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Israeli Chocolate Festival


Lior
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Well! After an exhausting few days I am finally post my first festival. It went like this:

There were about 8 chocolatiers at this mall. You paid per table-long ones. I had two tables arranged in an L shape. All tables had this chocoalte bar wallpaper sticker sheet stuck across the top and a brown curtain hanging all round the tables.

The chocolates that were popularincluded regular flavors. People were hesitsnt to tast spices, teas flavoured etc. At one point I started cutting up some for tastes and then people realized that it was good and bought. I sold each one for about a dollar-that is the going price. I sold just under 1,000 dollars of chocolates in the two days. Okay for the first time, but I was hoping to make more. My bark, of all types, caramel butternut crunch bark as in Greweling's book, bars with flavors and without were not too popular. I realized I need a big sign with my name and logo etc. If anyone has any ideas to attract the eye or marketing idea I will be happy to hear. Caramel Mark was realtively succesful but I do need to do it in dark chocolate. I also had "Daniel Monster" recipe from a dear chocolatier friend, Daniel, over in Rockeford Ill, that after I cut to give tastes, went quite well. At the next festival I will take pics to show you how it looked.

So up to now thanks to all who gave me encouragement and support- which I really needed!! I was soooo nervous! It was fun to sell my chocolates.

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The chocolates that were popularincluded regular flavors. People were hesitsnt to tast spices, teas flavoured etc. At one point I started cutting up some for tastes and then people realized that it was good and bought.

Thanks you for sharing all this here - it's great to hear about what others are doing once they get "hooked" by chocolate! I have found that even giving away some of the more "modern" flavors can be a challenge. I think we are all so used to trying weird-sounding new flavor combinations that we sometimes forget that they are still weird-sounding :smile: .

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hello all. Well I am now post the second three day festival. Everything went well. I did not have a pile of failures this time around! I sold really a lot and had to stay up all night in between to make extra!! Exhausting but great learning experience. The bark was not too popular here. The 100% thin mendiants went quite well. I gave tastes of it as it is very strong for most. I also had 65% with Maltitol to which I added 100% to make it stronger- I think I made it about 70%. I made mendiants, bars and orange flavored bars from this and it was VERY popular. I did tell everythone through a sign that it is with Maltitol. I want to meet with a nutritionist for Diabetes to learn more. I like this line and I want something that is really okay for this population. I spoke with a pastry specialist for diabetes and she recommended using Macadamia nuts... I have to source those!

My mango ganache filled butterflies were not as successful as I imagined. My S'mores were very popular. I did not have Marzipan and quite a few were after that. I also need something coconutty-but not what I had. I had with Curry and such but people were very wary to try it!

There were odd requests like "Don't you have milk chocolate with raisins and cashews only?" No, there were also walnuts in it. People loved the animal shapes- my mouse/pig for ex went really well as did the frog and hedgehog!!

At the end of March I will be in a wine festival!

So thanks again to all who helped me out here-much appreciated!

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. . .

The bark was not too popular here.

. . .

I am quite surprised that the bark is not popular and wonder if it is just a matter of a different culture. I can barely keep up with the demand for burnt almond bark. It is so easy to make and sells incredibly well all year long.

Edited to add:

Oh and I too have to deal with "But don't you have this in white chocolate?" or "I would buy it if it had hazelnuts instead of almonds." etc. etc. etc. :biggrin:

Edited by Anna N (log)

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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Yes I was disappointed about the bark. I made so many kinds, white, milk, dark, with different nuts and fruits and designs and wiggles etc. I did wrap each one in a cellophane bag with its weight and price and people tend to touch these things while searching for just the right bark. Perhaps that was not good- I don't know...

Do you burn your almonds in the burnt almond bark? Is you bark very thick or very thin? Mine was medium. Some people thought it odd that I sell "broken pieces " of chocolate. But even the bars were not all that popular. Any bark or bar advice is always welcome! Perhaps it is a cultural thing. People here thought bark was the noise a dog made and could not figure it out....

