Forum Activity for @Casey

Casey
@Casey
05/01/11 03:41:38PM
54 posts

Weird Flavors and Inclusions in Chocolate


Posted in: Tasting Notes

From Sweden, with alo(v)e

"Aloe Vera and Chocolate tasting

Welcome to savor the world's most wholesome fruit, in combination with the world's most wholesome vegetable!

Both aloe vera and chocolate are known for their fantastic health benefits. During this tasting you will experience just what a combination of these can create, both for taste, and for your wellbeing. The tasting guide lectures on the pairing of aloe and chocolate for health, along with how YOU can become a connoisseur of chocolate. You will learn the difference between good and bad production of both chocolate and aloe. All the while we'll be testing both chocolate samples and aloe vera pralines of high quality. In between bites of chocolate, we'll enjoy fruity aloe vera drinks."

Casey
@Casey
02/11/11 11:28:53AM
54 posts

Weird Flavors and Inclusions in Chocolate


Posted in: Tasting Notes

From a sea of chocolate

http://on.fb.me/eEr4nK

Casey
@Casey
02/06/11 01:00:42PM
54 posts

Lovey Dovey?


Posted in: Opinion

I get letters, and some of them just have to be passed along to my fellow chocolate
passionistas.


Hi Casey,


I am a huge fan of your blog and I wanted to reach out to you to tell you about this
really
cool new chocolate community. This community works within a leading
chocolate company,
currently developing some really innovative new concepts around
chocolate. The aim is to
open a dialogue with chocolate enthusiasts, and then let
those enthusiasts (like YOU!) help
shape and influence new product development,
provide feedback and interact with other
chocolate lovers.I think you would be an
awesome contributor to The ChocoSphere-- I love your chocolate
reviews! Your ideas
and voice would help influence new product development for a top
chocolate brand.
You can share your thoughts and feedback, and have an impact on this
brand's
future!
I'd love to send you a personalized link to join the community-please email me
confirming
your interest and I'll send one over. Or, if you have any questions, please
let me know.
Sincerely,
Ashley

The ChocoSphere

www.thechocosphere.com

/~A private community for chocolate passionistas~///



So I received this email from one of my super fans, who shall remain last
nameless, i
t seems. Out of curiosity I wanted to inquire as to what business it
was that would ask of
my chocolate consultancy free of charge, and just
generally whose chocolate I would imbibe.
After all, my mom always taught me
never to accept candy from strangers. Ashley was so friendly, and she sure
knows how to flatter a person, flattered the pants right off.

So my pants on the ground, and my curiosity thus piqued, and knowing that
Ashley did say she would be happy to answer any questions I might have, I sent
her just one simple question before I was ready to sign my life away.

But her reply was
also a rebuff, and quickly revealed that poor Ashley was
suffering from amnesia all about our
new BFF status, and about who, in fact,
I even was.





Hi Casey,

Unfortunately I can't tell you the name of the company, but it is a leading
chocolate brand and we'd love to invite you into the community! Please confirm your
occupation and I can send you over a link to join the community.

Sincerely, Ashley
The ChocoSphere
www.thechocosphere.com
~A private community for chocolate passionistas~


Now we do know something about Ashley, even though we may not know
her last name, or
the name of her company. But other than that she is a great
flatterer and very passionate, we may only know this: She will vary the amount
of tildes and slashes
bordering the chocolate passionista slogan, depending on
her mood and/or degree of amnesia.

Now the only other place I've really seen the phrase "chocolate passionistas"
about the web was
here, in this "community for chocolate passionistas,"
brought to you by Dove Chocolate. Won't some kind soul direct Ashley there, so
that she can recover some of her memory?









updated by @Casey: 04/12/15 05:49:04AM
Casey
@Casey
02/04/11 10:12:42PM
54 posts

Bean to bar chocolate makers


Posted in: Tasting Notes

What about Vestri and Cacao Sampaka?

As far as I know, there are only claims that Vestri is tree to bar, in that they own their own plantation. But in the case of Sampaka, it seems to me I've heard both claims that they are bean to bar, and claims to the contrary.

Casey
@Casey
01/24/11 10:33:17PM
54 posts

Weird Flavors and Inclusions in Chocolate


Posted in: Tasting Notes

I saw the just published article from Travel & Leisure, they've got about a dozen "strange" flavors listed, many of which have been mentioned already in this thread.

The most intriguing sounding new one was the kimchi covered chocolate...

btw, I recently tried and reviewed the Al Nassma camel milk chocolates, interesting...

btw2, Clay is quoted a lot in this article, which was written by Jessica Su of the Su Good Sweets blog.

Casey
@Casey
01/18/11 06:22:45PM
54 posts

Bean to bar chocolate makers


Posted in: Tasting Notes

I added those I mentioned in my reply just above to the master list, plus made made these and all the other newer additions hyperlinks. I have not added Salazon, as I'm slightly suspicious of this company.

For example, this from their FAQ

"Why dont you make milk chocolate?
At Salazon we see chocolate as an energy food not candy, so we simply stay away from offering sweeter, more candy-like milk chocolate. "

And what is their chosen default percentage for this "dark" chocolate? 54%!!

But that may be too bitter for many, so

"However, we do understand that some people may want a touch more sweetness so we created our Organic Dark Chocolate with Sea Salt and Organic Turbinado Sugar bar."

Also, there seems to be nothing on the website with any information on who these people are, not even their names, and no information about or photos of their chocolate making process. Except that they are the "Salazon Chocolate Co Team," which consists of "a group of us were on a backpacking trip to Utah."

