LATEST POSTS

  • March 23, 2017

    The Millennial History Behind The Modern Rehabilitation Of Salvadorian Cacao

    The Millennial History Behind The Modern Rehabilitation Of Salvadorian Cacao
    From a recent chat with Rafael Trigueros Hecht, President of the small cacao cooperative ES-CACAO in El Salvador, here is the brief story about Mesoamerican cacao and Finca Cuyancúa, near the volcano Izalco: “The history of cacao in El Salvador is very old, more than 3000 years, time of the Olmecs and Mayas that stirred […]
  • February 17, 2017

    The Meaning Of Variety And The Origin Of Flavor Precursors in “Fine Or Flavor” Cacao

    The Meaning Of Variety And The Origin Of Flavor Precursors in “Fine Or Flavor” Cacao
    In this article, Dr. Silke Elwers, a scientific consultant with years of experience in the world of cacao, provides some valuable insights into the meaning of origin and flavor characteristics of cacao. The center of origin of the species Theobroma cacao is not Central America, to where it was brought by pre-Columbian traders. In fact, […]
  • February 16, 2017

    The Slow Melt—A Podcast On All Things Cacao, Cocoa And Chocolate

    The Slow Melt—A Podcast On All Things Cacao, Cocoa And Chocolate
    Chocolate is a substance that’s stable at room temperature and starts to transform—melt—on human contact. That melt is a relationship, one reflected from cacao seed and cocoa bean to the final product, that holds a variety of meanings. That diversity of connection is the inspiration behind The Slow Melt, the first podcast dedicated to a […]
  • February 13, 2017

    Xocolla Chocolate Review And Interview With Founder Tony Najjar

    Xocolla Chocolate Review And Interview With Founder Tony Najjar
    One of the things that fascinates gourmet chocolate lovers is the story of the founders behind a bar. Even more intriguing are the choices a person makes at the beginning of their path as a chocolate maker. As a matter of fact, it may occur that some artisans look beyond the classic dark chocolate and […]
  • February 9, 2017

    State Of The International Confectionery & Biscuit Processing Industry—2016 Survey Results

    State Of The International Confectionery & Biscuit Processing Industry—2016 Survey Results
    In December 2016, ConfectioneryNews conducted its inaugural ‘state of the industry’ survey. The key objective of the poll was to gauge views about the current state of the Confectionery & Biscuit Processing Industry and identify the issues that are causing most concern. ConfectioneryNews collated over 890 survey responses from confectionery industry professionals who form an […]
  • February 6, 2017

    Donna Elvira Dolceria—Bean-To-Bar Chocolate From Modica

    Donna Elvira Dolceria—Bean-To-Bar Chocolate From Modica
    The Italian town of Modica is one of the few places in the world where the tradition of granular Aztec-type chocolate is still live. The Spaniards ruled the Kingdom of Sicily from the War of the Vespers (in 1282) until the 18th century; their influence over the island led to the introduction of various fruits […]
  • January 18, 2017

    VAIcacao—Fine Flavor Cacao Nibs From El Salvador

    VAIcacao—Fine Flavor Cacao Nibs From El Salvador
    If the most appreciated constituent of a chocolate bar is cacao, it is for adequate reasons, both for the pleasure of the palate and the versatility of consumption. Cacao is, in fact, not only the most complex food in terms of flavors (counting about 600), but it also turns out in multiple edible forms before […]
  • December 20, 2016

    Cocoa Beans: Chocolate And Cocoa Industry Requirements

    Cocoa Beans: Chocolate And Cocoa Industry Requirements
    The publication “Cocoa Beans: Chocolate and Cocoa Industry Requirements”—supported by financial contributions from some members of CAOBISCO/ECA/FCC Cocoa Quality and Productivity Working Group and in-kind contributions from CRA Ltd—aims to provide a comprehensive, up-to-date reference document which brings together the key information from a range of publications covering aspects of cocoa farming practices, food safety […]
  • November 24, 2016

