Interview to Cioccolati Italiani: the surplus is the format!

Cioccolati Italiani is the best place where you can go if you want to taste real good chocolate! There is a kind of chocolate for each of you, from icecream to bars, brioches, cakes, you just have to think about something and order it: the Heaven!

The first shop was created in Naples on December 2008 and the idea of a place where people could taste precious and unusual chocolate delights hit it big, so they dedided to expand soon in Milan on February 2009. Here customers answered successfully to the new format that was introduced, something original even in such a big city.

Speaking with Vincenzo Ferrieri (his father opened the first shop in Naples) that’s what I discovered:

– How did you develope and spread this new format?

The most difficult thing was to standardize processes in order to materialize what we had in our mind and to create a particular new format, different from the competition, where the act of eating chocolate is an involving experience. The difficulties consisted in finding the right production lines certificates, in the suppliers’ choise, in meeting exactly the unsatisfied needs of consumers… Suppliers are very jealous of their product because they want to be sure that it is used in the right way, promoting its quality and underlining the fair origin.

when we opened in Milan we didn’ t focus on advertising, we simply paid two consulting agencies and a press agency for the first year, which “made the name of Cioccolati Italiani go round”. A big opportunity was the arrangement of the collaboration with the Costa Group at the Furniture Fair.  The rsult was that we reached the breakeven point in 8 months, the average is at least one year and half. Despite the consistent initial investment it revealed a great success, considering that the shop is not located on the main street but you have to go intentionally. It was a bet also because in Naples the other confectionery is in a shopping centre, with a different target of clients, different mentality and of course a different format too.

– How did you choose the suppliers?

The secret was starting from the product itself and arriving to the product as it is conceived in the customer’s mind! What stays in the middle is worth of attention anyway. What I’m trying to say is that we wanted to give visibility to small craftsmen, who works in small ateliers and make small delights on their own; the idea was to join them under the same roof to strenghten their position. The first trouble was to match many “First Ladies”, with independent concepts and own skills. We convinced them because we decided to underline quality and to emphasize their name: we don’ t produce chocolate, we select it!                                                        In France and Belgium chocolate is produced more or less in the same way, in Italy there is a different tradition in each place: Turin, Perugia, Piemonte, Modena… and for this reason we select the best proposals, Silvio Bessone, Fabrizio Galla, Francesco Sella… 

– What exactly do you make here?

Pastries are made here, icecream and everything what is connected with the transformation of the craftsmen chocolate. We use the bars of Bessone and Sella to produce delights and Roberto Lobrano takes care of  the icecrem processing. An interesting thing that we introduce in the organization is to entrust a specific unit to an expert of the field: Roberto Lobrano for icecream, Besssone, Galla, Deriso for chocolate, Cioccolati Italiani for coffee…

  – What about your staff?

Here in Milan there are 18 people, but it is difficult to find skilled people. Two weeks are necessary as vocational education, but in the field of icecream it is one months. Although the turnover of shopassistants is quite high we focused on the support of a kind atmosphere, which can be perceived by our customers too. The strengh point is the relationship with the client because here chocolate is not only food, it is an experience.

– Any future improvements?

Probably we will focus on visual attraction of design. The caveau where we stock bars is fascinating but we need something like a small exhibition of our products in order to attract clients and to make them trying something new or buying something that they wouldn’t have seen behind the counter. With the same purpose we will also add small pieces of chocolate to taste.

Here there are other fotos of the location:

The caveau:

  

  

  

  

  

The shop:

  

 

 

 

 

 

Vincenzo Ferrieri:

  

  

  

  

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

And that’s to convince you that at Cioccolati Italiani chocolate is an experience: try it! 

