Chocolatiers and Chocolate-Makers

The other night I was having dinner in a restaurant, and struck up a conversation with the fellow dining at the next table, who turned out to be Swiss. As we talked, the conversation turned to what I did and when I replied that I wrote cookbooks on baking and chocolate. His curiosity was piqued…as well as that of the two Belgian women at the other table.

I knew exactly where the conversation soon would be heading, and of course, I was asked the inevitable question: “Which country do you think makes the best chocolate?”

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Belgian Chocolates

In all honestly, it’s really a pointless question. What if I asked; “What country makes the best wine?” Well, you might answer that there are great wines made in Italy, France, the United States, Switzerland, Germany, etc. And there are lousy wines made in all those countries too.

But is there one country quantitatively better than at making wine than another? Is there some formula that one can follow to show who wins the mantle of Best Winemaking Country in the World? Perhaps one could argue that the soil in one county is better than another, or the weather, or maybe other factors. But for making chocolate couverture, pure, solid chocolate, most of the time the cocoa beans aren’t grown in the countries where chocolate is produced, with a few exceptions.

And is there really a country that makes the Best Chocolate In The World?
Is there some competition going on that no one told me about?

So I answered, “The best chocolate in the world is made in the United States.”

theochocolate.jpg
Theo Chocolate, Hand-Made In Seattle

The man was surprised, and the two women started rolling their eyes and laughing. And my French dining companion just smirked at me, since he knows that I said that matter-of-factly as well, just to irk them. But seriously, I don’t know what was so funny. Maybe they were laughing at themselves for not realizing that there’s very good chocolate produced in the United States.

How silly of them; what were they thinking?


The Swiss gent, being more intelligent (not because he’s Swiss, but because he was more interested in my response), listened as I explained, “I’m more interested in artisan-produced chocolates and a majority of them are being made in the United States. Most of the industrial chocolates don’t interest me.”

I explained that I use several top-notch mass-produced Belgian and French chocolate for baking. Plus I went to school in Belgium and spent time working in a very good chocolate shop in Brussels, but there was only a handful of independent chocolatiers in Belgium that are doing quality work, while most of the other chocolates are mass-produced, and not particularly of interest to me.(Although I did plow through a decent-sized box that someone gave to me for Christmas with remarkable speed…so I guess I’m not that much of a snob after all…)

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Cocoa Beans Being Ground Into Chocolate Couverture (Photo courtesy of ScharffenBerger Chocolate)

So I asked the women to come up with the names of any small companies, or even just one, like ScharffenBerger, Amano, and Theo in the US, that are making their own chocolate in small quantities in their country, and they didn’t know what to say. Nothing. Pas de reponse. When I asked which chocolate shops they liked in Belgium, they started reeling off a list of places that were part of the large industrial chains, a couple were foreign-owned and not even Belgian.

And even though they couldn’t name any individually-owned chocolate shops in their own country, I could. One favorite of mine is Laurent Gerbaud, who dislikes Belgian couverture and uses Domori from Italy, and Wittamer, who use Belgian-made Barry-Callebaut chocolate.

In France, there are several companies making chocolate on a small-scale, such as Pralus and Bernachon, which are fabulous, but Bernachon is only available at their shop in Lyon and in Paris (at A l’Etoile d’Or) and Pralus is just starting to be more widely-distributed. Otherwise, mostly what’s available here is Lindt, Nestlé, and Cote d’Or, which are great for baking and snacking in general, but I wouldn’t call them interesting eating chocolates.

So it doesn’t really matter if chocolate came from Belgium, Switzerland, France, or even, gasp, the United States, now, does it? Let’s open our minds, folks.

Chocolatier vs. Chocolate-Maker

And since our minds are now wide open, one thing that confuses people is the difference between a Chocolatier and a Chocolate Maker.

Quick show of hands: How many of you know the difference?

Ok, not bad.
For those of you who didn’t know, here’s the difference….

A Chocolatier is someone who makes chocolates, those dipped, nutty, or cream-filled confections that we all know and love. A Chocolate Maker is someone, or a company, that buys and roasts cocoa beans and grinds them into chocolate.

