zaterdag 30 juni 2012

Dominicaanse Republiek Grand Cru Hacienda Felchlin

Een beetje geschiedenis:

Toen hij op 5 december 1492 op het eiland Hispanolia aanlegde, was het de missie van Christopher Columbus om een snellere route naar Indië te ontdekken. Hij dacht zeker niet dat hij een gebied zou ontdekken waar 500 jaar later het aantal cacaobomen snel toenemen en die bovendien de 1e  producent van de Caraïben zou worden. De eerste plantages van de Dominicaanse Republiek dateren uit 1643, maar pas in de 19e  eeuw nam de cacaoteelt een echte vlucht. Het eiland combineert een ideaal klimaat (constante temperatuur en een goede verdeling van de regen) met vruchtbare gronden en weinig ziektes door haar insulaire positie. De Dominicaanse cacao heeft lang een slechte reputatie gehad. In feite werd alleen de cacao Sanchez geteeld, een niet-te weinig- gefermenteerde cacao, slecht gedroogd en weinig aromatisch. Er werden banden aangeknoopt met lokale producenten om een cacao met een betere kwaliteit te krijgen, waarin volledig de aroma's van de Dominicaanse cacao tot uiting komen. De bonen van deze betere cacao fermenteren meer dan vijf dagen in een kist en drogen vervolgens langzaam in de zon om daarna een mengeling van karakteristieke aroma's te onthullen.

Grand Cru Hacienda Felchlin

Around 200 years ago, Swiss emigrants settled on the peninsula Samanà, in the Dominican Republic. They founded the plantation “Hacienda Elvesia” and began cultivating Criollo and Trinitario cacao. Soon the aromatic fruits became a much soughtafter raw material for well known European Chocolatiers. In order to facilitate the transport of the heavy bags, Swiss pioneers built a railway - from the plantation to the port of Cano Hondo. The plantation is based on the principle of sustainable agriculture in harmony with nature. The hacienda is administered by Ramon Lopez (cultivation) and Marco Lee (fermentation and quality control).

Elvesia République Dominicaine 74% - 72 h

Cru Hacienda couverture made of noble cacao from the Hacienda Elvesia, Dominican Republic

This couverture is certified organic and RAC (Rainforest Alliance Certificate).
Flavour profile:
The elegant, rich cacao flavour is entwined with tender tones of black tea and mild tobacco notes. The traditional, gentle processing method (72 hours conching) releases in this exceptional chocolate a fruity note, which is complimented by a hint of refreshing orange flavour and a pleasant grapefruit sharpness, leading to a long-lasting and festive finish.





Elvesia République Dominicaine 42% - 30h

Cru Hacienda couverture made of noble cacao from the Hacienda Elvesia, Domincan Republic

This couverture is certified organic and RAC (Rainforest Alliance Certificate).
Flavour profile: A harmonious cream, caramel aroma compliments the lightly acidic Elvesia cacao note of this mild chocolate. The traditional, gentle processing method (30 hours conching) beautifully unfolds a hint of ripe banana. The finish is enhanced through spicy vanilla and malt notes.



Both couvertures Elvesia's 74% & 42% available in our shop in small 100g portions.
source: http://new.felchlin.com/

woensdag 27 juni 2012

Main varieties of cacao.


The cocoa originates from the basin of the Amazon, in the areas covered between Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Brazil, because here is where found a greater diversity of species.
By its origin and genetic characteristics, the cocoa is classified in four type: Criollo, Forastero, Trinitario, Amazon and national Ecuador. In addition there are Clones of cocoa.

Criollo cocoa.
They are trees relatively low and less robust with respect to other varieties.His Cup is round with small leaves of green, oval-shaped clear and thick. Almonds are ivory white.
This type of cocoa is characterized by elongated ears green and reddish colors in immature State, yellow tornandose and reddish orange when they are mature, obtained from this cocoa chocolate is enjoyed by the taste of nuts and fruit. Commercially it is framed within the fine cocoas.

Amazon forasteros cocoa.
They provide 80% of the world production. Called Amazon because they were distributed in the basin of the Amazon River and its tributaries.Ears are green (immature State) and yellow (when they are mature), shaped like a small bottleneck at the base.Almonds are flattened and small, with purple cotyledons.This type of cocoa is a chocolate flavored cocoa basic.