 

High culture vs low culture: it’ s up to you

Chocolate and art: an unusual portrait

The chocolate art of Tokyo chocolatier Madame Setsuko Co. regularly appears at international chocolate salons in Tokyo, Paris, and New York. At many salons they have presented chocolate portraits of the Mona Lisa. Left photo shows president Setsuko Hara presenting one in bas relief for the 2006 Tokyo salon.                Below is a chocolate painting for the Tokyo salon.               Nothing better than this could be considered an example of how the skills and abilities of a chocolatier can be used in the artistic field: chocolate is art and therefore it is a piece of high culture. 

But what about considering a medium that can reach everybody?   

I’m speaking about television, the emblem of all mass-media! 

TCB CAFE Publishing & Media and the TasteTV, bring to chocolate lovers and new media television viewers CHOCOLATE TELEVISION, a new food, cooking and lifestyle program that stars everyone’s favorite culinary delight: Chocolate, of course!  Chocolate bars, chocolate makers, chocolate dishes, chocolate reviews, chocolate recipes, chocolate products, chocolate tastings, chocolate cookbooks, chocolatiers, even chocolate commercials, are all included on Chocolate Television. Can you stand the sweet (or bittersweet, if that’s more to your liking)? Exactly what I’m speaking about on this blog. 

On this interactive, reality television program, chefs, chocolatiers and chocolate lovers demonstrate the best recipes, taste the finest chocolates, and show how cocoa can be a delicious part of your life. In addition, selected viewers and independent producers can also share their own chocolate videos with the audience, demonstrating that there’s more than one way to enjoy the dripping, melting, solid or crunchy pleasures of “le chocolat.”  
 

Here there is an example of what you can see on Chocolate Television:    

http://www.tastetv.com/sfchocolatesalon_videos.html 

What do you prefer? High culture or low culture? 

Paints can be the example of high culture because only people, who are interested in art go to exhibitions, tv instead, is a mass-medium, it reaches each house, news spread quickly and it is a window on our homes: I’ ve labeled it “low culture”  simply because it is accessible to all, not because it is less value, its contents(not all but many) can be considered “high” anyway. Probably the best solution would be to join the high and the low and to mix them up and to create a unique, single culture…

Published in: on giugno 4, 2010 at 10:36 pm  Comments (17)  

Innovation for a small group: Chocolight!

Interview to Chiara Boscolo: part 3

– I see “Chocolight” overthere, tempting and healthy at the same time is it possible?

Yes, the research of Venchi focused exactly on that aspect: creating a chocolate with the perfect taste of the normal chocolate but with less calories and sugar in order to be appreciateb by diabetics, caeliacs and silhouette fans. The product has to be healthy but not frustrating, that doesn’ t taste of renounciation but that indulgingly gratifies and satisfies the palate.

– How is this light chocolate created?

When choosing No Added Sugar Chocolate it is essencial not only to check ingredients but above all to evaluate and compare the taste. A shelf covered with brands of No Added Sugar products to offer to the customer is not what counts; what matters is customer satisfaction, because it is huge added value to be able to offer people with dietary restriction a product that not only is good for their health, but that also tastes great. In accordance with this princuple, Venchi’ s goal is to work on the countless quality of chocolate, thus increasing its healthiness but not only: the objective on the research, trying to stand out among the many brands producing sugar free chocolate to the disadvantage of flavour, has been to create a healthy but not frustrating product, which gratifies the palate.  After several years of study Choccolight started to be distributed only in specialist shops and in the pharmaceutical sector. This chocolate contains no addes sugar as it is sweeted with maltitol, a completely natural sustances extracted by processing the maltose contained in maize, which gives the palate a taste very similar to sugar but doesn’ t have any of its contraindications. Maltitol is slowly absorbed by the organism and drastically reduces the presence of glucose and allows people with diabetic problems to maintain a low glicemy index.  It is recommended by the American Dental Assocition as it combates the formation of caries.

– What does “light” mean in terms of calories?

