Last year the Origin Chocolate Event started as a little event: one evening, four speakers and about forty visitors. This year it was much bigger: two days, ten speakers and a lot more visitors. Location was the very beautiful Royal Tropical Institute in Amsterdam. The first day was for professionals and the second day for the real chocolate lovers.
Purpose of the event is to promote fine flavour and sustainable chocolate in The Netherlands. Organized by Erik Sauër (El Sauco,…Continue
Three weeks ago I was in London to be at Chocolate Unwrapped for the second year. This year a new location ‘Covent Garden’; more stands, talks, demonstrations and visitors! A few years ago this event was set up to promote fine flavour chocolate, artisan chocolatiers and chocolate companies who work in direct partnership with the cocoa farmers. And I must say: they succeeded!
I arrived Friday before the event. Because I was not be able to go to Paris this year I went straight to La…Continue
Added by Vera Hofman on November 4, 2012 at 11:49am — No Comments
My visit to Turin started with a tour in Guido Gobino’s factory. In 1985 he took over the company from his father. He optimised the production processes and improved the quality by focussing on excellency and by researching and innovating products. He has succeeded: he is known as one of the best chocolate makers in Italy for years. At this moment there are 27 people working and they produce 900 kg gianduja per day. Of course made with the best hazelnuts from the Piedmont: Tonda Gentile…Continue
The 8th time I visited Le Salon du Chocolat in Paris. To be honest: I love it and I hate it. It’s too big and too crowded. But I have to go because every year I find some very special things that makes the trip worth it. First I check which chocolatiers won the awards from Le Club Des Croqueurs de Chocolat. I mostly agree with their opinion. Five of the twelve best were at Le Salon: Pascal Le Gac, Vincent Guerlais, Jean-Paul Hévin, Sadaharu Aoki and ES Koyama. The last one I had…Continue
This was the first year of the Single Origin Event in The Netherlands. Hopefully this will be a yearly event from now on. The location was Restaurant Merkelbach in Amsterdam. The event was organized by Erik Sauer of El Sauco, distributor of some very beautiful single origin chocolates (yes also Original Beans!) and Erik Spande, owner of Chocolátl chocolate shop in Amsterdam. They invited Santiago (Pacari), Mott (Grenada), Philipp (Original Beans) and Kees (Metropolitan Deli) to tell the…Continue
It took me some time to recover from my first Chocolate Triathlon in October. Fortunately I am in good shape again and I can tell you about my experiences. The three parts were: Chocolate Unwrapped in London, The Single Origin Event in Amsterdam and Le Salon du Chocolat in Paris. Now up to London!
This was my first visit to Chocolate Unwrapped. The event was held in Vinopolis near Borough Market, a beautiful location. I helped both days at the booth of Original Beans. A lot of people…Continue
Thank you all for your enthusiastic responses and showing interest in the development of Original Beans’ new recipe! What happened after two weeks? Is the new chocolate still so fruity?
How does Organic Grand Cru sound? I like it. We have waited for the first organic harvest from Congo (Cru Virunga) to make the change for all products.
But the most important thing we have changed in our recipe has to do with conching, a truly magic process in the art of making fine chocolate.…Continue
As you all might know I work as a volunteer for Original Beans. The combination of delicious chocolate and nature conservation makes it the best in my opinion.
Two weeks ago Philipp, founder, called me. A new test production would start Thursday! If I could come to Switzerland? Wow! A dream comes true! I immediately packed my suitcase. The biggest one so I can take a lot of chocolate back home. We are on a mission: how can we get more of the fruity flavors of the bean into our Piura…Continue
A “chocolate-order-break” during summer time? No way! I have to taste new chocolate and will take the risk of melting problems. A few weeks ago I heard for the first time of Adi Chocolate Fiji. Chocolate from Fijian beans and made on one of these beautiful Islands.
Wow, this sounds great! I have to taste it! So I sent an e-mail to Adi. Very quickly I got a response from Tom, the owner. He was very enthusiastic about the first trip of his chocolate to The Netherlands. They even…Continue
About 12 years ago I bought the Dutch translation of Chantal Coady’s book “The Chocolate Companion”. One of the chocolatiers that got very high rates was Paul de Bondt. I had never heard of him but I became very curious after reading her review. Although he is Dutch his shop is not in The Netherlands but in Pisa, Italy. But I knew then: one day I will visit Pisa!
A few years later I discovered a few of his bars at Le Salon du Chocolat in Paris. They were excellent!
In the last five months I tasted a lot of new chocolate: Friis Holm, Bojesen, Tobago Estate, Pralus’ Chuao, Idilio, Bouga Cacao, Bonnat (Haïti, Cuba, Piura), Cacao Sampaka, Vietnam of Morin and Puyricard, Fine & Raw, Rogue, Mast Brothers, Patric, Red Star and of course Original Beans’ Piura Porcelana and the new recipe of Beni Wild Harvest (I love them!).
Although I have tasted 494 different dark chocolates so far, I had never tasted a single origin from…Continue
Added by Vera Hofman on March 5, 2011 at 3:04pm — No Comments
Last year on February 11th I was in London to attend a tasting of Seventypercent.com with Art Pollard of Amano, which I enjoyed very much. This year on February 11th I was in Kortrijk to visit my chocolate friend Geert Vercruysse (www.patisserievercruysse.be).
I met Geert at a chocolate symposium for professionals arranged by Hidde de Brabander, a talented patissier/chocolatier in the Netherlands, May last year. I represented…Continue
In 1997, when my passion for fine chocolate started, the only premium bar I could buy in The Netherlands was Valrhona's Le Noir. For many years it was very difficult to get good chocolate. At some places you saw more bars of Valrhona and if you were lucky one of Amedei’s. Still there was not much going on. For the real stuff I visited Paris a lot.
But the last two years there is a chocolate revolution going on in The Netherlands! In 2009 Kees Raat, our most famous chocolatier ,…