There are lots of chocolatiers out there, probably (and hopefully) several in your city, but there are very few chocolate-makers, since the process is difficult, costly, and requires a lot of very specialized equipment and knowledge. There’s no shame in not making your own chocolate from scratch. Very few people can pull together the equipment for making chocolate, then figure out how to do it correctly, so most small-scale chocolate shops buy their couverture, melt it down, and use it for dipping their chocolates.

Much of this discussion was also prompted by was an interesting series of articles about Noka Chocolate, outrageously-priced chocolate from Texas, which sells for almost $9 a piece, and someone tracked down their lineage. I don’t know if Noka chocolate intended to give people the impression that they’re making their own chocolate from scratch or not (since I was polishing off a bottle of wine while I finished it) but the writer spent considerable time tracking down what he suspects is their couverture du jour.

The writer noted that the company alluded to the fact they make their own couverture, but I never believe anyone who says they’re making their own chocolate unless they have some documentation to back it up, or I can see it being made. Did you know there are only about sixteen chocolate-makers in America? (See below)

Very, very few chocolatiers make their own chocolate. Even a talent like Michael Recchiuti in San Francisco, who’s a chocolatier, happily admits to buying his chocolate couverture, which he sources from the best.

No shame in that…heck, I do it too.

For more information, here’s a list of some of the large- and small-scale chocolate-makers in the United States:

Amano
Ghiradelli
ScharffenBerger
Hersheys
Guittard
Mars
Theo
Blommer
Wilbur
Archer Daniels Midland
Barry-Callebaut
Nestlé
Original Hawaiian Chocolate Factory
Dagoba
World’s Finest
Jacques Torres
De Vries
Askinosie
Rogue
Patric
Taza
Amy’s Chocolate
Mast Brothers

(Edited: As some commenters pointed out, a few companies are owned by larger companies, such as ScharffenBerger, Ghiradelli, and Dagoba. I also included Jacques Torres in the list even though he makes very little chocolate. Frederick from Dagoba doesn’t roast and grind the beans himself, as he told me several years ago: The chocolate is fabricated elsewhere. He and the company are presently at work building a factory in the Pacific Northwest and the beans are likely being sourced for production there in the very near future, which was the latest message from him. I’ve included links to all the chocolate companies and you can visit their web sites, and contact their representatives, for the most up-to-date information.)

54 comments

  • Hi David, this is such an interesting post. I’m always eager to learn more on chocolate and pastry and your blog seems to be the best ressource for it.
    Thank you

    - fanny

  • Thank you David for the list of US based chocolate-makers. I have been fairly obsessed with the agriculture and processing of cacao since I visited Belize last November and am thrilled to know, definitively, who goes from bean to bar in the US. The Kekchi Maya of Belize have cultivated cacao for thousands of years. Today, a trip to the market in Punta Gorda will yield both bags of fermented and dried beans and small balls of partially processed cacao. It was the unbroken link of the present to ancient times that first got my motor whirring. Now I can’t make it stop!

  • This is such a great post! I’m convinced that all good chocolate and chocolatiers are coming out of the Pacific Northwest. Dagoba, and I’ve never had Theo, but I’m going to run to the shop down the street right now to try it out.

    And with Chocolatiers Portland is doing some amazing things, one of them has a wonderful liquid salted caramel. Not to mention Fran’s in Seattle.

  • I live in the Seattle area and am a huge fan of Theo. (Tip: Take the tasty tour.) I didn’t care for dark chocolate before tasting their coffee Phinney bar. The origin bar line is amazing, and if anyone ever has a doubt about cacao’s terroir, try the Madagascar bar; you’d swear it had fruit in it.

    One point from your posting I’m confused about is the Dagoba listing as chocolate maker. From Theo’s website and tour, you learn that they’re the only organic chocolate maker in the US. From Dagoba’s website, you learn that they’re organic but it doesn’t say explicitly that they make the chocolate. Are you sure Dagoba makes their chocolate? Or did they start doing it after the Hershey’s acquisition?
    Thanks!