All chocolight products are gluten free, thus suitable for caeliacs and are low calorie: 2.1 calories per gramm against 4.0 in sugar. Other favourable caracteristics are that thery are free of chemical and syntesis sweeteners such as Aspartame. Lastly these products are all dark chocolate and are rich in mineral salt such as potassium, magnesium, iron, calcium and phosphor. They are ideal for sportspeople and contain less sodium than a bottle of Lete water.

And this is how the most sumptuosus food of all has become a source of health too!

Published in: on maggio 26, 2010 at 9:24 pm  Comments (15)  

Less “Company” more “Customer-focused”: importance and skills

Interview to Chiara Boscolo: Part 2

 

Why do you consider a “Cioccogelateria” a different from a normal “Gelateria”?

The Venchi shop idea was to make the company less “Company” and more within the reach of the public and the consumer. Such a change stems from a variety of reasons: the most important is being associated with the “Research and Development”. Direct contact with the public puts numerous “panels” at the service of the company, that are groups formed by the consumers themselves who, through product sampling, come into direct contact with the world of chocolate. Immediate experience of that kind or focused interviews give us a clearer vision and a better understanding of the market trends, hence, when it comes to products and assortment proposal for our customers, we confidently know how to move.

  Secondly, Venchi Shop is a tool of to boost our sales techniques, bringind us o understand in a direct manner the potential weak points or strong points of a specialist  retail shop. Constant staff training is essential, because there are to be no retailers or shop assistant incapable of explining the characteristics of a chocolate, ofer the rightproduct and understand whether the customer being served is a “dark-chocolate-lover” or a “soft-centred chocolate aficionado”. Therefore the initial impact is the most crucial moment: good vendors must be able to understand within the first few minutes who they are dealing with in order to direct customer to the best purchase, with the best advice and to earn the trust of the client, who will be satisfied with the choise made. These results can be obtained only through training ancd this is the approach od Venchi in its shops.

Explain me better the concept and the format of a Cioccogelateria, please:

A “gelato novelty” ha recently been introduced in the Venchi shop and all new shops have been designed as Cioccogelaterias, a model that goes with the logic of  product seasonability and complementarity: when chocolate is produced and sold less, like in Summer, the name of the most famous Venchi chocolates shift to the icecream counter. So Cuor di Cacao, Nougatine, Brutto e Buono, Unico all step into icecream of the highest quality, produced daily inside the Cioccogelateria with natural ingredients. In these sense Venchi has blended the quality and genuineness that have always characterized its production of icecream. Thus the Summer and Winter version of many recepies…

A rich and inviting selection of chocolate flavours decline the well-known specialities such as the recent “Cioccolato Azteco”, a captivating extradark chocolate sorbet with an intense flavuor, produced wit the old traditional recipe and free of milk by-products.

Completing the range are a series of classic cream flavours, from Nocciola (only PGI Piedmont Hazelnuts) to Crema Venchi, Fior di Panna and Pistacchio.

To summerize: which are the strong points of a Cioccogelateria?

As already said, for Venchi the Cioccogelateria is a privileged means od Research and Development and at the same time its promotional means par excellence: what Venchi doen not invest in traditional and sterile means of communication, it invests in the opening of shops in strategic points of the most important Italian cities (Bologna, Padova, Milano, Treviso, Torino), boasting an alluring and indentifiable format. It is precisely and mainly for this reason that the Cioccogelateria has been designed: to offer, make known and expand the range and the quality of its products to a public that is increasing thanks to the fame of icecream: an impulsive asset!

 

www.venchi.it

Cioccogelateria – Via Altinate,6 35100- Padova

Published in: on maggio 17, 2010 at 12:33 am  Comments (11)  

Not just production: chocoEvents and chocoFacilities not only for chocoFuns

For the past eight years, the city of Perugia in Umbria,  has been home to the Eurochocolate Festival, it is Italy’s biggest chocofest. Perugia is home to the Perugina chocolate factory (now owned by Nestle), creator of one of Italy’s most famous mass market chocolate confections, the Perugina Baci. Chocolate is such a big deal around here that the town also holds other events during the year, including the upcoming Eurochocolate Christmas. Now, they’ve had to invent a pretty fancy place for the world’s chocolate lovers to stay, a place worthy of them.

