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Great artisan chocolates (topic moved)
December 5, 2006
2:03 am
aguynamedrobert
California, USA
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Hum...nice website they have...what exactly does he make though? Oh and the website is http://www.brownpaperchocolates.com ....the one that is written above had a comma in it...

-Robert
http://www.chocolateguild.com

Moderator's note: I fixed the typo. The link should work now.
-Monte

Some Chocolate Guy http://www.chocolateguild.com
December 5, 2006
5:42 am
Masur
Stockholm, Sweden
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A quote from the website:

quote:


Kaplan's bestseller is dark chocolate with pistachio, Cointreau, dried cherries and orange peel. "It's not fudge," he insists. It is chocolate.

Quote from Food in Houston (foodinhouston.blogspot.com):

quote:


An outstanding local gourmet choclatier is Richard Kaplan, who sells chocolate under the name Brown Paper Chocolates. Kaplan makes a large, unadorned 4.5 ounce cube of chocolate that he sells in a brown box. Each chocolate has a mixture of gourmet ingredients, such as:

-Dark chocolate with almonds, tequila, ancho chili;
-Dark chocolate with pistachios, cointreau, dried cherries, orange peel;
-Dark chocolate with espresso, Kahlua, cocoa nibs;
-Milk chocolate with cashews, Jack Daniel's and sea salt;
-White chocolate with pistachio, coffee liquor, caramel, orange peel.


I found this information at a website named "Specs Liquors" (Online publication of Spec's Update" January 21, 2005):

quote:


...The secret? Starting with the highest quality of Belgian chocolates, chocolatier Richard Kaplan mixes in only the finest, superior, all-natural products to create unparalleled and surprising taste sensations that must be experienced to be believed.

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

"Porcelana: The Holy Grail of Pure Criollos" (Maricel E. Presilla)
December 5, 2006
4:25 pm
Scott--DFW
Dallas, USA
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What's the "highest quality of Belgian chocolates"? Belcolade?

Scott

December 5, 2006
6:02 pm
Masur
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I don't know if Belcolade is better than Callebaut. Single origion industrial chocolate from Belgium can't compete with brands like Valrhona and Amedei.

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

"Porcelana: The Holy Grail of Pure Criollos" (Maricel E. Presilla)
December 5, 2006
7:06 pm
Sebastian
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That's a bit of an open question - how do you define quality? It's a bit like asking what is the best color...

December 5, 2006
8:40 pm
aguynamedrobert
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Very True,
Of course there are certain definitions of quality but when you get up to brands that use good beans and good techniques...then it gets to the point where it is your own personally taste. I mean I get people that hate a chocolate that I love and vise versa. Both brands use good beans and good technique but they shoot for different flavors...
Were you saying that Callebaut couldn't compete with Amedei or Valrhona?

Have a good one,
Robert
http://www.chocolateguild.com/vb

Some Chocolate Guy http://www.chocolateguild.com
December 5, 2006
10:10 pm
Masur
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quote:


Were you saying that Callebaut couldn't compete with Amedei or Valrhona?


Callebaut couverture is not bad. The Belgium master Pierre Marcolini is a Barry-Callebaut customer (Not entirely a bean to bar chocolate maker).
Sourcing good cocoa beans is a challenge. I don't think Barry-Callebaut's best chocolate can compete with the best from Amedei and Valrhona (I.e. Valrhona "Grand Crus" etc.).

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

"Porcelana: The Holy Grail of Pure Criollos" (Maricel E. Presilla)
December 5, 2006
10:13 pm
aguynamedrobert
California, USA
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Hum....I am more familiar with Valrhona and Amedei....I will have to try more or Callebauts and see what they have...

Have a good one,
Robert
http://www.chocolateguild.com

Some Chocolate Guy http://www.chocolateguild.com
December 5, 2006
10:54 pm
Masur
Stockholm, Sweden
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Keep in mind Barry-Callebaut is a giant. A top three bean buyers together with Cargill and ADM. Nestlé might be a fourth major bean buyer. No one else come close.

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

"Porcelana: The Holy Grail of Pure Criollos" (Maricel E. Presilla)
January 1, 2007
6:05 pm
chokolaj
Hamptons, USA
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Callebaut does a great job with their milk chocolates. As for Dark, I agree that they just don't have what I am looking for in flavor nuances, although they are of high quality.

-Daniel www.chokolajchocolate.com
January 1, 2007
9:09 pm
aguynamedrobert
California, USA
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Out of all their chocolates which one would you say is their(Callebaut) best? Bascially If I just tried one...what should it be?

Robert
http://www.chocolateguild.com

Some Chocolate Guy http://www.chocolateguild.com
January 4, 2007
9:26 pm
wrks4choc
Hopewell Junction, USA
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Masur, allow me to somewhat correct your comment on Pierre Marcolini, he does use Callebaut but he also uses Valrhona as well, he uses several different kinds of chocolate as well as makes some of his own.

Keep it Sweet!

