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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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I am pleased you know Alma! Yay. I know Carrie Floyd at Culinate, we met in Eugene in the 80's and remet through Buckman elementary where our kids go to school. I'll look for your blog entries! Thanks for the link to my site. I don't know how to do things like add links! Those aren't antique molds, though they are meant to look old! Those are gilded chocolate "icons" from molds I designed and that my friend Scott Foster sculpted and cast.
An interesting coincidence, my husband runs a literary festival here called "Wordstock". He was in NYC visiting publishers earlier this spring and doing some chocolate sleuthing for me. Long story short your book arrived at his desk today! The publisher thought he'd like to see it! Small world, indeed!
I know Mark Douglas and Kim Carlson at Culinate. One of my blog posts there actually had over 200 replies! A record for me.

I know I really dated myself when I mentioned I was working in the late '70s. Ever hear of a Portland band called Seafood Mama? Old friends. The only literary connection I have to Portland is that I once met Ursula K LeGuin. She wrote one of my favorite SF books ever - The Left Hand of Darkness.

I like the icon even better knowing they are modern and that you make them (and I presume sell them). Cool. Did you get the material for the molds from Chef Rubber?
Yes! The mold material we use is from Chef Rubber.
The beans used by El-Rey are actually grown organically - no pesticides, etc. I questioned them about this during a trip to Venezuela, and was curious as to why they do not get certified. Their response was that 1. It was difficult for them to get organic sugar, and 2. that the certifications were very costly and they made the choice to keep their prices lower.

I have had friends in Caracas inquire about the export issues that are keeping the chocolate from shipping, and have been told that now that they have the certificates this shouldnt happen again. That is, of course, unless the govt. takes over the company....the politics of chocolate.

Hallot Parson
Escazu Artisan Chocolates
Thanks Hallot,

What you say about el-rey is pretty much what they told me via email, but it is good to have it corroborated by someone who has been there. I like their chocolate a lot! Something about Venezuelan chocolate makes my mouth happy!

I am happy to hear that it will most likely be shipping soon! Oy, the politics of chocolate indeed.

Thanks for the info.

Regarding, El Rey. I have been receiving shipments from them for quite some time now and I have not been affected by their US relations. I also get beans from a couple of other places in Venezuela and still no problems.

Regarding an earlier mention of organic practices. There are many beans available that do not have the organic certification that are grown organically. I have two beans from Dominican available. One is organic certified and the other is not. However, they are both grown organically. The only difference is that one of the farmers has not done the registration process to get organic certified. This is the case with many beans from Ecuador, Mexico and Venezuela also.
If buying in bulk, there are several couverture manufacturers in Colombia, Peru, Ecuador and Venezuela that provide organic certified chocolate.
Could you tell me what manufacturers in Ecuador are producing organic certified chocolate? Thanks.
Hi, Clay
I m glad you share those great shops, but could u tell me where can I find couverture supplier in Vancouver BC? thanks!
Hi Tim,
Qzina in Richmond, BC 604-274-2626 or 1-800-661-2462 carries several brands of couverture.
Hi Joanne,
Thanks for telling me this information, but Richmond is kind far for me, is there any shops that close to downtown or Burnaby? I will go Richmond any way if there are not any shops in DT.
by the way...I've heard that Walmart has couverture???
Hi Tim,
Sorry, I thought you were a business. Qzina is a wholesale supplier, minimum $150. they deliver to a business. You can buy some bulk Callebaut at Superstore & probably others. Some chocolate shops may sell small quantities of couverture. I try to avoid Walmart!
oh, acturaly I want to make ganache cake for my party. The one you said at Superstore is that semi sweet chocolate in the bulk? is that couverture? or I can use that instead couverture?


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