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Qzina in Vancouver should have them or will send them from LA office to you. They have shells, beans open pods, and full dried pods. Call Ed.
Generally the large producers give 2 years to Darks, 1 year to milk and white. Also note best before date and expiry dates are two different animals.
With chocolate, use the best before, as it does not really expire for quite a long time after the BBD.
I need 500 lbs in the next few weeks, what can you do for me, please quote, send info on farmer, pictures, etc. firstname.lastname@example.org
This is a great idea. When I was in Hawaii, we drank some Cacao nectar that Sharkey had made from his harvesting. WOW, what a great juice, incredible I must say. I had the same idea. There is certainly a market for this stuff. The issue will be capturing this pulp or juice before too much fermentation, as in fact it is actually fermenting off the seeds and making itself into juice. The process of capturing this juice or pulp, and pasturizing or freezing it to keep it safe for consumption of further processing is the biggest problem. We buy fruit puree from a fruit coop in France. The fresh fruit is delivered daily to the coop for processing. If it is not able to process, they place the fruit in a huge warehouse air tight room, suck the oxygen out of the room and drop the temp to around 1 dec C, suspending the fermentation process until they can properly extact and process. I dont see any cacao growing regions having even an Igloo cooler let alone a setup like this, so other than nectar made on the spot on the farm, and consumed almost immediately, this is going to be a tough one to find. BUT PLEASE I WISH SOMEONE COULD DO IT, as it is great stuff going to waste.
I do know there is a chocolatier or baker in Hawaii that is making Cacao Nectar ganache, although I have not tasted, I bet it is great.
Our best bet would be to find some farmers in Hawaii willing to setup a small process treatment plant, and get it from there.
I can only imagine this nectar would be the most exotic juice in the world if made by someone.
When I was in Aftrica, the locals distilled it into home made moonshine cocktail.....not bad after a hard day of harvesting.
Truffle shells are standard in the industry and are designed thin so you dont really notice them, and they should not be impacting flavor, but more used as a tool for your production. Although I would not suggest using bad chocolate truffle shells, I think spending the money on expensive truffle shells is not worth it, again as you likely will not taste the impact of the truffle shell in the finished product.
Qzina sells a truffle shell made in Germany, with Callebaut Chocolate, made by Keller. We stock these in Chicago, well priced, that should increase your profit vs more expensive truffle shells. Keller is probably the biggest producer in the world of truffle shells, top quality. They also have a number of shells in unique shapes by special order. We import direct from Keller in full containers and are very competitively priced.
Also Truffle shells allow you to manufacture very soft fillings, which is not possible without them. We also can get you liquor shells, smaller hole in the top, designed for liquid filling. There are also filling machines, and plates available for truffle shell trays that dramatically speed up your production, and make covering or topping the shells easy, consistent, and fast.
IF your production gets very high in volume, you should then consider the only machine that can truly deposit thin shell one shot, truffle shell and filling in one shot, the Avema Depositor. We have many customers who for example, have the round truffle shell molds, and fill the chocolate and filling into the round ball shape, in one shot, still maintaining a thin shell and liquid filling. That machine however is around 100K. But just for future reference.
My advice is to purchase a true and tested winnower, you will save money vs testing and trial and error.
I just visited Cacao Cucina in Tampa, great winnower for 11,000 USD so for 8000 Euro, you have never to worry about it...
But on the other hand, I visited a farm in Hawaii winnowing with a small vibrating table, and a modified Shop Vacuum from the hardware store.
Nice thing about buying from Cacao Cucina is the machine breaks, winnows, and results are very good, very low shell content.
We have several JKV Machines for sale, used, and similar copies as well. In simple terms, JKV (Prefamac, and similar) are melters with mixing wheels and agitation. The skill of tempering is still needed, only a few tools assist you. The key to tempering is TIME, TEMPERATURE, MOVEMENT. On a JKV you set the temperature, the machine moves the chocolate, and you wait for it to be tempered. However if you are not experienced, the machine does not do it for you. You must seed the machine with wafers or tempered solid chunks in order to cool it and slightly re heat to get final temper (experience and precision)
The Selmi on the other hand has a built in cooling unit, and computerized controller, therefore it does a Batch of chocolate, cools, mixes, and final re-heat automatically. This is more forgiving and takes less skill.
On the other hand if you are doing alot of moulding the JKV delivers chocolate via the spout, and has a built in vibrator, great for doing molded pralines, once you get the hang of tempering yourself. THe Selmi has attachments for this, but pricier.
I have used a whole variety of semi automatic machines over the years, and fully automated continuous machines. One thing I can advise is when it comes to tempering, dont take short cuts. The time you will waste, product you will spoil, and frustration you will have will cost far more over time than the cost of buying a top quality tempering machine in the beginning.
Soon you will be able to visit our new facility in Orange County, Ca. There you will be able to learn everything you need to know about making chocolate, truly from Bean to Bar. The Qzina Institute will open in September, together with the Stephane Treand Art of Pastry School. We will have numerous machines to test, along with a big variety of beans, and other ingredients. We also carry molds, small and large tempering machines, melters, tools, flavors, powders, and all kinds of ingredients for Chocolate, Dessert, and Pastry Professionals. The Institute will have Small Melangers from both Cocoatown and Alchemy, roasters, winnowers, grinders, and even larger (mid size) equipment for more serious production. We are working onhaving commercial roller refiners and conches for 2012. The idea is to teach customers andenthusiastseverything from how to source the beans, to various production methods, and from there ourin house Chocolatier and Pastry ChefFrancois Mellet, with assistance from MOF (Best Craftsmanof France) Stephane Treand, can teach you how to make incredible top quality truffles, fillings, cakes, pastries, andchocolates.We are not a school, butmore of anR&D institute for the industry. We will also display machinery in our showroom from a host of top manufactures, including enrobers, mills, small processing equipment, etc. We also stockmost of the top chocolates of the world, from Callebaut to Valhona to Guittard, and many many more, for those wanting to supplimentproduction. We also have refined liquor,cacao butter, nibs,on and on. Contact us for more information. We are justoutfitting our new building now, and hope to be ready in Sept or October. This is a facility like no other in the United States, located minutes fromNewport Beach Airport, Irvine Spectrum Mall, andDisneyland (for those who want a side trip), half way between L.A. and San Diego.