Life by Chocolate

Chocolate, white, milk, dark, in all its forms forms life. Chocolate truffles, caramels, and other confections are at the core of enjoyment. This is life by chocolate because death by chocolate is the wrong attitude.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Just Talked to Art from Amano Chocolate

I had a long talk with Art Pollard. Terrific. What a nice guy and what a great product. It's nice connecting back to the Valley, even a virtual connection. I was talking to him about his lecithin. He's thinking of using sunflower lecithin rather than soy lecithin. Why? Because of allergies and the controversy with soy. All I have to say is boy, these guys are committed and terrific. I love their bar mold. Nicely tempered chocolate in a beautiful mold. It's elegant. Kudos to them.

As a chocolatier, I look for different aspects of a chocolate, flavor profile, snap, mouth feel, price, and each of these parameters differ wildly as I think of the confections I will make with the chocolate and their, the confection's, flavor profiles.

I'm working with them on getting their Madagascar in bulk. I'd like to run a special using their chocolate. It may be expensive, from a wholesale viewpoint, but retail they are very competitive. Also, he told me that larger quantity purchases to chocolatiers are discounted. I'm there.

Please support Amano. It's very boutique and very good. Enjoy. We did. Digame su esperienza.


Amano Chocolate: Surfing the Web a mano

Well, I was surfing Foodbuzz and what did I see on Cindy Lo's blog but a reference to Amano Chocolate? Kim and I just recently talked to them at the Fancy Food Show NYC. We requested a sample and were sent their three chocolates, Madagascar, Cuyagua and Occumare. The Occumare is their grand cru, the others are premium cru.

Because of their pricing structure, basically their wholesale per pound is only $8 cheaper than their retail and they cut back on their cocoa butter and add lecithin, we put the samples in a draw and didn't try them again. We'd previously had them at the Fancy Food Show.

However, after reading Cindy's post, I realized with chagrin that I was being remiss. So, Kim and I tasted them and now in that order of tasting:

1. Madagascar
Mark: Fruity, smooth rich mouth feel. A little earthy on the finish and a little acidic/tannic with coffee notes.

Kim: Plum skin and raisin with coffee notes and a rich and smooth mouth feel.

2. Cuyagua
Mark: Peach with cedar notes and some high grapy notes with a little nut on the finish, almost sherry like. Smooth mouth feel and a long finish.

Kim: Aged sherry notes on top with a short finish.

3. Ocumare
Mark: Rich, marked taste of cocoa butter, with strong cedar notes, almost piny, and well married though not as complex in taste as the other two chocolates. Nice rich taste.

Kim: Smooth mouth feel, probably the smoothest and richest of the chocolates, caramel notes with only one note of taste. The chocolate did not developed but stayed with initial taste, which was excellent. Strong cocoa butter notes.

Now you may wonder what good cocoa butter taste like. We use only organic cocoa butter, the expensive stuff, here at Life by Chocolate for thinning. Get yourself some great organic cocoa butter and try it. Chocolate usually has a good amount of the stuff in it but usually you can't distinguish it from the other flavors. El Rey has a pretty strong hint of cocoa butter. It lends richness to the chocolate. In the case of Ocumare, Kim and I felt it was pronounced. Maybe the lecithin is a good idea. ;-) But then again, you eat chocolate for the cocoa butter. After all, they don't call cocoa powder chocolate and they do call white chocolate chocolate.

To all of you who got free samples, good on you, mate. It's good chocolate.