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Everything posted by aguynamedrobert

  1. The question of all chocolate questions...So what is the favorite here at Egullet? Chocolate Bar or boxed chocolates? It's a tough one but I would love to see everyones favorite way to eat chocolate...
  2. I was just reading through the documents that are actually in the hands of the FDA that list the changes that are wanting to be made...Actually chocolate is just one change...they want to substitute SALT with other things, they want to change things in cheese as well...there is a list of things that they want to take out REAL ingredients and put in fake or less quality ingredients... So not only chocolate will be changed! You still have still the 25th of April to write into the FDA and tell them you are opposed to these changes! www.dontmesswithourchocolate.com
  3. Hey Everybody, Here is a link to the video that CBS 5 did on this proposal...They interviewed myself and Gary Guittard and showed it on the 6 oclock news...they messed up on how much vegetable oil will be allowed in the new definition of "chocolate" but check it out... http://cbs5.com/video/?id=22219@kpix.dayport.com
  4. I see your point but I would still have to disagree...I think this law would be a backwards step in the chocolate world. Since I work in the chocolate world it is my job to inform the consumer about these things and try to get them overturned. I just think that without this new law the chocolate world will be better off and with it it will be worse off so why not try to stop it in its tracks? So we will see what happens... Have a good one...
  5. That is one of the problems that could arise....You order what we all would consider chocolate, right now at least, and they send you confectioners coating.
  6. haha...No I don't think that the FDA will hold me at gunpoint to buy a certain thing...what I am worried about are the people that want to buy fine chocolate but have no idea what to buy...they only have a few seconds or minutes to decide which brand they want(at the store) and this will make it harder for the average joe to find quality chocolate. For me of course it makes no difference because I know fine from poor quality...but I deal with the average joe every single day in the businesses I do and in my opinion this will only confuse people trying to find fine chocolate....
  7. It might not change the fine chocolate companies but it might as well...think of the big fine chocolate companies....Barry-Callebaut, Lindt, Ghirardelli....these more "commerical" chocolates could easily replace the fats and not really show that change to the consumer. Lindt already add's "flavors" to their chocolate...the fats could be next... Either way, chocolate that would have vegetable fats instead of cocoa butter could then be called "chocolate"...and fine chocolate with only cocoa butter would be called "chocolate" as well...not difference in labeling...so no one knows what is fine and what isn't...I think it would be a step backwards for chocolate in the USA...
  8. There is proposed change in standard of what "Chocolate" is being reviewed by the FDA right now. What this proposed FDA law would do is make it so that up to 100% of the cocoa butter in chocolate could be replaced by vegetable fats and they could still call it Chocolate! So when you buy a bar of "fine chocolate" there would be a possibility that there is vegetable fats in it and not cocoa butter. Cocoa butter is important because of the way it melts. If this change occurs the companies that use vegetable fats will have chocolate that will have a horrible melting property and ruin the taste and feel of the chocolate. This law will confuse people on what real chocolate is in a time when people WANT REAL CHOCOLATE! So write in to the FDA! All the instructions are on the link below and it only takes a minute. Go tell them that you don't want to allow vegetable oils in Chocolate! http://dontmesswithourchocolate.guittard.com/whatsthisabout.asp
  9. Just a heads up for everyone...."Art's" chocolate "Amano Chocolate" is now available through www.chocosphere.com as well as his website. I say this because I really love his chocolate and encourage you to get your hands on some!
  10. I would have to agree with both of you on the regulations. I think the same as you guys because of the reasons you listed. I think when it comes down to quality assurance the task is going to be in the hands of unbiased chocolate reviewers/websites/distributors such as myself. I am actually working on something right now to solve some of these very problems of labeling and transperancy in company's. Not a manhunt or anything but just to get a clear view on each company and their specific standards. There is a chocolate association starting up in the USA at www.lartchocolat.com which wants to create non-legal standards of "fine chocolate" which is a good start. I hope to do some of my own work in this area outside that association but we will see. I guess the whole goal is to know as much about the specific chocolate you are eating as possible... -You wouldn't even tell that Cuyagua was a blend by the package...they sure did a good job of making that seem that it was a single origin.
  11. Hey Jenc, Yeah you will have to re try the Venezuelan chocolate called "Cuyagua". It is a very nice single origin chocolate and the bitterness is held off so much you would think it was a lower percentage than a 75%. Las Islas is my favorite from Scharffen Berger so far. I think it takes their 70% and bumps up the flavor a few notches...very well done in my opinion... I am hoping to try Devries very soon and I haven't had the opportunity yet... So where does Soma get their beans from? and how is there taste? do they do single origins, blends, or infused(added flavors) for their chocolate bars? Have a good one...
