.
Hope that helps!

Rodd Heino
Cocoa Camino
Coppeneur Germany produces two varieties of excellent organic couverture:

1) Plantation Hacienda lara (family operated), Ecuador: Organic Nacional Arriba Beans (72% dark and 55% milk)

2) Plantation Menavava, Madagascar: Organic Trinitario Beans (72% dark and 55% milk)

No vanilla and no soy lecithin.

Available wholesale through Coppeneur Canada, Calgary, Alberta.

www.coppeneurchocolate.com

Oddly enough only one pastry chef in North America is using Hacienda lara couverture
(www.river-cafe.com) and the Madagascar couverture is not used by any pastry chef.

Many North American restaurants have a philosophy of "Farm-to-Fork" and "Locally Sourced Sustainable Cuisine" and charge $49 for Locally Raised Organic Beef Tenderloin or $39 for "Diver" Sea Scallops (as apposed to much cheaper "drag-net" sea scallops) or have Penfolds Grange Hermitage Shiraz on their wine list but serve massed produced "Belgian" chocolate on their dessert menu.

The companies that manufacture massed produced couverture support culinary schools and chef/pastry chef associations with free/discounted product. Apprentices supplied free chocolate for their pastry competitions may find $30/kg couverture unacceptable when they later become pastry chefs.

I need to become proactive within my local pastry chef association.
Agostoni chocolate from Italy....sold by Global Organics in the States
60% 70% milk 32% semi sweet 45.5% and white

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