The Chocolate Life

Discover Chocolate and Live La Vida Cocoa!

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To the moon!

I’ve always loved Patrick Roger’s chocolates and his chocolate sculptures. But with the window display at his new Faubourg Saint-Honoré boutique, my appreciation is going to new heights (hardy har har).…



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Added by Sweet Freak on July 20, 2009 at 5:49am — No Comments

Our salted caramels top OFM gourmet food

Check this out.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2009/jul/19/top-food-gadgets

Even more rewarding as every other chocolatier in UK has copied our caramels but ours still rock!

Added by Artisan on July 19, 2009 at 11:16am — No Comments

Our chocolates are in space

A couple of months ago, one of our regular transatlantic customers paid for a large order of our dark chocolate coated candied gingers. I am proud to say that they are now traveling with her in space. Apparently food tastes less in zero gravity so the intense ginger and chocolate combination seem to be a favourite with her and the rest of the crew. How cool is that?

Added by Artisan on July 18, 2009 at 10:47am — No Comments

THE MAKING OF A CHERRY CHOCOLATE

Cherry season is almost over - sniff, sniff - so now is the time for all good chocolatiers to honor this exquisite superfruit. Cherries come in sweet and sour varieties, including Bing, Morello, and Schmidt among many others. Historians suspect they are originally from China and first cultivated in Turkey by the Romans in the 1st century. They later captured the adoration of the Chinese brush painters; their blossoms became a national cultural symbol… Continue

Added by Susie Norris on July 14, 2009 at 2:30am — No Comments

SUGAR TALL AND HANDSOME

The sugar and chocolate showpiece competition at the World Pastry Championship is a place to pick favorites. I pick favorites there the way I might choose giant lollipops at the amusement park - which one speaks to my heart in color and design. But here’s the trick that sets the sugar artists of the pastry championship miles apart from the guys in the candy kitchen making giant lollipops. Sugar artists must make their sculptures tall. Not just big,… Continue

Added by Susie Norris on July 13, 2009 at 1:00am — 8 Comments

Women and Chocolate: A Natural Combination

I was fortunate enough to be asked to participate on a panel of local women chocolate experts at the San Francisco Commonwealth Club. The subject - Women and Chocolate: A Natural Combination



How did that happen? Melena, owner of The Xocolate Bar in Berkeley asked me how I felt about public speaking. I suspiciously answered that I was better at demonstrating something like truffle making rather than being perched behind a podium. When she explained the panel-style of the… Continue

Added by Christine Doerr on July 12, 2009 at 10:30pm — 1 Comment

Ecuadorian Chocolate-What You Need To Know

Arriba Chocolate



In a previous post, I discussed the definition of "Arriba" chocolate and beans-while there's no legal definition, Arriba can be used to denominate either beans of the Nacional variety from the "Arriba" or upriver area of the Guayas River Basin in the lowlands of southwestern Ecuador, or chocolate made from those beans. So is Arriba a chocolate or a type of bean? It can be both, depending on with whom you are speaking. Growers may call their beans Arriba variety, and… Continue

Added by Jeff Stern on July 10, 2009 at 12:00pm — No Comments

Why Isn't Aequare Chocolates Organic?

Aequare Chocolates gets frequent inquiries as to why we're not organic. It's not because we don't want to be, or don't support organic. It's because we simply can't, for all practical purposes, be organic.



Organic Chocolate For Bars And Organic Couverture



First off, all organic chocolate actually produced here in country is shipped abroad and almost none of it is for sale here. It's shipped abroad directly by its producers because there is a market for it abroad. Consumers… Continue

Added by Jeff Stern on July 6, 2009 at 2:30pm — 1 Comment

Food Fete NYC, June 2009

I arrived in NY Saturday evening from Ecuador-no delays and no hitches. Customs went through my chocolates in Miami but they seemed more curious than anything, and after a brief inspection let me on my way. Sunday was the behemoth Fancy Food Show, which was no less than the size of 20 supermarkets in one place, with thousands of food items being displayed. I gorged on Grana Padano Parm and Prosciutto while waiting to meet people- I was lucky enough to be able to squeeze in meetings with all the… Continue

Added by Jeff Stern on July 6, 2009 at 2:20pm — No Comments

Last days before opening

The sign painter was still working on the windows at 8 last night. I guess he didn't go to the fireworks either. Tom and I were making lists.





The soft opening date is now Wednesday. The city signed off Thursday afternoon, thank goodness. We started moving the packaging and shipping materials in Friday, the day the storage shelves were installed. More stock will be moved and organized today and tomorrow.