Therefore, who knows who they are, or if they grasp "bean to bar" meaning.

btw, has anyone tried their chocolates? I see they are available at Whole Foods.

Casey
@Casey
01/06/11 07:27:30PM
54 posts

Bean to bar chocolate makers


Posted in: Tasting Notes

I wonder if we ought to add Mindo, Snake and Butterfly, Potomac, Salazon, all newer US makers claiming to be b2b, but I have not exactly called them up to quiz them... Isn't there someone on this list also who says they make b2b, Oakland Chocolate Company?

This list is going to be getting so long as small b2b increase exponentially over the next years, so can I just add my grandma's home brew now? She sells to her Mahjong club.

Casey
@Casey
01/05/11 05:02:54PM
54 posts

Icelandic chocolate, it's not organic -- just green?


Posted in: Opinion

What does anyone know about this Icelandic chocolate, Ni Srus? I've been seeing this on my local co-op shelves, and heard there is also something over at Whole Foods.

Well I haven't tried it, I somehow got the impression that it isn't on these shelves because it's one of the best chocolates in the world either, not that the co-op carries any of those anyway, they are allabout the certificates. Which excludes our locally made Rogue Chocolatier, ahem ahem...

But what's the story -- Rogue and local are out, and Iceland is in? Why should my co-op start carrying chocolates from this industrial candy company out of the blue? Surely instead of blue, it must have seemed a very good"going green" proposition for them...

Makes the certificate game, and the co-op itself, look even more ridiculous..


updated by @Casey: 04/10/15 06:04:51PM
Casey
@Casey
01/01/11 02:11:17PM
54 posts

Is there such a thing as GREAT Fair Trade chocolate?


Posted in: Opinion

The only great Fairtrade chocolate is Theo. If we are including Rainforest Alliance, then Cacaoyere as well. I think that bothof these occupy a new place, their own category, perhaps, of mass marketproduct that holds enough of the fine chocolate ingredients, and doesn't flubit up too much, can be great chocolate in its own right, and is still accessibleto a wide range. Not quite as good as those in some ways, but a perfectly respectableRainforest chocolate, is Kallari.

I think it can almost be comparing apples in oranges to say if any of these are worth the Bonnat/Domori/ Amano type or not... I prefer totaste either Cacaoyere or Theo, even the Kallari, in addition to a couple from Republica delCacao, and some by Slitti, El Rey, or even Santander, to most chocolates byValrhona, for example. None of these last are Fairtrade or Rainforest certified,though, but they do belong to a category I see as the best industrial chocolates,they are more sophisticated and interesting than the Callebaut level, to besure. I've been talking about a bunch of this stuff on my blog as of late,where I've also occasionally bitched and moaned about Fairtrade, etc...

Casey
@Casey
12/31/10 04:11:19PM
54 posts

Bean to bar chocolate makers


Posted in: Tasting Notes

Well thank god somebody thought to include Trader Joe's!
Casey
@Casey
04/06/10 07:36:44PM
54 posts

Chocolates of Ecuador -- Arriba, Nacional, CCN51


Posted in: Opinion

Here are a couple of other fascinating discussions around here for more information about reclassification of cacao varieties, in this one we are pointing out different things about cacao of Ecuador.http://www.thechocolatelife.com/forum/topics/1978963:Topic:4592http://www.thechocolatelife.com/forum/topics/cacao-info-resources
Casey
@Casey
03/17/10 01:40:51PM
54 posts

Belgian Chocolate Makers


Posted in: Opinion

Susan Lucci? You mean that Belcolade has been nominated for seventeen daytime Emmys, and only won once? Or maybe it's just that Erica Kane would surely approve of lounging around on the pink satin pillow drenched red velvet sofa, and eating the best Belgian Belcoalde bonbons buyable!?But this sort of thing reminds me, wouldn't it be a useful thing to have around here somewhere, a list that says, like the bean to bar discussion, a list with all of those not bean to bar companies, and who really makes their chocolate.
Casey
@Casey
02/24/10 11:22:25AM
54 posts

Porcelana Cacao The best Cacao in the world?


Posted in: Opinion

I'll point out that I had a somewhat similar experience with the Bonnat Porcelana thatHans Peter Rot had, and it was during the summer of 2008, not long after his review was first published. This bar had, as he noted, a lack of the complexity one might expect, and also, for me, one of the few overwhelming components was a very strong note of Piss. I mean, not pleasant, and the other main components were a most delicious strawberry and chocolatiness, this was bizarre. However, at that time, I really did find myself struggling with the question of whether this bar was work of genius, or a piece of junk (or perhaps a new genre was born -- genius junk?) I really found that, in spite of it all, there was something very interesting, you might even say compelling about this chocolate. I decided at that time that I would not write about the experience, instead giving Bonnat one more try before I finally did review their Porcelana.Lately, I've been gearing up to publish a Porcelana piece on The Chocolate Note, and have recently given the Bonnat another whirl. To great results, I am very impressed with this chocolate, nothing nasty at all, and it isn't that I can't love any chocolate which contains anything "unpleasant," either, but the intriguing quality was there, without any of that very bizarreness, and yet it is different, it's distinctive as compared to another Porcelana.So I would say the opinion formed with the 5.4 rating, and the acerbic review, calling this chocolate "grisly" must have been the result of some bad batches in 2008, or of course possibly they are still having them occasionally. (Although for me, grisly is I think in the 3 or below category of rating. time to move over to the "rating systems" discussion?)I would like some more information on where this idea that Valrhona Palmira is actually a Porcelana originally came from, it seems unusual that Valrhona wouldn't want to advertise the fact, that being such a highly marketable and sought after bean and all. Or perhaps, they are trying to mystify themselves some more (big surprise?)In my upcoming blog on Porcelana, I won't include any of the "types," and now Bonnat has several of those, but am interested in hearing feedback about how others have experienced these. The blog will focus only on Amedei, Bonnat, and Domori. I did not have the opportunity to try the Scharffen Berger years back, that has been mentioned, nor the Coppeneur limited editions. I was contacted by Coppeneur, who wanted to send me some of their chocolates for review. I wrote back, telling which ones I had not tried, and mentioned an interest in the Porcelana they had on hand at that time. I also noted that I would be honest in my review, noting any criticism of the chocolates for my readers, and supplied them with my mailing address. When, after these emails, I never did hear back from them again, I became suspicious of this company, almost as much as I am of Original Beans, or at least certainly their confidence in their own products. So I am curious how these limited Porcelana chocolates were, but won't be shelling out any bucks to find out.
Casey
@Casey
01/23/10 12:31:08PM
54 posts

