The Chocolate Life

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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.…



Continue

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.…



Continue

Added by Tom Neuhaus on June 25, 2009 at 1:13am — 1 Comment

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

COCOA CHEESE DECISION

Rambling through the cheese section of the new Whole Foods market in Pasadena is an excerise in delerium. Should I get the sharp farmhouse cheddar I know? Should I try the oozy sheep’s milk raw I’ve never heard of? Blue with veins or white with orange rind??? Then, the little cheese that was meant for me appeared. Cardona with a cocoa powder rind. What a miracle of subtely - no sharpness to the flavor of the cheese, no bitterness from the wrapping of… Continue

Added by Susie Norris on June 16, 2009 at 10:07am — 4 Comments

Last weeks at home

Lately I've been spending a good portion of my time accumulating an eclectic assortment of chocolate things for the shop. Most of the stock is here now, and I've stopped looking for more for the time being.



Yesterday I ordered some postcards of old chocolate ads, framed three gorgeous chocolate trading cards



and an ad from a 1943 Life Magazine… Continue

Added by Eve on June 15, 2009 at 12:05am — No Comments

Scooping Cacoa seeds.

We Indian Cacoa growers scoop the Cacoa seeds from the pod manually. Is there any simple machine or trick to do the job? Please share the knowledge, if any.

Rajarajeshwari.

Added by Rajarajeshwari Kainthaje on June 10, 2009 at 12:49pm — 1 Comment

The Ten Best Pastry Chefs in America...and me!

All I can say is...WOW! Last night I was lucky enough to attend a party at ICE--the Institute of Culinary Education in Manhattan, honoring the 10 best pastry chefs in America. It was an amazing experience for a chocolatier and dessert freak like me. We were first allowed to roam through the building where these talented and amazing chefs were setting up and would answer our questions and just basically allow us to gawk at their creations. Then there was the ceremony where each of the 10 were… Continue

Added by Maria Valente on June 9, 2009 at 10:20am — 1 Comment

Chocolateria menu

Here is the menu for our new Artisan du chocolat chocolateria at 81 Westbourne Grove in London, Notting Hill. We were lucky that one of our long term customer, Nick Strangeway, is also one of the best cocktail makers in the world and he really helped us to make some fresh cocktails that are fabulous and have one compoment of chocolate (pulp or infusion or creamy cold drink) The ice cream is made with our Costa Rica conched cocoa mass. The salted caramel tart is simple but very very good. So far… Continue

Added by Artisan on June 8, 2009 at 1:06pm — No Comments

Photos from artisan du chocolat shop Notting hill







We managed a successful press opening and everyone love the shop, the products and the new chocolate cocktails. Summer coctails are cocoa pulp Bellini, Cupuacu Margarita, chocolate martini and the fab white chocolate and matcha New Orleans gin Fizz. It took us a year to get the design and the chocolateria menu right but it was well worth it. On the first day the shop was already full. Very… Continue

Added by Artisan on June 8, 2009 at 4:08am — 3 Comments

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