    Tendenze dell’Industria Alimentare nel 2017

    Tendenze dell’Industria Alimentare nel 2017
    L’anno non è ancora finito, ma gli analisti di mercato hanno già fatto le loro previsioni sulle tendenze che caratterizzeranno l’industria alimentare nel 2017.   Etichette “pulite” e comprensibili La trasparenza non è più solo un incentivo interessante per i produttori di alimenti. I consumatori vogliono conoscere tutti gli aspetti del cibo che acquistano, da […]
  • November 15, 2016

    Negozi e servizi online europei specializzati nella consegna a domicilio di cioccolato bean-to-bar

    Negozi e servizi online europei specializzati nella consegna a domicilio di cioccolato bean-to-bar
    Gli amanti del cioccolato gourmet hanno una cosa in comune: amano assaggiare diversi nomi di cioccolato per esplorare nuovi aromi e migliorare la loro conoscenza nel campo del cioccolato e cacao. Sebbene oggigiorno tali consumatori possano accedere a varie offerte da parte dei produttori di cioccolato anche online, rimane arduo il compito di trovare differenti […]
  • November 10, 2016

    ZART Pralinen—Interview With The New Micro-Batch Chocolate Maker From Austria (Including Product Review)

    ZART Pralinen—Interview With The New Micro-Batch Chocolate Maker From Austria (Including Product Review)
    If the bond of chocolate with Austria can boast inviting traditions, such as Sachertorte and Mozartkugeln, emerging also is the interest of national chocolate makers toward the bean-to-bar chocolate ferment that is beautifully undergoing an unfailing renaissance in Europe and North America in recent years. Some weeks ago, I was lucky to receive at home […]
  • October 25, 2016

    European Specialty Shops And Subscription Services Delivering Bean-To-Bar Chocolate To Your Doorstep

    European Specialty Shops And Subscription Services Delivering Bean-To-Bar Chocolate To Your Doorstep
    Gourmet chocolate lovers often have one thing in common: they love tasting different chocolate brands to explore new flavors and enhance their knowledge in the field of chocolate and cocoa. Although nowadays they can even access online to various product offerings by chocolate makers, it remains the daunting task of finding several brands of bean-to-bar […]
  • October 11, 2016

    Dick Taylor Craft Chocolate Review—The California Artisan Devoted To Single-Origin And Two-Ingredient Chocolate

    Dick Taylor Craft Chocolate Review—The California Artisan Devoted To Single-Origin And Two-Ingredient Chocolate
    If the main purpose and focus of all craft chocolate makers is thriving for excellence of taste in their gourmet creations, few have defined a clear philosophy underlying the level of quality and ethics of their chocolate products. The success of this approach is meeting the expectations of demanding consumers looking for a name that […]
  • October 3, 2016

    Are Natural Sweeteners Healthier?

    Are Natural Sweeteners Healthier?
    Modern consumers pay close attention to sugar levels in products, preferring sweeteners from more natural sources. The reasons more people want to cut their sugar intake is varied. Most desire a healthier diet, better weight management, or prevention of tooth decay and diabetes. Honey is the most popular natural sugar alternative. Stevia, monk fruit, agave, […]
  • September 28, 2016

    How To Limit Cadmium Traces In Chocolate

    How To Limit Cadmium Traces In Chocolate
    A recent article published by Confectionery News has particularly raised my interest as food safety is often the last topic discussed when it comes to chocolate.   Germany-based ForestFinest Consulting GmbH outlines steps chocolate makers can take to comply with incoming regulations on heavy metal traces dangerous to human health in the cocoa supply chain. Chronic […]
  • September 13, 2016

    Chocolate Eating Habits Of People In Chocolate

    Chocolate Eating Habits Of People In Chocolate
    Since the hardest part for entrepreneurs and businesses in the craft chocolate world is communicating passion and innovation to their niche of readers in the most authentic and simple way possible, the most likely way to attract a gourmet consumer’s interest is disclosing updates about the latest product releases and/or offering sale promotions for a […]
  • August 16, 2016

    Patric Chocolate Review—American Dark Chocolate With A European Mouth-Feel

    Patric Chocolate Review—American Dark Chocolate With A European Mouth-Feel
    Reminding me of that extra-fine mouth-feel typical of European-style chocolate, Missouri-based Patric Chocolate distinguishes itself among the hundreds of small- and micro-batch bean-to-bar chocolate bars popping up in the American market over the last 10 years. Founder and chocolate maker Alan McClure expresses his gourmet influence after spending a whole year in France and becoming […]
  • July 29, 2016

