Forum Activity for @SU

SU
@SU
11/02/10 01:52:01AM
18 posts

Which Ingredient Used in additional amount to increase chocolate taste and Health


Posted in: Tasting Notes

I'm a fan of espresso or coffee. Don't know about health benefits, though.
SU
@SU
03/22/10 03:46:30PM
18 posts

Where can I find for purchase a wide selection of chocolate from a variety of different fine chocolatiers?


Posted in: Classifieds

Also Chocolate Covered - a store in SF (Noe Valley area, I think).
SU
@SU
10/27/09 01:19:01PM
18 posts

Storing Chocolate


Posted in: Tech Help, Tips, Tricks, & Techniques

I store chocolate in a wine fridge and plastic bags or boxes in case of occasional condensation on the fan. I'm in upstate NY USA. We are having a freakishly temperate fall so I'm also keeping some in a padded thermo bag (my traveling bag for chocolate) and pulling stuff to eat it. I was traveling in Italy for two weeks and the thermo bag evened out all the crazy temperature fluctuations.
SU
@SU
11/09/09 12:16:13PM
18 posts

Best Female Chocolatier?


Posted in: Opinion

Or said a slightly less depressing way: its a male dominated industry that has been run in a particular way -- pathways via established training schools, I would guess for pastries because a lot of famous chocolatiers seem to have pastry background, and corporations and old boy networks -- for a long time, but is now being opened up to amateurs of both genders thus removing some of the gender, socio-economic, and regional barriers to entry. No doubt due to greater ease of acquiring materials & training (thank you internets). The new and growing number of known female chocolatiers indicates there may be a shift coming in the gender balance as well as the big-box to artisan focus. The more women in the industry, the more there will be. Plant a flag at the mountaintop and more will come!
SU
@SU
10/22/09 12:33:58PM
18 posts

The connections between Scandinavia and chocolate - what reference do people have?


Posted in: Opinion

This is tricky - I'm sure there are Swedish chocolatiers, but I can only think of American, French, Belgium or Italians. I generally assume there are brands because everybody has some. I just doubt any brands are sold in the States and I can't think of any specific chocolatiers either. Sweden would have a lot more exposure all the Euro chocs than those of us in North America so it stands to reason they have similar market demands.Now that you mentioned the Swedish chef I will have have his ongoing culinary battles going through my head all day.
SU
@SU
09/22/09 08:06:47PM
18 posts

Chocolate Stores in San Francisco


Posted in: Travels & Adventures

Chocolate Covered4069 24th St(between Castro St & Noe St)San Francisco, CA 94114(415) 641-8123Hours: Mon-Sun. 10:30 a.m. - 7:30 p.m.Quite a good store - have a lot of local & regional favorites (like Richard Donnelly's bars & Lilliebelle Farms' truffles) as well as a huge range of brands. Guy there is great, loves to talk chocolate.
SU
@SU
09/18/09 04:21:43PM
18 posts

Is there such a thing as a "true chocolatier"?


Posted in: Opinion

It sounds like they are trying to differentiate themselves from "traditional" upstate NY chocolate -- we call it "fountain" chocolate in our family -- which seems to be comprised mostly of sugar. It's super sweet goodness which is very popular. Regardless of their intent, it is tacky to say they are "true" and others aren't.Sugary chocolate is still chocolate and it is a tradition and there's nothing wrong with that. I offered my grams a shot of Madagascar 70% from Patric chocolates and she thought it was comically terrible, she's a Parkside's woman and proud of it!As a Buffalo transplant from CA Bay Area, there is a huge regional difference in the sugar content & flavorings of the chocolatiers in each locale. I understand the desire to stand out, but its never necessary to diminish others to do it. Everyone thinks their product is superior otherwise they wouldn't be in business. And this is coming from someone who was not initially pleased with the regional differences!
SU
@SU
10/29/09 01:24:37PM
18 posts

Where do I start as an aspiring chocolate seller?


