Please consider registering
guest

Log In Register

Register | Lost password?
Advanced Search

— Forum Scope —

  

— Match —

   

— Forum Options —

   

Minimum search word length is 4 characters - maximum search word length is 84 characters

Topic RSS
The Worlds 1st Chocolate Summit
October 5, 2004
1:00 pm
robinkar
New Member
Forum Posts: 1
Member Since:
October 5, 2004
Offline

THORNTON’S HONOURS CHOCOLATE AT THE WORLD’S FIRST INTERNATIONAL SUMMIT

Delegates at Britain’s first International chocolate Summit, held by Thorntons to celebrate the 50th anniversary of their Continental range, came to the surprising conclusion that while Britain may not have the same established chocolate traditions as elsewhere in Europe, this gives them the unexpected advantage of embracing one of the widest range of flavours, recipes and ingredients when it comes to making delicious chocolate.

This conclusion was reached by a panel of renowned Chocolatiers from Europe who debated the vast topic of European chocolate making over a two-day period. The delegates included Barry Colenso, Thornton’s Master Chocolatier (Britain) along with Edward Wohlmuth (Austria), Fabien Declercq (Belgium), Italo Gambaro (Italy), Laurant Besin (France) and media psychologist Donna Dawson.

The Chocolatiers began by discussing that their inspirations for chocolate making derived from an array of stimuli including pastries, cakes, desserts and biscuits. Italo Gambaro stated that Italian chocolate making was closely linked with ice cream trends in his country; whilst Barry Colenso informed us that he obtains inspiration from every environment he can, revealing that haberdashery products have even influenced one of his Thorntons Continental chocolate designs. As one would imagine, the world of fashion featured highly as a source of creativity along with fragrance and even flowers.

The delegates then went on to discuss why our European neighbours have such a good reputation for making chocolate. Edward Wohlmuth commented that because other European countries have acclaimed chocolate making academies you can find chocolate making houses in even the smallest towns and villages, allowing Chocolatiers to practise their craft and thus perfect their skills. Barry Colenso stated that despite the fact that Britain lacks such a well established heritage and tradition in the world of chocolate making, he strongly believes that he has embraced the wide ranging flavours, recipes and ingredients in the Continental range, combined with the artistry and craft which Thorntons is known for in the UK.

When discussing why specific ingredients work well together the Chocolatiers explained that certain types of chocolate (white, milk and dark) need to be carefully combined with particular fillings to ensure that the ultimate taste and after effect is acquired. Italo Gambaro gave the example of dark chocolate complementing orange fillings and stated that this was a popular combination for the Italian market. Every Delegate firmly believed that ingredients must be sourced from the right countries to ensure that they are of the utmost quality. Barry Colenso commented that for the Continental range he insists for example on Sicilian lemons because he believes that in terms of taste they are the best lemons available and also favours apricots from the Ardeche and Champagne from the Champagne region in France.

The delegates commented that each country enjoys different flavours leading Barry Colenso to comment that the British public did not readily embrace apple flavoured chocolates. Donna Dawson explained that where products are readily available they are not perceived to be a desirable commodity so if you are savouring a luxury box of chocolates you will be inclined to want a more adventurous experience in taste. Barry Colenso also revealed that Thorntons have tried to introduce flavours such as marzipan and pistachio nuts but found that these were not liked by the British palate. It was stated that the Italians and French actually favour pistachio nuts whilst the Austrians prefer hazel nuts. The Germans tend to enjoy the combination of alcohol with fruit whereas the Swiss are fans of the actual chocolate itself rather than the fillings and are continuously increasing the milk content to enjoy a more creamy taste.

Delegates discussed how the chocolate making processes have changed over the last fifty years and pinpointed technology as the major contributor. They stated that new machinery has enabled the industry to maintain high standards of quality control across their products, ensuring that chocolates can be made to the highest standards in terms of consistency, flavours and textures to ensure that consumers can always enjoy their chocolate eating experience. The Delegates all agreed that machinery only benefits the making of chocolates when it is combined with the craft and skills of the Chocolatier. Barry Colenso explained that he has embraced modern technology to work alongside more traditional hand finishing techniques in the development of the Thorntons Continental chocolate range, commenting that he has recently used a biscuit machine to his advantage, allowing him to produce a dual centre in one of his chocolates. Other changes noted were the improvement of correct storage facilities and faster modes of transport which have both helped to provide higher chocolate satisfaction for customers.