  • I was so glad to see how you started out this post. Of course there’s no BEST country for chocolate – I completely agree, I’ve had some great European stuff and I’ve had some deplorable European stuff. Same in the States. People ask me things like that sometimes and I just have to wonder what sort of answer they want (or if they’re really interested in conversing at all).

    About the list, is Peter’s Chocolate now made at the Wilbur plant in PA? I’m a little unclear what happened when they were bought by Cargill.

    I’m going to the Fancy Foods show next week and I hope to sample Theo.

    Alan … The Theo site says “We are proud to be the first roaster of Fair Trade Certifiedâ„¢ cocoa beans and the only roaster of organic cocoa beans in the United States.” So perhaps its’s the all fair trade thing that sets them apart or does Dagoba roast their beans overseas?

  • Hi David,
    Thanks for clearing that up for us. I had been assuming that the 2 terms were interchangable, obviously not. I wonder how many other terms out there are mistaken interchanged….

  • Very informative post, David. I looked for your chocolate book at Barnes & Noble in Green Bay yesterday to no avail. Must read it by May, just in case I don’t win the chocolate tour tomorrow.)

    All I know is what I tasted in France: Chocolate bars (from Monoprix) that were creamer than the same brand in the U.S. I have much to learn.

    But I know what I like.

  • My feeling is that the chocolate makers in each country make chocolate that appeals to a part of the market in that country. Italian chocolate off the market shelf in Italy is too sweet for me, and yet there are chocolates here that are wonderful.
    Sometimes I wonder how a market allows a chocolate tradition to fall into the pit and not rise again, such as has happened to the off the shelf chocolate in GB.

  • Hi Judith: Yes, Italy is a great example. There’s amazing chocolate made there (as well as the supermarket stuff.) But I wonder how many people in Italy buy it, as opposed to how many Americans buy artisanal chocolate. And curiously, you can’t get hardly any of the Italian artisanal chocolates, like Slitti or Domori in Paris. Or American ones…or even the French ones, save for a handful of places.

    (FYI: Aoki pastry shop carries 3 kinds of Domori chocolate and da rosa carries Amedei bars.)

    I find it intriguing that American’s have this reputation for crappy food, but there’s this big resurgence and interest in fine food products there, including chocolate. Maybe because it’s a novelty and people are looking for a re-connection with the producers of what their eating, but I don’t see as much evidence of it elsewhere. Is it the politics of economics of scale? I love sampling chocolate made by small-producers and always search vigorously for it wherever I’m visiting.

    I’d be curious to hear why other’s think artisanal chocolates are widely available in the US, but are not so commonly available in other countries.

    In constructive, non-judgemental ways, of course.

    (Oh…and if anyone can tell my why my housecleaner uses my nice toenail brush to clean the bathtub when I have a good, heavy-duty cleaning brush specifically for that purpose, I’d love to know that as well.)

  • Great and very thorough post on chocolate.
    Who would have guessed that the Us is tops in your books?! I never heard of this Theo and haven’t seen them in NYC…
    I’d love to know how the French say,”chocolate makers”

  • ScharffenBerger has been bought by Hershey’s so I am not sure it makes sense to list them as two separate companies.

  • Thanks for the informative post, this was really interesting information. I too would have assumed that the two terms were interchangeable. The discussion of who makes the best chocolate can only lead to fun experiences, trying different chocolates, right? When we were in Belgium last year, I had some of the best chocolates I’ve ever had (especially in terms of flavor combinations) – but there were plenty that were just okay as well.

  • Here in Holland we have lots of chocolate makers who make lots of horrible sicky tasting chocolate. How on earth do they make chocolate have that greasy taste? Unfortunate really.

    I had some Ghirardelli at Christmas that a friend sent me and I was quite dumbstruck for a few minutes. It was great! She sent Ghirardelli because she wanted me to have real American chocolate. To be representative of Holland I could have sent her some Droste but I don’t like it. I do like their cocoa though.

    Thanks for the insight into the Noka chocolate article. My opinion was that the article was interesting but if people wanted to be silly enough to pay that much for repackaged chocolate then why not let them.

