The Chocolate Life

Discover Chocolate and Live La Vida Cocoa!

All Blog Posts (619)

Mars, Nestle promise ethical cocoa supply

Global confectioners Mars and Nestle have joined a sustainable cocoa

programme, which aims to establish a traceability system for all

farmers in the Ivory Coast.


The Good Inside Cocoa Programme, established by the Dutch non-profit organisation Utz Certified, aims to eliminate environmental and humanitarian problems such as child labour, deforestation and low salaries.



As consumer and regulatory concern over working conditions in…
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Added by Clay Gordon on February 7, 2008 at 10:38pm — No Comments

Clay's Interview on the Diane Rehm show on NPR

Before Christmas I traveled to Washington, DC to appear on the Diane Rehm show produced by WAMU for NPR. Click to visit the WAMU website to listen to what was said.

Added by Clay Gordon on February 7, 2008 at 6:18pm — No Comments

Measuring the Speed of Light with Chocolate

Albert Einstein realized that the speed of light was one of the defining measures of the Universe. Chocolate is the other. We don't however, know Albert's thoughts about chocolate or whether or not be used it to help him calculate the speed of light. You can however, in your kitchen, with just a few simple tools and a bar of chocolate.



Remember E=mc², the beautiful little formula that wrapped up the theory of relativity? Well 'c' is the speed of light. And you can…
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Added by Clay Gordon on February 7, 2008 at 1:17am — No Comments

Paris: City of Chocolate

Originally posted on chocophile.com in May 2004.



Although more commonly known as the City of Lights, the Yellow Pages for the city of Paris contain nearly two full pages of listings for confiseries et chocolateries, organized alphabetically by arrondissement. Even this lengthy list is not complete (several very well-known players are not included), often because they are best known for their pastries and not their chocolates and are therefore in another part of the… Continue

Added by Clay Gordon on February 7, 2008 at 12:00am — 8 Comments

Fine and flavor cocoa export market grows



A panel of experts recommend that more countries be recognized as fine

or flavor cocoa producing countries in order to provide new

opportunities for trade.



The suggestions were put forward by industry experts during a review of the International Cocoa

Agreement, 2001, which recognizes 17 countries as producers of either

exclusively or partially fine or flavor cacao.



The aim of this agreement is to promote…
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Added by Clay Gordon on February 5, 2008 at 10:50pm — 2 Comments

Askinosie chocolate headed to Sweden

http://www.news-leader.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080204/BREAKING03/80204033

Those lucky Swedes! :)

Added by Sera on February 5, 2008 at 2:15pm — No Comments

Take the Green & Black's Chocolate Challenge

Cooking intensely delicious food

with one of People magazine's "Sexiest Men Alive," could be a reality for five

creative home chefs.



Green & Black's®, the organic chocolate brand, announced today a call-for-entries for the Green & Black's Chocolate

Challenge
. Home chefs across the country are invited to showcase their love of

organic chocolate by submitting an original five ingredient… Continue

Added by Clay Gordon on February 5, 2008 at 1:32pm — No Comments

Cadbury to put millions into producing more farmers

COCOA: Cadbury seeks to reverse production declines by investing in areas where it gets crop.

According to this report, Cadbury Schweppes PLC plans to spend millions during the next few years to boost cocoa yields and to improve the lives of cocoa farmers, a move intended to…

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Added by Clay Gordon on February 5, 2008 at 11:30am — 1 Comment

Chocolate began as beer-like brew 3,100 years ago

The chocolate enjoyed around the world today had its origins at least 3,100 years ago in Central America not as the sweet treat people now crave but as a celebratory beer-like beverage and status symbol, scientists said on Monday. Researchers identified residue of a chemical compound that comes exclusively from the cacao plant -- the source of chocolate -- in pottery vessels dating from about 1100 BC in… Continue

Added by Clay Gordon on February 5, 2008 at 1:07am — 1 Comment

Blommer Chocolate Announces New Sustainable Farming Program for Cote d'Ivoire in West Africa

Blommer Chocolate, North America's largest processor of cocoa beans and ingredient chocolate products, announced recently the expansion of the company's sustainable farming initiatives with a new program in West Africa. This program (called CIFOB) will focus on cocoa farmers in Cote d'Ivoire.



