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Chocolate Culture in Non-traditional Regions
October 19, 2003
4:30 am
ChocoBorn
Singapore
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October 19, 2003
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Coming from a non-European country, where Hersheys, Kit Kat, M&Ms, Mars and Snickers define our "chocolates", I was awed after stumbling upon this Website. Only now, did I realise how advanced the chocolate culture actually is.

I don't want to sound like a country bumpkin, but it was not until last week, did I taste (for the 1st time in my life), a choco bar with >20% Cacao mass. Lindt 70% may not mean much to most of the folks in this forum who're used to Slitti's or Bonnat, but to me, it was great!

I'd very much like to start a Choco Revolution of sorts in my country, so that my country men will come to know and appreciate good quality chocolate.

Would appreciate if my senior chocolatiers here can give me some advice or share your experiences?

BTW Martinc, I think this is a great site. Informative and interesting. Hope to learn more abt chocolates from you. Thanks!

October 19, 2003
1:09 pm
bobvilax2000
Seville, USA
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July 26, 2003
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Lindt isn't the best around, but it's not bad for the price. I find myself munching on their 70% and 85% when I don't want to devour my expensive stash. If it cost more than it does, I wouldn't buy it. The problem is that my tastes are getting richer and I am no longer as satisfied by eating simple tasting chocolate and feel the need to only eat the deep, evolving flavor bars. My main problem with Lindt is that it doesn't bloom into a lot of flavors like other high end brands.

So, where do you live? Chocolate is in short supply here in Ohio, as well.

October 19, 2003
5:19 pm
Joema
Cambridge, USA
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October 13, 2003
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Bobvilax, I love the descriptive word "bloom"! That is exactly what a good chocolate does. Good word to describe the gradual burst of intense flavors that one experiences when letting a top-notch chocolate melt on the tongue.

October 19, 2003
8:05 pm
Martin Christy
London, United Kingdom
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Well use it carefully! 'Bloom' in chocolate usually means the white stuff that looks a little like flat mould that can appear on chocolate after heat damage. This is caused by some of the cocoa butter seeping to the edge and does not necessarily effect flavour.

It is a nice description though, just keep in mind the possible confusion!

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

Martin Christy Editor www.seventypercent.com
October 19, 2003
10:05 pm
bobvilax2000
Seville, USA
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July 26, 2003
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I like to use that word with quality chocolate, but I do take into concideration the different meanings and try to be descriptive enough so that people will know which meaning I'm reffering to. Speaking of, hey Martin, I got a bar that had some blooming on it for whatever reason, and it tasted kind of waxy. Would you suppose that this is because of the blooming, or the fault of the chocolatier?

October 19, 2003
10:15 pm
Martin Christy
London, United Kingdom
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Was it brittle as well? That is usually a sign of heat damage.

A similar white deposit can be caused by humidity, in which case it is sugar that leaves the chocolate and goes to the edge. That is much worse as it breaks down the structure. Might be that.

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

Martin Christy Editor www.seventypercent.com
October 20, 2003
4:05 pm
ChocoBorn
Singapore
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October 19, 2003
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I'm from Singapore, island republic at the southern tip of West Malaysia. Not sure if you guys are familiar with this region. The nearest cacao-producing country is neighbouring Indonesia. But the quality of cacao beans there is at best mediocre. We have a couple of choc factories in these parts, but the quality of choc made here is deplorable!!!

Currently tea and coffee dominates the market, and chocolate is reduced to just a candy, which I find a real pity. Really hope to stimulate the chocolate culture here.

We've got one Chocolate Bar by the name of Max Brenner's (Israeli franchise, I think) here. How does this brand of chocolate fare amongst the other European brands?

Martinc - correct me if I'm wrong, I believe another cause of bloom is the breakdown and re-deposition of cacao butter on the chocolate surface as it undergoes extreme heating/cooling.

Bobvilax - 100 grams of Lindt Excellence 70%(made in France) costs S$2.98, which is about US$1.75. Is this price considered reasonable?

Thanks everyone for your feedback!

October 20, 2003
5:55 pm
bobvilax2000
Seville, USA
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Yes, it was very brittle. Upon snapping, shards flaked off quite easily. Chocoborn, re-deposition of cacao butter was the only form of bloom that I was aware of. This heat damage is news to me, but all of the signs point to it. Thanks Martin.

Actually I pay two American dollars for 100g/3.5oz Lindt bar. In comparison to a four dollar 2.62oz Valrhona Guanaja, or a five dollar 3.5oz Cluizel Los Ancones, that is quite cheap. Even four dollars is cheap compared to some bars!

October 22, 2003
4:38 am
Hans-Peter Rot
USA
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August 1, 2006
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$1.75 for a 100g bar of Lindt Excellence 70% is quite reasonable, especially for its quality; in fact, that's the cheapest I've ever seen it. There are two kinds of bloom: sugar bloom and fat bloom. Sugar bloom occurs when humidity causes the sugar crystals to separate and re-surface, whereas in fat bloom, temperature change causes the cocoa butter to separate and re-solidify in the chocolate.
What kind of advice were you looking for, Choco? Advice on what good chocolate to eat or how to start a chocolate revolution in your country? To solve the former problem, just take a look around the forum and read the comments about the several types of chocolates mentioned. A helpful tool is the site's search feature; also, the review section is quite handy. As for the latter problem, I have no suggestions yet because it's late and my bed is beckoning me to come to it :)

October 23, 2003
2:57 pm
ChocoBorn
Singapore
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October 19, 2003
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10

Hi Montegrano! Hope u had a restful night that day! Actually, I'm looking for suggestions on how to start a chocolate revolution in my country... to at least get people interested in chocolate.

Until late 1990s, in Singapore, coffee interests were dominated mainly by high class cafes(ala hotel lobby types) and kopitiams(our local version of low-range coffeeshops). Coffee is drunk by the older age grp, and young folks still prefer soft drinks. Around 1997, Starbucks and Coffee Bean started sprouting up from all corners downtown, popularising the drink, and giving it a new trendy leash of life.

I'm sure chocolate can do the same - if only my home folks know how to appreciate chocolate. Maybe starting an all-Chocolate F&B cafe is the answer?!?

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