The Chocolate Life

Discover Chocolate and Live La Vida Cocoa!

All Blog Posts (619)

The Great Forastero vs Criollo Debate

There is an unquestioned assumption many chocophiles make: because Criollo beans make better (and more expensive) chocolate, doesn't it make the most sense to replace all those "inferior" Forastero and hybrid-Trinitario trees with Criollos? Wouldn't everyone - including the farmers - be better off?



Well, no, actually. And here's why.



Chocolates made with properly fermented and dried (proper fermentation and drying are key to full flavor development) Forastero/Trintario… Continue

Added by Clay Gordon on November 4, 2008 at 8:00am — 5 Comments

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Privacy and TheChocolateLife.com Messaging System

I recently sent everyone a broadcast message about an issue I was recently made aware of regarding the messaging system here on TheChocolateLife.com.



Because some of you have elected NOT to receive any e-mail from TheChocolateLife.com, I am posting (an updated version of) the message here.



@Message Starts



Recently, Ning (the company that makes the software used for TheChocolateLife.com) made some "improvements" to the messaging system to make it… Continue

Added by Clay Gordon on October 31, 2008 at 9:13am — No Comments

Enric Rovira on Anthony Bourdain

Did anyone see this amazing show of chocolate mastery? Tonight I watched Tony's new Spain episode on the Travel Channel, and he visited Enric's workshop outside of Barcelona. Enric crafted something so dramatically amazing and beautiful...just a large chocolate egg, but OH that egg! He started with two halves in molds, melted the edges and voila an egg. He shaped the edges like a sculptor, the beginnings of the Gaudi-esque creation it was to become. The 15 or so eggs, each about one foot high,… Continue

Added by Madame Cocoa on October 13, 2008 at 10:49pm — 2 Comments

The World's Best Chocolate

what a claim! you might be thinking its just another chocolate fanatic blissed out boasting, full of it, yea right the best chocolate in the world, come on, how can this be, when folks have been making chocolate for centuries, for thousands of years in central america. Yes it is just an opinion, but after many years of R&D working with very talented farmers we have done it. A 100% criollo bar 93% cacao solids that is very sweet and amazing. It is so smooth you can eat a lot of it, but watch… Continue

Added by Koa Kahili on October 5, 2008 at 4:05am — 4 Comments

clay, i've changed the my page so it easier to read agian

Dear Clay,



Sorry I have not posted in while , but life happens but thanks for letting me know about the page,I have just changed it agian so hope this works better. The interest in my Collectible Profiles "Profiles in Chocolates is being looked at now with the Lincoln Bicentennial next year and so it helps to have interested people .



I am trying tpo find the physical address for Christopher Brookes LLC in England that Gwen Borders told me about but no luck finding it on… Continue

Added by Megan Hardgrave on October 2, 2008 at 5:20pm — 1 Comment

Delicious and Healthy Chocolate Tortillas

Go to this link Chocolate Fudge Cafe for an alternative tortilla made with raw cacao as one of the ingredients. It's on the home page right now, or look for it under recipes on the sidebar in the future.
Reonne (aka Choco Mama)

Added by Reonne (aka Choco Mama) on October 2, 2008 at 2:13pm — No Comments

THE CHOCOLATE BOOK - she lives!

If your goal in life is to write a book, allow me to share what I know about the process. Here’s my first piece of good news: the books on how to write a non-fiction book proposal are really good! These are the only self-help books that ever worked for me. What they will force you to do is to refine your idea (Great ideas are a dime a dozen - how do you make yours work as a book?). They will help you think competitively about the marketplace (What other books on the subject are out there? How… Continue

Added by Susie Norris on September 19, 2008 at 2:46pm — 1 Comment

Earth's Sweet Pleasures unveils world's first organic chocolate fudge at NPA EXPO in Las Vegas



Earth's Sweet Pleasures, the makers of Rich Rainforest Dark and Classic Semisweet fudge are debuting their products for the natural product community at the Natural Product Association's Expo in Las Vegas July 17-19, 2008. The owners, L. Hawk Cargo and Reonne Haslett, said they are very excited about this opportunity to unveil their old-fashioned, USDA organic products at the show. "This will be the very first time that the natural store buyers… Continue

Added by Reonne (aka Choco Mama) on July 3, 2008 at 3:14pm — No Comments

Rain Forest Musings

Context: These are journal entries I made as a guest at the Kapawi eco-lodge in 2005. Kapawi is located on the Kapawari River which feeds into the Rio Pastaza which is in turn a major tributary of the Amazon. Southeastern Ecuador. Miles and miles and miles from any roads. The only ways in and out are via canoe on the river or small plane.



More Context: These were written just a day or so after taking part in a shamanic ritual in Quito that involved consuming… Continue

Added by Clay Gordon on June 18, 2008 at 10:30am — No Comments

Its been several weeks since I first posted an in the meantime "Profiles in Chocolate" has struggled to find interested shop owners that will even take a look at unique our concept and chocolate mold…

Its been several weeks since I first posted an in the meantime "Profiles in Chocolate" has struggled to find interested shop owners that will even take a look at unique our concept and chocolate molds , I have tried my very best to find propectius companies both locally and nation wide ,but it been very hard go ...



Like Mr. Jim Sanders we would greatly appreaciate Clay's help in helping our company's begining in the chocolate area such as finding investors or companies that wish to… Continue

Added by Megan Hardgrave on May 20, 2008 at 10:31pm — 3 Comments

MUST WE MUSHROOM?

