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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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Sugar content is but one factor in shelf-life, there are many.
Ganache typically does have butter.

Rancidification is typically not the cause of truffles (buttercream or otherwise) turning off. Instead the culprit is microbial growth as rancidity is caused by light, heat, moisture, and oxidation.

At the end of the day the enemies are:
- Microbes
- Oxygen
- Free water

Without all three of these, the chocolates will last as long as the shell can resist o2 and h2o migration.
I totally spaced on anaerobic critters, which do not require oxygen.

Given the nature of chocolate, they are not really a concern, but I was technically incorrect just the same. ;)

This is a very strong example of how stepping back from the process to re-examine it can reveal meaningful differentiators. Forget the notion of "bean-to-bar" (I notice that you used) but, "We make chocolate from cocoa beans we roast ourselves" is an easy to comprehend concept and the analogy to coffee is good, though imperfect, as we know. However, most consumers can probably tell that there is a difference between roasting coffee beans, grinding them, and making coffee than buying roasted (and perhaps already ground) beans from someone else and making coffee with that.

This works for you and for many others. Artisan in London works from cocoa liquor which means someone else roasts and grinds the beans so this distinction doesn't work for them.

:: Clay
Not to beat a dead horse.. But I was just selecting my booth for the upcoming NY food show and noticed the description that Tcho used. Note that this is directly from Tcho, and not some employee who was overly proud as was suggested:
TCHO is serious about chocolate. "We aren’t just re-melters" (like the majority of people who work with chocolate), we are manufacturers, with our very own factory capable of producing 4000 metric tons per year

That suggests that re-melter is the party line at Tcho - and 4000 metric tons certainly doesnt hold with their self description as small.
Just saying
Since most of the chocolat i eat is usually dark and in its bar/block form; Callebaut, Cluizel, Cote d'Or, Lindt, Leonidas, Debauve & Gallais, Teuscher, etc...(once in a while i do enjoy some with fillings), I just assumed that most of the chocolat companies in the states were fondeurs.
I think the person might have been trying to tout the superiority of her product, small barrels make big noises, but i would take it with a grain of salt.
I have tasted a few chocolats here that were done from bean to block and wished they had just been fondeurs; the chocolat was most unripe, to be kind.
Just do what you love and people will enjoy the end product regardless.
This is a "hot" topic, and I enjoyed this immensely. I humbly consider myself an artisan "Fondeur" who prides herself in making Belgian styled pralines. I, at times, have tried to blend different varietal chocolates to what ever ingredients (fresh) I create. Of late, I have been creating exotic ingredients and coming up with my own concoctions, that turn out to be marketable. Its not only the knack of a chocolatiere to marry the blended cacao, but to be able to marry the ingredient (ie: herb, fruit or nut), and the cacao, to the palate of the consumer that makes an artisan!
I think you shouldn't bother about this at all. It's their business not yours. Just don't listen to them? that's all;)

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While many other Chocolatiers use Chocolate made by American, Belgian, or Swiss Companies.

Just because I use a chocolate product and re-temper it doesn't necessarily make me a re-melter.

That is just a simple way of saying and yes, degrading and derogatory statement, that what I do is not skilled.

Best Regards,
Shawn Alter - Chocolatier/Owner The Chocolate Butterfly
Senior Marketing Director Hake Plastic Molds & Equipment
So what are you called if you re-melt and mix a couple of kinds of chocolate from same company or different company?
I have melted 100's of pounds myself and am not offended, I do temper it, decide which of my antique molds to use, how it should be decorated and packaged. So I didn't grind the beans-oh well.
I think that would be called a chocolate manufacturer!
I also take offense at this new term "re-melter". Many of us are artisans and it is all about beauty and flavor delivery. Frankly, I have yet to find a good "bean to bar" chocolate that was very palatable. No, I have not had many.

But this new bean to bar industry is like the coffee bean roasters of the 1980's. I wish them as much luck. Maybe in 20 years everyone here in the US will be familiar with and prefer GOOD chocolate! Especially as the level of understanding is raised.

Who really cares where the chocolate comes from? My customers don't. They just want an exceptional taste, across the board, that is consistent, smooth and exciting. Why get an attitude about the two different types of chocolatier?

When I lived in Africa, I learned a term in Yoruba thet translates as "I see that you are working and it is good for all of us". There was absolutely no judgement on the work itself.
I just started reading the posts and haven't made it all the way through. I am a "re-melter". I wish I could start from the begining (sometimes). However I find the sampling fun and I really like it when the shipment comes in and sitting before me are hundreds and hundreds of pounds of chocolate. It is truly a joy to take a wonderful product and add your own personal touch for your clients.

It is even better to catch their thoughts with just the flash in their eyes! A potter starts with a hunk of clay (made by someone else) and turns it into something wonderful. If this is what a re-melter is, thank you. But I prefer the term enhancer:

To make greater, as in value and taste; improve with sophistication
I just came across this thread, and it made me chuckle. I put up a blog post on this very subject a while back, where I articulated my objections (so I'll spare you now). I'm positive Tcho isn't the only place where I've run into this attitude, but they're the ones that sparked my reaction. Sigh...some people.


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