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Onion-Flavored Chocolates? This Gourmet Chocolate Shop Went Savory for Its Newest Collection

Onion-Flavored Chocolates? This Gourmet Chocolate Shop Went Savory for Its Newest Collection


The newest chocolate collection from the New York City-based La Maison du Chocolat combines sweet and savory flavors

What do you think? Would you ever eat chocolates flavored with olives, onions, and red bell peppers?

When you think of gourmet chocolate, fillings like ganache, pralines, and salted caramel probably come to mind. But what about onions? La Maison du Chocolat, a gourmet chocolate shop based in New York City, has created an entirely new concept for its latest chocolate collection, called Chocolate Revelations. Sound weird? Maison says “don’t knock it till you try it.”

Created by Nicolas Cloiseau, master chef at La Maison du Chocolat, the collection “unearths a terroir of flavors and brilliantly brings us autumnal sensations through the full-bodied essence of pepper, the sultry character of mushroom, the boldness of Espelette pepper, and sweetness of spring onion, enhanced with balsamic vinegar, or finished with crystalline notes of Guérande salt.”

Here are the exact flavors: dark ganache with red pepper, hazelnut praline with porcini mushroom, ganache with caramelized onions, praline with black olives and olive oil, and ganache with a dash of Guérande salt. The prices for chocolate boxes start at $24.


Surprise road trip

I woke to Jason climbing into bed telling me he had a surprise for me.

His internal alarm clock still wakes him up before 5 a.m. So yesterday, while I was still asleep, he ran up to the store and bought some supplies to change the oil in his car. On his way home, he stopped by Dunkin Donuts and bought our favorite tasty treat, blueberry donuts.

It was the perfect treat to get the day started. While he went to the shop to change his oil, I jumped in the shower and got ready for our day.

I was excited to spend the day with Jason.

Although Jason is no longer working two jobs, he’s still working really long days, six days a week. Those days sometimes start as early as 4:30 a.m., which means we are both in bed pretty early the night before.

The nice part about this new job is he now has every Sunday off. Lately we have just hung out at home, doing yard work, or being lazy, so he could catch up on his sleep.

Yesterday, being lazy was not the case.

I knew about some of our plans, but he surprised me with a road trip.

We started off the day by going to a flea market that was kind of disappointing.

Ever since Saturday afternoon I have really been in the Christmas spirit. Jason called me Saturday morning asking me to meet him at the store. We picked out stockings for us and our three animals, as well as more Christmas lights for the tree because our puppy destroyed one set.

Yeah, Christmas decorations!

After he headed back to work, I decided to keep the momentum going and drove to another store in search of some soft ornaments that I could hang on the bottom of the Christmas tree. The cats broke a few of our ornaments since putting up the tree, which meant all the breakable ornaments slowly got hung higher, leaving the bottom pretty empty.

I had success at the second store and found four soft ornaments. The best surprise was when I got to the register and one of the ornaments was free.

When Jason got home later that afternoon, he suggested that we check out the flea market Sunday morning. That maybe they would have some homemade Christmas ornaments that we could put on the tree.

Although we did not find any ornaments, we were able to catch up with some of our friends that have a stand at the market.

While we were walking around the market, Jason asked me if I wanted to go to Gatlinburg and shop for some Christmas decorations there.

I love when Jason is spontaneous. I love when we take surprise road trips.

After going back home to do some research of shops in Gatlinburg, we hit the road.

Of course on our way to Gatlinburg, we took a small detour to a place he has been telling me about. Jason took me to a cute little apple orchard in Cosby, Tennessee called Carver’s Orchard & Applehouse Restaurant. It’s one of the places he delivers such items as produce and nuts to a few times a week.

We walked into the candy store and our mouths dropped open. Jason bought us a small box full of homemade chocolates with an assortment of nuts in them. While savoring the delicious taste we walked through the store next door. As soon as Jason opened the door for us, a delicious aroma of apples filled my nose.

With a box of half eaten chocolates in our hand, we decided to hit the road again.