Trinitarian cocoa.
It is the result of crossing between the cocoa Criollo of Trinidad and multiplied outsider type
in the basin of the Orinoco River. Its quality is intermediate. Its name were selected in Trinidad and hence. These supply the 10 to 15 per cent of world production. The cocoa that is most grown in America. There are cocoa flavor from medium to high, usually flavored with fruits and nuts.

National cocoa Ecuador.
It has similar characteristics to the outsider Amelonado type. However there are few pure plantations of this dominating plantations product of natural interbreeding with materials brought from Venezuela and Trinidad, complex national Trinitario cocoa denominandose. Ears are amelonadas, but chokes on the base and apex of the same, with shallow ridges and furrows. The internal color of almonds is pale violet or lilac, although sometimes white seeds are observed. This type of cocoa is one of the best chocolates in the world for its taste and floral aroma, combined with profiles of fruits and other flavors.

Clones.

Clones.Finally, also you can find Clones, i.e. varieties produced by the man who
they are usually identified with letters and numbers from your research, as it is the case of the CCN-51, a material that currently covers a part of the plantations in the Amazon. They are reddish purple and reddish-orange when mature.
They have low medium to cocoa flavor. Its potential lies in the production of cocoa butter.

dinsdag 26 juni 2012

Principales variedades de cacao.

Principales variedades de cacao
El cacao es originario de la cuenca del Amazonas, en las zonas comprendidas
entre Colombia, Ecuador, Perú y Brasil, pues aquí es donde se ha encontrado
una mayor diversidad de especies.
Por su origen y características genéticas, el cacao está clasificado en cuatro
tipos: Criollo, Forastero Amazónico, Trinitario y Nacional de Ecuador. Además
existen Clones de Cacao.
Cacaos Criollos.
Son arboles relativamente bajos y menos robustos respecto a otras variedades.
Su copa es redonda con hojas pequenas de forma ovalada, de color verde
claro y gruesas. Las almendras son de color blanco marfil.
Este tipo de cacao se caracteriza por tener mazorcas alargadas de colores verde y rojizo en estado inmaduro, tornandose amarillas y anaranjadas rojizas cuando estan maduras, el chocolate obtenido de este cacao es apetecido por el sabor a nuez y fruta. Comercialmente se enmarca dentro de los cacaos finos.

Cacaos Forasteros Amazónicos.
Proporcionan el 80% de la produccion mundial. Se llaman Amazonicos por encontrarse distribuidos en la cuenca del Rio Amazonas y sus afluentes. Las mazorcas son verdes (en estado inmaduro) y amarillas (cuando estan maduras), con una forma de pequeno cuello de botella en la base.
Las almendras son aplanadas y pequenas, con cotiledones de color morado.
De este tipo de cacao se obtiene un chocolate con sabor basico de cacao.

Cacao Trinitario.
Es el resultado del cruce entre el cacao de tipo Criollo de Trinidad y Forastero multiplicado
en la cuenca del rio Orinoco. Su calidad es intermedia. Fueron seleccionados en Trinidad y de ahi su nombre. Estos abastecen del 10 al 15% de la produccion mundial. Es el cacao que mas se cultiva en America. Presentan sabor a cacao de medio a alto, usualmente con sabor a frutas y nueces.

Cacao Nacional de Ecuador.
Posee caracteristicas semejantes al tipo Forastero Amelonado. Sin embargo existen pocas plantaciones puras de este, predominando plantaciones producto del cruzamiento natural con materiales introducidos desde Venezuela y Trinidad, denominandose complejo de Cacao Nacional Trinitario. Las mazorcas son amelonadas, pero con estrangulaciones en la base y el apice de la misma, con surcos y lomos poco profundos. El color interno de las almendras es violeta palido o lila,
aunque en algunas ocasiones se observan semillas blancas. De este tipo de cacao se obtiene uno de los mejores chocolates del mundo, por su sabor y aroma floral, combinado con perfiles de frutas y otros sabores.

