Forum Activity for @Georg Bernardini

Good night and bye, bye
@Good night and bye, bye
01/19/16 15:54:16
2 posts

Part 1: Fact Checking Georg Bernardini's "Chocolate - The Reference Standard"

Posted in: Opinion

First of all sorry for all errors in my answer. My english is not as good as Clay’s english.



The book was written and the tastings were mad from September 2014 until End of March 2015.

The german version was edited twice, then english version once.

The translation was made from a professional translator born in Australia.


Why „The Reference Standard“?

My first edition was published in October 2012 in german language only.

The book won the Gourmand Award for the best chocolate book of the world in 2013 (By the way, the new edition won the Gourmand Award for the best cookbook in Germany and is nominated for the Gourmand Award for the best chocolate book in the world 2015).

Many people, media, readers and from the chocolate business, named my book „Reference Standard“ or „Chocolate Bible“, I got even the name „The Chocolate Pope“. Myself I don’ t feel to be the chocolate pope or to wrote the chocolate bible at all. I even don’ t like this titles at all. I even don’ t like to call me „chocolate expert“...

But I understand that people say that this book is a reference standard as there is no other book with this volume and fullness of information.

So, it was not me who named the book, it was the media, reader and the chocolate community.

Another reason why this book got this name is that it is the first of his kind and that I’m sure that there will not be another similar book coming out in the near future. It is the widest and the most complete compilation of chocolate companies.


Overlooked Companies

Sorry, I don’ t think that there is any really important company overlooked. Give me a sample, please. Short reviews: Yes, some companies, also big companies, got a smaller review as they don’ t worth more words. Otherwise every company got an introduction as much as I got informations. And yes, I don’ t need to taste 15 different chocolates from Cadbury, Milka, Hershey, Godiva, Leonidas etc. to have the opinion that this kind of chocolates are wasting my (and the readers) time. I prefer to take the time and the place for small pearls as Rogue, Patric, Fruition or Pump Street Bakery.

Actuallity of information

It is wrong that much of the information would be out of date. I checked in September 2014 all reviews of my first edition which I wrote in the year 2011, revised in 2012. During this two years 98 % companies still existed, in 95 % of the companies where no changes and almost 80 % of the reviewed products where still in the market.

As already mentionned I wrote the new book until end of March 2015. In summer 2015 I checked again some facts and I made some correction as the change of the name of Brasstown Chocolate (formely It’s chocolate) and the fact that Allsop, Damien ceased operations (you can check this on page 157) was added the 5th June 2015. Three and a half month before publishing the book. And Clay write that the information in my book are out of date?

I don’ t think that any edition of Gault Millau or Michelin are more up to date than my book.


Grammatical and Typographical Errors

Maybe it is true that there are some errors and yes, unfortunally I’m personnally not in the position to check it. Otherwise the reader can take this errors as a charming fact for this book, translated from german to english. As I’m not able to evaluate this point I’m abstaining me to take more position.


Tolerate and Suspect

I don’ t agree with Clay’s opinion that in a reference standard nothing should be suspect. There are a lot of facts and informations which are communicated from companies, but sometimes there is no way to check these informations. Why should this be unspoken or unwritten?

Example: A company claim to be Tree-to-Bar and you ask as an author or journaliste to get information about this, but you don’ t get an answer. Should you accept it and don’ t speak/write about this secrecy? No, never. If a company don’t answer should be something wrong and I write about this.


Hispaniola and Sanchez Cocoa

This two kinds of cocoa are sold as different varieties. This word (in German „Sorten“) is used in German language as the word to make the difference between Hispaniola and Sanchez, but also to make the difference between Porcelana and Ocumare.

The chapter where this two beans are mentioned didn’t explain WHAT the beans are. The context is only that Hispaniola and Sanchez are the two beans which are famous in the Dominican Republic. Even if the traduction is not correct, it doesn’ t disturbs as it is not relevant.


Lazy Georg

This is completly nonsense.

It is hard to read this as it is a direct attack and aggression to my person.

I worked very hard to make all research for the book. In total more than two years and every doubt I had I followed up until I got a credible answer or, sometimes, there was a dead end without a satisfactory answer.

Often I send three, for or even five emails to get information, I tried to get by phone call informations, I searched for hours online, asked friends as Mark Christian and other well known chocolate experts. I travelled to many countries and searched in books.