One of the many things I love about our surprise road trips is the conversations and nonstop laughter that fills the car. He’s always doing something or saying something to make me laugh.

Now, we were getting closer to Gatlinburg, closer to the store we wanted to check out, Santa’s Claus-et.

It took a couple wrong turns before we found the store because it was no longer located in the same place the internet told us before leaving home.

The store was adorable and full of Christmas ornaments and figurines of every size to add to your Christmas cheer.

Yesterday, as Jason and I were talking about Christmas decorations, I told him every year I wanted to buy something new, so we could build our collection for the holidays. Right now all we have is ornaments.

So before leaving, we decided we would collect a different Santa Claus every year.

This is the first of our collection . . .

I felt like a little girl after we chose this cute Santa Claus. We were adding to our Christmas tradition.

Now that the Christmas spirit completely took hold of me, we decided to head to downtown Gatlinburg. This area is definitely touristy with an array of t-shirt shops, fudge shops and any other little trinket you could think of.

My favorite part about walking downtown was looking at the buildings. I really liked the brick structures. The downtown area was also decorated for the Christmas holiday.

Before leaving Gatlinburg, we had some dinner, which was needed after all of our sweets.

Although it was nice walking around downtown, experiencing the atmosphere and walking into some of the shops, we both shared the same thought. We have definitely become outdoors people. We would have rather hiked in the mountains, then shop the strip.

Once the weather warms up we will most likely take a trip back to Gatlinburg to enjoy the scenery, in the outdoors, in the way it was indeed to be, in nature.

I can only imagine the hiking and the waterfalls.

Yesterday was a perfect day. Full of laughter. Full of new memories, all with my best friend and love of my life.

Yesterday was spot on. It was a day we both needed. A day we both needed together away from the house, away from our daily grind.

I truly have found my soul mate, my pefect match.


Just the basics

Flavor and freshness are the guiding principles for Markus Candinas of Candinas Chocolatier, who has been operating out of his Verona-based production facility since 1994 he opened a boutique-style storefront on the Capitol Square in 2007.

Candinas produces only 12 to 14 flavors and will drop a truffle from the repertoire if the ingredients fall short of his high expectations. “For us to change something, it’s usually more of an organic process where a certain ingredient is not available, or not available in the amount we need,” says Candinas. “Yeah, we could just get something else to put in its place, but I don’t like that.” He cites a jasmine-green tea truffle: “This jasmine, you’d put your nose in it, and it was just like honey it was the most beautiful flavor, and all of a sudden we couldn’t get that anymore. So we had to do something else.” Although Candinas responds to suggestions from employees and customers, he emphasizes that choosing flavors is “not a democracy.”

Candinas’ tastes tend toward classic ingredients: caramel, champagne, almonds, hazelnuts, espresso. He’s not one to chase the latest trends. He never uses bacon, for example, and passes no judgement about milk chocolate being “lesser” than dark, even though he’s always made a majority of his truffles with dark chocolate. He gently mocks current trends in crazy flavors — “‘You put dung beetle in your chocolate, that’s amazing, never heard of that!’ That’s not what people really want,” says Candinas. “Even if we try something that’s a little outside of our window, we come back to the basics.”

The two newest flavors in the beautifully designed Candinas assortment are apple pie (in a milk chocolate shell) and a new type of orange truffle.

After more than two decades of making chocolate, Candinas is still animated by the feeling he had as a 6-year-old visiting grandparents and relatives in Switzerland: “I remember having all these delicious confections and saying, I want to be a confectioner.” Candinas later completed a three-year apprenticeship in Switzerland.

The abundance of fresh confections in Europe convinced Candinas that the Madison market still has room for more. “People ask are there too many chocolatiers in Madison? No. There’s not,” says Candinas. “There’s still room for a ton more. We all have room for improvement.”

Chocolaterian’s Badger Bait marries a brownie base with dark chocolate ganache.


Norman Love Chocolates Offers Holiday Gift Box

Through handcrafted dark, white and milk chocolate, holiday memories are revisited and new ones are created. Holiday scenarios are brought to life by Chocolatier Norman Love as part of the Norman Love Confections (NLC) 2013 Limited Edition Holiday Collection.