Clones.
Finalmente, tambien se pueden encontrar Clones, es decir, variedades producidas por el hombre, que
suelen identificarse con letras y numeros provenientes de su investigacion, como es el caso del CCN-51, un material que actualmente cubre una parte de las plantaciones de la Amazonia. Sus mazorcas
son rojizas-moradas cuando tiernas y de color rojizo anaranjadas cuando maduras.
Presentan sabor a cacao de medio a bajo. Su potencial se encuentra en la produccion de manteca de cacao.

maandag 25 juni 2012

Smaak van streken.


Het is niet juist om te denken dat een herkomst een goed product garandeert. Een herkomst duidt alleen de geografische afkomst van een product aan. Het is beter om aandacht te besteden aan de streken. En streek geeft een vaste garantie voor een aromatisch karakter. De vanille's uit Madagascar, Tahiti of la Rénion zullen niet dezelfde aroma's hebben, want zij zijn een combinatie van verschillende omgevingen, vaiëteiten en vakkennis. Net zoals wijn, is de streek zeer belangrijk voor een groot aantal agrarische producten. Marktonderzoekers doorkruisen in de hele wereld cacaogronden om plantages te vinden waar de natuur volledig tot uitdrukking komt, maar waar ook de mensen zich ertoe verbinden om het beste van zichzelf te geven, bij de zorg die aan de oogst wordt besteed, bij de fermentatie en bij de droging van de bonen.

Herkomsten, streken.
In tegenstelling tot de chocolades "Mariages de Grands Crus" (Valrhona) die een resultaat is van samenvoegingen, is de pure origine-chocolade gekozen om haar volmaakte en volledige uiting van een streek. De op die manier verkregen chocolade is typisch chocolade met originele aromatische vruchten (pods-cabosses).

Een verfijnde cacao.
Het telen van cacao is een ingewikkeld en delicaat proces dat om langdurige investeringen vraagt:
- telen gedurende een lange termijn: het duurt 5 jaar voordat er vruchten zijn en 7 jaar voordat de eerste oogst kan plaastvinden;
- een boom die veel zorg vereist maar weinig oplevert: in het beste geval levert 1 cacaoboom 1 kg chocolade op (per oogst),
- telen met kleine plantages: 90% van de plantages zijn kleiner dan 5 hectare.


Valrhona verbindt zich.
Valrhona beperkt zich niet tot dit zoeken naar de perfectie van de smaak. De onderneming zet zich te midden van de cacaoplantages in voor het verbeteren van de sociale, milieu- en economische omstandigheden. Deze rechtvaardige co-ontwikkeling tussen de eigenaars van de plantages en Valrhona kan worden geïllustreerd door drie noodzakelijke pijlers:

1. Een verbintenis met strikte verantwoordelijkheden en verplichtingen met de cacaoproducenten met wie zij rechtreeks werken (exclusiviteit van bepaalde planteges, vaste prijs en gegarandeerde hoeveelheid...).
2. Betrekkingen op lange termijn waardoor aan de producenten stabiele inkomsten en een gegarandeerde rentabiliteit kunnen worden verschaft. In ruil daarvoor verkrijgt Valrhona een krachtige belofte voor wat betreft de beproefde methodes van telen die fijne cacao van een uitzonderlijke kwaliteit garanderen.
3. De inbreng door Valrhona van technieken die door haar ontwikkeld zijn en beproefd zijn gebleken (zoeken naar nieuwe herkomsten, fermentatie...) en die de producent in staat stellen zijn grond beter te exploiteren. Om zich verder te verdiepen in de levende materie cacao, waarmee haar geschiedenis is begonnen, heeft Valrhona ervoor gekozen om haar eigen plantages te exploiteren, eerst in Venezuela en zeer recentelijk ook in de Dominicaanse Republiek de plantage Loma Sotavento die op 200km van de hoofdstad Santo Domingo ligt.

