this link is to an external site that may or may not meet accessibility guidelines. In the beginning, like the rest of the Chocolate Valley, they made candy. You roast them and husk them and grind the cacao nibs into a fine paste. I kept thinking about the Aztecs. “The problem is cacao. After trying a chocolate so good it leaves him speechless, Pete Wells goes on an urgent tasting mission to cult Tuscan chocolatier Amedei. “Right then and there,” Cecilia would later say, "it was war. Then Cecilia offered me a tray of the first chocolate she made, called Toscano Black 70 percent. Cecilia wore a severe suit of charcoal gray, a no-nonsense expression, and a red scarf; the factory was cold that day. The next day, the whole box was gone. Cecilia asked me to put on a hairnet, a plastic jacket and disposable blue booties, then led me downstairs to the factory. A carton from Chocosphere containing just over a half pound of Amedei bars and squares ran me $50, with shipping. “The broker cannot tell you who grew the beans, or how it was done.” I don’t take Alessio for a weepy humanitarian, and yet he practices enlightened self-interest when it comes to the people who grow his cacao. Chemical compounds in coffee that produce aroma and bitterness, Science behind pulling the perfect espresso shot. In 1991, Alessio and Cecilia made a pilgrimage to Tain l’Hermitage, in the Rhône Valley, for an appointment at Valrhona. Late last year, I grew curious about an Italian chocolate brand called Amedei. A former consultant for a well-regarded European chocolate maker told me that until last year, the firm’s cacao buyer had never been to a plantation. Without doubt, adults and children on some cacao farms, particularly in West Africa, perform demanding, exhausting work for awful pay. (master) chocolatier in the world. Their parents owned a business in Pontedera that sold pastry ingredients to bakers. With the same passion today, Amedei continues to search the world to find the best ingredients for their superb Italian chocolates. The Tessieris work about 40 miles west of Florence, close to the Arno, and not far from Pisa; the Italian wine and food magazine Gambero Rosso has called this region the Chocolate Valley because of the concentration of chocolatiers who work there—among them Paul de Bondt, Roberto Catinari and Luca Mannori. You import cacao beans from plantations. Soon enough, they wanted to move to a higher grade—the highest grade they knew. “We became convinced it was impossible to become number one in the world buying beans from brokers,” Alessio says. The story of how Amedei eloped with Chuao and sent the wedding pictures to Tain l’Hermitage isn’t exactly a vision of sugar plums, but the chocolate industry has a long history of wars, most of them far more brutal. Shop All Amedei Blanco de Criollo 70% Dark Chocolate (Limited). This is the best chocolate on the planet. This line of chocolates began with an international love affair. Because the farmers worked together as a cooperative, Chuao is one of the only places where a chocolate maker could buy, at one stroke, 9 to 10 tons of uniformly excellent cacao. He put everything—the family money, even his sister—on this project.”. of Culinary Foams, Food Here are the best chocolates: Best Belgian gourmet chocolate: Neuhaus Chocolates Best French gourmet chocolate: Michel Cluizel Chocolates Best gourmet bars: K+M Best affordable bars: Green & Black's Best berries: Shari's Berries Best with exotic … are Polysaccharides? texture and full-bodied flavor. To develop his knowledge and discover new savours, he studied in Basel (Switzerland), then with Gaston LenÃ´tre in Paris. After debuting his winning … Amedei’s Grenada I Cru was quiet and had something about it that reminded me of raspberries. of Chocolate. The Madagascar is my particular favorite. And, more urgently, where could I get some? Cecilia apprenticed with bean-to-bar artisans around Europe. © Hans Gissinger. Gum vs. Locust Bean Gum, Agar A âmustâ amongst the finest cocoas CHUAO : from the cocoa paradise of Venezuela with its powerful, warm taste, this cocoa is the undisputed King of Kings amongst the finest cocoas EQUADOR : this sunny-coloured cocoa from South America, has a subtle and delicate taste with a hint of honey and flowers. You add sugar and grind some more. Amedei, founded in 1990, is the joint project of a 42-year-old Italian named Alessio Tessieri and his younger sister, Cecilia; he buys the cacao and she turns it into dark, glossy bars. are the health benefits of Chocolate? They are then roasted and transformed into the wonderful chocolates you are about to discover, compare and taste.Â IVORY COAST : a basic cocoa from Africa with a deliciously light flavour MADAGASCAR : a blonde, sweet cocoa from the Indian Ocean, fruity to the taste and well-balanced CEYLAN : a hearty cocoa with a nevertheless smooth, rounded taste filled with the flavours of Asia TRINITY : strong, rich-tasting cocoa bursting with sunshine from the West Indies and a flavour which intensifies as is melts in your mouth. Food and Wine presents a new network of food pros delivering the most cookable recipes and delicious ideas online. The Chocolate Valley is not nearly as famous as other parts of Tuscany. Amedei sits just outside Pontedera, where they build those stylish Vespa scooters that make even old Italians look young. Amedei is the manufacturer that received the most Golden Bean awards ever by London’s “Academy of Chocolate”, one of the world’s most qualified institutions in the sector. They also do a really great hot chocolate, very similar to Jacque Torres … Somehow I managed to remark to Alessio that these antique machines must limit the quantity of chocolate Amedei can make. “Everyone said, why do you want to work so hard and invest in machinery?” Alessio explained. All Rights Reserved. Today, three of the largest importers of cacao to America are fighting a lawsuit filed by a human rights group claiming that they buy beans harvested by child slaves, mostly in the nation of Ivory Coast. Our 22 Best Crock Pot and Slow-Cooker Recipes. All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License. Two other Amedei products tied for silver. Molecular Properties in Cooking, Science Find more information about Amedei at amedei-us.com. is Chocolate Tempered? Both the visionary French pâtissier Pierre Hermé and the visionary Spanish chef Ferran Adrià have said that Chuao might, in fact, be the world’s greatest chocolate. The Tessieris were humored for a while, but when they were ready to make a deal, they were sent away with nothing. Another Venezuelan cocoa which lingers lovingly in the mouth. Amedei’s factory, a low brick structure, used to be an iron foundry. This last region was especially rich with cacao of the first rank; a lot of money was at stake, and life could get rough. He has invested in Chuao, agreeing to pay off the farmers’ mounting debts and buying baseball uniforms for the local team. Chocolate candy recipes and cooking tips from star chefs. Leonidas. Most chocolate makers know nothing about where their cacao comes from. “Before that, the Aztecs came down and said ’Give us your cacao or we’ll cut your hearts out.’”. Who makes the best Chocolate in the World? What Up there with the like of Pierre Herme from Paris. 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