A limited edition holiday signature chocolate gift box in the shape of a candy cane that features one each of the 10 holiday chocolate flavors is available for $25 starting November 26, 2013 through January 4, 2014. Pre-orders for the holiday collections begin November 18, with shipping commencing on November 26.

Following is a description of the limited edition holiday 2013 handcrafted chocolate flavors:

Candy Cane – Creamy white chocolate ganache and cool peppermint are swirled together in this beautiful holiday classic.

Christmas Cookie – Fresh home-baked almond cookies with white chocolate icing are blended with butter and cream and wrapped in a white chocolate shell.

Feliz Navidad – Enticing rich dark chocolate ganache with a touch of Mexican cinnamon and habanero heat will warm you through and through.

Gingerbread – Fresh baked gingerbread cookies are blended into silky milk chocolate ganache and a delicious mix of fresh grated spices.

Mint Patty – A cool mint cream sits atop intense dark chocolate ganache, capturing the wonders of winter with each bite.

S’mores – Delicate white chocolate marshmallow ganache, toasted graham cracker and milk chocolate combine for a modern twist on this childhood favorite.

Orange Spice – A purely festive mix of sweet citrus and spice in a Swiss milk chocolate shell.

Java Jingle – Enchanting milk chocolate cappuccino ganache dusted with holiday spices and wrapped in dark chocolate puts the holiday jingle in your heart.

Pumpkin Latte – A creamy delicious white chocolate latte ganache with fresh pumpkin and nutmeg inspires holiday cheer.

White Christmas – A traditional blend of crunchy hazelnut praline and creamy cinnamon ganache are layered inside a beautiful milk chocolate shell.

In addition to the 10-piece candy cane limited edition collection box, Norman Love Confection’s limited edition holiday boxes are available in five-piece, 10-piece, 15-piece, 25-piece, 50-piece gift sets ranging from $13.25 to $95 year-round. These gift collections include an assortment of holiday flavors and NLC’s core year-round flavors. The exclusive 10-piece candy cane box is available for $25. Prices do not include shipping and applicable taxes.

In addition to the limited-edition holiday flavors, NLC is launching a great stocking stuffer idea – a single origin dark chocolate BLACK bar. These bars retail for $6.25 each, and prices do not include shipping and applicable taxes.

All of NLC’s core 36 signature flavors, ultra-premium dark chocolate line titled BLACK, and other chocolate products are available online at www.NormanLoveConfections.com and in the NLC chocolate salons in Ft. Myers and Naples, Fla.


Chocolat: From the Cocoa Bean to the Chocolate Bar

This book is gorgeous: big, bold, and beautiful. Hands-down this is one of the most visually stunning cook books I have ever seen. And the recipes… The chocolates, cookies, cakes, savory delicacies had me drooling on the pages.

But this is not a book to teach you how to become a Chocolate Maker. It is not going to show you how to transform cocoa beans into sellable, award winning chocolate bars. The book has a one page overview of the cocoa harvest, fermentation, and drying processes a one page overview on roasting, crushing, winnowing, grinding, conching, and tempering and a one page overview on the main varieties of cocoa beans. Beyond those few information pages, the book is all recipes. And I’ll say it again, stunning, elegant, jaw-dropping recipes. There is not one item in this book that I’m not tempted to try.

So if you want to add cocoa beans to your food, or make amazing looking rustic chocolate bars to impress you dinner guest, this is the book to get. But this is not a book that teaches the Bean-to-Bar chocolate making process.


SHOP DE BEERS

The fountain may be what grabs your attention first, but an appreciation of aesthetics runs rampant throughout the bite-sized shop. Each and every one of the chocolatier’s bonbons are hand-painted in bold hues.

“When you gift someone a box of these chocolates, their eyes first eat the chocolate,” Rupani says. “My mom recently just said this — I’m so shocked that she did — she said ‘I regret not pursuing Annie’s artistic ambitions.’

“I was so good at academics that my parents both pushed that. I guess after I graduated all this art that was built up in me came out in chocolate.”