Hawaiian Chocolate


Posted in: Tasting Notes

I've had he Dole Waialua Estate and the Malie Kai "dark" chocolate, undeniably there is something special happening with cacao from the Waialua Estate! With both chocolates, there is something wonderful, intriguing, interesting, distinctive going on. However, I don't feel Guittard capable of bringing to bear the potential of these beans. It's too bad that Dole and Malie Kai have Guittard as their chocolate maker, I would like to see someone else get their hands on this special stuff... I gave them both about an 8.5, because potential sensed is not realized. The milk chocolate from Malie Kai was just ho hum average milk chocolate, might as well buy a mass market product (Guittard, perhaps? Well, I guess you are, but you would get more for your money with honesty about what type of product it is... irksome)Also irksome is the marketing hype "The Rarest Cacao on Earth" on the Malie Kai label. Oh let's just drop this already! They are so special indeed that they do not need to have any cacao percentage listed on either package or website, some rather odd marketing strategies going on there, it's ridiculous that you would have to research in order to find out these simple facts.
Casey
@Casey
12/15/09 02:27:47PM
54 posts

Valrhona Chuao 2002


Posted in: Tasting Notes

Although we have already chatted via email about this privately (Olorin,) thought I would share this for those following along on here. Just published something about vintage chocolates.
Casey
@Casey
12/02/09 11:09:52PM
54 posts

Giving Thanks to Chocolate ...


Posted in: Tasting Notes

I definitely made it a chocolate fall feast day! Mole yes, this was/is still on hand, wonderful mole chili at this time. I have made mole from scratch a number of times now, and feel I am finally starting to get good at this. It is a lot of fun to make, and it's a very powerful and delicious sauce, with many uses. For this latest one I used only guajillo and chipotle peppers, the time before it was ancho, guajillo, New Mexico, pasilla, and chipotle. This time I used a little more chocolate than usual, normally it's about 2-3 oz for the size of recipe that I normally make, but I used 4.5 oz this time. I was thinking of putting the latest recipe on my blog, maybe I will do that and post here after I've published it. The chocolate used this time was a combination of 91% and 63% from Cacaoyere. Last time I used Felchlin Dominican Republic, that's right I don't spare and go straight for the good stuff, ha ha. I used extra red tomatoes this time, and the last time I omitted these entirely, but increased the tomatillos. There are so many ways to make mole. Here is an interesting article about mole from NY Times, and below a couple of good recipe links to get started.http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/A24738636http://www.finerkitchens.com/swap/forum1/8687_this_on_is_complicate...http://jugalbandi.info/2007/11/when-chilli-meets-chocolate-vegetari...For dessert, a chocolate pumpkin pie. I made this using a blend of chocolates from Pralus, Bonnat, El Rey, Valrhona, and Slitti. What I did was simply prebake the crust a few minutes, then put a layer of the melted blend onto the bottom and up the sides of the crust. I poured the pumpkin filling right over the melted chocolate, without waiting for it to cool, then finished baking, then added a layer of the melted chocolate to the top of the pie. The chocolate cooled and made pretty smooth layers on top and bottom, for a taste and visual contrast between the pumpkin and the chocolate. It turned out delicious. If you want to try this, make sure you don't put the chocolate on the bottom layer all the way to the top, any chocolate not covered by pumpkin will of course burn!
Casey
@Casey
10/26/09 12:04:17PM
54 posts

Chocolate documentaries


Posted in: News & New Product Press

Updated the list to include the in progress film Chocolate, which features Chlo Doutre-Roussel, Frederick Schilling, and Diego Badar.From the website:"Chocolate will be an educational tool for farmers, producers and consumers to realize the power of their role in trade cycles. Chocolate will explore social entrepreneurship as a self-fulfilling cycle which rewards the grower, the producer and the consumer. Sourcing sustainably-farmed organic growers creates better food products, which grosses higher profits and creates better farming conditions which delivers immediate rewards and builds incentives for continued high-quality harvests in the future."Much more on website, but nothing about projected release dates yet.
Casey
@Casey
09/20/09 08:13:35PM
54 posts

Johnny Depp, the "chocolate actor," becomes the "chocolate stock holder"