According to Peter Blommer, COO of the company, "CIFOB is introducing programs to farmers focused on teaching…
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Added by Clay Gordon on February 5, 2008 at 1:05am — 3 Comments

Adding a Social Networking Twist To Searching for Chocolate on the Internet

If you look across the navigation tabs, you'll see that I have moved the search widget from the left-hand column after the Latest Activity section to its own page. I did this to speed up page loads.. The widget searches for text, images, and videos related to chocolate and aggregates them all on one page of search results.



What makes this widget cool is that I get to train it by specifying sites that are related to chocolate and giving it keywords that define the "tag cloud" or "buzz… Continue

Added by Clay Gordon on February 4, 2008 at 12:07pm — No Comments

Watch Fritz Knipschildt on Food Network

Chocolate Landmarks Food Network Challenge Feb 10th at 8.00pm. Watch Fritz and Torben Bang compete amongst the best in the chocolate industry. The show also airs Feb 11th 3.00am, Feb 13th 9.00pm, Feb 14th 12.00am, Feb 16th 2.00am, Feb 17th 7.00pm.

Fritz's throwdown with Bobby Flay will also be aired on Food Network the same night at 10.30pm. The show also airs Feb 11th 1.30am, Feb 19th 9.30pm, Feb 20th 12.30am and Feb 23rd 4.30pm

Added by Clay Gordon on February 4, 2008 at 11:00am — 2 Comments

Colin Gasko — Rogue new kid on the block

Rogue Chocolatier is the newest American “bean to bar” chocolate maker. Located in Minneapolis, Minnesota, this efficiency apartment sized chocolate factory was started just a few months…
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Added by Casey on February 2, 2008 at 9:03pm — 7 Comments

Learning (More) About The History of Chocolate

When it comes to learning about the history of chocolate, most people never look past the excellent book, The True History of Chocolate by Sophie and Michael Coe. I have to say that the timing of the publishing of this book (1996) was instrumental in my quest to become a chocolate critic. While I am sure that the Coe's did a fair amount of primary research, much of what they wrote was gleaned from the writings of others, which can be confirmed by taking a look at the… Continue

Added by Clay Gordon on February 2, 2008 at 12:30pm — No Comments

Calendar of Events: Event Information Welcome

If you scroll down the home page of The Chocolate Life you'll see a new calendar of events I have created. If you have (or know of) an event that can be included on this calendar, send me a message and I will add it. Better yet, please leave your recommendations as comments to this post.

Added by Clay Gordon on February 1, 2008 at 4:46pm — 5 Comments

Do biotic community dynamics of shaded coffee plantations inform cacao plantations?

I went to a talk last week about the dynamics of biotic communities on coffee plants on a 100 year-old organic shaded coffee plantation. The biotic interactions were fascinating, and ever increasing as the speaker elaborated on her research. The speaker was Ivette Perfecto from the University of Michigan. Here's the gist:



Arboreal ants live in nests in the shade trees and come down to tend scales (coffee herbivores) on the coffee plants and eat the honeydew produced by the scales. At… Continue

Added by Lorna on January 29, 2008 at 8:12pm — No Comments

Theo Chocolate is now available at Costco

According to their monthly newsletter, Costco says that Theo is making a "limited" (as limited as anything that is sold in Costco can be) edition Valentine's Gift Set.



This follows a trend for well-known chocolate companies to sell their wares through Costco. While probably less destructive to the bottom line than selling through WalMart, the fact that people can purchase the chocolate at 20% normal retail prices would indicate that Theo is not making its customary… Continue

Added by Clay Gordon on January 29, 2008 at 2:26pm — 3 Comments

Starbucks Rumors

Hold on to your hats everyone, rumor has it that Starbucks will be getting into the "artisan" chocolate business in a big way pretty soon. Given the number of doors (that's the technical term that people use when they talk about the number of stores) in the Starbucks franchise it stretches credulity to believe that the chocolate will actually be made using artisan production methods. When I know more I will let everyone know what I find out.



In the meantime, take a moment to post your… Continue

Added by Clay Gordon on January 29, 2008 at 10:39am — 6 Comments

TCHO: Redefining Chocolate

The majority of the growth in the premium chocolate business in the US over the past several years has come as a result of an increase in interest in artisan confections. This has led to dramatic growth in the number of artisan chocolatiers capable of commanding premium prices for their goods.



Less dramatic, but no less interesting, has been the growth of artisan chocolate makers in the US. In 2005 the list contained one name: Scharffen Berger Chocolate Maker.



Their success,… Continue

Added by Clay Gordon on January 29, 2008 at 9:22am — 2 Comments

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