July 31, 2006
I just want to advise everyone to exercise caution when commenting on companies and individuals who may be involved in the chocolate industry, but are not involved in, or suggesting that they are involved in, fine chocolate.
We've just had to remove a recent post by a forum member after a serious complaint from a traditional type UK chocolate company, because of offence caused.
As a community, I believe we are here to promote fine chocolate and to help consumers realise the huge difference in quality between the best chocolate made from the bean and the kind of chocolate used by most chocolate companies for their commercial products.
I fully believe that any company that produces products that they claim or suggest are 'fine' chocolate are worthy of our attention and should legitimately be subjects for attention and criticism.
The chocolate industry is vast though, and there are of course many companies producing products that might not be to our taste and are not claiming to produce any kind of fine chocolate. If we tried to comment on them all, then we would change the purpose of this forum. I believe it is sometimes better to comment by omission. We could easily take apart almost every product available on the candy counter in our local corner shop, or baked goods of a similar quality. I don't believe that would serve much purpose though.
If we are going to comment on these kinds of comments or products – and this may become more relevant as many companies move into the 'origin' chocolate market – then I think we need to do it in a constructive way that won't cause offence. People are much more likely to change through gentle prodding than through what they might see as an attack on their methods and ideas.
Equally, consumers of such companies products are just going to get turned off if we seem to be here to destroy their favourite products. Sympathetic education and learning I think can help more.
Please do feel to comment and contribute to this discussion, as I believe this is important for the future and survival of our community.
October 14, 2005
....agreed...primitive reviews help no-one. The Michelin guide does not slate restaurants it does not rate, only gives recommendations to establishments it considers worthy of inclusion. It is much respected by both professionals and public alike...I believe we should only comment on products which we consider worthy of attention...
July 31, 2006
I think the exception to this is bars that are putting themselves up as the best fine chocolate, even if they are not. For example, the spate of recent organic fair trade origin bars the UK supermarkets have put out. If someone says that a product is of a quality worthy of our attention, then it's fair game.