  • Oh sorry, edit! I meant to say we have lots of Dutch chocolatiers! They obviously all buy their chocolate from the same source because it all tastes greasy.

  • David,
    I heard an interview on NPR (Diane Rehm) of a chocolate expert…can’t remember his name, maybe it was you! Anyway, he said that the vast majority of European chocolates are “Americanized” before they are exported to the U.S. In other words, that they add fat and sugar to please the typical American palate. I found this sad…but understood then why the Leonidas in Belgium tastes decidedly different than the Leonidas in the U.S.!!

  • Dear David,

    your little story about chocolate made me laugh out loud. I’m a native Costarrican who knows for a fact that European countries don’t grow the Theobroma Cacao used to make the lovely confections found in lovely shops all over Europe. I teach a baking and pastry class and on Chocolate Day the students always take me for a snob because I lean towards European makers rather than American, so thanks for the info on the domestic chocolate. Look forward to read your chocolate book (soon to be a proud member of my bookshelf), and hope to one day join you on your Parisian chocolate tour. Love your blog!!

  • I’d note that the varietal chocolate sold at Trader Joe’s under the Unique Origin label (which I think is pretty good, though I’m no expert) is apparently made in Spain–a country I haven’t seen mentioned yet in any of these comments.

  • I’ve updated the list on wikipedia based on the list in this post. Are there other issues with the wikipedia entry?

  • Ash; When buying dark chocolate, make sure the only fat listed on the label is cocoa butter. There was an EU directive a few years back allowing some other fats to be added to chocolate, depending on the country.

    Mohe: Thanks!

    Mimi: Some of those chocolate bars at Monoprix aren’t bad, although I snuck one into a chocolate-tasting I led a while ago and while some folks liked it, they didn’t smell or taste very appealing to me. Next time you come, try some of the Nestlé blocks; I like the Corsé very much for baking.

    Alan: I was under the impression that Dagoba was very close to having their new factory up-and-running, although I’m unaware of the timeline for that (Frederick invited me to come and visit in the spring, so I was assuming it was close to being open.) If I get there, I’ll be sure to take lots of pictures and report back what I see..and taste.

    Steve: Spain has some great chocolate, including Chocovic, which is under the umbrella of another larger company in the Netherlands, I believe. I tried to go visit them, and attend their chocolate classes when I was writing my chocolate book, but they didn’t exactly roll out the welcome mat, so I never got to go. But I think their chocolate is excellent, especially the Ocumare.

    Kim: Just like anywhere, Belgium has some good and some not-so-great chocolates. Glad you found some that you like! My main point was not to judge a chocolate based on the country where it’s fabricated since that has little to do with taste.
    (But there is something about Belgian beer…)

    Ilana: Both ScharffenBerger and Dagoba are now owned by Hershey’s, although they fall under the division ‘Artisan Confections’ (although I’m not quite sure exactly what that means.) Since they still retain their individual identities though, I listed them individually, like I did with Ghiradelli, which is owned by our friends in Switzerland.

  • David,
    I think I won a conversation class at Let Them Talk with Menu for Hope, but I’m not sure. And what am I going to do with a language class, I don’t live in Paris any more! What was I thinking of? Please communicate, and I’ll figure out how to get there. Thanks. Can’t find your email elsewhere.

  • For all the good press Swiss chocolate gets, I find it quite boring. Milky and flabby and bland. I didn’t know that Ghiradelli is owned by the Swiss, but it makes perfect sense–I find it just as ordinary. Portland, Oregon-based Moonstruck Chocolate Company, on the other hand, makes fabulous artisanal chocolates.

  • Thanks for the spiced glazed nuts and pretzel mix -aka ‘best holiday snack ever’. Also for the cherry nectarine compote – cherries just finishing up here in Adelaide, Aust. Both recipes made me, and my guests, very happy.

  • A surprising post..I’m still coming to Paris to eat chocolate. Maybe it’s something in the air there that makes it taste better…

  • “I find it intriguing that American’s have this reputation for crappy food, but there’s this big resurgence and interest in fine food products there, including chocolate.”