Today, that manifests itself in more than 40 types of bright bonbons in infused flavors you’d never think to combine sitting in a jewel box of a storefront. Garam Masala pistachio. Black sesame ginger. Lychee basil.

The Law of Chocolate

Years ago, Rupani was a law school hopeful with a passion for food and a recent order of 50 pounds of Hawaiian cacao she’d purchased on a whim. While studying for the LSAT, Rupani became a chocolate addict.

She lived in her parents’ native Pakistan for six months while studying, then she took a trip to Hawaii, where she attended a chocolate conference.

At first, Rupani thought it would be simple. She’d develop a relationship with Hawaiian cacao farmers, and they’d send her shipments and she’d be a full-fledged chocolatier. While being a full-time student.

She got as far as taking the test and turning in her application. “I realized early on that chocolate is an arduous process, especially the bean-to-bar process. It takes a ton of equipment and time,” Rupani notes.

Rupani launched her business — before she ever knew it would grow into one —with that 50 pounds of cacao and a boatload of books. It was then she started experimenting. And it was then she started to see the vast potential of chocolate.

“Chocolate itself just has so many facets,” she tells PaperCity. “I just started playing with it. Ordering molds, pouring chocolate inside of the mold. Seeing how I could temper it, which just came naturally.”

After her initial foray into Hawaiian cacao, she expanded the sources. Now, she uses French chocolate made with beans from all over — Peru, Madagascar, the Dominican Republic, Bolivia, Mexico, Ecuador, the Caribbean and beyond.

It wouldn’t be enough to just infuse the same base chocolates with the different flavors she had in her mind.

“We use a lot of different types of chocolate. I think that’s one of the ways we’ve grown as a company, really exploring the single-origin chocolates,” Rupani says.

Rupani uses single-origin chocolate.

Infusion flavors came naturally. When Rupani was just starting to experiment, she’d come back from Pakistan, she’d gone to China, she’d visited Malaysia.

“I took a chocolate course in Malaysia for my birthday,” she says. “I came back with all these flavors in my head.”

Cardamom was the first to click, a spice from her heritage symbolized in Indian sweets from her childhood.

“I’d been around it my whole life,” she says. “I put cardamom in white chocolate with a little bit of rose water. My mom tried it, and she was like ‘This tastes like mithai.’ ”

The comparison to the favorite Indian treat sold Rupani. “I thought, ‘This kind of works. Why can’t I do guava tamarind like Hawaiian?’ And Szechuan peppercorn since I’d gone to China,” Rupani says. “I’d been surrounded by these spices, so infusing them in a cream to make a ganache seemed very natural to me.”

Rupani credits those flavor innovations with her ability to open up a “whole new world of chocolate.” It’s the same experience you’ve had all your life, but taking it to the next level in terms of flavor profile.

True Houston Chocolate Flavors

The chocolatier put her creativity to the test with her newest series, the Houston Collection.

“We used all local ingredients and collaborated with local businesses as an ode to Houston for their love and support,” Rupani says. The seven bonbons are devoted to Houston’s diversity.

There’s Black Currant & Maranon, a black currant caramel paired with Maranon ganache made from Houston’s own Xocolla single-origin chocolate. The Cold Brew Coffee Crunch gets its kick from Java Pura Coffee Roasters cold brew and coffee beans. The Double Goat with house-made Cajeta and dark chocolate ganache was made possible by the Houston Dairymaids.

Fig & Malbec is infused with local Nice Winery’s 2012 Reserve. HIVE Honey & Thyme’s local honey reduction comes from HIVE Bee Farm. Old Fashioned Bon-bon with Angostura bitters packs a punch from Yellow Rose Distillery, and Olive & Oregano features Kalamata oregano crunchy breadcrumbs created by Breadman Baking Company.

These combos may be daring, but Rupani says people can’t get enough of them.

“People act crazy around chocolate. I think it’s just the satiating factor to chocolate. It’s just so decadent, especially when you add a savory element,” she says. “Like when we have Masala pistachio and add warm spices to the dark chocolate layers, it kind of makes it even more sumptuous.”

