Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Noka Chocolates


ExtraMSG
 Share

Recommended Posts

Man, be careful where you tread in Dallas if you plan on passing off mediocre chocolates at exorbitant prices:

http://www.dallasfood.org/modules.php?name...=article&sid=78

In conclusion, we return to the original question. Are Noka's chocolates worth the prices they charge?

They are not.

Noka's prices cannot be justified by the underlying ingredients. Bonnat is good chocolate that can warrant a premium, but not a markup of more than 1,300% of retail (as discussed in Part 9).

1,300% of retail. Think about that for a second. If you bought a gallon of milk with that markup, it would cost you more than forty bucks. If you bought a Honda Civic with that markup, it would cost you more than $200,000 (or over $300,000 if you opted for the Hybrid).

Lunacy.

....

An individual's passion for chocolate could be expressed through a number of commercial avenues. One avenue would be to become involved in the production of chocolate from the bean, as a number of enterprising souls across America are doing. Another would be to study, train, and apprentice in the chocolatier's art, mastering necessary techniques and developing good taste and judgment, as so many chocolatiers I've referenced in these reports have done. Another would be to open a specialty shop (online and/or bricks & mortar) to make available to the public the products of quality chocolate makers and chocolatiers. Any business like that would be welcome in Dallas. But that's not Noka.

Katrina Merrem has often spoken of the epiphany she had on a Swiss mountaintop--the moment in which her career goals turned from accounting to the world of chocolate. What must that inner monologue have sounded like?

You know, accounting's a drag. It's time to pursue something genuine and fulfilling.

Maybe I could buy some French-made chocolate, trick people into believing I made it myself, melt it down and mold it into tiny rectangular tablets, stick them in over-sized boxes, slap on a ridiculously high price tag, and sell to that segment of the population who fallaciously believe that price is necessarily commensurate with value.

Or I could join the Peace Corps.

Nah, the chocolate thing sounds way more fulfilling.

I don't see passion or talent in Noka. Just hollow opportunism and Sneetchcraft.

Edited by ExtraMSG (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I read good parts of the article (I'm busy) and it is exhaustive and informative. There is a sucker born every minute, even, it seems, at Dean & DeLuca and Neiman Marcus. I am skeptical of anyone who is anti-vanilla.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That was a very interesting read.  Marketing is everything I guess.

Indeed. You really have to admire the skill of a company that can convince people to pay hundreds or even thousands of dollars per pound for the chocolate they could buy online, in retail quantities, for $34/lb.

"If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced" - Vincent Van Gogh
 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Very very interesting , its funny or sad , how some companies succed like that , I mean one day you wake up decide to do something different ( wish is fine , because is what I am doing now ) and get into a business , using the highest end marketing tools you can get and boom you are on!!! HOw in the.. some people can accomplish things like that at those prices and get away with it ??

I think misleading and great marketing should do the trick right.

Thank you for the link I am very very intrested in that .

Vanessa

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I wonder if Noka will go out of business now that their "secret" appears to be out (the secret being that they are basically just repackaging chocolate and selling it for >%1000 markup)?

"If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced" - Vincent Van Gogh
 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That was a fascinating read. It makes me wonder, however, if there is the possibility to take the couverture and add some value to it in a way other than enrobing really delicious fillings with it.

Might it be possible to take a bunch of couverture bars, reliquify them, and conch them for an extended period of time? Conching time is a metric by which chocolate quality is judged... If Noka were to take the Bonnat couverture, and give it an additional 48 hours of conching to smooth out the "rustic" texture the writer perceived, that could certainly add some value to the finished product...

Maybe they'll have to start doing something like that now that they've been busted for being both lazy and greedy.

Edited by cdh (log)

Christopher D. Holst aka "cdh"

Learn to brew beer with my eGCI course

Chris Holst, Attorney-at-Lunch

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That was a fascinating read.  It makes me wonder, however, if there is the possibility to take the couverture and add some value to it in a way other than enrobing really delicious fillings with it.

Might it be possible to take a bunch of couverture bars, reliquify them, and conch them for an extended period of time?  Conching time is a metric by which chocolate quality is judged... If Noka were to take the Bonnat couverture, and give it an additional 48 hours of conching to smooth out the "rustic" texture the writer perceived, that could certainly add some value to the finished product...

Possibly, but I have to assume that at least the high-end chocolate makers have experimented with this and have already settled on what they think is the ideal conching time. My understanding, which may or may not be correct, is that chocolate can actually be conched too long, in which case too much of the volatile flavor compounds are released and the taste actually starts to diminish.

"If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced" - Vincent Van Gogh
 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

CDH, they might want to start just by properly tempering the chocolate so that it has a better appearance and snap than the bars from Bonnat.  (Or at least as good.)

:laugh: Good point! The Noka bars in the article dont look nearly as well-tempered as the Bonnat bars.

"If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced" - Vincent Van Gogh
 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

i think the whole 10-page-paper is hilarious. i really laughed my ass off, i already guessed bonnat on page one. its about the only chocolate without everything... most bonnat chocolates taste pretty much like a biting into a very bitter candle. its also quite lame that they seem to be unable to temper their "luxury chocolate" the right way. on the other hand i deeply bow down into the dirt before their marketing magick. this whole "we dont do bean to bar" thing is very much unnesessary. you just find the most exclusive supplier and declare "in partnership with" and whole dirty-sneaky-selling-cheap-stuff-for-a-lot-of-money-thing is gone ;-) at one point there has to be an added value to justify such a pricetag. look at the planetarium box of enric rovira, its ultra expensive, the chocolates taste VERY mediocre, but the looks are just like little precious gemstones...

in our small patisserie we are proud to use valrhona for all our products (including cake)

season greetings from cologne

t.

toertchen toertchen

patissier chocolatier cafe

cologne, germany

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...