May 19th, 2008

Accepting chocolate with crubled bacon bits was a stretch for me. Love chocolate and god knows, love bacon, but the unusual combination from a very fine American chocolate company made me suspicious. When I tried it, I gained insight. It’s not that chocolate doesn’t go with bacon conceptually because what is bacon after all but a lot of animal fat & salt & a little piggy essence. What made this bar so very, very bad was that the bacon tasted like Baco-o’s (those… Continue

Added by Susie Norris on May 20, 2008 at 10:11pm — 8 Comments

Review: Santander - Colombian Single Origin 70% w/ Cacao Nibs.

Santander gets an immediate plus in my book for being of the few companies (El Rey is another - Venezualen) that is based in the country of origin. It also is fair trade, small farmer, and kosher.



It has an extremely smooth flavor and mouthfeel, and is not at all bitter. It is one of the most flavorful chocolates I have eaten, complex, with strong fruity undertones, criollo without a doubt.. The cacao nibs give it a subtle bitter crunch, which is a nice contrast to the smoothness of… Continue

Added by Herbert on May 19, 2008 at 6:47pm — 2 Comments

CHEFS & CHAMPAGNE IN LA

Not just any chefs, my friends, but the best chefs in LA were on the street at Melrose Place in West Hollywood last night. The guests - fashionistas & foodies from Europe, New York, LA - were decked! I’m neck-craning - where to look? Beautiful people or beautiful food? Ah, the food! Under white tents, elegant amuse bouce and bite size specialties popped out from the chefs' tables - marinated big-eye tuna from Sona, rock shrimp shooters from Zov’s… Continue

Added by Susie Norris on May 6, 2008 at 5:00pm — 2 Comments

Aloha, Hawaiian Chocolate.

Here's a post from my chocolate blog (www.chocolateallthetime.com/blogspot). Comments?



You don't get to see cacao pods in the USA unless you go to Hawaii, and even there they a rare sight. Cacao trees (from whence, of course, chocolate) are cultivated only sporadically around the Hawaiian Islands. But Tony Lydgate of Steel Grass Farm on Kauai hopes to change that. His botanical garden (www.steelgrass.org) specializes in cultivating organic plants that bring value to the islanders and… Continue

Added by Susie Norris on April 28, 2008 at 12:04am — 12 Comments

Decoding those pesky PLUs

From over at Serious Eats, an article on decoding PLU stickers.



It turns out that there is more there, there, then you might immediately infer. For example:



Conventional produce gets a four-digit number. Organic produce gets a five-digit number that starts with 9. Genetically modified items also get a five-digit code, but… Continue

Added by Clay Gordon on April 20, 2008 at 11:49am — No Comments

Sometimes It's *Not* About The Chocolate

Just when you think you've pretty much seen it all, something comes along to let you know that you just can't make these things up.



A Swiss company is selling a box of four chocolates for $620. That's not a typo - six hundred and twenty dollars. What makes these chocolates special is not the chocolate, that's plain old Felchlin Maracaibo Clasificado 65% or the Cru Sauvage 68%. No, what makes these chocolates special is that they are decorated with gold or silver leaf or "edible… Continue

Added by Clay Gordon on April 15, 2008 at 4:00pm — 3 Comments

Hello, I am happy to have joined The Chocolate Life

I am just really starting to awaken my senses to the chocolate world around me. It is one thing to eat chocolate, but to actually open your self up to the flavor notes and textures, is another thing entirely. As a child I knew that certain chocolate tasted better , or had a smoother texture than others, but I would never have imagined the extent at which chocolate is reviewed and revered.



I am surprised at all the notes --- to have tasted a… Continue

Added by Amber on April 10, 2008 at 8:22pm — No Comments

Chocolates in Alaska

A couple of years ago I experimented with some of our local wild berries and made some jellies for people to taste. I added them to my chocolate collection that I had put together. There is a berry here that the locals call "laughing berries". They are salal berries and are extremely flavorful. People use them to make jams and jellies and pancake syrup.

I made jellies out of the salal berries and they were very well received. They had ten times the flavor of the other jellies I had made… Continue

Added by Nina on April 8, 2008 at 3:33pm — 1 Comment

Megan's "Profiles In Chocolate"

Well today April 4th ,2008 I have decided to join the blog by sharing with The Chocolate Life members my story of taking historical figures from American History/culture and transforming these historical people famous faces(profiles) into what I call "Profiles in Chocolate"



Back in 2004 I started to think about a ways to combine my Passion for American History and Chocolate ! and after a few weeks the concept of our first "Profiles In Chocolate " was Choosen it was to be our 16th… Continue

Added by Megan Hardgrave on April 4, 2008 at 10:39pm — No Comments

Brownie Shotz, adventures in starting a chocolate business, con't.

Thanks guys for reading and commenting on my posts. It means a lot to me.



I heard this morning on the news that the US lost another 80,000 jobs in March. That’s added to the 50,000 lost in February. Wow! That’s a lot of jobs. So now it’s more important than ever to start a new business. Any business is good. The food business is good but tricky. But if you hit a winning formula, you have a block buster. It seems you might have a bit… Continue

Added by Jim Sanders on April 4, 2008 at 3:21pm — 2 Comments

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