    Frutto del monaco migliore della sola stevia come dolcificante naturale senza zucchero

    Frutto del monaco migliore della sola stevia come dolcificante naturale senza zucchero
    L’allarmante incidenza di diabete nella popolazione dei Paesi sviluppati sta spingendo sempre più l’industria alimentare verso lo sviluppo scientifico e la disponibilità sul mercato di alternative naturali ai diversi zuccheri aggiunti ad alimenti e bevande.   Uno degli ingredienti che sta recentemente attraendo il maggiore interesse come dolcificante naturale non zuccherato è la stevia, ma […]
  • July 26, 2016

    Monk Fruit Better Than Stand-Alone Stevia As A Natural Non-Sugar Sweetener

    Monk Fruit Better Than Stand-Alone Stevia As A Natural Non-Sugar Sweetener
    The alarming incidence of diabetes in the population of developed countries is pushing more and more the food industry toward the scientific development and market availability of natural alternatives to the different sugars added to foods and beverages.   One of the ingredients that is recently attracting the greatest interest as a natural non-sugar sweetener […]
  • July 21, 2016

    Interview And Market Talk With Jeffrey Stern, Chocolate & Cacao Educator & Entrepreneur

    Interview And Market Talk With Jeffrey Stern, Chocolate & Cacao Educator & Entrepreneur
    Approachable chocolate makers, chocolatiers, and independent chocolate and cacao experts certainly represent the best source of information for chocolate aficionados today. Eclectic professionals with hands-on experience at various levels of the chocolate chain (from farm to bar) are as much precious to find as the heirloom cacaos they know.   Californian-born Jeffrey Stern is a […]
  • June 24, 2016

    Marou Chocolate Review—Tasting Two Bars From The French-Vietnamese Tree-To-Bar Chocolate Maker

    Marou Chocolate Review—Tasting Two Bars From The French-Vietnamese Tree-To-Bar Chocolate Maker
    Marou, Faiseurs de Chocolat is the first bean-to-bar artisan chocolate maker in Asia. The company based in Ho Chi Minh City was founded by the French-born pair Vincent Mourou and Samuel Maruta, inspired by the common mission to create the purest dark chocolate from 100% local ingredients. With passion and patience, Vincent and Samuel revisited […]
  • June 21, 2016

    Interview With Chocoladeverkopers—Online Bean-To-Bar Chocolate Sellers From The Netherlands

    Interview With Chocoladeverkopers—Online Bean-To-Bar Chocolate Sellers From The Netherlands
    Once you fall in love with the authentic taste of chocolate crafted by the small-batch bean-to-bar chocolate makers from all over the world, you are also drawn to begin understanding the economic and ethical implications of the complex chocolate chain. Your mission as a chocoholic then becomes making sure to find an assortment of retailers […]
  • June 13, 2016

    Black Mountain Chocolate Review—Tasting Two Bars From The Small-Batch Chocolate Maker Near The Appalachian Mountains

    Black Mountain Chocolate Review—Tasting Two Bars From The Small-Batch Chocolate Maker Near The Appalachian Mountains
    Inspired by the artisan traditions of the region, Black Mountain Chocolate is a small-batch bean-to-bar craft chocolate maker based in Winston-Salem, shadowed by the peaks of the Appalachian Mountains, in North Carolina. (Another respectable name popping up in the same location is Brasstown Chocolate. Read my first review about it and keep following my blog […]
  • June 6, 2016

    Olive & Sinclair—A Brief Review On The Only Small-Batch Bean-To-Bar Chocolate Maker In Tennessee

    Olive & Sinclair—A Brief Review On The Only Small-Batch Bean-To-Bar Chocolate Maker In Tennessee
    Olive & Sinclair is Tennessee’s only bean-to-bar chocolate company, founded in 2007 and based in Nashville. The name comes from two old names within the family of the company’s owner Scott Witherow: Sinclair is a reference to his grandfather, whereas Olive to his wife’s great aunt. Olive & Sinclair has protected their slowly-roasted and stone-ground […]
  • May 31, 2016

