Archive for February, 2008

Claudio Corallo Featured in Der Spiegel

Claudio Corallo at his plantation in Sao Tome and PrincipeDer Spiegel, the popular German magazine and website, has published a great story based on a visit to Claudio Corallo at his plantation on Sao Tome and Principe. The story communicates pretty nicely the general impression one gets that Corallo harbors little love for the chocolate industry in general, and, perhaps, the gourmet chocolate industry in particular. I definitely recommend reading it if you are interested in learning about Claudio Corallos quest for the intense and true flavors in chocolate.

Striving for the World’s Best Chocolate

In a remote corner of the global village, an Italian believes he’s developed the best of all chocolate recipes. Claudio Corallo lives on an island off Nigeria and ships his small-batch chocolate around the world.

Most people, says Claudio Corallo, don’t have the slightest idea what chocolate is — or what it can be. The article continues>>

Amedei Chocolate Takes the “Golden Bean” Best Bean to Bar Award

Amedei’s Tuscan BarsAfter an examination by a committee of experts of the London Academy of Chocolate, Amedei (Tuscany, Italy) has won the Golden Bean award for “the best bean to bar chocolate in the world.” That has a nice ring to it. Once someone told me my Cassoulet de Castelnaudary was “the best cassoulet in the world,” my chest still gets puffy when I think of it (it is puffy now).

I imagine Alessio and Cecilia Tessieri, the brother and sister founders of Amedei, were drowning in Champagne on the night of the announcement. Nonetheless, they managed to comment: “We are very proud of this award. Our objective shall always remain that of producing the best chocolate in the world, dedicating it to all our supporters. We thank the Academy of Chocolate for this award, and for the seriousness and passion it puts in its worldwide work in search of good quality chocolate.”

Here is their announcement, edited slightly, because while I respect their palates, “harbouring” all those “colourful” extra ‘u’s hogs up RAM on my “computour.”

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Vosges Mo’s Bacon Chocolate Bar

Peter Cook’s famous priest expresses my deepest feelings for the new Vosges Mo’s Bacon Chocolate BarBacon and Chocolate. To explore the latest Vosges entry, Mo’s Milk Bacon Bar, my mind drifts, my soul swells, nostalgia and the unrequited passions of my youth swim in the deep glittery motes of my doe-like eyes. “Love, sweet love.” These most beautiful words, the plaintiff yet serene voice, the cap and robe, taken together, emblematize the luscious serenity of our most sacred of emotions. The also expose the lurking absurdity of it all, especially when you are incapably of ever uttering them, or any close derivative, without flashing back to the brilliant priest played by Peter Cook in The Princess Bride, who intones: “And wuv, tru wuv, will fowow you foweva.”

Vosges Bacon Chocolate BarWith these words ripe on the tongue, bite into the Vosges Bacon Chocolate Bar, officially known as Mo’s Bacon Bar. The bacon bar is a dark milk chocolate, combined with applewood smoked bacon, alder smoked salt, and 41% deep milk chocolate.

Vosges Haut-Chocolat is rightly famed for the witty and trendy blends concocted by Vosges founder Katrina Markoff, who possesses that rare blend of skills that ranges from concocting to packaging to marketing chocolate. As the list of chocolate candy bars grows (and I will always take off my hat to Katrina for making flavored chocolate bars and calling them “candy bars.” Humility? Playfulness?), the genesis and of ever-more daring and bold entries seems inevitable. My personal feelings toward the incessant perfection of the Vosges candy bar has gone from weariness to resignation to acceptance to embrace to enthusiasm. Vosges candy bars exhibit the clarity of purpose and democratic elegance of a backyard chicken coop.

So what does it taste like?

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