The most informations are from the website of the companies, of course.



The concept of my book is to publish always the processing stage as communicated from the companies (when they communicate it). But also to publish the processing stage, when the companies NOT communicated it. In this case I had a lot of work...

Cacaosuyo claim to be not only Bean-to-Bar, but also to be Tree-to-Bar. Tree-to-Bar means that they own at least one cacao plantation and that the cocoa sourced for the chocolate comes from this plantation. I didn’ t got any proof about this and any request forward to Cacaosuyo was without response.

The website is empty and no other information are avaible.


I’m surprised that Clay only reproaches me that I doubt that Cacaosuyo is a Bean-to-Bar producer. Why he don’t reproaches me that I doubt the Cacaosuyo is a Tree-to-Bar producer?

Until a company don’ t proof that they are Bean-to-Bar (or Tree-to-Bar) I will always have the tendency not to believe. Especially if they claim to be Tree-to-Bar without showing proofs. Damn, which serious company don’ t use pictures etc. from his own plantation for marketing purpose if they are Tree-to-Bar?

And yes, I got reliable information that Cacaosuyo was not Bean-to-Bar at the time when I tasted the bars (end of 2014). If today they are Bean-to-Bar, nice. But it still lacks the proof of Tree-to-Bar.

And yes, I only write about rumours as of course I would never divulge my source of information.

The customer have the right to get easy access to informations and this is with Cacaosuyo not the case (by the way, I like the products and they got a quite good product review).



Almost the same as Cacaosuyo, but even more outrageous.

1. They use for marketing very penetrating „Tree-to-Bar“. This is the first what you see when you open the website. But, they don’ t own a cocoa plantation which is able to source all the cocoa which Pacari use for chocolate bars. They have at this moment cocoa from eight different regions and I don’ t believe that Pacari owns 8 plantations around Ecuador and Peru (the Piura-bar is made with peruvian cocoa). On every bar is written: PACARI – Premium Organic Chocolate – From Tree to Bar.

It is incredible that nobody move and speak out what I write. This claim is a lie and much more lie than the „scandal“ of the Mast Brothers (this scandal is overdrawn). Shame on Clay that he support and protect a company with lies so obviously. Shame to the media who don’ t follow up this lie and shame to all the „Awards“ which accept to give prices to a company which obviously don’ t tell the truth.

Also in the case of Pacari I got reliable sources of information that not all chocolates are Bean-to-Bar (especially the bars with inclusions).


To finish this point about Bean-to-Bar:

In the case that I’m not able to verify myself the information of the company I wrote „unconfirmed“. This gives to the companies the possibility to be transparence and to proof the truth.


Last thing about Pacari:

The „Raw Chocolate“ is ridiculous as it is NOT Raw Chocolate. Santiago Peralta himself told me at the Salon du Chocolat Paris in 2014 that it is NOT Raw Chocolate. He calls it „Minimal processed“ chocolate. Why he don’ t communicate it as minimal processed chocolate?

After his explication Santiago himself was not able to tell me at which temperature the beans are treated. He told me only that it is much more than 50 degrees celsius.


Tree-to-bar: Lie, Raw Chocolate: Lie. How can I trust whatever Pacari communicate?


Hoja Verde

This is the biggest nonsense in your review. The only reason why Hoja Verde got such a long review is that the review was written by Mark Christian. I was not willing to censor or cut down his review. That’s all.

I have no more relationship to Hoja Verde since 2013 and even some of my recipes where changed after my engagement.


Patrice Chapon

Another error from Clay. It is simply wrong that Chapon was declared „unconfirmed“. Everybody who own the book can check it (pages 259).

The products got a good, but not a superb review as I don’ t like as much as before the quality of his assorted chocolates. There is nothing personal behind. His quality is not the same as four years ago, that’ s all.


Volume of reviews

Better the company, bigger the review? No, not in my book. Some companies has a long history, so I need more space to write about. Other companies don’ t worth to write more or to taste more than three chocolates. For example: Tasting three, four chocolates from Cadbury, Hershey or Milka gives me enough impression not to taste more. I prefer to take more time and space for companies such as Rogue, Fruition or Metiisto.


Maison Boissier

I start really not to understand what Clay really search? What is your problem? Boissier got even not one full page with a mediocre review. Do you want me insinate that I’ m corrupt?

