Archive for the 'Milk Chocolate' Category

Åkesson’s Chocolate Sweeps Up at the Academy of Chocolate Awards

At his family’s plantation in Madagascar, Bertil Åkesson of Åkesson’s chocolate grows cacao and pepper and turns them both into delightful chocolate. Three of his bars recently won awards at the Academy of Chocolate Awards in London. He faced some of the world’s greatest chocolatiers and came away with a hat trick. Congratulations to Bertil! Here are the descriptions for his winning bars.

Brazil 75%

Our Brazil 75% bar  is made with an astonishing forastero variety of cocoa called “parasinho” that grows in Brazil’s Mata Atlântica – the wild forest with the highest biodiversity on earth – where we purchased a 120-hectare plantation. This chocolate is very smooth and has very expressive notes that evoke wood, autumn scents, and the local pitanga fruit.

Bali 45% milk chocolate & fleur de sel

Our 45% milk chocolate bar is the first Balinese single-origin bar ever made in Europe. This chocolate holds a caramelized flavor resulting from the use of natural sugar produced from the juice of coconut blossoms, harvested by gently slicing the flower. Once collected, the nectar is kettle-boiled into a thick caramel and ground to a fine crystal. With a very low glycemic index, this sugar is a great and healthy match for our Balinese fleur de sel. The cocoa is produced by the Sukrama family on seven hectares in the Melaya area in the western part of the island.

Madagascar 75% Criollo cocoa

Our Madagascar 75% bar has a very expressive cocoa aroma with subtle fruity-sweet tartness and pleasant flavor notes that evoke citrus and red berries, the true taste of the very best cocoa beans from Madagascar. Our 2,300-hectare family estate in the Sambirano Valley in northwestern Madagascar has produced world-famous aromatic cocoa since 1920. Besides 300 tons per year of trinitario cocoa, a very limited production of criollo cocoa – two tons per year -is harvested separately

Åkesson’s produces several other bars, including one with voatsiperifery pepper, a wild pepper that grows on creeping vines up to 20 meters (that’s 65 feet!) up in the tree canopy. All of Åkesson’s chocolates are available online from the Meadow and in both of our shops.

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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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