Posted in: Tech Help, Tips, Tricks, & Techniques

You could sell on an already established site like foodzie.com - it's like ebay for artisan food. I've been drooling over some of their options. That could give you web presence and be a stepping stone for your path to your own site with no upfront development costs. Also, a small selection wouldn't be a problem because foodzie is a marketplace. it wouldn't preclude you from having your own site, I believe a lot of people have their own sites in addition to being part of foodzie.
SU
@SU
10/27/09 12:43:24PM
18 posts

Online buying/selling?


Posted in: Tech Help, Tips, Tricks, & Techniques

Actually, I'm not against buying food online. I did have one bad experience, but that was in the nature of an experiment anyway (and the issue was sugar content, not freshness). The trusted sources I've bought from -- Donnelly and chocosphere -- were great and I had no problems. Jeff at Lilliebelle went out of his way to make my experience good (had to do a second bunny 'cause the first came during a freak non-seasonal heat wave). I definitely recommend buying online, but I restrict it to people whose chocolate I've already tried.In fact, I've expanded the types of food I would buy online. When my hub & I got hitched someone gave us a Williams & Sonoma gift card and we bought nothing but food. Their cookies & frozen croissants were amazing. We loved every single thing! I've been ogling the food on foodzie.com lately, but my online purchasing constraint is financial (damn start-up invisible paychecks!). I think it's completely workable if you don't have direct access to the high level desserts or chocolates you crave.
SU
@SU
10/22/09 04:17:56PM
18 posts

Online buying/selling?


Posted in: Tech Help, Tips, Tricks, & Techniques

Living in CA, there were oodles of stores around, but living here in upstate NY is a very different situation. I've bought online, but only in 3-4 times in the last two years. I'll be back in CA come November so there's won't be a need in the future unless I need some French or Italian chocolate that I HAVE to have. There will come a time when I must have certain chocolatiers, but just polished off the last of my Paris chocolate from October 2008 and we just got back from Italy with $400 worth of chocs, so that'll last me.Online, I've bought from chocosphere (mixed box of bars I was interested in), LillieBelle Farms (zombie choc bunny for a friend's birthday), Chocolate by Cacao (box of pralines, to try out), and Richard Donnelly (box of bars). Shipping is generally prohibitive, but I'll do it in serious cases of need -- the Donnelly and chocosphere times were such cases. After trying the Chocolate by Cacao and not enjoying it, I decided no more experimental purchases unless I have excellent reviews from trusted sources (everything looks good online).What I've done for the last year is mix in chocolate shopping with all of my business and personal trips -- every visit yields additions to the chocolate fridge, that way I don't have to rely on the limited local selection. I'll definitely buy online again despite my CA move, there are some fantastic French & Italian chocolatiers that will be worth the cost (but only 1-2 times a year). I'll probably restrict my buying to international and try to scheme East Coast additions into my scheduled travel. For me, the more flush we get financially, the more likely I'll be to buy online, until then, however, I'll rely on the frequent traveling I do to fill in the blanks. Already have a wedding I'm scheduled to attend in Paris in the Spring, so no international buying necessary next year!
SU
@SU
08/12/09 11:52:06AM
18 posts

Business start-ups with no experience?


Posted in: Opinion

The thing to consider is really about "artisan" as a pr catchword. I seriously doubt consumers look at "Belgium" as descriptive proof of a chocolate's quality any more because its overused and artisan is getting pretty close to that point. No one says, "That Belgium quality chocolate was terrible! No more Belgium chocolate!" Chocolate consumers seem to fall into two categories uneducated or obsessive. Uneducated consumers won't limit their intake 'cause they won't care enough to obsess over the artisan label and obsessives like to try new things and understand its a crapshoot. The people I know who like chocolate in very general terms don't seem to pay any attention to the label names, much less whether its bean-to-bar, artisan, handmade, whatever. They try it, like it or not and move on. I'm always surprised that they make no attempt to memorize the labels, bad or good, but I think that's how it is for a lot of consumers.
SU
@SU
08/03/09 03:54:56PM
18 posts

