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

Real Food Festival

Real Food Festival

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 ..

New origins from Chocovic and Linköping Chokladfestival 2009

New origins from Chocovic and Linköping Chokladfestival 2009

Chocovic have two new origin offerings, brought in to supplement their existing small origin range. Both bars are a step up in quality for the Spanish bean to bar maker, who are also owners of the Sampaka chocolatier chain and suppliers to upmarket Spanish brands such as Enrico Rovira. We tried them at the Linköping Chokladfestival 2009 with Art Pollard and Maja Berthas

Willie’s Chocolate Revolution reviewed – part 2

Day 2 of Willie Harcourt-Cooze’s chocolate revolution. Not as exciting as the first programme, but I guess we’re building up for the big finish tomorrow and we did get a peak inside a British bean to bar fine chocolate factory, which was a first

Criollo, a danger to us all?

Criollo, a danger to us all?

Opinions can get rather heated in the world of fine chocolate. Any subject that stirs a great deal of passion in its followers, and engages us in an exploration of its detail and finesse, is likely to lead to different camps and strong viewpoints. Sometimes this can be good natured, and sometimes things can get ..

Latin American tour August 2008 – Day 18 – Panama, Orlando Lozada’s farm

We spent the morning looking around the mainland town of Almirante, after taking a boat from Hotel Angela. Later after an hour on a bus we were given a lift through what seemed like miles of banana plantations, finally arriving at the farm and family home of Orlando Lozada, the cacao farmer who has been ..

Latin American tour August 2008 – Day 17 – Panama

A chance to relax and get a lie-in in Panama City before catching our afternoon flight to Bocas del Toro, the cacao production and heavy tourist region in the north west of the country. Our connection with Panama stared a couple of years ago when we were contacted by two different ex-pats living in Panama ..

Latin American tour August 2008 – Day 16 – Venezuela reflections

By this morning we were more than ready to leave Venezuela. This leg of the trip had been very rewarding, for me at least, but also frustrating. Next time I’ll know more what to expect. I guess once you get used to the Venezuelan pace of life and the propensity to say ‘no’ as the ..

Latin American tour August 2008 – Day 15 – Venezuela frustrations

Our last full day in Venezuela was full of flight frustrations and banking problems. We’d underestimated how many bolívars we’d need for some of our taxis, and once again I had to go through the painful process of trying to withdraw money from a Venezuelan bank – I had a supply of dollars, always a ..

Latin American tour August 2008 – Day 13 – Paria Peninsula, Venezuela

Today we head east to the Paria Peninsula to visit the Hacienda San José plantation, the source of beans for some of Domori’s finest chocolate, and also for many other chocolate makers. Our flight to Cumana was in the afternoon though, so in the usual spirit of this trip of “exactly how many chocolate related ..

Latin American tour August 2008 – Day 12 – Chuao, Venezuela

Chuao. It was only half a plan to get there, but from Puerto Colombia in Choroni it’s a 20 minute boat ride. We had the choice between another plantation in Choroni or taking the boat, in the end Chuao won. We were arriving blind, without an invite or pre-arrangement, but we decided to take our ..

Latin American tour August 2008 – Day 11 – Choroni, Venezuela

Andrés and I took a bus out of Caracas to Maracay, where we’d arranged a taxi to take us on to Choroni, The route took us over the heights outside Caracas, a sudden, winding climb into the hills, with much cooler temperatures and stunning views back to Caracas. A beautiful, dream-like trip through the forest. ..

Latin American tour August 2008 – Day 10 – Caracas, Venezuela

Today, on to Venezuela, which might not have the long history of ancient cacao use that Guatemala has, but in terms of quality, remains the king of cacao. After a mere two hours sleep, a pleasant flight with another stop off in Costa Rica, I arrived in a hot, steamy, Caracas in the afternoon. I ..