    I have also been thinking about that and the problem, to me at least, is that the mainstream food is the US is of crappier quality than in France (for example). That drives me mad! Just take MacDonald’s, for example, in France, they serve expresso with a square of Côte d’Or chocolate and in the US… they advertise about adding cream and sugar for you at the drive-thru!!Great!! That is just an example but I hope you see my point. In the US, I feel like good food is for rich people, vs in France, everyone cares about eating good stuff. I remember a comment on Kate’s blog (the Accidental Hedonist), she was talking about guacamole with no avocado and someone left a comment saying she should focus on talking about foie gras instead. Sorry, but I think good food should be for everyone! I am not sure I have been clear but I hope you see my point…

    Anyway, regarding chocolate, I have seen much more diversity in the US over the past years, it became much easier to eat good chocolate in this country.

  • Bonjour Estelle: I agree, and I think good food is more expensive and junk food is cheap in the US, whereas in France, good food is reasonable and junk food is expensive. When a croissant or baguette is around 85 centimes, and you can buy a nice selection of 3-4 outstanding cheeses for less than 10 euros, that’s not too expensive (and roughly the same price as a few cups of coffee at Starbucks.) The difference as well is there really isn’t any ‘cheap’ food here. Supermarket produce is pricey so people generally buy quality since there’s not as many low-priced options as in the US.

    (BTW: I’ve seen that icky green ‘guacamole’ here in France too! But I’ll stick with foie gras…)

  • I agree that this is a great post. I was working as a pastry chef when Scharffenberger started and I tried to get the owner to order some instead of Vahlrona since the restaurant focused on local, seasonal eating. We never did get it and I still have a soft spot for the taste of Vahlrona.
    I am really happy that we do have so many options in the US now. I’ll take Dagoba over anything made by Archer Daniels Midland though! What brand does ADM produce anyway?

  • What about Vosges?

  • Oh Vosges… That’s good stuff…

  • I went on and on about Belizean cacao in an earlier comment, but should mention that Green & Black’s (who has a lock on the market for cacao in southern Belize) is now owned by Cadbury-Schweppes. C’est globalization. C’est la vie!

  • Thank you for a lovely post about true chocolate makers David. I work for Theo chocolate and I cannot tell you how flattered I am to see you, the prince of chocolate, enjoying Theo’s creative, delcious and ethical chocolate! I hope you have had a chance to bite into our delicious confections as well..

    wow about Green and Black’s! I work in the industry, and didn’t know that too has been swept up! Us little guys are few and far between I suppose.

  • The discussion of American vs. European chocolate is interesting to me because I work in an imported chocolate shop in St. Louis. We operate on the assumption that imported chocolate experience should be more easily achievable, to a person here in St. Louis or (via our website) to anyone in the States or elsewhere. But we tend to get quite a few people in the shop convinced of one country’s supremacy in the chocolate realm, and most all of them convinced that European chocolate trumps American chocolate any day. We do carry Vosges chocolates, however, alongside Neuhaus and Cluizel, and pricewise Vosges is definitely not the cheapest. There are two quotes (I hope I don’t botch them too terribly) that I read in Mort Rosenblum’s book, Chocolate, that I’m very fond of sharing: “Expensive chocolate is not necessarily the best, but the best chocolate is rarely cheap” and “There are no right or wrong answers when it comes to the best chocolate – only strong opinions.”

  • Hi David,
    As hardly a connoisseur of chocolate but definitely a lover- I’ve bookmarked your blog for months now and enjoyed all your insight and anecdotes. I was surprised thought to find Theo under your list of excellent chocolates. I live in Seattle and have sampled both their straight-from-the-”factory” truffles and their wrapped bars on sale at the Dahlia Bakery near my office. Both times I was significantly disappointed. Honestly, I felt a little foolish having spent so much on something I liked so little. I presonally prefer Dolfin chocolates which I believe are Belgian and available at many markets nearby.

  • thanks for all the info here, and i can see that i need to be fully educated now about my chocolate addiction!

    david, ScharffenBerger chocolate (and all others) are now at World Wide Chocolate.