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It seems to be culteral! I can't imagine bark that is not broken in pieces. I have to laugh because my mechanic, Ussi is from Isreal and he gave a neighbor some chocolate from Isreal that contains pop rocks. The neighbor said "what is it with you people from the middle East, it sems everything you do needs to blow up!!" (the neighbor was joking of course, but I thought it was a funny story and my mechanic got a good laugh out of it!)

I ordered some samples from Amoretti and it was at my doorstep in 24 hours!! One of the samples is rose oil. I would like to get the rose mold and make a solid chocolate containing the rose oil. It should be a Valentine's hit.

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Yes I was disappointed about the bark. I made so many kinds, white, milk, dark, with different nuts and fruits and designs and wiggles etc. I did wrap each one in a cellophane bag with its weight and price and people tend to touch these things while searching for just the right bark. Perhaps that was not good- I don't know...

Do you burn your almonds in the burnt almond bark? Is you bark very thick or very thin? Mine was medium.  Some people thought it odd that I sell "broken pieces " of chocolate. But even the bars were not all that popular. Any bark or bar advice is always welcome! Perhaps it is a cultural thing. People here thought bark was the noise a dog made and could not figure it out....

Yes, Kerry Beal taught me to roast the almonds past the point where they are pleasant if eaten alone but lovely when in the chocolate. I find 25 minutes at 350F works for me but then the nuts must be immediately tipped off the hot baking sheet or they do get burned!

I prefer thin bark but often have difficulty getting it as thin as I would like - doesn't seem to matter to the buyers - thick, thin or medium it all sells. I also package it in cellophane and sell by the 100 grams so each package contains a generous 100 grams since you cannot possibly portion it into exactly 100 grams. Dark bark sells much more readily than milk or white.

I roast my almonds ahead and keep them vacuum-packed in the freezer so they are always available to use up the last bit of tempered chocolate.

I have tried other barks with other ingredients but the burnt almond bark seems to be the one that sells.

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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Anna! Thank you ever so much! I will try it. It sounds delicious. Maybe I should give bark tastes and then people will see itis yummy. If you happen to have a picture could you post it? Although I am sure my bark is fine I just want to make sure-double sure.

Just for you, Lior. Made today and for once I managed to get it as thin as I like it!

gallery_6903_111_41342.jpg

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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Stunning!! Wow!! I pictured something different! Perhaps that is my problem- I have way less nuts and fruit in my bark and it is a bit thicker. Also mine are more on the top-sticking out and less inside. I guess it is important to see the real thing!Yours seems stacked with almonds!! It does look great! Do you use skinned almonds? Do you chop them? Thank you so much for the beautiful picture-how very thoughtful and kind!! A picture is worth a thousand words!!

I keep going back to look!

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Stunning!! Wow!! I pictured something different! Perhaps that is my problem- I have way less nuts and fruit in my bark and it is a bit thicker. Also mine are more on the top-sticking out and less inside. I guess it is important to see the real thing!Yours seems stacked with almonds!! It does look great! Do you use skinned almonds? Do you chop them? Thank you so much for the beautiful picture-how very thoughtful and kind!! A picture is worth a thousand words!!

I keep going back to look!

Hey, I am lucky enough to have a great teacher in KB!

Yes, I use lots and lots of almonds. I do not skin them - these are raw almonds and I hand chop them.

What I like most about bark aside from the fact that is sells like wild fire is that I can dump any leftover tempered chocolate out, add the almonds, mix them up and voila - no containers of used chocolate to deal with. You can make a little or a lot depending on how much chocolate you have leftover. You can roast the almonds ahead of time so they are on hand for any chocolate session. I make milk and white bark too because I have a few people who prefer them - but not me! I think the flavours only work well with dark chocolate.

I am finding it easier to make thin bark if I spread the chocolate very thinly first, then quickly sprinkle on the almonds before mixing them together. You have to work fast to keep the choc in temper and not allow it to thicken up before you get it all mixed.