Cacao & Cardamom sells chocolate for everything from graduations to Mother’s Day to birthdays to anniversaries. “There really is chocolate for any occasion,” Rupani says. You can order it online or in stores.

But she won’t just let them eat cake.

“People come in here and always ask, do you have cake? Do you have this? Do you have that? No. The world of chocolate is so vast that we still haven’t covered all of it. There’s still so much to do within chocolate itself before we move into baked goods,” Rupani says.

“If you want plain milk chocolate or plain dark chocolate, you can get them from anywhere else.”

You’ll have to go to Cacao & Cardamom for Mango caramel, Cardamom Rose and Strawberry Szechuan. It’s a whole new world of chocolate. It’s up to you to decide if it’s out of this world.


Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Mother's Day Indulgence: Chocolate & Wine

Breakfast in bed is nice, but I prefer something a little more celebratory and romantic to mark Mother’s Day and all the work we mothers do. If you’re a chocolate lover (and what mother isn’t?), consider my gourmet chocolate and wine pairings. Slip your husband a note on how to prep this party, then tuck the kids in bed and enjoy.

Some education
It’s not so easy to pair wine and chocolate because dark chocolate tends to overpower wine and big red wines can make chocolate taste bitter. The best route to follow is pairing chocolate with a dessert wine that is a bit sweeter than the chocolate. Most moms have a chardonnay handy, but not necessarily a cellar full of dessert wine. But take my word for it and invest in a bottle or two. Save whatever is left for that dinner party you’re always dreaming of throwing!

The Pairings
1. Scharffen Berger sparkling wine with Sixth Course Raspberry Cosmo Truffle
The bubbles cut the creaminess of white chocolate for an ultra-satisfying pairing. The truffle is white chocolate ganache spiked with Hangar One Raspberry Vodka and a fresh raspberry jam core, brought to you by the award-winning Sixth Course, a new San Francisco artisan chocolatier. Bridget Labus and Gianina Serrano, the pastry chefs behind Sixth Course, will be opening a shop in the Mission district this summer.
2. Traversa Brachetto d’Acqui with Recchiuti Piedmont Hazelnut Truffle
More bubbles, but this time they’re pink with an irresistible aroma of strawberries and roses. This makes for a perfect pairing with creamy milk chocolate by beloved SF chocolatier Michael Recchiuti. The Piedmont truffle contains a whole toasted hazelnut and a chocolate gianduja filling. Recchiuti’s truffles are made in the Dogpatch, where he soon will be opening a café to complement his Ferry Building store.
3. Alcyone Tannat with Recchiuti Sur del Lago
This tannat is a dynamite, sensual dessert wine made in Uruguay but sold right in downtown Mill Valley. It’s named after the Greek demi-goddess who threw herself into the sea when her lover died. The cocoa finish of this wine is a sublime match with an intense, single origin truffle by Michael Recchiuti. Bittersweet ganache is topped with cacao nibs from the renowned cacao growing region of Venezuela, the Sur Del Lago.
4. Nieport Late Bottled Vintage Ruby Port with Poco Dolce Aztec Chile Tile
Port and chocolate make the classic pairing. This fortified wine is bold enough to stand up to spice infused chocolates, like the locally made Poco Dolce tiles. This bite-sized tile contains cinnamon, ground chiles and roasted pumpkin seeds topped with grey sea salt. Poco Dolce means “a little sweet” in Italian and all of chocolatier Kathy Wiley’s pieces include savory ingredients to balance the sweet.

Buying Guide
Chocolate:
Sixth Course – Rainbow Grocery, 24th St Cheese
Recchiuti – Ferry Building or at www.recchiuti.com
Poco Dolce – Whole Foods, Mollie Stones, Mill Valley Market, www.pocodolce.com

Wine:
Scharffen Berger Non Vintage Brut Excellence –Vintage Wine & Spirits, $19.99
Traversa Brachetto d’Acqui – Mill Valley Market, $23.99
Alycone Tannat – Vintage Wine & Sprits, $27.99 for 500 mL 2007
Nieport LBV Port – Vintage Wine & Spirits, $21.99

If you are thirsty for more, get together a group of friends for the Gourmet Walks ULTRA Chocolate Tour in San Francisco. The tour features wine pairings, a chocolate martini and more!