    (Note from David: This is a site selling chocolates from around the world.)

  • I just got around to reading this post David, and it is really excellent. I wish I could have gotten a quote from you for my book, CHOCOLATE FRENCH.
    Ciao

  • Hi David,

    Great post! I would like to add a few US-based chocolate makers to your list:

    Amano (Orem, UT)
    Askinosie (Springfield, MO)
    Patric (Columbia, MO)
    Tcho (San Francisco, CA)

    They do seem to be popping up all over the place.

  • Hi Greg: Thanks. I’ve been adding new chocolate companies to my Links page, as well as profiling them on the site as fast as I can keep up!

  • Good Afternoon David. The guy who did the investigation into Noka is a friend of mine. When I go to Dallas, we often have chocolate tastings. I kid him about his desk drawers at work hiding the largest and most impressive chocolate collection in the entire state of Texas. Right now I am enjoying some Amedi porcelana.

    Thank you for defining the difference between Chocolatier and Chocolate Maker. I will try to stop making that mistake and use the terms correctly.

    Great chocolate is just that, Great. I am looking forward to tasting the new Askinoise 77% bar that Shawn is now making from cacao he is sourcing from the Philippines.

  • Hi David
    Seems the US are the only with some valid chocolatiers ? Why does every chocolatier in the world wants to be named as “Belgian Chocolatier”??? Because the best chocolate you can find is Belgian . Even in my store here in Puerto Rico every American Tourist that comes by is enchanted with the chocloates we import weekly from Belgium . They do not want to be reminded of Hers….and other american stuff . So before you call yourself a “connaisseur”please do your homework on the subject

  • jo: Am not sure where you came to that conclusion since I mentioned and linked to chocolatiers and chocolate-makers in Italy and Belgium. (I did not write about fondeurs, like Neuhaus and Godiva Belgium, as they do not make their own chocolate.)

    Any one who thinks that Hershey’s chocolate is representative of all the chocolate sold in America obviously isn’t familiar with the small-scale chocolate-makers that I’ve mentioned. It’s like saying that McDonald’s is representative of all food in America. I don’t have a problem with Hershey’s or Mars: they do what they do.

    Since you have such a interested and informed clientele, you might wish to enlighten visitors to your shop about some of the great chocolates made in America, such as Theo, Amano, Taza, Rogue, Scharffen Berger, Patric, Steve Devries, and Askinoise, people who actually make bean-to-bar chocolate.

    But the only chocolate-maker that I’m familiar with in Belgium (not chocolate shops selling dipped-chocolates, but companies that make bean-to-bar chocolate) is Callebaut. If there are others, please let me know who they are as I’m always on the lookout for great bean-to-bar tablets of chocolate, especially from small producers, to feature on the site….

  • :O i cannot believe you thinkUS makes the best chocolate and when you say European chocolate it is a wide range of countries, cadbury and galaxy are the best chocolate i have ever tastsed. My dad got back from America and brought some chocolate bars back- one of them was Hershey’s. It was GREBBY, URGHHHHHH. it kind of gives as aftertaste of sick!! cadbury and galaxy, which is the american version of Dove, but galaxy and cadbury are much sweeter than chocolate in the U.S
    GO EUROPEEE!

  • Hi David,

    I do get your point about the chocolate discussion and of course you are absolutely right.

    Anyway I would like to know if your statement that there are more artisan made chocolates in the states than in europe is based on personal experience or is there a source that could be checked?

    Thanks for a reply,

    Flo

  • Flo: I don’t know how many ‘artisan’ or bean-to-bar chocolate makers there are in Europe, but I only know one or two in France. (Ok, three: Pralus, Dufour, and Bernachon.) But their chocolates aren’t widely distributed: for example, there’s one two places in France that sell Bernachon chocolate, for example.

    As far as I know, no one has compiled a list of chocolate makers in Europe, like the one above. (I’ve seen a few lists, but they’ve included many chocolate fondeurse, erroneously.)

