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 —
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 —
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 —
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 —
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 —
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 —
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 —
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 —
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 —
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 —
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 —
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 —
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 —
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?
Added by Sera on March 18, 2008 at 11:30pm —
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 —
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 —
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 —
"Since its foundation, the United Nations system has been collecting statistical information from member states on a variety of topics. The information thus collected constitutes a considerable information asset of the organization. However, these statistical data are often stored in proprietary databases, each with unique dissemination and access policies. As a result, users are often unaware of the full array of statistical information that the UN system has in its data libraries. The current… Continue
Added by Clay Gordon on March 7, 2008 at 12:30am —
Local press coverage of the 6th Annual Death by Chocolate Festival at Copia can be found here
Copia bills itself as the American Center for Wine, Food, and the Arts and on February 23rd they should have added chocolate into that title somewhere - at least for the day. California and Ziad Kurjie of the US operations of Patchi Chocolates (who are headquartered in Lebanon).
I had the pleasure… Continue
Added by Clay Gordon on February 27, 2008 at 2:30pm —
I am a friend of Clay's. He helped me get my start in the chocolate industry. A lot has happened since he gave me my first advice 5 years ago! Everything from Food Network to Newsweek, opening and closing my first chocolate shop and now writing a book that will be released nationwide in September of 2008. Life is exciting and delicious!
I have a lot of successes and some failures that will be great food for thought for some of you. Feel free to post questions on my blog and I will… Continue
Added by Bethany Thouin on February 26, 2008 at 1:57pm —