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The connections between Scandinavia and chocolate - what reference do people have?

Just interested to know what the referece point is for most people (in North America) regarding Sweden and it's chocolate. Are there any major brands that people recognize or level of quality that people might expect? Or is there just the ol' 'Swedish Chef' from the muppets kind of reference point. I just thought it was interesting after seeing a television news comedy that compares Sweden and the USA.

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Four Swedish chocolatiers are listed in the second edition of "Chocolate Companion: A Connoisseur's Guide to the World's Finest Chocolates" written by Chantal Coady. Probably most people never heard of this book.
Thanks for the book tip, you're right too, I don't think many people know of her books. I checked it out on Amazon, lots of copies available. Again,thanks for the tip.
This is tricky - I'm sure there are Swedish chocolatiers, but I can only think of American, French, Belgium or Italians. I generally assume there are brands because everybody has some. I just doubt any brands are sold in the States and I can't think of any specific chocolatiers either. Sweden would have a lot more exposure all the Euro chocs than those of us in North America so it stands to reason they have similar market demands.

Now that you mentioned the Swedish chef I will have have his ongoing culinary battles going through my head all day.
Emanuel Andrén from Sweden provided the goodie bag at The 50th GRAMMY Awards®, 2008. Regrettably not available in the States. A few US microbatchers are curently available in Sweden: Amano, Askinosie and Patric Chocolate.
A PDF-file about Cullinary Olympics. The Swedish team is mentioned:
http://www.welshculinaryassociation.com/news/080214.pdf
Swedish confectionary and commercial chocolate brand Marabou (owned by Kraft) is sold in USA:
http://swedensbest.com/chocolate1.html
Sonja, you are right, Sweden should not be forgotten on the map of chocolate! After all, the cacao plant was first given its botanical name by Swedish natural scientist Carl von Linné (*1707-†1778), who called it "Theobroma cacao” ("cocoa, food of the gods"). This was the first contribution of Sweden to the world of chocolate…

Sweden has an old traditional chocolate company in the style of Lindt: MALMÖ CHOKLADFABRIK. There is also CLOETTA. But for most of people in America Swedish chocolate means MARABOU or DAIM, two large mass market brands now owned by Kraft Foods. MARABOU was founded in Sweden in 1916 by a Norwegian who had great success with FREIA in Norway (Norway was part of Sweden until 1905). DAIM was created by the same company in the 50's. DAIM is by the way Pierre Hermé's favorite chocolate "sin".

Besides these well known companies, one should mention the Swedish chocolate balls (chokladbollar), a classic chocolate recipe in Sweden that you can find everywhere.

But nowadays, Sweden developed a new craze about chocolate - this time darker & more refined - and stores are opening all over the place. Here I would like to mention great chocolatiers like ROBERT E's Choklad, Emanuel ANDREN and specially MÄLARCHOCOLATERIE. Unfortunately, none of them is available in the United States.

Sweden has also cocoa farmers like Duane Dove, who owns a plantation in Tobago, and us, with our plantations in Madagascar and Brazil. This year we launched our small and exclusive brand of organic single plantations chocolates, ÅKESSON'S Chocolate (www.akessons-organic.com). It should be available soon at the Food Emporium and Chantal Coady already made pictures for her next book soon to be published.

As you see, the Swedes do not only make "chocolate moose"...
In december a new Pralus single estate chocolate bar will be available in Stockholm (Small Island Coffee & Chocolate) and Pralus shop in Paris.
Beanes are sourced from Tobago Cocoa Estate owned by Duane Dove.

A few other chocolatiers worth mentioning, none of them is available in the United States:
Chokladfabriken (first Swedish chocolatier sold in Japan)
Fickorna Kanold (founded by female chocolatier Jeanna Kanold)
Hovbyn no 9 (founded by female chocolatier Inger Persson-Clerc)
Les Trois Roses (Hedh & Escalante Chocolatier)
Lux Dessert & Choklad
Xoco (Swedens first dessert bistro)

Website links to the chocolatiers mentioned by Bertil Åkesson:
Emanuel Andren
MÄLARCHOCOLATERIE
Robert E's Choklad
My "shortlist" should also include two other chocolatiers:
En liten smula (Pastry shop)
RC Chocolat

Anna-Sofia Wallström founder of Gefle Chocolaterie is another cocoafarmer and a female chocolatier. Together with UK Academy of Chocolate Awards jury member Maja Berthas (Swedish female chocolate expert) she will start a new bean to bar chocolate maker.
Many thanks for this interested discussion, I just found this.
I do sell the wonderfull chocolate of Bertil Akesson's, just tuesday we had a second (one's a mond) chocolate tasting in our shop and number one out of ten? Yes the Akesson's "Wild" pepper!
Sweden is the greatest country for the chocolate but they sure now how to impress, thanks a lot Bertil.

Greetings
Geert
PS thanks for the tips about Sweden chocolatiers

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