The Food of Gods becomes the present protagonist of human existence, influencing costumes and practices of common people and their daily life style. Though it means, for example communicating through a chocolate bar instead of a mobile phone, as it appears on the Italian communication campaign named: “Cioccolato senti quento è buono ;-)” – “Feel how good it is ;-)”.

The images of the campaign actually portray many ordinary people using a chocolate bar as a cellphone for chatting, texting, taking pictures, listening to the music…

Chocolate succeeds in catching modern technology in a funny and tempting trap. It turns in sweet batteries – The Chocopower,  that bucks your day up and belongs to wellness and health after the entry of Chocopirin-A, already rebaptized “Chocolate Aspirin”. In Eurochocolate, then, insatiable lovers of chocolate, adults and children, will experience the Chocolate Era plunging in a present and futuristic dimension of over glowing delicacy.

Eurochocolate means also going through the culture of a fascinating town like Perugia, plenty of history, art and traditions that in nine days time becomes a huge chocolaterie en plein air to discover, also thanks to the successful Chococard (5,00 €) offering sweet advantages for a funny experience in the name of leisure and goodness of chocolate. Advantages that will be immediately tangible among the stands of the Chocolate Show and those of the Rocca Pralina, two suggestive areas with more then 150 chocolate brands coming from each angle of the world.

Eurochocolate is also the instrument for promoting protection of important values as solidarity, biodiversity, traceability and sustainability of the production process of cocoa, aiming to guarantee a sustainable future based on the decrease of the differences between developed and developing countries.

With that mission, Eurochocolate World was born three years ago: a really appreciated vessel that promotes joint activities sponsored by international organization as ICCO (International Cocoa Organization) and Fairtrade TransFair Italia, one of the main organization for the certification of fair-trade products. Since then, Eurochocolate World confirms the success of the event in Perugia on this field as well, through concrete actions for economy development and awareness campaigns, beginning with the lessons of Equoscuola focused on fair-trade chocolate culture and addressed to the youngest generations.

 

And there is something more…

…They came up with the Etruscan Chocohotel an hotel devoted to our favorite substance.
 
That’s right, a chocolate hotel, as in chocolate, chocolate, everywhere you turn, and a restaurant menu full of sweet and savory chocolate dishes. The walls are lined with the history of chocolate, with drinking chocolate cups and chocolate labels of times gone by. The chocolate boutique carries chocolate beauty products in addition to the fine chocolates from top makers around the world.

It occurred to that something so basic, so simple, should have been invented long before now! Why hasn’t someone, on some committee somewhere long ago, proclaimed “Henceforth, all hotels shall be chocolate hotels!” Now that’s more like it.

Okay, I know what your thinking, and you’re right, you’re right, perhaps I was a bit hasty. All hotels cannot be chocolate hotels. That is completely impractical. Have to leave room the caramel hotels, the cake hotels, and of course the pie hotels. Okay, now we’ve got it.
 
Anyway, he important thing I want you to focus on is that there is not only choco-production for different targets, but also choco-distribution, promotion and entertainment, you just have to take part and
enjoy it!

Published in: on maggio 9, 2010 at 9:12 pm  Comments (11)  

Chocolab: How you build the How

There is a place near Perugia where the art of chocolate becomes reality. It is a real school where pleasure, culture, taste and wellbeing are mixed together to satisfy your will of chocolate.

From our point of view it can be considered the fusion between the multinational business of Nestlè, which owns Perugina, the perfection of chocolatiers’ experience and the common passion for cooking of a mother: here you can learn, step by step, how to transfom a raw bean into a masterpiece of delight.