    Castronovo Chocolate Review—Tasting A Poker Of Bars From The Only Small-Batch Chocolate Maker In Florida

    Castronovo Chocolate Review—Tasting A Poker Of Bars From The Only Small-Batch Chocolate Maker In Florida
    One of the reasons to try new chocolate brands lately was my interest in the bean-to-bar manufacturers of white chocolate. However, the pretext to find new white chocolates often leads to tasting even the dark and dark-milk chocolate versions of the same brand. Among my latest names of bean-to-bar chocolate bars shipped from the US, […]
  • May 27, 2016

    New Nutrition Facts Labels Recently Finalized In The US—Will They Improve American Eating Habits?

    New Nutrition Facts Labels Recently Finalized In The US—Will They Improve American Eating Habits?
    Last May 20, First Lady Michelle Obama announced the final rules for the latest revised version of the Nutrition Facts label, more than two years after FDA announced it would be updating the label to better reflect the eating habits of most Americans. Food manufacturers have until July 26, 2018 to begin using the new […]
  • May 9, 2016

    3 errori da evitare nella vendita di cioccolato artigianale—Cosa un cioccolatiere dovrebbe imparare da un produttore di cioccolato che lavora direttamente il cacao

    3 errori da evitare nella vendita di cioccolato artigianale—Cosa un cioccolatiere dovrebbe imparare da un produttore di cioccolato che lavora direttamente il cacao
    Fermo restando che possano esserci maestri cioccolatieri che creano tavolette e altri prodotti a base di cioccolato degni di attenzione, tuttavia 3 sono i principali errori di comunicazione e promozione commessi da coloro che, invece, risultano poco preparati sulle possibilità di successo nella vendita dei propri prodotti rispetto ai relativi competitor, soprattutto esteri: Puntare più […]
  • May 2, 2016

    A Historical And Market Research On The Term “Artisan” In The Chocolate Industry

    A Historical And Market Research On The Term “Artisan” In The Chocolate Industry
    The Fine Chocolate Industry Association (FCIA), the only organization focused 100% on supporting fine chocolate professionals and promoting the best practices in chocolate production with transparent labeling and marketing practices, has made an interesting report available on their website about the historical meaning and public perception of the term “artisan” in the chocolate industry. The […]
  • April 28, 2016

    What I Think Of Mast Brothers Chocolate

    What I Think Of Mast Brothers Chocolate
    If you are a real chocolate aficionado, no need to bore you stiff with every detail of the media clamor that made the Mast Brothers swallow last December. Having read a few posts about Mast Brothers by other chocolate experts and bloggers over the past months, I tried not to arrive preconceived once I had […]
  • April 25, 2016

    Differenziare il cioccolato—Le 5 sfaccettature del cioccolato fine

    Differenziare il cioccolato—Le 5 sfaccettature del cioccolato fine
    La definizione di “cioccolato fine” può essere tanto vaga quanto quella di fine art. Al centro di molte creazioni che possano essere considerate “fini” vi è un’espressione puramente estetica. Il detto latino Ars gratia artis (l’arte per la salvezza dell’arte), per esempio, significa che l’arte non è intesa per essere prodotta in gran quantità o […]
  • April 19, 2016

    Cosa può essere definito cioccolato fine oggi?

    Cosa può essere definito cioccolato fine oggi?
    Se si considera il termine “fine” per riferirsi letteralmente alla finezza delle particelle di cacao e zucchero all’interno del cioccolato, che è un concetto in genere attribuito alla struttura nei prodotti di cioccolato fine, allora dobbiamo aspettarci che ogni produttore di “cioccolato fine” debba avere i macchinari necessari disponibili a raffinare e concare il suddetto […]
  • April 18, 2016

    Charm School Chocolate Review—Flavorful Vegan White Chocolate Blowing Away Even The Most Demanding Palates

    Charm School Chocolate Review—Flavorful Vegan White Chocolate Blowing Away Even The Most Demanding Palates
    If you count yourself among the loyal readers of my recent blog posts, you know well why, for being a health-conscious consumer and an exquisite taste connoisseur at the same time, I got so disappointed with clean-labeled chocolate featuring lavish certification stickers and health claims. Thank goodness that’s not the case for one of the […]
  • April 14, 2016

    Come aggirare le scorte carenti di vaniglia naturale?