Op basis van welke criteria wordt de kwaliteit van een cacao vastgesteld?
Een goede cacao komt in de eerste plaats van een goede grond, dat wil zeggen dat aan 3 criteria wordt voldaan: een juiste omgeving, zeer veel aromatische en agronomische variëteiten en een deskundigheid die het verschil maakt. We zouden kunnen zeggen dat kwaliteit is: "de juiste cacaoboom geplant in de juiste omgeving voor een op de juiste wijze verbouwde cacao". De mogelijkheden om nieuwe en zeer goede cacaosoorten te ontdekken zijn dus oneindig: het "volstaat" om voor de juiste combinatie te zorgen. Ik zou ook willen stellen dat een cacao een geode kwaliteit heeft als het een goede chocolade geeft! Dit lijkt simplistisch maar er zijn op internationaal niveau geen normen op dit gebied. Om die reden heeft Valrhona haar eigen kwaliteitsstandaarden vastgesteld, om zo vast te kunnen stellen wanneer cacao goed is.



Fair trade co-development begins right in the heart of the cocoa plantation, between the cocoa farmers and Valrhona. Every effort is made to improve the respect of social, environmental and economic conditions.


http://www.valrhona-chocolate.com/Commitment_ep_70.html

donderdag 14 juni 2012

Aan de bron van een creatie. At the source of a creation.


Aan de bron van onze creaties... staan een smaak, een gebied, een verscheidenheid aan cacao, een plantage, mensen... dit alles. In een tijd waarin onze consumenten meer en meer nadenken over en aandacht besteden aan de herkomst en de kwaliteit, willen wij graag teruggaan naar de origine van de fijne cacao die wij met passie verwerken om u een reeks van unieke smaken aan te bieden.


To the source of our creations ... are a taste, an area, a variety of cocoa, a plantation, people ... all this. At a time when more and more our consumers think about and pay attention to the origin and quality, we want to go back to the origin of the fine cacao which we process with passion to offer you a series of unique tastes.

De legende van de kolibrie:
De legende vertel dat er op een dag een enorme bosbrand was. Alle doodsbange en verbijsterde dieren keken machteloos naar de catastrofe. Alleen de kolibrie kwam in actie en ging steeds een paar druppels water halen om deze vanuit zijn bek op het vuur te gooien. Op een gegeven moment zei het gordeldier, geïrriteerd door wat de kolibrie deed: "Kolibrie! Je bent toch niet gek! Denk je dat je met die waterdruppels het vuur kunt doven?!" 
Waarop de kolibrie hem antwoordt: "Ik weet het, maar ik doe gewoon mijn deel".
Indiaanse legende van de kolibrie.

The legend of the Hummingbird:
The legend tell that one day there was a huge forest fire. All looked terrified and bewildered animals to powerless catastrophe. Hummingbird only came into action and always went to fetch a few drops of water from its mouth on the fire. At one point said the Armadillo, irritated by what the Hummingbird did: "Hummingbird! You're not crazy! Do you think you can extinguish the fire with water droplets that?! "
Running the Hummingbird him replied: "I know, but I just do my part".
Indian legend of the Hummingbird



maandag 11 juni 2012

Madre Hawaiian fresh delivery chocolate.

http://whydowelovechocolate.wordpress.com/2012/06/11/madre-hawaiian-fresh-delivery-chocolate/


One of the two received boxes chocolate bars of Madre.

Delicious and Original Chocolate Bars Currently Available 
Amaranth Crunch
Triple Cacao
Xocoxochitl
Candied Hibiscus
Pink peppercorn & sea salt
Rosita de Cacao
Single Estate Hawaiian
Hawaiian Passion Fruit 70% Dark
Coconut Milk & Caramelized Ginger 55% Dark Chocolate

This chocolate is made with cacao purchased directly from an organic farm cooperatives in Central America and Hawaii and crafted from bean to bar in small batches. Our processing preserves a high level of healthy antioxidants and provides a rich delightful flavor. 

At Madre Chocolate we use a selection of traditional fruits and spices of the Aztec, Maya, Olmec, and Barra tribes of Central America that invented chocolate, to both celebrate their cultural heritage and bring you delicious original flavors that few have had the privilege of tasting…until now.


Madre revives that great tradition by enlivening the cacáo orchards & the growers there through assiduous bean selection & preparation of bars or beverages using heirloom recipes... astutely drawing on Mesoamerica's past to vault chocolate into the future. To top it all off, their craft flavor seals the deal & convinces everyone that re-imagining cacáo is for real.” - Mark Christian, The C-spot, read full review of our triple cacao bars

maandag 4 juni 2012

New in Belgium: Taza, stone ground organic chocolate.


