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.”

Bear in mind here that the London Academy does have some vague geographical and other associations with England, and that these are genuine Britons doing the judging, and that these Britons have traditionally shown a distinct proclivity for all chocolates British. Nonetheless, non-Brits and newcomers from around the world have found their way to some of the top prizes in most categories.

For the third year running, the Italian chocolate house Amedei has won the ‘Golden Bean’: the Best “Bean to Bar’ chocolate award, this time with its Toscano 63%. (In 2007 Amedei virtually swept the awards with the Amedei Chuao taking the top marks for Gold, and Amedei Porcelana and Toscano Black 70% also taking gold.) Michel Cluizel’s Maralumi took a gold as well, as did the Valrhona Araguani). Amedei’s Chuao and Porcelana also won golds. However, this year competition was intense with French producer Valrhona, winning gold awards for its Manjari 64% and Guanaja 70%. Valrhona also scored highest and won the only gold in the Best Milk Bar category.

The Academy of Chocolate Awards 2008 received a record over 300 entries from chocolatier sacross Europe and the United States. s. Judging took place in London over 3 days. Judges included Academy members, leading food journalists such as Charles Campion and renowned chefs such as Mark Hix, as well as international chocolate experts from the U.S., Scandinavia and South America.

The ‘Golden Bean’, Best ‘chocolatier’ dark bar (made from existing liquor or couverture)Hotel Chocolat Bar

Best House Dark Chocolate bar

Best Milk Chocolate Bar

  • Gold Valrhona Jivara 40%
  • Silver Amedei Toscano Brown
  • Silver William Curley house
  • Silver Pamaco Criovemi
  • Bronze L’artisan du Chocolat Dominican republic
  • Bronze L’artisan du Chocolat Madagascar

Best Flavored Dark Chocolate Bar

Best Flavored Milk Chocolate Bar

Winning chocolate bars and drinking chocolates in a variety of other categories includeed:

Best Dark Organic Bar

Best Flavoured Dark Organic Bar

Best Milk Organic Bar

  • Silver Valrhona Cao Grande lait

Best Flavored Milk Organic Bar

  • Bronze Theo vanilla

Best Drinking Chocolate

  • Gold Rococo house
  • Gold Theo chipotle spiced
  • Silver Paul A Young spiced
  • Bronze William Curley chilli
  • Bronze William Curley spiced
  • Bronze Paul A Young house
  • Bronze Grenada Smilo
  • Bronze Hotel Chocolat original cocoa stick

Truffles are also judged by the London Academy of Chocolate. The winners of the Academy of Chocolate Awards for 2008 load up UK chocolatier William Curley with an impressive number of medals. These included a spectacular 4 Golds in the Best Filled Chocolate category with his Chuao filled chocolate scoring highest. The judges were particularly impressed by his Japanese Black Vinegar ganache and his Sesame ganache.

Best Ganache Filled Chocolate

  • Gold William Curley Chuao
  • Gold William Curley framboise
  • Gold William Curley sesame
  • Gold William Curley Japanese black vinegar
  • Gold Theo fig & fennel
  • Silver William Curley passion fruit & mango
  • Silver Sir Hans Sloane passion fruit
  • Silver Melt Amedei
  • Silver William Curley thyme & honey
  • Silver William Curley Early grey
  • Silver William Curley szechuan pepper
  • Silver Demarquette lemon
  • Silver Melt raspberry
  • Bronze Melt tonka, vanilla & sesame
  • Bronze Melt passion fruit caramel & mandarin
  • Bronze Paul Wayne Gregory coconut
  • Bronze Melt orange on praline
  • Bronze Indulgence orange
  • Bronze William Curley wasabi
  • Bronze William Curley jasmine
  • Bronze Melt raspberry caramel
  • Bronze Paul Wayne Gregory coffee
  • Bronze William Curley honey
  • Bronze Demarquette coffee
  • Bronze Sir Hans Sloane Chinese tea
  • Bronze William Curley sudachi
  • Bronze Damian Allsop water based ganache
  • Bronze Demarquette blanc manger, spices, coconut & rum
  • Bronze Hotel Chocolat rabot 62%
  • Bronze Auberge du Chocolat amedei house
  • Bronze Demarquette honey
  • Bronze Chococo cherry & kirsch
  • Bronze Damian Allsop salty liquorice

Best Filled Praline or Bonbon

  • Gold Guido Gobino salt & olive oil
  • Gold William Curley juniper & cassis
  • Gold William Curley sea salt caramel
  • Silver William Curley fleur de sel
  • Silver William Curley raspberry
  • Silver Paul Wayne Gregory nuts
  • Silver Rococo salt caramel
  • Silver Theo sage caramel
  • Bronze Hotel Chocolat Gianduja square
  • Bronze William Curley pistachio

Best Plain Dark Truffle

  • Gold William Curley
  • Silver Rococo
  • Silver Paul A Young
  • Bronze L’artisan du Chocolat

Best Plain Milk Truffle

  • Silver William Curley

The judges commented on the very wide range of flavoured chocolates this year, from traditional rose and violet to the fashionable sea salted caramels, as well as spiced chocolates and a move towards Japanese ingredients and natural liquorice. The judges were also impressed by the entries in the drinking chocolate category. Rococo won a Gold for its organic House chocolate as did US chocolate maker Theo for its fair trade organic chocolate chipotle spiced drinking chocolate. The judges remarked how the quality and range of presentation illustrated the revival in chocolate culture. Drinking chocolates were submitted from the UK, Europe and America and were presented as sticks (reminiscent of how the Mayans and Aztecs produced chocolate from as far back as the 10th century), flakes, powder, bars and nuggets.

Sara Jayne Stanes, OBE, chair of the Academy of Chocolate says of the Awards “The awards grow year on year and we were delighted with the number, and quality, of entries we received this year. We hope that these annual Awards will help consumers, retailers and restaurateurs to make enlightened choices about the chocolate they buy.

Thanks folks at the London Chocolate Academy for your brilliant work!

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

  1. on 04 Jun 2010 at 6:41 amdeeps

    So, this is how the story goes… My friend, who used to be my boy friend, wants to get me these chocolates as the best gift that could ever be given to anyone and after two long months of waiting.. tata.. here they are..

    As we are just about to open the first bar of chocolates- called amedei 9.. i say, “if they don’t melt in my mouth….

    And.. i chewed it and he say, “it melts ya”

    ok.. ok.. it melts alright! rightly won all the awards..


  2. on 17 Oct 2010 at 10:40 pmBernt

    Can’t wait to try some of these chocolates at future chocolate parties!! Are they better than the “low” end chocolate bars? We’ll find out!

  3. on 08 Dec 2011 at 9:40 amSerwis obiadowy Chodzież

    Bardzo fajny wpis. Jestem zaskoczony jakością wpisów na tym blogu. Na pewno jeszcze zajrzę tutaj w przyszłości.

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