Posted in: News & New Product Press

Here is a gossip piece from the small Norwegian paper, Stavanger Aftenbladby Arnt Olav Klippenberg, 5/22/09I have translated it into English:"The director of the Egersund Chokoladefabrikk company, Leif Broch, has released the following statement. 'My estimable wife Eva Ohnstad Broch has advised me to present a brilliant idea to Egersund. "As the CEO, it would be just splendid if you could invite, or, if the stock holders allow it, send a letter to the prominent chocolate actor Mr. Johnny Depp. He has three chocolate films, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Chocolat, and One Taste is Never Enough: The Pleasures of Chocolat."'Broch offers to purchase stocks in the name of Mr. Johnny Depp, as long as it doesn't become common knowledge, he says.Here is the stock offering now being sent to chocolate movie star Johnny Depp."


updated by @Casey: 04/18/15 06:12:48AM
Casey
@Casey
05/04/09 02:22:57PM
54 posts

Maglio Bars


Posted in: Tasting Notes

What I know about this is that they do not make their own chocolate. Had read some rumors that it was Cacao Barry who supplied it, and perhaps another maker. After making inquiries with the company, and elsewhere, never did get to the bottom of it. Of the six origin chocolates I tried, four were terrible, one was pretty good, and the other very good. The Africa was the pretty good one, and the Cuba the very good. Cuba is a distinct origin and this was memorable, and so is the Pralus Cuba, but of different character. I've reviewed these two Cuba chocolates here. I've found Maglio filled chocolates to be good, nothing too special, but admittedly have not tasted a great number of these.
Casey
@Casey
04/14/09 09:34:44PM
54 posts

Kallari Chocolate


Posted in: Tasting Notes

My response is that this is great chocolate, it's memorable, and here is my take, with reviews....http://chocolatenote.blogspot.com/2009/04/kallari-chocolate.html
Casey
@Casey
04/14/09 09:31:27PM
54 posts

Chocolates of Ecuador -- Arriba, Nacional, CCN51


Posted in: Opinion

Here is another link of interest to those following the Arriba tales..This is portions of an article on chocolates of Ecuador from Cocoaroma magazinehttp://www.cocoaroma.com/chocolate/content/CROMAIssue2SampleArticleWeb.pdf
Casey
@Casey
03/24/09 09:34:51AM
54 posts

Quotable Quotes


Posted in: Opinion

Nine of every ten persons say they love chocolate. The tenth lies.-Anthelme Brillat-Savarin.
Casey
@Casey
03/13/09 06:07:05PM
54 posts

Corn Syrup


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

http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2009/jan/27/high-fructose-corn-syrup-mercuryguardian.co.uk, Tuesday 27 January 2009 16.10 GMTUS researchers find traces of toxic mercury in high-fructose corn syrup Mercury linked to learning disabilities and heart disease Study published in peer-reviewed journal Environmental HealthA swig of soda or bite of a candy bar might be sweet, but a new study suggests that food made with corn syrup also could be delivering tiny doses of toxic mercury.For the first time, researchers say they have detected traces of the silvery metal in samples of high-fructose corn syrup, a widely used sweetener that has replaced sugar in many processed foods. The study was published yesterday in the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Health.Eating high-mercury fish is the chief source of exposure for most people. The new study raises concerns about a previously unknown dietary source of mercury, which has been linked to learning disabilities in children and heart disease in adults.The source of the metal appears to be caustic soda and hydrochloric acid, which manufacturers of corn syrup use to help convert corn kernels into the food additive.A handful of plants across the US still make the soda and acid by mixing a briny solution in electrified vats of mercury. Some of the toxic metal ends up in the final product, according to industry documents cited in the study.Corn syrup manufacturers insisted their products are mercury-free. But the study noted that at least one maker of caustic soda that has used the mercury-based technology listed the corn syrup industry as a client."This seems like an avoidable source of mercury that we didn't know was out there," said David Wallinga, one of the study's co-authors and a researcher at the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, a Minnesota-based advocacy group.The researchers cautioned that their study was limited. Only 20 samples were analyzed; mercury was detected in nine.Still, the impact of the findings could be significant. High-fructose corn syrup has become such a staple in processed foods that the average American consumes about 12 teaspoons of it daily, according to federal estimates. Teenagers and young children tend to eat more of it than adults.There is no established safe dose for elemental mercury, the type discovered in corn syrup. But the US Environmental Protection Agency says an average-sized woman should limit her exposure to 5.5 micrograms a day of methylmercury, the kind found in fish.If that same woman regularly ate corn syrup contaminated at the highest level detected in the study - 0.57 micrograms per gram - the researchers estimated that she could end up consuming an amount of mercury that is five times higher than the EPA's safe dose.One former EPA scientist who reviewed the paper said more study is needed to establish the risk, if any, posed by contaminated corn syrup. She urged the Food and Drug Administration to conduct a review of food made with the sweetener."For the most part, previous studies haven't found mercury in foods other than fish," said Kathryn Mahaffey, a former EPA scientist who co-wrote a landmark report to Congress on the perils of mercury contamination. "Is this an outlier or something we didn't know about before?"In response to a 2005 Chicago Tribune series about mercury hazards, then-senator Barack Obama introduced legislation that would force chlorine plants to phase out its use or shut down. One plant in Wisconsin later vowed to switch to a mercury-free process by this year, leaving four others - in Georgia, Ohio, Tennessee and West Virginia - that still use the older technology.The new study's lead author, Renee Dufault, began her research while investigating the Wisconsin plant for the FDA in the mid-2000s. But her results weren't published until now, a year after she retired from the agency.An FDA spokesman said he still was waiting for a response to the study. Industry representatives, meanwhile, said the study was outdated."It is important that Americans are provided accurate, science-based information," Audrae Erickson, president of the Corn Refiners Association, said in a statement. "They should know that high-fructose corn syrup is safe."In another statement, the Chlorine Institute said: "It is conceivable that measurable mercury content can be found in high-fructose corn syrup regardless of how it is processed."
Casey
@Casey
02/05/09 09:35:46AM
54 posts

