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Chocolat Moderne
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Karen Hochman
New York, USA
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December 27, 2004 - 11:04 pm
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This forum seems to discuss the major producers. I have several artisanal bar producers to recommend if the group is interested. I'll post one, and if you want more let me know. I realize one of the limitations with local producers may be lack of international distribution--but they will mail overseas.

The Bistro Bars at Chocolat Moderne are addictive: http://www.chocolatmoderne.com/BBB.html

Joan Coukos is one of the most highly regarded artisanal chocolatiers in the U.S. Her courverture and fillings are as perfect as one could imagine: I will never find better filled bars. We each like different flavor profiles, but her "Soft Caramel" group, of grapefruit, apricot, banana, and Poire William, is my idea of heaven. Her grapefruit caramel, in it's filled chocolate form, one the "#1 chocolate in America" by the Dallas News earlier this year. But while I love fruit purees, I've had all the bars (alas, far too many times), and they are all excellent.

BTW--I write a gourmet food newsletter so it is my job to uncover the unknown exciting producers. Our coverage is purely editorial: we get no compensation from the producers and we purchase most of the products we taste, just as if we were regular customers. This is my disclosure to the moderator--just so you don't think I'm here to sell products! I taste thousands of products a year, many of them chocolate; and I would love to share with the group what I think is the best of the best.

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Hans-Peter Rot
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December 28, 2004 - 1:58 pm
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I think the trouble here is that most of the forum members are European, and I've noticed that they do actually mention a lot of smaller artisinal chocolatiers exclusive to their area. I've been meaning to check out Chocolat Moderne actually, but it hasn't quite made it into my chocolate rotation. Which newsletter do you write, btw?

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Martin Christy
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December 28, 2004 - 3:06 pm
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Thanks Karen. All important to most of us here - do they make their chocolate, from the bean? Absolutely OK and worthwhile to talk about chocolatiers and the creations they make from chocolate, just keep in mind that the holy grail here is who makes chocolate.

Martin Christy
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http://www.seventypercent.com

Martin Christy Editor www.seventypercent.com
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Masur
Stockholm, Sweden
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December 28, 2004 - 3:31 pm
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I really would like to learn more about the best US chocolatiers and hopefully try their products one day. I've seen that Chocolat Moderne is using French dark chocolate. Can you tell us more about the origin of the couverture used.

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

"Porcelana: The Holy Grail of Pure Criollos" (Maricel E. Presilla)
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Karen Hochman
New York, USA
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December 29, 2004 - 4:50 am
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Chocolat Moderne uses 100% Valhrona, different blends for different items in the line. Joan Coukos, the chocolatier, was an international investment banker doing deals in Russia until an epiphany on a layover in Belgium sent her off to study chocolate-making. The story is on their website--so if you ever thought of leaving what you do to become a chocolatier, it can inspire you. My top 5 American chocolatiers all use different couverture. My #1, Christopher Elbow of Kansas City (who I call "the Joel Robuchon of chocolate"), uses 100% single bean from Venezuela.

I do take the comments above very seriously and respect the plantation and the roaster. IMHO, the good artisanal chocolatiers elevate the couvertures of Valhrona, Callebaut or Guittard, e.g., to much higher levels than those producers have achieved in their own products. And, from a philosophical p.o.v., it is their job to do so. As the French say, a great boulanger is not also a great patissier. I greatly admire what Amedei has achieved in their chocolate (bars); but I find that their pralines, although of quality ingredients, are not interesting.

I seem to ramble on and on here compared to the other posts. I've never been accused of being concise. In college, professors felt that the longer the essay, the more you knew. :-)

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Martin Christy
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December 30, 2004 - 8:34 pm
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This all sounds good - when are you visiting with a selection?

Martin Christy
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http://www.seventypercent.com

Martin Christy Editor www.seventypercent.com
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Karen Hochman
New York, USA
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December 30, 2004 - 10:27 pm
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Martin, better that I make you and everyone the offer to come here when THE NIBBLE (my food newsletter) is having one of our monthly tastings. In October 2005 we are hoping to have a 2-day tasting of the top 30 artisanal chocolatiers so we can write it all up in time for Christmas gifts. So: you can plan in advance. I can't think of who would appreciate it more! And, you can bring some Rococo, Montezuma and L'Artisan du Chocolat (I can't get it here) for when I recover from the tasting.

Here is a mystery for everyone to solve: I just read of a chocolate shop in Plano, Texas (a Dallas suburb) that sells 4 single origin truffles. http://www.nokachocolate.com/ Each parfum is at least 75%--and $7 per piece. It doesn't say so on the web site, but a newspaper article says they are imported from a "secret artisanal European chocolatier." Any idea who?

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Hans-Peter Rot
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January 9, 2005 - 5:06 pm
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Wow, expensive! They better be the size of baseballs or made out of gold for that price! What is the weight of these truffles anyway? I was unable to find that information on the site.

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Scott--DFW
Dallas, USA
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December 19, 2006 - 4:18 pm
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quote:


Originally posted by Karen Hochman

Martin, better that I make you and everyone the offer to come here when THE NIBBLE (my food newsletter) is having one of our monthly tastings. In October 2005 we are hoping to have a 2-day tasting of the top 30 artisanal chocolatiers so we can write it all up in time for Christmas gifts. So: you can plan in advance. I can't think of who would appreciate it more! And, you can bring some Rococo, Montezuma and L'Artisan du Chocolat (I can't get it here) for when I recover from the tasting.

Here is a mystery for everyone to solve: I just read of a chocolate shop in Plano, Texas (a Dallas suburb) that sells 4 single origin truffles. http://www.nokachocolate.com/ Each parfum is at least 75%--and $7 per piece. It doesn't say so on the web site, but a newspaper article says they are imported from a "secret artisanal European chocolatier." Any idea who?


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Chocolat Moderne | Fine chocolate bar discussion | Forum