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May 8, 2009

Real Food Festival

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Written by: Martin Christy

Today was the opening day of the Real Food Festival at London’s Earls Court exhibition centre. I managed to get a few hours in at the show where I caught up with Mott of the Grenada Chocolate Company at the Rococo stand.

After Hurricane Ivan struck in 2004 followed by Hurrican Emily in 2005, the local cacao crop really suffered. Since then Grenada have had to import beans from Costa Rica to keep production going, but these are now nearly finished and at the show gave me a 71% cocoa solids bar which is now 75% pure Grenadan beans – the next batch will be pure Grenadan. This is good news, because I’ve missed the sweet rum flavour of the Grenadan beans, the Costa Rican beans seem tannic and bitter by comparison.

Meanwhile Grenada Chocolate have been working on their production techniques, so the flavour is back and the chocolate is even better. Can’t wait for the next batch.

I also finally got my first small taste of Willie Harcourt-Cooze’s new bars at the show – promised samples from the producers hadn’t turned up during airing of the show, and the bars have been almost impossibly to buy as either retail or wholesale, due to demand generated by the TV show. I’m familiar with the beans used for the Rio Caribe. I only got a quick taste, but Domori’s version is probably better. I liked the Peruvian San Martin more, this was sweet for its percentage at 72%. The texture seemed quite fudgy though, but maybe it was warm in the hall. I’ll try to pick up whole bars tomorrow for a better test.



About the Author

Martin Christy
Martin Christy is Seventy%’s editor and founder and is a leading voice in the chocolate industry, promoting the cause of fine chocolate and fine cacao and those who produce them. With twenty years’ experience of fine chocolate, he has travelled extensively visiting cocoa plantations and meeting the world’s top producers and is a consultant to the fine chocolate and cacao growing industries worldwide. Martin is Judging Director of the International Chocolate Awards, which he founded in the UK with Kate Johns of Chocolate Week. He is also Acting Chairman of the new fine cacao and chocolate industry association, Direct Cacao and is a member of the Heirloom Cacao Preservation Initiative Tasting Panel. He is also a freelance writer about fine chocolate, contributing to UK magazines and several books about fine chocolate.




 
 

 
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