Chocolates of Ecuador -- Arriba, Nacional, CCN51


Posted in: Opinion

Thanks, fascinating -- another great addition to this discussion.
Casey
@Casey
02/05/09 09:28:33AM
54 posts

First Sign of Chocolate in Ancient U.S. Found


Posted in: News & New Product Press

First Sign of Chocolate in Ancient U.S. FoundChocolate made its U.S. debut about 1,000 years ago.Posted February 2, 2009By Jeanna Bryner, LiveScienceChocolate residues left on ancient jars mark cacao's earliest known presence north of what is now the U.S.-Mexico border.The residues, found on pottery shards excavated from a large pueblo (called Pueblo Bonito) in Chaco Canyon in northwestern New Mexico, suggest the practice of drinking chocolate had traveled from what is now Mexico to the American Southwest by about 1,000 years ago.People Who Read This Also ReadScientists have known about the early uses of chocolate in Mesoamerica, with evidence for rituals involving liquid drinks made from cacao beans dating back more than 1,000 years. (Mesoamerica extends from central Mexico to Honduras and Nicaragua.)Chocolate debutNow, researchers think a similar ritual may have taken place in villages in Chaco Canyon. Patricia Crown of the University of New Mexico and Jeffrey Hurst of the Hershey Center for Health and Nutrition found traces of theobromine, which is in the Theobroma cacao plant that bears beans from which chocolate is made, on the shards. (The Hershey Center was established by the Hershey Company in 2006.)And Crown and Hurst suspect the shards came from cylinder jars, which measure an average of 10 inches tall (25 cm) and 4 inches (10 cm) wide. Only 200 such cylinder jars are known in the Southwest United States, almost all of which come from Pueblo Bonito.Scientists have put forth various explanations for how the jars were used, including as containers to hold exotic items like turquoise and as drums (with a skin cover)."If it was the form specifically used for drinking cacao, that would explain why it's such a specialized form," Crown said, referring to the jars.In Mesoamerica, residents would make the drinks by grinding up roasted cacao beans and adding hot or cool water. Sometimes other ingredients, such as honey for sweetening, cornmeal and even chili peppers, were added. The researchers are not sure if any other ingredients were mixed in with the Chaco Canyon drinks.Chocolate tradeSince the cacao plant is tropical and can't be grown in New Mexico and other places in the United States, the researchers think the chocolate beans came from Mesoamerica, with the closest source being about 1,240 miles (2,000 km) away from the Chaco site.Next, Crown and Hurst hope to test wooden sticks found at the site for chocolate residues. The sticks have loops at the bottom, and Crown says perhaps they were used to stir and froth the chocolate drinks."An important thing in Mesoamerica was stirring it up so it had a froth in it," Crown told LiveScience. "The froth was considered the most delicious part of the drink."The research pair also wants to analyze other material from different time periods and areas in the Southwest. "It is the first known cacao north of the Mexican border in the United States, and as far as I know the only known cacao in the United States before contact," Crown said, referring to the time before European settlement of the area. "Unfortunately it's also the only cacao residue study that anyone has done using U.S. materials, so we need to find out how widespread chocolate was prior to contact in the American Southwest."The new research is detailed this week in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The research was funded by the National Science Foundation, National Geographic Society, University of New Mexico and Hershey's Technical Center, among others.
updated by @Casey: 05/09/15 05:19:45PM
Casey
@Casey
01/03/09 12:23:39PM
54 posts

Chocolates of Ecuador -- Arriba, Nacional, CCN51


Posted in: Opinion

Thanks Sam.I'd like to add the link to your article from which you extracted your quotes. Had already read this before, and think the people following along here would find it interesting.And I'd also like to add in a quote from another interesting discussion around here. Alan McClure said in Reclassification of cacao varieties:Just adding to what Clay has said, there is a paper in a journal called Tropical Science from 2004, issue 44, pp. 23-27 that is called "The first Ecuadorean 'Nacional' Cocoa Collection Based on Organoleptic Characteristics."The paper is worth a look for those interested in the issue of Nacional. This is me paraphrasing the introduction:Nacional, which has an "Arriba" floral flavor, was so damaged by Crinipellis Pernicosa and Moniliophtora roreri that hybrids were brought in with high yields and low susceptibility to these diseases. These varieties hybridized with the remaining Nacional, eroding the Arriba flavor which is now virtually non-existent.
Casey
@Casey
01/03/09 12:14:07PM
54 posts

Chocolates of Ecuador -- Arriba, Nacional, CCN51


Posted in: Opinion

Thanks for the interesting quote and the tip about Dagoba.
Casey
@Casey
01/03/09 12:10:53PM
54 posts

Chocolates of Ecuador -- Arriba, Nacional, CCN51


Posted in: Opinion

Thanks to all for the fascinating replies. Here is another link.http://www.ecuadorcocoaarriba.com/eng/index.phpIt may seem as though Ecuador chocolates should be called just that, Ecuadorian, instead of the oft used Arriba. Since this term has been used to signify just about any bean, and any flavor from Ecuador. It just seems like the fashionable label to slap on, and can further mislead the public. If we got nit-picky and somehow made them use this label only for that certain flavor, then its use as a flavor term could also lead to anyone who thinks they have a chocolate with that special jasmine taste, from anywhere, to say "We have an Arriba chocolate!" I can almost imagine every other jasmine noted chocolate being called "Arriba." There is probably no policing a thing like this, and so we'll just have to have another confusing term out there, most people don't know what it means, or there are many different versions of what it means.
Casey
@Casey
01/01/09 08:26:20PM
54 posts

US Loves Lucy, and Chocolate!


