The Chocolate Life

Discover Chocolate and Live La Vida Cocoa!

All Blog Posts (629)

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

Live Video Chats for Chocolate Life members

I have found a service that enables me to 'cast - in real-time over the web while simultaneously hosting a chat session. I am interested in knowing if holding regular, say every two weeks or so, video chats would be interesting to members. If a reasonable number are, I will set things up, get the equipment working, and schedule the first chat for sometime after Tax Day.



One thing that I thought might be cool to try is a sort of quasi-interactive chocolate tasting. We could agree on… Continue

Added by Clay Gordon on April 3, 2008 at 6:11pm — No Comments

Starbucks and Hershey Launch Starbucks Chocolate

Today, Monday, March 3rd is the national launch date for an ambitious new line of chocolate products from Starbucks. But don't go looking for them at your local Starbucks coffeehouse because you won't find them there. In an interesting branding twist, Starbucks Chocolates will initially be made available through mass retailers, grocery stores, and drug stores and it is unclear when, if ever, you will be able to buy them at the counter where you order your half-caf no-foam skim latte every… Continue

Added by Clay Gordon on March 27, 2008 at 5:39pm — 5 Comments

World Pastry Forum Curriculum and Faculty Announced

The World Pastry Forum is a series of five-day intensive programs (demo and hands-on) offered immediately prior to the National or World Pastry Team Championship. Both the forum and the championship are organized by a company called Carymax, one of whose founders is one of the founders of Chocolatier Magazine. This year's events are being held at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel in Nashville, TN, August 26-30 with the World Championship immediately thereafter.



This year's Demo… Continue

Added by Clay Gordon on March 27, 2008 at 11:00am — No Comments

The adventures of starting Brownie Shotz continues

One thing I’ve learned about a start up business is that there is a disconnect between production and sales. You either have too much product and can’t sell it or you have too many sales and can’t fill them. It can be very nerve racking but I think it’s fairly par for the course. Especially when you’re manufacturing a brand new product like I am with Brownie Shotz. If you’re buying your product, the same thing holds true. How much do you buy so that… Continue

Added by Jim Sanders on March 26, 2008 at 11:21pm — 1 Comment

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

Terrific! Someone out there has encouraged me to continue my story (thanks Carol) so that’s enough for me.



Well, after the first blush of starting a new business wore off a bit, it came time to figure out how to really make Brownie Shotz a going concern. For the first few months, I kept baking brownies in my kitchen, refining my product as I went along. I made a few sales but it was very evident from the start I’d need help, especially in the… Continue

Added by Jim Sanders on March 23, 2008 at 10:07pm — 3 Comments

Brownie Shotz, adventures in starting a chocolate business

Yesterday was the first anniversary of Brownie Shotz and I wanted to mark the occasion somehow. I thought I would relate my adventures thus far. (I wanted to do this yesterday but I got too busy). So anyhow, one year ago (the first day of spring) I had dinner with a friend and one of her clients. The client (whom I hadn't met before) had started a potato chip business several months earlier. As he related the story of how he started, I became more and… Continue

Added by Jim Sanders on March 21, 2008 at 1:01pm — 2 Comments

Article on Ghana's Cocoa Hybrid's Nutritional Similarities

Interesting article on "Four hybrid cocoa species developed in Ghana to have improved resistance to pest damage during storage have similar nutritional properties to conventional cocoa, says a study that topples a barrier to commercial trade."

Ghanaian cocoa hybrids have no nutritional drawbacks

I can't help but wonder, in comparison, how do they taste? :P

Added by Sera on March 18, 2008 at 11:30pm — No Comments

A Night of Wine and Chocolate

The Mark Hotel in Manhattan (no longer a part of the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, located on E 77th St.) has regularly hosted wine classes directed by Master Sommelier Richard Dean.



In 2004, the program was expanded to showcase the pairing of wine and chocolate and to do so it enlisted the support of Valrhona and the winemaker Louis Jadot. Representing Valrhona were Mr. Bernard Duclos, the director of US operations for Valrhona, Kim O'Flaherty, their US Corporate Pastry Chef, and… Continue

Added by Clay Gordon on March 17, 2008 at 10:35am — No Comments

Rogue Chocolatier

Colin Gasko has released his next three origin chocolates — Jamaica, Hispaniola, and Trinidad. Like his first two releases, these chocolates are all 70%.



My earlier post about Rogue Chocolatier has all the background info and includes reviews of the first two bars, Ocumare and Sambirano. Trinidad and Hispaniola chocolates were purchased at Kitchen Window, and the Jamaica was purchased at… Continue

Added by Casey on March 12, 2008 at 4:56pm — No Comments

Amazing Trail to the World's Finest Chocolate with Clay Gordon

Clay Gordon is leading a small group of us throughout Europe upon a 5-star quest for the best chocolate in Switzerland, France & Belgium in July.



CALLING ALL CHOCOLATE LOVERS to join us inside the salons, factories and kitchens of Felchlin, Bonnat, Pralus and Bernachon. We will be personally introduced to world-class master chocolatiers and sample a good deal of chocolate throughout this spectacular and once-in-a-lifetime journey!



Enjoy sumptuous multi-course dinners… Continue

Added by Holly & Paul Stabin on March 8, 2008 at 3:43pm — No Comments

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