Keep it Sweet!
January 5, 2007
7:39 am
Masur
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Thank's wrks4choc. I forgot about Mort Rosenblums book "Chocolate, A bittersweet saga of dark and light". My source linking Marcolini and Barry-Callebaut was Forbes Magazine.

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

"Porcelana: The Holy Grail of Pure Criollos" (Maricel E. Presilla)
January 7, 2007
3:43 pm
Alex Rast
Manchester, United Kingdom
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quote:


Originally posted by aguynamedrobert

Out of all their chocolates which one would you say is their(Callebaut) best? Bascially If I just tried one...what should it be?
Robert
http://www.chocolateguild.com


835-NV. This is the best sweet dark chocolate I've tried. Good basic chocolate flavour. I think also it is at this percentage that Callebaut really comes into their own - at some level it is difficult for them to match the smaller-scale producers except on custom production runs (Callebaut produces chocolate to spec as well as standard products) for higher percentages because as one moves to higher intensities, the qualities of the bean become more apparent, and in large production volumes inevitably you can't control the quality of the cacao beans within such tight limits, at least not at the upper end.

I tend to agree with what I'm guessing is the implied sentiment of Scott's comment - "...what is 'the highest quality of Belgian chocolates'" - that that statment by Brown Bag is marketing of little informational content. It tells you nothing about the underlying quality of their product per se. There's nothing intrinsic about Callebaut or Belcolade for example that would mean a chocolatier using them could or couldn't produce top-rate chocolates.

Alex Rast
Alex_Rast_Alternate@hushmail.com

Alex Rast Alex_Rast_Alternate@hushmail.com
January 12, 2007
2:22 pm
confiseur
Switzerland
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quote:


Originally posted by aguynamedrobert

Out of all their chocolates which one would you say is their(Callebaut) best? Bascially If I just tried one...what should it be?

Robert
http://www.chocolateguild.com


Callebaut , in general gets ..... and in some cases justifiably not a very good press........however they do have some fairly good products for the serious patissier/chocolatier....

Their basic range ....the 800/05/15/35....60/40....70/38 is quite popular and very reasonably priced...the 835 is not bad but nowhere near outstanding and certainly not their best product...large or small production runs here or there...

At the lower percentage scale the 60% Grenade is far better...the Tanzanian 73% and Santo Domingan 67% are also much better than the common-or-garden 835...I personally find the 70% Sao Thome a little aggresive but both Paco Torreblanca and Pierre Marcolini where quite heavy users at one time....

January 13, 2007
9:08 pm
Alex Rast
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quote:


Originally posted by confiseur

quote:

Originally posted by aguynamedrobert

Out of all their chocolates which one would you say is their(Callebaut) best? Bascially If I just tried one...what should it be?



...
Their basic range ....the 800/05/15/35....60/40....70/38 is quite popular and very reasonably priced...the 835 is not bad but nowhere near outstanding and certainly not their best product...large or small production runs here or there...

At the lower percentage scale the 60% Grenade is far better...the Tanzanian 73% and Santo Domingan 67% are also much better than the common-or-garden 835......


Santo Domingo 67%! Forgot about that one. Yes, it's pretty good. But then again, it's a bit like the Bonnat Chuao - why buy a great chocolate when an even greater interpretation of the same varietal is available? Thus as Amedei is to Bonnat, Cluizel is to Callebaut.

I didn't think the Grenade or Tanzania were nearly as good as the 835-NV, but I need to put that in context. The Grenade and Tanzanie are more strongly characterised - i.e. you can identify specific flavour components that equally importantly wouldn't show up in other chocolates. 835-NV by comparison has more of a neutral or if I may so in a non-negative sense, generic flavour. It just tastes "chocolatey". I am strongly of the opinion, though, that "chocolatey" is precisely the flavour that a great chocolate should have, and if it posesses it in abundance, without any negative off notes as distractors, then that chocolate is among the best in the world. So I often give high praise to chocolates others might dismiss as uninteresting. Many people need strongly characteristic chocolates in order to consider them great. For me, neither complexity nor a sharply defined flavour is a prerequisite of quality.

The pure unadulterated chocolatey flavour is a harder target to hit, however, in order to be a great chocolate, because you have to be spot-on and any deviation from dead centre results in a chocolate that will be much further away from greatness than a strongly characteristic chocolate with a few blemishes one can overlook. Thus most of the bulk chocolates produced that go for this profile are at best mediocre. A few higher-end chocolatiers also produce chocolates with a simple neutral chocolatey flavour, for example Cluizel with his 72%. As a general rule, then, neutral-tasting chocolates tend to be of lower quality than characteristic chocolates, but this is not a reflection of the inherent potential of the style, rather of the much narrower margin for error.

Back to 835-NV, then: it's got a basic chocolatey flavour that's superb. In addition, it's more representative of Callebaut than their origin chocolates. Finally, as a sweet dark chocolate, it achieves the near-impossible in being great (IMHO) even at low percentage, and this makes it a rarity indeed and a more impressive accomplishment. The Santo Domingo 67% is very good, but it doesn't seem as if it's hard to produce great chocolate from this origin. Obviously it's a very forgiving bean. So it's not until you get to Los Ancones that you see true mastery rather than mostly the fortune to start with a great source to begin with. Taking all these factors into account, I feel 835-NV is a better match for the "if you could only try one" test.