We were lucky with… Continue

Added by Eve on July 5, 2009 at 10:00am — 4 Comments

Are French chocolates (apart from a few) terribly overrated?

I was in the South West of France for a few days and of course paid a visit to the local chocolate shops. All of them a great disapointment selling same things as 10 years ago (mostly pralines)and regional or house specialties bought in from Francois Doucet (potatoes, quail eggs, chocolate in shape of beans, olives etc etc). Most people used Barry Callebaut which did not help. Quality of the bonbons was poor and marshmallows were like bike tyres. Makes me wonder if French chocolates (apart from… Continue

Added by Artisan on July 5, 2009 at 9:53am — 4 Comments

*** TROPICAL CHOCOLATE CO. *** New chocolate store in San Luis Obispo, CA

" It's indeed an art to create a handmade chocolate. The Chocolatier who creates Tropical Chocolates devotes personal attention to the design by beautifully decorating the chocolates. Impeccable ingredients originating with 100% Hawaiian grown cacao beans are paired with exotic flavors to present a fresh, new twist on chocolate. " Come visit us at our site: www.tropicalchocolateco.com

Added by P B Marshall on July 3, 2009 at 5:15pm — No Comments

AoC: The Conclussion

For those of you that have been following my dramas with the AoC (your numbers are stunning! I had no idea!)... it is time for me to wrap it all up.



After requesting once again that they forward me their alleged evaluations and once again receiving no reply... how long does it take to compile notes? I wrote them a rather less polite letter. This time I stated that I wished for my money to be returned as they had failed to fulfill their end of our agreement. I told them that I did not… Continue

Added by Robert Shea on July 3, 2009 at 4:51am — 2 Comments

A Visit to Some Javan Cocoa Farms

Friday afternoon I still had a few hours to kill. So I paid $30 for a tour company to supply me with a driver who spoke minimal English. Fortunately, Iva and Dani (president of the company that hosted my talks) came along, so communication was not an issue. We drove around in the Yogyakarta area, where there are mostly smallholders growing a variety of crops: vanilla, cloves, cocoa, rice, and bananas.…



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Added by Tom Neuhaus on June 26, 2009 at 12:39am — No Comments

A morning at Monggo Chocolates

THURSDAY, JUNE 18



I had an entire morning ahead of me with no responsibilities! I ate an early breakfast, then visited the gifts store on the first floor. There, among other things, I found some local chocolates. I took the chocolate bars to the hotel front desk and asked them where the factory was. Within 10 minutes I was off across Yogjakarta in search of Monggo Chocolates. I found it in the old part of town, in the silver district known as Kotagede.…



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Added by Tom Neuhaus on June 25, 2009 at 1:13am — No Comments

BREAK RANKS! EUROCHOCOLATE IN PERUGIA FROM 16 THROUGH 25 OCTOBER 2009

A hammer and a modernly designed ruler are the protagonists of the sixteenth edition of the chocolate event, which will be one day longer than previous events.



Break ranks!



The military order that has been chosen as the slogan of the sixteenth edition of Eurochocolate Perugia is a clear invitation to think outside the box, to give free rein to one’s individuality, to go beyond the usual habits to be able to enjoy the food of the gods in a new way and in all its… Continue

Added by Clay Gordon on June 24, 2009 at 10:59am — No Comments

A set of pictures of Sweet Earth before opening

We're still hoping for a soft opening on July 6 - that's very soon! And the invitations for the Grand Opening, July 11, are going out Friday. No turning back now.

Here's what's been going on lately.

Added by Eve on June 23, 2009 at 9:07pm — No Comments

Progress

Here's Frank Zika installing the door today:

And here's some of the furniture stacked up in the shop - and out of our house at last!

And I am here endlessly typing up little signs.



The press release seems to be working - and so does Twitter.



So far so… Continue

Added by Eve on June 19, 2009 at 11:13pm — 2 Comments

Trying tweets

slochocolate

I'm finding lots of interesting twitter to follow, but what's the trick to getting followers?

Added by Eve on June 17, 2009 at 12:23pm — 2 Comments

Press release

This press release took me all day to write, but in the late afternoon it went out to over 60 local media outlets. I got two responses right off: an automated response from a reporter who's in Morocco for a month (sounds nice!) and a call from another who wondered if we might hire her nephew. I think we'll get some buzz out of it though.



Press release:





June 16, 2009

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE



Contacts: Tom… Continue

Added by Eve on June 16, 2009 at 11:00pm — 3 Comments

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