Try making a small batch and handing out some samples. It still might not be to the taste of Israelis!

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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Lior, I was reflecting on what you said about the people not buying the bark etc etc.

I do think its a cultural thing and I do think that you could maybe integrate your culture with chocolate making, something closer but still different and unique.

Hard to explain but like for the bark, maybe you should go for Mediants instead,

or something like that . I dont know since I am starting the business as well I am alwasy trying to find ideas to market better my products and the perfect niche for my business,so I have been thinking about you.Its also true that when you are new on the market, it takes a while for the people to know you so it might be just matter of time and I agree that samples are always a good idea :biggrin:

I have my first festival in May and I am brainstorming to find the right idea and products to bring, we'll see :wacko:

Vanessa

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I was also wondering if bark's rustic look could be a turnoff to some. I'm not sure how you break yours but often times its a haphazard process. You could just as easily score the chocolate before it fully sets and then you would have very chunky chocolate bars. Wrap the bottom half in foil and viola, now its a fancy bar not a rustic bark.

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I was also wondering if bark's rustic look could be a turnoff to some.  I'm not sure how you break yours but often times its a haphazard process.  You could just as easily score the chocolate before it fully sets and then you would have very chunky chocolate bars.  Wrap the bottom half in foil and viola, now its a fancy bar not a rustic bark.

If you're just looking for a way to use up the excess chocolate, you could also try rochers: I think that the little stacks of nuts and other goodies look a little "neater" than the bark, even though it's not really any different. Though I must say that Anna's bark looks fantastic!

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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Don't give up on the bark too early. It is so popular here that I am sure it will catch on with sampling!

Keep notes on all those other requests from your customers. I have had some strange requests and eventually when enough people ask for it, I try it. Some end up in the store for sale and some end up with the teenagers and their friends when they come looking for "rejects".

My weirdest request lately was for chocolate dipped butter tarts. It is a very sweet tart on its own and I can't imagine dipping it in chocolate as well. I haven't been able to bring myself around to trying it yet....l

I tried cashew bark recently with salted cashews and found it quite addictive. Most people I offered it to try put their noses up at it until they tried it!

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Thanks all for your ideas. I think people have to get used to it like with the spices in chocolate. I love bark so I was sad! I think rethinking the wrapping is a great idea. That would be a good try! I do have mendiants and they were quite popular come to think of it! Scoring and breaking and wrapping is good as well as bark like Anna's-yum! Rochers are popular here so I should make them!!

Bunch of heads together is always better than one!!!

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Anna! Thank you ever so much! I will try it. It sounds delicious. Maybe I should give bark tastes and then people will see itis yummy. If you happen to have a picture could you post it? Although I am sure my bark is fine I just want to make sure-double sure.

Just for you, Lior. Made today and for once I managed to get it as thin as I like it!

gallery_6903_111_41342.jpg

Wow, that's beautiful, Anna! Yumm!

John DePaula
formerly of DePaula Confections
Hand-crafted artisanal chocolates & gourmet confections - …Because Pleasure Matters…
--------------------
When asked “What are the secrets of good cooking? Escoffier replied, “There are three: butter, butter and butter.”

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. . .

Wow, that's beautiful, Anna!  Yumm!

Thank you.

I think that trying to show Lior how it looked must have brought me luck because I can't often get it that thin! :smile:

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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. . .

Wow, that's beautiful, Anna!  Yumm!

Thank you.

I think that trying to show Lior how it looked must have brought me luck because I can't often get it that thin! :smile:

Well, it really came out beautifully. I find that if I have two melters going, I can warm the nuts in one and temper in the other. When I'm ready, I can mix them both together and I'm good to go.

John DePaula
formerly of DePaula Confections
Hand-crafted artisanal chocolates & gourmet confections - …Because Pleasure Matters…
--------------------
When asked “What are the secrets of good cooking? Escoffier replied, “There are three: butter, butter and butter.”

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