Alex Rast
Alex_Rast_Alternate@hushmail.com

Alex Rast Alex_Rast_Alternate@hushmail.com
January 31, 2007
5:41 am
Nicholas Zukin
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In general, I agree with this:

quote:


It just tastes "chocolatey". I am strongly of the opinion, though, that "chocolatey" is precisely the flavour that a great chocolate should have, and if it posesses it in abundance, without any negative off notes as distractors, then that chocolate is among the best in the world. So I often give high praise to chocolates others might dismiss as uninteresting. Many people need strongly characteristic chocolates in order to consider them great. For me, neither complexity nor a sharply defined flavour is a prerequisite of quality.

I like the chocolatiness of Callebaut as well. Yes, it has a very straight-forward, "uninteresting" flavor, but I enjoy it and it's much better for baking and infusing than something with a lot of "character" that could get in the way.

One thing, though, I've been wondering about is the definition of "chocolatey". It's not like an orange or a piece of beef. When you say something is "orangey" you can go taste an orange, truly unadulterated. You can do the same with a steak and get something "beefy". But with chocolate, there's so much processing and so many variable and so much tradition of milk chocolate that people like myself grew up on, I wonder if what I think of as "chocolatey" is really just a caricature of chocolate fed to me by Nestle and Hershey and so on.

I wonder if the phrase "chocolatey" is even worthwhile since all chocolate is technically chocolatey and what we really mean might be closer to Hershey-ey or something.

January 31, 2007
6:02 am
aguynamedrobert
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I would think that when I say "Chocolatey" that I am refering to my previous experiences with chocolate which is Hershey's...that mean I am refering to that strong flavor with not as many subtle notes...just a strong flavor...hard to explain but I can see and agree with what Nicolas is saying...at least for my mind and palate...

Robert
http://www.chocolateguild.com

Some Chocolate Guy http://www.chocolateguild.com
January 31, 2007
8:28 pm
Martin Christy
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Can a moderator move this to one of the chocolatier forums? Thanks.

Martin Christy
Editor
http://www.seventypercent.com

Martin Christy Editor www.seventypercent.com
January 31, 2007
11:02 pm
Alex Rast
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quote:


Originally posted by Nicholas Zukin

In general, I agree with this:

quote:


It just tastes "chocolatey". I am strongly of the opinion, though, that "chocolatey" is precisely the flavour that a great chocolate should have, and if it posesses it in abundance, without any negative off notes as distractors, then that chocolate is among the best in the world. So I often give high praise to chocolates others might dismiss as uninteresting. Many people need strongly characteristic chocolates in order to consider them great. For me, neither complexity nor a sharply defined flavour is a prerequisite of quality.

I like the chocolatiness of Callebaut as well. Yes, it has a very straight-forward, "uninteresting" flavor


Hmmm - odd, I've never thought of Callebaut as particularly chocolatey in flavour (with the exception of 835-NV). Usually they taste somewhat molasses/sugary - a few are fruitier. Definitely different, though, from Cluizel 72% which gives my reference flavour.

quote:


One thing, though, I've been wondering about is the definition of "chocolatey". It's not like an orange or a piece of beef. When you say something is "orangey" you can go taste an orange, truly unadulterated. You can do the same with a steak and get something "beefy".


Well, not being a citrus-liker, I can't comment on oranges. But I would disagree that it's straightforward to pin down "beefy", either. Beef varies dramatically in flavour depending on where it was raised and in what circumstances, what it was fed, and indeed even what part of the animal you're actually eating. For instance, a tenderloin tastes radically different from a New York steak, no matter what cow is involved. Ultimately, the term is subjective for each individual, although with the flavour "chocolatey" *I* describe, I can also give it an objective, or at least semi-objective, specification in terms of proportion of anthocynanins to tannins and degree of roasting, but whether the point on this surface that I identify with this description is the one you'd call chocolatey is anyone's guess. However, I've noticed a semi-consensus on that particular flavour, hence the decision to label that point with that name.

quote:


I wonder if the phrase "chocolatey" is even worthwhile since all chocolate is technically chocolatey and what we really mean might be closer to Hershey-ey or something.


Actually, the consensus opinion on "chocolatey" seems to diverge quite a bit from Hershey's. On milk chocolate, what most people notice is Hershey's unique processing of the milk, so that it has a distinctive "sour", "rancid", or "cooked" flavour to it. On dark chocolate, the prevailing view seems to think of Hershey's as somewhat earthy. It is important to note however that we *are* talking about people who have already taken the time to distinguish enough flavours in chocolate so as to identify any characteristics at all. Plenty of people eat chocolate without really thinking at all about the flavour components it might have.

Alex Rast
Alex_Rast_Alternate@hushmail.com

Alex Rast Alex_Rast_Alternate@hushmail.com

Great artisan chocolates (topic moved) | Chocolatiers | Forum