I give you some more „critical“ reviews as they are friends of mine:

AMMA: Diego and Frederick are for many years friends.

Wonder Chocolate: Dito, Frederick is a good friend.

Akesson: I know him for long time.

Bright Chocolate/Australia: Yes, I spend the evening there with the family with a nice barbecue.

Zotter: He gave me a lot of samples for free.

Domori: Jep, nice guy with good contacts. I have to keep him hot, who knows?

Rogue: Yes, I idolize him for his courage.

Coppeneur: My old company.

Go Clay, search any possible irregularity.

I can honestly and without any doubt say and write NO ONE REVIEW is payed or a niceness because the company is from a friend (or even I got money).

Different company wanted to support me and I never accepted anything.

By the way, only for samples I spend more than 10.000 $...



Hey Clay, next error! If you had read my book attentively you would know that NO PRIVATE LABEL PRODUCER, neither Felchlin got a review.

But Felchlin make for Idilio and Original Beans two great Private Label product lines and only for this reason I mentionned them.

So the reviews of them are representative. Oh yes, perhaps I got money from Felchlin for this...


Dangerous Book - Again Out of Date

That’s not the truth. Every company had the possibility to tell me a date for changes. Two examples:

In my first edition I was in contact with Caffarel because they used artificial flavors (Vanillin) in their chocolate. They told me that they will change it in the next few months. I wrote this in my first edition (Unfortunally it was a lie as it still existe Caffarel products with artificial Vanillin). I wrote about this in the new edition (page 244 intro last phrase).

Benoit Nihant: When I got the samples he used couverture for his assorted chocolates. He promissed me that until September 2015 he would change to his own chocolate. I wrote it in my intro (page 612 last phrase)


Summary – tasting different

That’ s totally wrong. Many readers contact me saying that they agree in many, many times my opinion of tasting. Of course not all and not always, but very often.
In many case during a tasting people taste different things. This is a fact that I wrote in my book.



It is true that not all products were rated for the current edition. In this case it is written and every mature reader is able to perceive this.

Nevertheless more than 3.000 products were tasted for this edition. Mainly bad chocolates were not tasted (again), this are the short review. Why spending time for bad products if there are so many new things to discover?

I checked all companies before writing only a short review if they worth to retaste them.

For example Läderach from Switzerland. They still make the same chocolates and still use in some chocolates artificial flavors. I’m not interested to taste them again until they stopp to use artificial flavors etc.

I will ot justify myself for every short review as every reader can read them and will understand why I wrote only a short review.
This also is explainted in my book.



Again an error, Clay. Some batches are published (example: Brazen, page 227).

But, who cares which batch was tasted? The reader? What the hell you think is usefull to him to know that I tasted 6, 8 or 10 months ago batch #40, Bar 32 of 44 from the Brazen Bar Dominican Republic 70 %???

How many pages would I have to add if I note all batches? Many of the companies know when I got the chocolates. They only have to check when I bought them (as I bought mainly samples from them directly). Others as Domori or Zotter can check when they send me the samples.

The companies know that I tasted during September 2014 and March 2015. It is at this volume not possible to give all informations to the reader (ingredients list would be quite interesting also). Incredible that you don’ t have any understanding for this.


What’s behind it all and what we can gladly forego

Sorry that you don’ t understand the phrase. Perhaps the translation is not correct, but the initial idea was not that the two phrases are in context.

But I understand. You want to tear up the book and every thing you find is good to massacre.



I don’ t think that any of your accuses is correct. There are perhaps some delicate details which could be more clear, but in summary I don’ t agree at all with your opinion.



I will not write a lot as I’m tired to repeat all. I have the impression that 1. you are influenced by some people (especially Santiago Peralta) because they are friends and 2. You have a personal problem with me.

Your review is so much nonsense that I will not response anymore after this post. Your hidden allegations are far away from any fairness and for this there is no base for me to continue any discussion.






Good night and bye, bye
@Good night and bye, bye
12/20/15 10:55:39
2 posts

NEW FBM Kleego 100 for sale

Posted in: Classifieds F/S or Wanted

We are selling our new FBM Kleego 100 for melting and conching chocolate.
The machine works perfectly and is only sold for space reasons.
Please email to for more information.

image1.JPG.jpg image1.JPG.jpg - 1.5MB

updated by @Good night and bye, bye: 06/29/23 16:49:02