Posted in: News & New Product Press

I Love Lucy Chocolate Factory Scene Makes U.S. Postage StampPostal Service Lifts Curtain on Next Year's StampsMonday, December 29, 2008By Randolph E. Schmid, Associated Press

This handout image provided by the U.S. Postal Service shows the 2009 postage stamp, commemorating "I Love Lucy." (AP Photo/USPS)Washington - Lucy and Ethel lose their struggle with a chocolate assembly line. Joe Friday demands "just the facts" with a penetrating gaze. A secret word brings Groucho a visit from a duck.Folks who grew up as television came of age will delight in a 20-stamp set included in the Postal Service's plans for 2009 recalling early memories of the medium.Besides commemorating black-and-white TV, the service's 2009 postage stamp program ranges from commemorating President Abraham Lincoln to the Thanksgiving Day parade, civil rights pioneers, actor Gary Cooper, poet Edgar Allan Poe, Supreme Court justices and Alaska and Hawaii statehood.Most of the commemorative stamps are priced at 42 cents, the current first-class rate. However, a rate increase is scheduled in May and the size will depend on the consumer price index.The Early TV Memories stamp set is scheduled for release Aug. 11 in Los Angeles.One recalls the quiz show "You Bet Your Life," on which the unflappable Groucho Marx awarded prizes to contestants who answered questions. If they said a secret word, a toy duck dropped down with a cash reward.In a memorable scene from "I Love Lucy," Lucille Ball and sidekick Ethel Mertz work at an assembly line that speeds up and they can't wrap the candy quickly enough, causing panic.In the stamp commemorating the cop show "Dragnet," star Jack Webb as detective Joe Friday gives his "just the facts, ma'am," stare, while on another stamp sweetheart singer Dinah Shore throws the audience a kiss.Other shows featured are "Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet," "Alfred Hitchcock Presents," "Ed Sullivan Show," "George Burns & Gracie Allen Show," "Hopalong Cassidy," "The Honeymooners," "Howdy Doody," "Kukla, Fran and Ollie," "Lassie," "The Lone Ranger," "Perry Mason," "Phil Silvers Show," "Red Skelton," "Texaco Star Theater," "Tonight Show" and "Twilight Zone."Read entire articleUSPS 2009 stamps
updated by @Casey: 04/11/15 08:39:49PM
Casey
@Casey
12/02/08 12:54:43PM
54 posts

Chocolates of Ecuador -- Arriba, Nacional, CCN51


Posted in: Opinion

There is debate about the Arriba bean and whether indeed there is any such thing any longer. Some say that Arriba is one bean in a category they would like to call Nacional, and others say it synonymous with that term. Many chocolate makers using cacao from Ecuador slap this fashionable Arriba label on their packages since this carries with it the status of the fine and flavor beans.And so opening up a general discussion on Arriba, Nacional and Ecuador chocolate, and a place to gather links and references for further reading.And also specifically attempting to get to the bottom of which companies are using CCN51, and which are using "Arriba" or Nacional beans that are distinguished from that clone. What I have been told so far is that of the companies producing the chocolate in Ecuador, that Plantations uses "mainly the CCN51 clone," and that Republica del Cacao uses "100% pure Nacional beans." And if that is the case, what precisely can 100% pure Nacional mean nowadays? And the other companies who are making the chocolate at source such as Pacari, Caoni, and Kallari, what is the cacao? And what about couverture Arriba from Felchlin and Callebaut? And what is the source of cacao for companies such as Dagoba, Hachez, and Chocolove, some of which do not make their own chocolate from the bean, but who use the word Arriba?
updated by @Casey: 10/11/17 12:04:09AM
Casey
@Casey
11/16/08 07:12:48PM
54 posts

Chocolate videos


Posted in: News & New Product Press

New videos added, Alice Medrich and Rogue Chocolatier.
Casey
@Casey
04/30/08 07:45:23PM
54 posts

Weird Flavors and Inclusions in Chocolate


Posted in: Tasting Notes

The tomato, basil, and mint truffle by B. T. McElrath has been one my top experiences as far as filled chocolates. I also was recently given a sample of a bar from L'Artigiano that was salted milk chocolate with a hint of olive oil, that I would really want to try again and review for The Chocolate Note. I already reviewed McElrath, read it here. I am about to review an interesting sheep's milk dark chocolate from Choco-Lina.Otherwise I've had and enjoyed some of the usual unusuals -- balsamic, curried coconut, habanero, etc.
Casey
@Casey
04/18/08 02:00:18PM
54 posts

To conche or not to conche?


Posted in: Tasting Notes

In the European and North American markets not many make chocolate with no conche, in what could be loosely termed the Mexican vs. European style. Here are two, Claudio Corallo and Taza.Here are a couple of articles that introduce you to what these makers do, and how it is different.Taza on The Chocolate Note (with review,) and Corallo in der SpiegalWhat are your opinions about these chocolates? Have you tried them, and are you interested in this style, or mainly European style chocolate?
updated by @Casey: 04/10/15 09:33:28PM
Casey
@Casey
04/18/08 01:45:24PM
54 posts

Can your palate be trained or are some just stronger than others?