    The latest in America are the Mast Brothers and the youngest is Amy’s Chocolate. I would love to find counterparts to these folks in Europe. So if you know of any, I’d be interested in tasting their chocolates and reporting about them on the site.

  • wow that was a quick reply…
    i just wanna point out that because you know more bean-to-bar chocolate makers in america than here, doesnt mean thats necessarily the case, though it may be or even be likely cuz i suppose you know the scene. but therefor your statement is still an assumption rather than a fact or you should’ve added something like “apparently” or “it seems like…”.
    on the other hand the wikipedia list of chocolate manufacturers names around 20 american and 50 european ones, with 17 alone from switzerland. calculating the number of artisan chocolate makers from this statistic i wouldnt be surprised if there were more in europe as well.
    also, a feeling prooved to me by amy’s homepage again (as much as i appreciate and respect her project), and what you might have experienced here too: internet presence, distribution and blogging in europe is probably not as well-established or omnipresent as its in the states. maybe some local small-scale producers here still dont do this and therefor are yet to be discovered (dunno, maybe they spend more time on making chocolate) but of course thats just a far-fetched guess.

    anyway im gonna visit florence soon for the first time and already gathering all your infos on it. i also found a brand there called “vestri” that does actually have a homepage and seems to produce from bean to bar. but since im just a university student and therefor dont have so much money to spend on expensive experiments, i would like to have your advise on this brand in case you know it.

  • David,
    What a wonderful post, explanation, and summary. I had mistakenly been calling Chocolate Makers “Chocolatiers” and I stand corrected. Perhaps I just thought that the latter sounded more elite and worldly. :-)

    One of my current national favorites is Askinosie. I like eating one letter at a time.

  • I want to jump in and swim in that chocolate machine tub thing *drool*

  • Am interested in setting up a chocolate factory in a huge cocoa producing area and have 85,000tons available annually and increasing,being organic and with the european demand,the project is to build a small chocolate factory and buy all the cocoa on the island from a established cooperative and meet the local domestic and international. demands,This is Government approved with tax concessions and land already available with a port etc.I can guarantee a most lucrative outcome for the short and longterm

  • David,

    I have a question about bean to bar chocolate. When a company isn’t bean to bar, does that mean they are just re-molding whomever they buy the chocolate from? I’m thinking about companies like Chocolove and Dagoba (i heard they both aren’t bean to bar) and their dark chocolate bars that don’t have any thing else in them. Thanks

    • Brian: Yes, in most instances, they are buying already made chocolate and melting it down to use again. There’s nothing inherently wrong with that and in France, they’re called fondeurs (melters). Some companies are now buying already roasted beans or cocoa bean paste, and finishing it off themselves and transforming it into finished chocolate.

  • What about Pierre Marcolini?

    http://www.marcolini.be/

  • Willie’s Cacao – in the UK – Ecuadorian, Peruvian & Guatemalan – from bean to bar.
    Exceptionally excellent even though English.

  • Ginger Elizabeth Chocolatier in Sacramento, California has been producing wonderful chocolates for a few years now. Ginger takes the time to infuse her ganache centers with a variety of aromatics and does not use any extracts. All of her products are all-natural and contain no preservatives. She makes everything from scratch. Give them a try and I am sure you will be pleased. She was recently chosen as a Top Ten Chocolatier by Dessert Professional, the magazine for the pastry and baking professionals.

  • What happened to Devries??? Bought out??

  • Isabel: I mentioned Pierre Marcolini at this post when I wrote about chocolate-covered marshmallows.

    Carol: Yes, Ginger makes lovely chocolate. I featured Ginger Elizabeth a while back.

    Solls: I haven’t heard anything about a sale of DeVries chocolate so I don’t know.

  • Hey, you might want to add to your list:

    Olive & Sinclair – Nashville, Tennessee – http://oliveandsinclair.com/
    Cacao Atlanta – Atlanta, Georgia – http://cacaoatlanta.com/
    Escazu – Raleigh, North Carolina – http://www.escazuchocolates.com/
    Fresco – Lynden, Washington – http://frescochocolate.com/default.aspx

    I found Olive & Sinclair and Escazu to have been well worth seeking out.