The Chocolate Life

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I was a little perplexed a few months ago while doing a joint chocolate and wine pairing event. The neighbor next to me, a chocolate maker whom shall remain nameless, kept on informing the patrons that they were not re-melters. She made it a point to inform people that their chocolate company actually makes chocolate from the bean. Her insistence on giving out this piece of information and using such a degrading term as 're-melter' didn't sit well with me. By using such an adjective, it belittles the craft of truffle-making and bar blending.

I would love for this young company to go up to a guy like Recchuiti and say, 'Hey man, sit back, you're just a re-melter.'

I make it a point to inform my customers of who's chocolate I use. I do not pretend to be a chocolate maker. This company in question, however, fails to see how they may lose business by the use of such a derogatory word. Do they plan to only make a living my selling direct to the end user (chocolate consumer), becuase I would never endorse any chocolatier to do business with such a company.

What are your thoughts?

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I would love to tell THEO that the only REAL chocolate maker is GOD, they are just one of those people that roast, shell and crush so that people can buy it from them to make confections. No offence meant to chocolate makers other than those rude ones among the nice ones. I am tired and in a sarcastic mood, forgive me.
This all is starting to remind me of Carl Sagan's comment about apple pie: "If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe."

But it looks like is still available for anyone who can pull it off. :-)
I love that quote!
I think that by accident people have been referring to the original "bad-mouther" as THEO, when in actuality it is TCHO. I know some of the folks from Theo and I really doubt they would ever be this disrespectful to chocolatiers.
Agree that TCHO is apparently the culprit, not THEO.
I'm the one who brought up Theo, and it wasn't an error. Someone representing Theo made a comment similar to the one made by the TCHO employee. I mentioned it as an example of this attitude not being confined to TCHO.

Now, I don't know the role of the Theo person making the comment, possibly she was just working the booth for them. Regardless, she was still representing the company and her comment, at least from my perspective, reflected badly on them.

I'm glad to hear that you believe Theo, as a group, would not be so disrespectful. And perhaps that particular person is no longer among them.
It definitely seems a bit shallow to me and just bad business practice. No one gets to the top by putting others down or their products. That is how I feel as there is enough business for all of us.

This is quite a long thread, and there's a lot of good points made throughout. Of the many on this forum, this entire thread is a worthwhile read.

My two-cents on the topic: I've interviewed several top chocolatiers in Belgium for my website and none of them made their own chocolate from the bean. in Belgium, there are two companies which provide the bulk of couverture chocolate: Belcolade and Callebaut. The cocoa beans go there, they process into liquid, drops, etc. and ship it out to some of the best chocolatiers in the world who then take the chocolate and make their own magic with it. I haven't talked to any of them who didn't tell me where they get their chocolate from. In fact, at one producers, I saw bags lying around with the source company's logo on it. I think it's a given in Belgium that some produce chocolate from the bean while others take it to the next level.
I was with you until the part where you said that "some produce chocolate from the bean while others take it to the next level."

I think that there is plenty of excellent chocolate these days that doesn't need to be taken to a "next level." In such cases, though confections made with this excellent chocolate may be delicious and amazing, the flavor of the original chocolate, I believe, can certainly stand on its own. Put simply, why do we have to say that one is better than the other? The way I'd like to put it is that both can be equally amazing, but in different ways and for different reasons.

I agree with you...I wasn't thinking about the fact that well-made chocolate can stand on its own and indeed doesn't need another level. I was primarily referring to the business of couverture chocolate, which I think is what the original post was referring to (maybe not?) Callebaut does produce its own line of chocolate bars for cooking, eating, etc. But its couverture chocolate goes out and is converted to bars, pralines, and other delightful delicacies.
Alan makes a good point. There are times when I want a bonbon or truffle but there are times when an absolutely plain bar is satisfying, complex, sophisticated and excellent - one is not better or higher level than the other. I make them all and find that plain, bonbon or truffle satisfy different taste needs/desires at different times.


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