Posted in: Tasting Notes

If anyone is looking for tasting wheels, I have several linked to from my blog How to taste chocolate
Casey
@Casey
04/11/08 08:37:56PM
54 posts

Chocolate documentaries


Posted in: News & New Product Press

In Search of the Heart of ChocolateChocolate CountryChocolateInfo and trailers on the websites.If you know of others in the works or completed, post them here!
updated by @Casey: 04/10/15 02:14:55PM
Casey
@Casey
04/11/08 06:59:22PM
54 posts

Can your palate be trained or are some just stronger than others?


Posted in: Tasting Notes

This is a fascinating discussion topic, and I'll throw in my two cents for the moment. I think they can be "trained" for instance if you take one chocolate a day, and take some time in each day to have a quiet place where you can concentrate, away from all kinds of odors and distractions. This can be at one of the palate peaks of the day, like 10-11 am or 5-6 pm or maybe even very early in the morning. Make sure your palate is clean with green apple, bread, and /or water, and that you haven't just had a big spicy or strong tasting meal. If you examine a different chocolate every day, carefully tasting and writing down some notes -- maybe even trying a small amount of this same chocolate several times during that day-- soon you will begin to really sense more and more flavors.There are many tasting games and exercises in Clay's book and Chloe's book and also online, which aim to help you develop and discern different flavors, like comparing side by side and so on. And perhaps others will offer suggestions here also. And important to realize that you will not taste all of the things the "experts" and critics do, and probably not as many notes either, at least not at first. After awhile you will begin to taste more notes, and this heightens your sense of taste gradually with other foods as well. When you really focus on something, you really tune in and appreciate the world of taste.One other thing is the whole supertaster issue. At this point there are considered to be three kinds of tasters in the world, the normal taster, the non-taster, and the supertaster. Non-taster, pretty bad designation, huh?But this is all about how many fungiform papillae, which have the taste buds, are on the tongue. If you have fewer than 15 in a 1/4" diameter space on the tongue then you are a non or under taster, 15-30 is normal, and then 30+ is super. But it doesn't mean that if you are a normal or under taster that you cannot develop and learn to taste the nuances of flavor, but you might need to be a bit more persistent and patient. And there is a little test to determine roughly where your tongue falls in this. Read about how to do this here. I have done this cute little test and it seems I'm a supertaster, with over 50. About 25%, and more women than men, are supertasters. 50% normal, and 25% under.And also there are many not too complex chocolates in the world, so if one eats mainly those then they may not find many flavors there no matter their number of taste buds!
Casey
@Casey
03/28/08 09:07:26AM
54 posts

This Just In ...


Posted in: News & New Product Press

New Mexico Lottery Serves Up Chocolate-Themed GameNet Revenues Support Legislative Lottery ScholarshipsNew Mexico LotteryMarch 19, 2008ALBUQUERQUE The New Mexico Lotterys latest Scratcher game looks good enough to eat.The $10,000 Hersheys Milk Chocolate* Scratcher is inspired by the candy manufacturer that produced the first affordable milk chocolate candy bar more than a century ago. The games ticket is a replica of Hersheys well-recognized chocolate-brown and silver-foil candy wrapper. In the play area, 10 potential winning numbers are concealed under images of Hersheys milk chocolate candy bars. Available now, the $2 game features top prizes of $10,000.Until Milton Hershey perfected his milk chocolate recipe in 1900, chocolate was a luxury item. Hershey sold his chocolate bars for 5 cents apiece - a price that didnt change for 69 years. Today, Hershey sells 4.5 billion candy bars each year.$344 Million Raised for College EducationThe sale of lottery games benefits an in-state college tuition program. Since 1996, the lottery has raised more than $344 million for education and more than 48,000 students have attended college on Legislative Lottery Scholarships. Information about Legislative Lottery Scholarships and student eligibility is available at www.nmlottery.com.
Casey
@Casey
03/28/08 08:58:34AM
54 posts

This Just In ...


Posted in: News & New Product Press

Thieves Steal Truck With 20 Tons Of ChocolateAHN - All Headline NewsMarch 26, 2008Isabelle DuermeMichigan City, IN (AHN) - Authorities in Indiana reported that a semi-trailer loaded with more than 20 tons of Hershey's chocolate had suddenly disappeared.The vehicle disappeared 24 hours after driver Daryl Rey parked it at the Gas City truck stop, after picking up the haul near St. Louis. He discovered that the 53-foot trailer, and all the chocolate, were gone when he returned the next morning.A satellite device used to locate the truck had also been removed from the vehicle, and thrown into a pond, hinting that professionals had been involved in the theft."There's so many dishonest people in the world," commented Rey, 53. "It never used to be like this."Officials from the LaPorte County Police Chief of Detectives were on the case, and officer John Boyd was puzzled as to what the thieves were thinking of doing with all the chocolate, which amounted to 41,000 pounds."I don't have any idea," Boyd said, as quoted by the Post-Tribune.According to the UPI, police surmised that the thieves stole the vehicle not knowing what was actually loaded on it, as the trailer did not bear the name of the chocolate, but the name of the trucking company, Buske Lines.There was speculation of the thieves planning to sell the vehicle to be sold for scrap, or used for personal means.Patricia, Rey's wife, said that while her husband was not hurt, he was utterly depressed."He's really bummed out," she said.
Casey
@Casey
03/28/08 08:56:20AM
54 posts

This Just In ...