At the Taza Chocolate Factory in Somerville, Mass, they craft stone ground chocolate from bean to bar. The story began when Taza founder Alex Whitmore took his first bite of stone ground chocolate while traveling in Oaxaca, Mexico, and came home so inspired that he decided to create a chocolate factory.  Fueled by a passion for Mexican chocolate traditions, he learned to hand-carve the granite millstones that they use today to grind cacao into rustic, organic dark chocolate that bursts with bright, bold flavor and texture.
Through a Direct Trade Certified Cacao program, Taza cultivates face-to-face relationships with farmers. By working together directly, they can source the highest quality cacao possible, while paying our farmers a premium above the Fair Trade cacao price.
Want to learn more about the Taza Chocolate Story?
Read the full Company History here.
Learn how they make stone ground chocolate here.
Read about the Direct Trade Certified Cacao program here.
 Signing of the first Direct Trade Agreement between Taza Chocolate and La Red Guaconejo, May 3,2010
Signing of the first D T Agreement between Taza Chocolate and La Red Guaconejo, May 3,2010

Method and tradition and ethics. And stone grinding, the way its been done in Mexico for generations.
That's what sets apart Taza from other bean-to-bar manufacturers (vs conventional chocolate manufacturers, many of whom are simply 'remelters' - companies that melt down cacao liquor and combine it with fat, usually cocoa butter but not always).  Like other bean-to-bar manufacturers, Taza controls the entire process, from sourcing to roasting to grinding to refining to bar. But when it comes to production, Taza stands out for its adherence to a tradition that few are familiar with but that produces a remarkable bar of chocolate.
Taza is made locally, in Somerville, MA, by hand.  Hand made? Seriously? How much chocolate can you make per batch when you are doing it by hand? Next thing: they use millstones. And they don't conche chocolate. Not at all. How was that even possible?
Taza's return to tradition - specifically Mexican tradition - is refreshing and inspiring.

The Taza logo graces the wall of the roasting room.
04 07 09 037

Aaron at the RoasterThe roaster is a spaceship
The beans start in the roaster, a cherry red antique Barth "Sirocco" rotary spherical roaster, which was found and rebuilt in Italy. The roasting times and temperatures are documented on a Roast Profile Log. Taza prefers a slightly less roasted bean than most, as less roasting brings out more of the subtleties and characteristics of their superior quality beans.
Once the beans have been roasted and cooled, they are moved to the winnower, which removes shells and breaks the beans into varying sized nibs.

Once broken, sized, sorted and separated, the roasted nibs are loaded into pails and carted up to the upstairs production room. They are now ready to be made into chocolate.
nibs
Nibs are kept in a large covered bucket and moved from the basement to the production room on carts

The nibs are ground by two millstones, which are purchased in Oaxaca City Mexico.
 The Stone for grinding
Once chocolate passes through the first molino, it goes into a holding tank where it is mixed with sugar (the Mexicano are equal parts sugar and nibs) and possibly cocoa butter if Taza is making bars. If it is for a Mexicano round, it is then passed through a second molino and then formed into 1.35 oz disks. If it is a flavored Mexicano bar, the flavor is ground with the beans in Molino 1 - whole vanilla beans or cinnamon or almonds are added to the nibs as they pass through the millstones. Chili, which leaves strong, lingering flavor on the equipment it touches, is added in powder form to the chocolate once it is ground and in the holding tank, to eliminate any possibility of ending up in other products.
Holding Tank

Soy lecithin is never added to the chocolate. There are no added emulsifiers at all in Taza chocolate.

04 07 09 164
Taza's chocolate bars are slightly more refined. Instead of running through Molino 2, they run through a refiner, which produces a finer grind than the molino.

