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In an excerpt from her book *Chocolate Connoisseur* Chloe Doutre-Roussell said this about Domori: "I want to know more about the company. Furthermore, competitors tell me Domori don’t work from the bean (which means they are buying their cocoa mass from another company, and just melt, blend, temper and mould). I am intrigued by this, because the chocolate tastes like no other I have tried, and I want to see with my own eyes what they are doing."

So is it true that Domori is NOT a bean-to-bar maker? They're on the list of bean to bar makers.

Tags: Domori, bean-to-bar, fondeur

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They might be bean to bar. Beans are sourced by Domori from partner Hacienda San José in Venezuela:

Which edition of the book are you looking at, and what page please.



You can follow the hyperlink in my original post (underlined in brown) or click here to get to same place. This is from Chloe's website, and the chapter says "Chocolate Buyer". It's about a typical day and the quote can be read at the 3:30 entry. I don't know if this is the same as the published version or not.
This is from Chloe's website, and a book extract titeled "Fine chocolate versus poor chocolate". The chapter says "Your chocolate profile: step 1".
Quote: "The chocolates in column 2 are (yes the bad news) more expensive, and are from my list of companies to watch out for - that is, typically, small ones who are doing amazing things with superb raw materials."
Domori is listed in column 2.

To be listed as an indisputable bean-to-bar maker Domori should allow an independent witness to visit their factory. If proof exist why not show it to us?
It surely was never my intention to stir up any controversy or to impugn a fine company like Domori. In a neutral way I was just trying to get the facts straight.

After a little more research, I'm pretty sure that Ms. Doutre-Roussell was mistaken, and she should have been more careful about making spurious comments. Keep in mind that the quote was from 2005 anyway, but I guess once something gets in print then onto the internet it can be hard to reign back.

As Gwen pointed out, the first mistake was to pass on hearsay from a competitor of Domori.

After looking at Domori's site, I think that the following statements are pretty clear that Domori IS a bean-to-bar maker. That makes total sense given the excellence of their products. (The phrases in brown underlined are hyperlinks to the source.)

Concerning Production:
Domori finds it essential to be involved in all processes from the bean to the bar. Domori has been a pioneer in the world of chocolate since 1994, distinguishing itself by meticulously following the complete cycle of the cacao bean from the plantation to the factory for use in its fine chocolates. Since its creation, Domori has grafted valuable cacao clones and renewed heirloom cacao varietals at the plantations it oversees. Domori has studied new aromatic hybrids, optimized fermentation techniques and successfully achieved a low impact transformation of the cacao bean in the state-of-the art factory completed in 2003.

Under FAQs:
Why are the couvertures so difficult to work with?
…We transform cacao varietials into couvertures in favor of the organoleptic traits and this can result in a higher percentage of humidity due to the mild roasting.

Why does Domori conch for less than 12 hours?
Over the past twenty years technological innovation has allowed to dramatically reduce the beans conching cycle duration. Therefore time is related to the means.

Finally, concerning Traceability
Traceability of the raw materials is very simple since both cacao and sugar arrive directly at the factory.

So Domori is clearly a bean-to-bar maker. We can all breathe a sigh of relief, and be glad that they are so open about their processes.

Case closed?
Thanks for the research on this. From my perspective there was never a question as I first started working with Domori from its earliest days of being sold here in the US. At one point, the master importer was Pierrick Chouard and Vintage Plantations.

The fact that the comment even made it into Chloe's book is a case of bad editing and fact checking, a criticism I have with the entire book as it is littered with simple mistakes and misunderstandings that should have been caught. Ironically, the publisher of the book is a sister company to the one that published mine - both are owned by PenguinUSA. (I had four editors looking at my writing AND someone who read the book to contact me to provide sources for some of my assertions.)

Here's a related question about where to draw the line about whether or not a company is truly bean to bar. Say Company "A" sources beans, then cleans, roasts, grinds, refines, and finally conches the chocolate, but does not temper and mold the bars themselves. Instead, they take the chocolate across town to someone who has an expensive tempering machine (not one of those tabletop Chocovision ones). Does that count? How important is the actual molding of the physical finished bar to the process?

And finally, here's some trivia about Domori. Mac Domori is a fictional person and the alter ego of the founder of the company, Gianluca Franzoni.
Sorry if I questioned Domori as a bean to bar company. I've checked and realized they are a bean to bar maker.
There is not reason to be sorry. It was a good question - all is not necessarily as the marketing says it is.

A real interesting question (for me) about Domori is how is the company going to change, if at all, under their new corporate parent, Illy, and does this mean Illy-branded Italian-style chocolate cafes in the US that carry and promote the Domori brand?
They seem to have streamlined some of their product, repackaged etc same concept though
From what i gleaned at a tasting guided by Gianluca, they do pretty minimal processing. not a lot of conch time, the idea is to start with really great beans and then let them do the talking.
sometimes this produces chocolate that is less than stellar but sometimes the results are great ie their organic series was almost unpalatable but the madagascar and porcelana are mindblowing
They also produce the best Gianduja i have tasted so far...
if i remember they said that they use Nacional beans
very different from all the other Gianduja i have tried
Masur, sorry, could you please tell how did you check that? Because they write it on their website?
Btw, bean-to-bar making does not necessarily give you a waiver for misleading marketing, and does not provide 100% safety about you producing good chocolate. However Domori produces some excellent chocolates, in their case I remain suspicious. But wouldn't you mind eating a good shawarma if I told you it is made of the best swamp camel meat? Similarly I keep buying some Domori bars because they are damn good.
A friend of mine visited their factory a few years ago.
Domori produced a video of their factory that was sold with some of their bars which shows all aspects of their process. Roasting Winnowing etc. Very nice modern equipment including Ball mills.


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