    Come aggirare le scorte carenti di vaniglia naturale?
    Secondo un recente articolo apparso su Food Navigator, meno dell’1% della domanda globale di vaniglia può essere soddisfatta dalla pianta di vaniglia naturale, e le scorte di quest’anno sono state  colpite da un raccolto scarso in Madagascar, il Paese maggior produttore della pianta, mandando i prezzi alle stelle. Ma è un ripiego verso la vanillina […]
  • April 13, 2016

    How To Sidestep Natural Vanilla Supply Shortages?

    How To Sidestep Natural Vanilla Supply Shortages?
    According to a recent article on Food Navigator, less than 1% of global demand for vanilla can be met by the natural vanilla orchid, and this year’s supplies have been hit by a poor harvest in top producing country Madagascar, sending prices skyrocketing. But is a switch to artificial vanillin the solution? Vanilla is the […]
  • April 12, 2016

    Why The Village Home To Hemingway’s Italian Stay Has 20% Of Its Population Over 100

    Why The Village Home To Hemingway’s Italian Stay Has 20% Of Its Population Over 100
    Acciaroli is an Italian hamlet, the most populous in the comune of Pollica, Province of Salerno, in the Campania Region. It is a major tourist destination because it has grown famous nationally for of its water quality, having earned the “Blue Flag beach” title and the “Five Sails” of Legambiente, an Italian environmentalist association, for […]
  • April 11, 2016

    Occorre chiarezza nel distinguere le diverse tipologie di produttori di cioccolato

    Occorre chiarezza nel distinguere le diverse tipologie di produttori di cioccolato
    Classificazione delle Aziende nell’Industria del Cioccolato Fonte: Fine Chocolate Industry Association In base alla loro posizione nella catena di valore e di chi acquista il loro prodotto finito, è possibile discernere le seguenti tipologie di aziende nella lavorazione di cioccolato: Blossom to bean (dal fiore alla fava di cacao): operatore della filiera del cioccolato che […]
  • March 31, 2016

    Askinosie Chocolate Review—It’s Not About The Chocolate, It’s About The Chocolate

    Askinosie Chocolate Review—It’s Not About The Chocolate, It’s About The Chocolate
    Reasons for buying fine chocolate today are manifold and not always dictated by the epicurean sensory experience only. Quality of the products apart, ethics and sustainability programs are the elements where select chocolate makers can demonstrate how the end consumer is included in the big picture of the company mission. That’s the case for one […]
  • March 4, 2016

    Perspectives On The “Clean Label” Trend In The Chocolate Industry

    Perspectives On The “Clean Label” Trend In The Chocolate Industry
    In a previous post, I heartily revealed what trends, according to my observations, are being defined by fine consumers within the artisan chocolate sector. My conclusions at the end of the article were that, for being firsthand a health-conscious buyer, I would choose one product over another by virtue of its clean label. Unfortunately, I […]
  • February 29, 2016

    Brasstown Chocolate Review—Tasting Four Fine Dark Chocolate Bars

    Brasstown Chocolate Review—Tasting Four Fine Dark Chocolate Bars
    Brasstown Chocolate is a small-batch, bean-to-bar American chocolate company, founded by Rom Still and Barbara Price in Winston-Salem (North Carolina), in 2012. In 2015, the pair changed the initial business name, It’s Chocolate, into the current one for their kinship with the artists and artisans in Brasstown, North Carolina home to the premier John C. […]
  • February 22, 2016

    3 Mystifications About White Chocolate Debunked—Why White Chocolate Deserves Better Education And Marketing

    3 Mystifications About White Chocolate Debunked—Why White Chocolate Deserves Better Education And Marketing
    In the last 20 years, chocolate lovers from all over the world felt progressively less guilty for their diet and more confident in their choices when, guided by the marketing of those few premium companies dedicated to working on “rediscovered” formulations of authentic chocolate, became educated on the health benefits and the quality of the […]