Salon du Chocolat 2009 in Paris


Posted in: Travels & Adventures

Oooh! That'd be fun. My husband and I will be doing a detour to Eurochocolate during our Italy trip as well.
SU
@SU
10/29/09 01:08:05PM
18 posts

Best chocolate school


Posted in: Opinion

Ha! I've lived in Buffalo for two years after moving from Oakland, Ca, where I had multiple artisan choc shops within walking distance. That there's known as fountain candy in these parts and it is loved. I stopped trying to make it work for me after a month -- mostly because my husband ate all the rejects and he couldn't take the experimental buying any more.
SU
@SU
10/27/09 01:24:05PM
18 posts

Best chocolate school


Posted in: Opinion

Augh! My eyes!Once again Jeff shares images that make me want to wash my eyeballs. You couldn't have cropped him from the chest down?:)
SU
@SU
04/14/09 03:34:26PM
18 posts

Denver chocolatiers/stores recommendations?


Posted in: Travels & Adventures

Hi all,the hub and I will be spending a week in Denver soon. Any recommendations?Google maps pops up quite a few options, but I don't want to waste time on waxy oversugared goodness (not that there's anything wrong with that, but we can get that here in upstate New York). We're both 50%-90% range bar & bonbon people and big fans of all pastries & confectionary goodness.Currently planning on Steve DeVries .
updated by @SU: 04/23/15 05:36:08PM
SU
@SU
04/12/09 01:37:01PM
18 posts

Why posh chocolate is recession-proof


Posted in: News & New Product Press

Articles like this are fun for the name dropping curiosities you can unearth, but I do wish people weren't quite so obsessed with the "good" percentage nonsense or price consciousness. I found out I didn't generally care for anything under 60% by trial and error, but that doesn't mean I'm better than my husband who includes milk and 90% (gack! gack!) chocolate in his stable of nibbling chocolate.I wish writers focused on the flavor profiles they liked and used that as framework for their discussions. There's tons of "posh" chocolate of excellent quality that leave me cold, but that's certainly not their fault. My husband adores Domori which I feel like is a "punch-in-the-mouth" chocolate. I like Marcolini which he has likened to battery acid. The difference is the fun part of eating and talking about it! Why waste that fun judging and mean-spirited arguing? (the good-natured arguing is still enjoyable, of course- I found the battery acid comment incessantly amusing) Writers seem so eager to set themselves apart they see disparaging the differences in chocolate -- percentage, bean, country, or price -- as the only path. To what end?
SU
@SU
04/11/09 04:19:41PM
18 posts

Best Chocolates in Vienna, Venice, France?


Posted in: Travels & Adventures

Was in Paris in October and the hub and I hit up: Patrick Roger (second!), Regis, Michel Chaudan (sp?), Jean-Charles Rouchoux (caramel bar, mmmmm), and Pierre Marcolini. I bought some assorted chocolates, but mostly bars -- all 65% and up. They were all exceptional.My method was to narrow to the top ten from hours of research and put stars on our map to indicate chocolatiers. We went to whoever we happened to be near in our sightseeing. Didn't got to all the best, but definitely got a spectrum.
SU
@SU
04/11/09 03:02:22PM
18 posts

Chocolatiers = Re-melters?


Posted in: Opinion

Also, it doesn't hurt to consider how consumers will take your caricaturing of the competition. I have a choc fridge brimming with Patrick Roger, Amedei, Regis, my husband's Domori and endless amounts "experimental" (read never tried) bars. And I like it all: bars, bon bons, confections, whatever as long as its dark. As an educated (read obsessive) high volume consumer, if I heard or read that re-melter nonsense, not only would I not purchase, I might dissuade friends from doing so as not to reinforce such marketing behavior. As consumers, the pocketbook is one of the only weapons you have.In non-profit work we have a saying: saving the world doesn't entitle you to be an jerk to everyone around you. Although my friends and I just call it the f**king tacky factor, because when you see it you say, "Well, that's just f**king tacky."