Taza currently buys their cocoa butter but are planning to possibly make their own in the near future.
The current (all-stone ground) process for bars is: Roasted Nibs -> Molino 1 -> Holding Tank -> Refiner -> Tempering -> Moulding -> Wrapping

The organic sugar Taza uses is produced by the Green Cane Project in Brazil, one of the largest and most biodiverse and sustainable sugar cane plantations in the world. All of the spent cane is used to fuel the plant and the town nearest the plant. The sugar itself has a lovely golden hue.
The Green Cane Project SugarOrganic Sugar

Once the bars are set, they are hand wrapped twice: the first time they are foil wrapped, the second time they receive an outer wrapping that contains the label.
  Ready to be wrapped

There are numerous bean-to-bar boutique chocolate manufacturers in the US, but none occupy quite the same space as Taza. There is no waste produced by their operation: everything, including cacao chaff and shell is reused or recycled or returned to the earth.
The results - a fruity, brightly acidic bar that is chocolate at its most primal and bold - are a revelation. Relative newcomers like Taza are taking the lead in creating truly original - for some, polarizing - chocolate.
And everyone should take notice.
Yet available in our shop are: 
Taza 60% Stone Ground Chocolate is handcrafted in small batches from single origin Dominican cacao. Our 60% dark chocolate bar explodes with the essence of red berries, caramel, and mocha. A touch of added cocoa butter and a hint of biodynamic vanilla bean rounds out the flavor. Taza 60% Stone Ground Chocolate is the perfect point of departure for exploring our whole family of dark chocolates.
Taza 70% Stone Ground Chocolate is our signature bar, handcrafted in small batches from single origin, sustainably grown Dominican cacao. Our 70% dark chocolate bar is downright intense, with flavors at once winey, bright, complex, and compelling. To bring it all together, we add just a bit of extra cocoa butter and a touch of biodynamic vanilla bean. Taza 70% Stone Ground Chocolate is strong yet balanced, and great for everyday enjoyment.
 Taza 80% Stone Ground Chocolate is the darkest and most intense of our single origin Dominican bars. We start with sustainably grown Dominican cacao, roasting it gently to highlight the complex and subtle flavors of the beans. A trip through our stone mills yields a slightly rustic texture, while a bit of cocoa butter and a touch of biodynamic vanilla bean round out the flavor. Taza 80% Stone Ground Chocolate has notes of tawny port and buckwheat honey, with just a hint of sweetness.

Sources: http://www.tazachocolate.com/  , http://www.cakeandcommerce.com/   
Thanks to
Linsey Herman of Cake and Commerce, and her supply of text and pictures of the Taza facilities.

zondag 3 juni 2012

Choco Guate Maya & Danta

Choco GuateMaya
Cacao is a major food crop for Guatemalan people today; cacao was a major food crop for indigenous Maya people a thousand years ago also. Although there are some areas of Guatemala where cacao is common, it can be grown almost anywhere that you provide some shade and enough moisture.


The Pacific coast in Guatemala and other similar terrain were ideal for growing cocoa. Here all requirements for this finicky plant were met. As you can see from the map below, this terrain had even intensive production, even after the colonial times. However, during the most recent centuries, coffee took over and more or less replaced cocoa in these areas.


The ancestors of classic Mayas entered the Peten lowlands of northern Guatemala around 1000 BC. Before then they lived in the cool highlands of Guatemala and Chiapas, Mexico. The Pacific coast in Guatemala and other similar terrain were ideal for growing cacao. Here all requirements for this finicky plant were met. In all likelihood, cacao was growing wild in this area. 
Cacao Regions
Cacao producing regions of Colonial Mesoamerica

My interests in Guatemalan chocolate came when I met Carlos Eigenberger for a workshop at my place last year. He brought some of his best couverture and some bars to work with. Recently I replaced a new order and look what came by post last week, see and enjoy or come over to my shop for a free tasting of this wonderfull chocolate!
Foto




Danta Guatemalan chocolate bars: white and white with cacao nibs
Solid chocolate bars with Mayan glyph and stone decorations. 
Available in 75% pure cacao, 70% & 60% bittersweet. Cacao from Suchitepequez (Los Ujuxtes cacao estate).
Solid chocolate bars with Mayan glyph and stone decorations. 
Available in 75% pure cacao 70% & 60% bittersweet. Cacao from Costa Sur (Las Acacias cacao estate).
Solid chocolate bars with Mayan glyph and stone decorations. 
Available Milk bar cacao from Suchitepequez (Los Ujuxtes cacao estate) or Costa Sur (Las Acacias cacao estate).
First batch of Madagascar Danta 70% pure cacao & 60% bittersweet.
Chuao Venezuela 70% pure cacao.

http://www.dantachocolate.com