The Panel discussed future trends in chocolate making and highlighted that texture would play an important role, commenting that taste alone does not make a good chocolate. Further experimentation in ingredients will also strive for the ultimate taste sensations leading to more unusual ingredients such as spices to be explored further. Edward Wohlmuth divulged that he has been investigating the use of Jasmine tea as a filling using a crystallisation process whilst Barry Colenso commented that experimentation with alcohol flavoured and filled products was another trend to look out for. In addition it was agreed that aesthetics is also to be a key priority leading Donna Dawson to comment that the appearance of a chocolate is the first psychological trigger to wanting to taste one particular chocolate over another and is therefore a crucial area to explore.

Barry Colenso, Thornton’s Master Chocolatier commented “the British confectionery market relies on Thorntons to bring authentic European inspired flavours and recipes to our favourite chocolates. This Summit has underlined our commitment to this and will ensure that our product development programme considers current and future flavour trends.”

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT ROBIN KAR OR ALEX VILLAGE AT BORKOWSKI PR ON 020 7404 3000
robink@borkowski.co.uk/alex@borkowski.co.uk

Delegate biographies, Summit photographs and Thorntons Continental product information/photography are available upon request.

Barry Colenso (Thorntons Master Chocolatier), James Mercer (Thorntons Events and Communications Manager) and Donna Dawson (Media Psychologist) are available for interviews

October 5, 2004
5:29 pm
chocolatero
london
Member
Forum Posts: 155
Member Since:
September 5, 2004
Offline

If your panel of "renowned chocolatiers" was composed of others than your current or Barry callebaut employees (or ex employees), this summit may have more credibility! Sounds like a bit of PR/self congratulations to me!
Chocolatero

October 6, 2004
2:48 pm
choca
Member
Forum Posts: 41
Member Since:
March 3, 2004
Offline

Very true Chocolatero ,
I also think that the continental range is not worth celebrating !

I do think that england has got a great confectionery history though .

October 6, 2004
6:37 pm
Polarbear
Tromsø, Norway
Member
Forum Posts: 299
Member Since:
April 24, 2004
Offline

Taste is important..texture is important...technology has no other use than as a tool for the chocolatier...new tastes are cool and good chocolatiers seek to create new good inventions.

Thanx for telling me, I didn't know that! [:D]

BTW, Thorntons 70% and white chocs (the only I have tasted) are crap - the usual forasteros&vanillin stuff.

***
My name is Polarbear and I am a chocoholic...

*** My name is Polarbear and I am a chocoholic...
October 10, 2004
12:16 pm
Polarbear
Tromsø, Norway
Member
Forum Posts: 299
Member Since:
April 24, 2004
Offline

May be I was to harsh. It is, after all, also interesting to hear what the "insiders" of companies think. But then, the results should be presented as slightly more than single statements of obviousities which gives the impression that the summit was a short e-mail exhange, possibly followed by a photo-op...

But, I am willing to change my mind. I give you the opportunity to, free of charge - for me! - to prove me wrong. Just send some chocs my way[:D]! I promise: I will tell my honest opinion about them here in the end[8D]

***
My name is Polarbear and I am a chocoholic...

*** My name is Polarbear and I am a chocoholic...
November 22, 2004
10:47 am
Polarbear
Tromsø, Norway
Member
Forum Posts: 299
Member Since:
April 24, 2004
Offline

Since no free chocs came my way, I had to go out and buy a small box of Thorntons pralines. Conclusion: Overall good, smooth truffles with rich tastes. They were, however, generally too sweet. An at a price of €11 for 100g they are insanely overpriced (but that may just be the shop here, though).

***
My name is Polarbear and I am a chocoholic...

*** My name is Polarbear and I am a chocoholic...
November 22, 2004
1:26 pm
Masur
Stockholm, Sweden
Member
Forum Posts: 592
Member Since:
August 6, 2006
Offline

Just looked at the list of chocolate shops participating in Chocolate Week 2004. Thornton’s name is not mentioned in the list and the discussion is going a bit off topic. I'm locking this topic.

"Porcelana: The Holy Grail of Pure Criollos" (Marieel E. Presilla)

"Porcelana: The Holy Grail of Pure Criollos" (Maricel E. Presilla)

The Worlds 1st Chocolate Summit | Chocolate shows, salons and events | Forum