Amano Chuao

Amano Chuao

The bloggers and twitterati have been buzzing recently, fuelled by Amano’s ‘guess the origin’ competition. A new Amano origin chocolate bar is interesting news enough, but rumours and guesses about a rather famous source have had connoisseur’s hearts racing for the last few weeks

Tuscan chocolate taster

Tuscan chocolate taster

A visit to Florence to discuss the upcoming ChocoAndino event in Colombia with Monica Meschini had been on the cards for a while.

Icelandic ash had been getting in the way, but finally last week I managed to make a short trip, with no danger of getting stuck in Italy. (Shame!) Two days of fast and furious chocolate visits and tasting followed

First Connoisseurs Club tasting

First Connoisseurs Club tasting

Last week saw the first of our new ‘Connoisseurs Club’ get togethers at our regular monthly tasting venue, the Scotch Malt Whisky Society.

Our new advanced format was a chance to let our hair down a little and pull the new, odd and unusual out of the chocolate cupboard

Rabot Estate opens in Borough Market

Rabot Estate opens in Borough Market

Today saw the launch of UK premium chocolate chain Hotel Chocolat’s new high end chocolate shop, Rabot Estate. I managed to pop down for the 11am opening, try some new St Lucia chocolate and suffer from some sneaky rum in my cocoa tea!

BBC Panorama: Chocolate – The Bitter Truth

On 26th March, the BBC’s Panorama series ran an exposé of bulk cacao farming in West Africa – the source of the cocoa used in most ‘chocolate’ confectionery. Did the programme go after the right targets though, and was it wholly accurate?

Announcement: F1 choc bar challenge

Announcement: F1 choc bar challenge

Seventypercent’s editor foolishly takes on an ‘F1 chocolate bar challenge ‘ from Duffy Sheardown, owner of new English chocolate Red Star Chocolate. Follow our race calls and progress here

Duffy Sheardown – a second UK bean to bar chocolate maker

Duffy Sheardown – a second UK bean to bar chocolate maker

Red Star Chocolate, a new UK artisanal bean to bar chocolate maker has started production in Cleethorpes, in the North East of England. Kate Johns of Nudge and I donned our winter woolies and set off on a mission in search of Britain’s newest fine chocolate maker

William Curley – new Pimlico shop

William Curley – new Pimlico shop

William Curley’s new flagship store opens in London’s Pimlico Green. More than just a chocolatier shop, this is a spacious chocolate emporium that raises the bar for London chocolate shops and gives London even more of a claim to be a world class chocolate destination

Callebaut buy Chocovic

Swiss giant Barry Callebaut, the choco-saurus of the chocolate world, has swallowed up Spanish fine chocolate maker Chocovic for an undisclosed sum. Pending European competition rulings, the deal should be complete by the end of the year

New arrivals from Amedei

New arrivals from Amedei

Amedei have a few new products on the way, which come along at the same time as a packaging overhaul of their entire range. The redesign will see the whole of the bar range brought into line  as 50g bars, the format currently used for the current Chuao, Porcelana and ‘9’ bars. The really good ..

A tale of two rivers – Amano ‘Dos Rios’

A tale of two rivers – Amano ‘Dos Rios’

A new origin chocolate from Amano, and this time a rather unique one. ‘Dos Rios’ is made from cacao with outlandish bergamot, rose and spice notes, created by Nazario Rizek in the Dominican Republic using an experimental fermentation technique. Oh, and Seventypercent played a small part in bringing it to life as well ..

Chocolatier Blue

Chocolatier Blue

When Art Pollard and Matt Caputo were in town last week for the Academy of Chocolate Awards they very kindly brought me a box of bonbons to try from Chocolatier Blue, a US based chocolatier run by Chris Blue, previously of Charlie Trotter’s. I managed to work my way through the collection and in spite WordPress being a little troublesome, here are a few of my thoughts on Blue’s best

The chocolate Apprentice

Tonight at last saw the airing of the final of  the fifth  series of the UK version of The Apprentice. The last challenge for the two finalists was creating a chocolate brand and selection in just three days – a tough ask. Finalist Kate Walsh worked with Paul Young of Paul A Young Fine Chocolates, ..

William Curley at Westminster Kingsway College

William Curley at Westminster Kingsway College

As if a visit to Paul A Young’s last Friday wasn’t enough, in the afternoon I went along to a promotional demo by William Curley for Amedei at Westmintser Kingsway College. I just about survived the three desserts and freshly made sea-salt caramels, with a little chocolate eating space to spare