Mast Brothers Chocolate: A Family Cookbook (LITTLE, BROWN A)

The Mast Brothers Chocolate has several sides to it. It tells a story of the brothers life coming up, goes into how they came to making chocolate, then you have the recipes. In this book, the stories, the pictures, and the ingredients are pretty interesting, not to mention the techniques you have to use are very cool also. On the flip side if you aren't a baker, and if you don't know how to improvise if something doesn't seem right, then don't waste your money, there are so many other good books to be purchased. The recipes which are the biggest reason why I purchased this book, are a very big letdown.

I love to bake, I have made all sorts of things in my life, when I got this book, I saw things that really sparked my interest. The fact that the Mast brothers don't just use chocolate chips, rather take whole chocolate bars and chop them up, was pretty cool to me. However the lack of explanation and directions in the majority of the recipes can make you feel lost. Also its makes you lose a lot of time in researching from other resources if you are doing something right. Take the chocolate roll recipe, if you research any other chocolate roll or cake roll recipe, you receive so much more instruction than, "whisk eggs and granulated sugar until fluffy." That recipe was a complete and utter fail. The recipe for the chocolate cake with the sour cream frosting could not have been tested multiple times, the sour cream frosting was flat, you would've needed to add a lot to it to get proper peaks and look good.

Now there are a few recipes that are good, the Dark and Stormy Cake was good, I always like making it, though the adding of the baking soda to the badder after everything has been mixed was weird, but it did work. Unfortunately the chocolate frosting they suggest to put on it, I didn't do it. The cost of buying that much chocolate to use for that cake was to expensive for my taste. I like the fact they have you do different things with chocolate like how they tell you to make the drinking chocolate and their take on a traditional hot chocolate. The use of fresh ginger that is grated into their mixtures adds really nice spice and flavor.

Overall this book looks great, but the recipes aren't good enough for the money. The cost of this book to go along with all the accolades the brothers have received you would expect so much more. However if you are feeling adventurous and want to do extra research before making these recipes, then go for it.


The gift of chocolate

With some 81 percent of American consumers eating chocolate, the future outlook for the US chocolate candy market is bullish, according to a new report by Packaged Facts. By 2018, US sales of chocolate candy in the US will exceed $26 billion for the first time, up from roughly $22 billion in sales estimated by the end of 2015.

For retailers and artisan shops, there’s never been a better time to get into the chocolate business or expand existing sales with chocolate gifts that customers can buy as holiday gifts for friends and family.

Most important, the chocolate category is quite dynamic: with a strong pace of innovation, an influx of creative new players and a steady flow of new products that engage consumers. Several factors support a continued growth curve for the market, according to Packaged Farcs. One, the market has continued growing despite the economic climate, underscoring consumer devotion to the product.

Further, the growing perception of the product as an accessible luxury creates many opportunities to trade the consumer up to premium products. Finally, a growing body of research supports the status of cocoa as a superfood, with multi-dimensional nutritional benefits. This positive halo around chocolate enhances its image as a guilt-free indulgence, and can ultimately drive more consumption.

In the spirit of innovation and unique flavor profiles, Nicolas Cloiseau, master chef of La Maison du Chocolat, has introduced a savory chocolate collection featuring surprising pairings of chocolate and vegetables. Examples include Hazelnut praliné with porcini mushrooms, ganache with caramelized onions, dark ganache with red pepper, and Praliné with black olives and olive oil.

La Maison du Chocolat, the iconic French chocolatier, celebrated its 25th Anniversary in New York City in late October with La Nuit du Chocolat, a celebration open to the public coinciding with the reopening of its flagship boutique at 1018 Madison Avenue after a major renovation. The new boutique is the first of the company's worldwide locations to feature a new design concept and tearoom.