  12. I always give this analagy when talking about health with chocolate. "it's like going to the produce section of your grocery store, you would expect to find something good for you there right?"....Chocolate is a natural product without much added to it(fine dark chocolate)....Even though it goes through fermentation and processing there will still be nutritional value to it. Not as much as if you just ate the cacao seed right out of the pod but it still has nutritional value. I think that most people don't eat chocolate for its nutritional value but just find it as an excuse to eat more....now of course I have heard "chocolatiers" that make truffles and caramels and things talk about chocolate as a health benefit when that is a far stretch from the research since butter and heavy cream are a major component of those candies. I think that either way a fine dark chocolate bar arond 70% cacao content will be better for you than a snickers bar so even if some of the nutritional value is compromised during processing it is still WAY better than candy...and it tastes better too... There's my two cents haha
  13. Yeah wine is just working its way right into chocolate because people want to pair them up. I don't neccesarily like wine with dark chocolate but it definitely is intereseting. When I did a pairing with some wineries in Lodi there were all these different flavors that were presenting themselves in the chocolate when paired with the wine. So yeah there are some intersting things but I do it mostly because that is what people want right now... I still take my chocolate plain with a side of nothing haha...
  14. Hello Everyone, Well I just got back from a day in Lodi California. I met with a couple winery owners and paired up their wines with different origin chocolates. I found that any nut flavored wine or champagne went well with Venezuelan chocolate...it really brought out the nuttiness in the chocolate. We paired Chuao 2002 Valrhona specificially with an Almond flavored champagne. We also went through a lot of dark red wines and the ones that seem to go best were the very dark in flavor chocolates. We paired them with 70%'s that had very strong burnt or bitter notes to them and they went along very well... There's my two cents...maybe i'll up it to four later on...haha
  15. I just talked to another person that uses a lot of chocolate in busines and he uses Theo Chocolate as well...Is Theo getting more popular that I think? Do we have any other Theo Chocolate lovers?
  16. I will have to jump back on here and share my thoughts after I order some of their chocolate. One thing I didn't like was I thought their roast of their beans was too high by the way it tasted. My personal preferences do not include a higher roast...but I will have to retaste...you never know...I could have just been having an off day lol... Thanks for the comments and suggestions... Did you go to school anywhere for pastry?
  17. Hey Artisansweets, So you got to tour Theo? I tried their single origin bars(not infused bars) at show I recently went to in San Fran. I didn't like most of their single origins but only got a quick taste as well...which bars did you try? I am thinking I will order some of their bars to try out again and see what I can find.... What type of chocolate do you use in the pastry work you do for you business? I checked out your site to learn a little about you and you business. Looks nice...how long have you been doing pastry work for?
  18. Yeah I think Guittard has a nice workability to most of their chocolates...they have been in the game for a while of catering to artisans so I think they do that well... Tell me more about DGF...I didn't know what you were refering to and tried to look them up...I got a few little tidbits but wanted to hear a little more...
  19. Do you not like their entire line for working with or just their "icoa" white chocolate? I really enjoy their white chocolate but I know something like the "Gran Saman" would be hard to work with for the fact that the cocoa butter is very low. I think their 61% is ideal for working with. It has the right balance of cocoa butter and still has a lot of flavor for a 61%...What do you think about the 61%? Have a good one,
  20. They are probably just adding a certain spice or spicy essential oil the mix when you are tasting the Spicy Cinnamon. They might call the flavor of it cinnamon but they might add other flavors to get the heat in it...
  21. The thing that might make a difference is the Fat content of the cocoa powder. The dutching(I wouldn't assume) would affect the pasta. In cocoa powder you have 10-12% cocoa powder and 22-24% cocoa powder....that might make a difference but I am not to familiar with pasta.... Robert Chocolate Forum
  22. Well I just got a chance to try El Rey's Gran Saman 70% from Venezuela again. I haven't tasted this bar in probably a year but I love it. The only way I can describe it is that it brings me back to the rain forest. The smell, taste, and texture through me right smack dab in the middle of the rain forest because it captures all the flavors and smells that accompany that area. Beautful "primal" type bar. The texture is rough but it matches the flavor...beautiful bar and beautiful brand....anyone else have an opinion on this bar or brand?
  23. Hello Everyone, Here's a question for everyone. If you could list 3 wines that go well with dark chocolate what would they be? I just did a Chocolate and Wine pairing for a food group and we found that Black Muscat was good with dark chocolate...any other favorites people have?
  24. I know that you can get the "Natural" or "non-dutched" at Trader Joe's and also at other grocery stores but If you are ever looking for a wide selection I used www.chocosphere.com. They have brands from all over the world and you can find many more "Natural" cocoa powders......just in case you want too get venturous! Have a good one everybody,
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