Posted in: News & New Product Press

Terrorism act stamps out chocolate factory toursNationalROD MICKLEBURGHMarch 25, 2008VANCOUVER -- Except for crabby parents worried about their kids' dental bills, what could possibly come between children and chocolate?Step forward the U.S. Bioterrorism Act of 2002.Thanks to stringent food safety regulations imposed by the Act after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, "choc and awe" public visits to the famous factory operated by Rogers' Chocolates are no more.The Act applies to Rogers because the venerable company, by now a Canadian institution with its century-old store in downtown Victoria an official National Heritage Site, has a thriving mail-order business shipping individual orders of big fat chocolates to salivating customers in the United States.Print Edition - Section FrontSection S Front Enlarge ImageMore National Stories* Businesses applaud proposed immigration law* Ontario's Chief Coroner wants to restructure its operation* Powering down* Defence lawyer probes 'play hard' military culture* Ford called police night before arrest* As Emerson weighs options, Tories contemplate hefty loss* Go to the National sectionThe Globe and MailCompanies that export food to the United States are required to ensure there is no risk that anyone can tamper with their products, and who knows what a 10-year-old high on sugar might do."Our factory had school buses full of kids pulling up all the time. Sometimes seniors, too," Rogers' president Steve Parkhill said yesterday."They'd all been going through without the appropriate level of security. We found it just too onerous to take the measures we would have needed in order to comply with the regulations. So we stopped. It is sad, I grant you."The company's decision ended years of magical mystery tours that had entranced Vancouver Island kids with the up-close view of melting, dripping and pouring of chocolate, not to mention the sweet aroma and fresh samples at the end.Even though the tours were ended more than a year ago, e-mails asking for group tours of Rogers' factory keep coming in."They are very disappointed when we tell them 'no'. Most people seem to enjoy coming through a chocolate factory," said Mr. Parkhill, in a mild understatement.Late yesterday, however, an official with the U.S. Food and Drug administration said that Rogers' may have raised the security chocolate bar too high.Many of the food protection measures in the Bioterrorism Act are guidelines only. They are not strict regulations, spokesman Alan Bennett said."We issue guidelines and it's up to the companies to decide how to apply them. It's their decision, not ours," Mr. Bennett insisted. "I would encourage them to take another look."But the risky factory tours aren't the only fallout to hit Rogers' from bioterrorism fears south of the border.Just a few weeks ago, an FDA inspector halted a box of wrapped Rogers' chocolates at the U.S. border because the ingredients were not printed on the box.Mr. Parkhill said complying with that condition is tough for Rogers', since most U.S. orders are customized, with buyers asking for four chocolates of one sort, three of another, and so on."Tourists come into our Victoria store, have a 'wow' chocolate experience, then want to order some shipped home," he said."When you get an assortment like that, you can't list all the ingredients on the outside. So we suddenly got some grief at the border."This time, however, the suspicious chocolates lived happily ever after, as officials on both sides of the border eventually decided they posed no threat to security and were allowed to pass safely into the mouths of Americans.Rogers' is a company like no other. More than a hundred years after its founding by Charles "Candy" Rogers in 1885, chocolates continue to be individually wrapped by human beings, rather than machines. And the best-selling product remains the age-old Victoria cream.Local residents feel part of the Rogers' family. Obituaries often note that the deceased once worked for the company, and business developments are front-page news in the city.When Rogers' recently tried to launch renovations aimed at expanding its old-style heritage store on Government Street, an enormous outcry erupted. The plan is on hold.The chocolates are not cheap. They sell at upscale retail outlets across Canada, besides the half dozen or so individual stores Rogers' has in tony areas of Vancouver and Victoria."We make our large cream chocolate big enough to be cut into four, but no one seems to want to share them," Mr. Parkhill said. "Our chocolates have a time-tested flavour, from high-quality cocoa, and we have a consistent history of our brand meeting expectations."Except, perhaps, south of the border.
Casey
@Casey
03/27/08 11:09:34AM
54 posts

Chocolate Slotting Mapping Idea


Posted in: Travels & Adventures

While you all are working on developing the app, here are some ideas. You might want to check out Dave's Garden, the web's largest gardening community. It has very successful user built databases of plants and plant suppliers with some very interesting features.There is the Garden Watchdog, which is the database of the actual shops. Company info and website are listed along with categories of products they carry, and user reviews of the company as a business are included. This is then cross linked with the PlantScout, the database where you search to find a specific plant and see all vendors carrying it. This is then also cross linked witht the Plant database, where all known info about the plant, in this case the chocolate, is listed, along with user reviews, user uploaded photos, etc. So this would be where the info about the chocolate's origins, percentage, and possibly user comments/reviews, etc. So it's really several databases that can interact or function on their own. And all structured so that any user may contribute to them. These databases may be searched by location, keyword, or an alphabetized list may be viewed.
Casey
@Casey
03/17/08 10:52:26AM
54 posts

Brands of and Sources for Organic Couverture


Posted in: Classifieds

Does this mean that the Dagoba couverture I have on hand now will be discontinued? I did not know that. This was from Chocosphere, which sells two lb. blocks of Dagoba, calling it "baking bricks," in four percentages.
Casey
@Casey
03/13/08 06:40:47PM
54 posts

Chocolate design


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

I agree, Askinosie packaging and bar design are the bomb. I would also like to add two other favorites, Amano and Patric. Not to mention they all make wonderful chocolate. I don't mention packaging when I review chocolate bars as I want the focus to stay on the chocolate. But there are many great designs out there. I am also partial to Bonnat -- reminds me of Wonka bars!
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