Nora Hovanesian-Mann, US director of operations for the company, calls it “the perfect time to renovate the boutique after 17 years since its opening. We are thrilled this exciting project also coincides with the 25th Anniversary of La Maison du Chocolat in the United States."

La Maison du Chocolat currently has six freestanding boutiques in the New York / tri-state area. The company has transformed the world of chocolate by introducing vibrant creativity inspired by the vision of founder Robert Linxe, who changed the way chocolate is savored and enjoyed. Respect for tradition, fresh interpretations of a proud heritage and exploration of new taste experiences all guide master chocolatier Cloiseau, who is holder of the prestigious title of Meilleur Ouvrier de France (Best Craftsman in France) and who has applied his inventiveness to La Maison du Chocolat's creations since 2012.

In other store openings, Godiva Chocolatier has partnered with New York's most iconic department store, Macy's, to open its newest boutique just in time for the holiday season. The recently opened destination boasts a new design concept that encourages an exciting and shareable chocolate journey.

Located on the 6th Floor of Macy's Herald Square, the state-of-the-art shop features exquisite displays including the largest chocolate case in North America where shoppers can create their own bespoke assortment of chocolates. "It has been a truly special partnership with the Macy's team," said Linda Lombardi, global head of store design for Godiva.

Chocolate enthusiasts can taste Godiva’s entire product offering including soft serve, freshly-dipped strawberries, as well as seasonal specialties perfect for the giving season. Additional items include an expansive presentation of iconic gift boxes fitting for anyone on a holiday gifting list.

World Chocolate Master

On the super-premium side of the chocolate business, valuable lessons can be learned from the top chocolate masters in the world.

The World Chocolate Masters, an initiative of Cacao Barry, one of the gourmet brands of the Barry Callebaut Group, recently crowned Vincent Vallée from France as the newest World Chocolate Master. For the next three years Vallée will wear the title of world’s best chocolate craftsman. He gets the unique opportunity to visit a cocoa plantation and his work will be displayed in the world-renowned Harrods department store in London.

“During the competition Vincent Vallée set a whole new standard for innovation and creativity,” says Jean-Michel Perruchon, president of the jury of renowned chefs and food specialists. “The title of World Chocolate Master is a tribute to the skill, ingenuity and vision he has shown during the final.”

Twenty competing chefs were welcomed on stage at Le Salon du Chocolate in Paris, France. Following a dazzling chocolate fashion show, all chefs were introduced to the crowd. Armed with whisk, spatula and tons of inspiration they battled for glory and recognition as the world’s most talented chocolate craftsman.

During round 1 chocolatiers crafted a ‘Sweet Snack on the Go’, a molded praline and an artistic chocolate showpiece. The chefs also presented their unique ‘Or Noir’-chocolate that each of them made in Cacao Barry’s OR NOIR laboratory.


53 Black-Owned Food Brands That You Need In Your Kitchen

Black lives matter. And as efforts to dismantle systemic racism continue throughout the country, Americans are being called upon to put their money where their mouth is. On social media, you’ll find resources circulating with information on where to donate (community bail funds, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, and Black Lives Matter are good places to start), lists of restaurants to patronize, documentaries and films to watch and books to read. But your support doesn’t — and shouldn’t — need to stop there.

Grocery shopping is habitual and something many of us do on a regular basis. We buy the same brands, make the same meals and have rarely taken stock of what’s in our pantries until this pandemic. It’s time to take stock again. Buying from Black-owned food businesses is a way to continually support the Black community and stock your shelves with quality products you’ll use all the time. Below is a list of pantry staples, snacks, coffee, tea and wine brands available nationwide. It's important to note that we stand by these products for their quality, taste and craftsmanship — not simply because they're Black-owned.

This list of products is not the end. Once you've shopped this list, we encourage you to seek out local Black-owned food businesses in your area. There are so many small businesses that need your support right now and making a big impact can happen at any level. Like we said, this is not the end. This is just the start.

This list has been updated from its original publish date in June 2020. We will continue to add more food and drink businesses that can be purchased throughout the country or that ship nationwide.


Watch the video: Chocolate ice cream Party DONA Mukbang