EVENT: Favorite Finds At The 2011 New York Chocolate Show
Antidote Chocolate combines raw and
Every November, the Chocolate Show wends its way to New York. Begun in Paris, its current tour includes that city along with Lille, Lyon and Marseille in France; plus Bologna, Cairo and Shanghai. Each show presents a different roster of local and international exhibitors (see ChocolateShow.com).
We came, we saw, we conquered lots of chocolate. Here are our five favorites from the show, in alphabetical order by company:
1. Antidote Chocolate of Ecuador. This newcomer has a concept we hadn’t seen before: a combination of raw and roasted cacao beans in high percentages of cacao (77%, 84% and 100%). The bars are beautifully flavored with flowers, fruits, herbs, nuts and spices. The goal: a more nutritious chocolate bar, due to the raw cacao and the high cacao percentages. Website.
2. Chocolate For The Spirit of Shelbyville, Indiana. The Mayan Spirit Bar, made in 72% bittersweet chocolate or 38% milk chocolate, has a Mesoamerican kick of chipotle, other chiles (a secret blend!) and cinnamon. Most “Aztec” chocolate bars don’t get the seasonings right—or at least, they’re not right enough for us. Here we’ve found sizzling perfection. Website.
3. Co Co. Sala of Washington, D.C. Their Salt And Pink Pepper Bar is excellent white chocolate with Maldon salt and pink peppercorns. If you think you don’t like white chocolate, try this! Coffee lovers must also try the Espresso Bar—milk chocolate with ground espresso nibs—an expression that is more elegant than most other espresso bean bars. Website.
4. West End Confection Co. of Morganville, NJ. Most chocolate-covered pretzels are dipped in such cloyingly sweet chocolate that we can’t take a second bite. Although this confectioner’s line looks like a kids’ chocolate paradise, the chocolate-dipped and decorated pretzels can also be enjoyed by adults with discerning palates. Website.
5. Bernachon of Lyon, France. The final kudos goes to one of the world’s legendary chocolatiers, Bernachon. Founded by Maurice Bernachon in 1953, the business was taken to the next level by his son Jean-Jacques. Jean-Jacques Bernachon was the first chocolatier to discover the superiority of single origin beans over cacao blends, and to use it in his chocolates. It earned him the title, “dean of microbatch chocolate bars.” The company is a bean-to-bar manufacturer as well, which means they purchase raw cacao beans, roast them and make their own chocolate. The chocolates are sold only at the Lyon store and at the À l’Etoile d’Or chocolate shop in Paris.* The chocolate, silky and elegant, is lightly sweetened—in a great way. That’s what you achieve when you’re the dean. Website.
*À l’Etoile d’Or, 30, rue Fontaine, 75009 Paris. Métro stop Blanche or Pigalle. Telephone: 01 48 74 59 55. Open daily, except Sunday, and occasionally closed Monday. Alas, what has been called the greatest candy store in Paris is a small shop that has no website.
Find all of our favorite chocolate in our Gourmet Chocolate Section and The Nibble Gourmet Market.