The school is innovative because it teaches you not only to cook, bake or prepare candies, but also to taste chocolate and distinguish different kinds of beans, different processing techniques…again we come back to the comparison with wine: someliers like chocolatiers.

The school offers 14 workplaces with all instruments and equipment that you need to realize with your hands small masterpieces of beauty and delight. Courses start from chocolate origins, its history, its characteristics, the manufacturing process…in order to discover the secrets of the Gold of Maya and the secret of Perugina experience since 1907.

Perugina courses are directed to children, young people, men and omen who share the passion and curiosity for chocolate. At each course you meet people who accompain you in this experience and a visit to the chocolate museum and the facoty is included: a way to disover both the industrial and the artistic soul of this famous italian brand.

The courses are divided into:

Classicals: Master Milk, Master Dark

Artist’s courses: Tellit with a kiss, create your praline, 5 senses of creative pleasure,lessons of chocolate

Theme courses: Christmas tree, Easter eggs, Mum sweet mum

Courses for professional schools: chocolate, what a passion, future job

School courses: minidive, dive

 

The school has been the protagonist of several well-known events:                                                                                                                         

 14 Donna Moderna readers had the possibility to spend an entire day into the school and taking part in courses with the most skillful italian chocolatries, to learn how to please their children and husbunds with chocolate delights. They came home with a tray of self-made pralines!

– “Lessons of Chocolate”: some scens of the film “Lezioni di cioccolato” have been shot here. The casting, Neri Marcorè, Luca Argentero and  Violante Placido followed a course in this school to learn how to create perfect candies.

Try this nice experience, take part in a course, the famous Kamal Pyramid, known thank to the film, has its origin here!

Published in: on maggio 5, 2010 at 9:44 pm  Comments (32)  

From mass to self production:the keyword is “fair”

Chocoday -2009 October, 12th
THE CULTURE OF GOOD CHOCOLATE


Open Chocolatiers is this year’s big innovation, in collaboration with Fairtrade Italia. Teaching activities at schools are back, along with the partnership with CoorDown for the National Down Syndrome Day

 Good because it is made exclusively with cocoa butter and mass, without any added fat or vegetable oil. Good because it defends the ethical and social values tied to its production. And good because it is monitored throughout every production phase in terms of biodiversity, transparency and traceability.

For the fifth consecutive year, Monday 12 October 2009, was again Chocoday, the National Cocoa and Chocolate Day created and promoted by Eurochocolate in collaboration with Fairtrade Italia, the organisation that certifies fair-trade products to celebrate and promote Good Chocolate in Italy and around the world.

 Thanks to the partnership with Fairtrade Italia, the first Open Chocolatiers event will be organised this year: chocolatiers and patisseries all over Italy will allow the public to enter and discover the secrets of Italy’s best artisanal chocolate, made exclusively with chocolate certified by Fairtrade.

Cocoa producers, exporters and importers, chocolate producers, patisseries, chocolatiers, trade associations, schools, NGOs, institutions, companies and choco-lovers can offer a tangible sign of their desire to protect the quality of chocolate by signing the Chocoday Manifesto and organising activities to learn more about chocolate, distinguished by the official Chocoday logo (which can be requested free of charge).

 

Educational activities are held again at schools, where children and teens will receive an original “learning kit”. They also participate in laboratories, lessons and workshops, where they get in-depth information about the production chain, from cocoa plantations to the chocolate that is regularly served at our tables, in order to encourage aware consumption from an early age.

Following last year’s success, once again Chocoday is supporting National Down Syndrome Day, promoted by the Coordination of Down Syndrome Associations. It was held on Sunday 11 October 2009, in more than 200 squares in Italy, in order to encourage respect and awareness of diversity, overcome prejudices and promote true integration in schools and workplaces.

In short, Chocoday is an important initiative in order to spread the proper culture of chocolate and promote policies that can support an ethical profile in the sector’s economic sphere.

Published in: on maggio 1, 2010 at 12:51 am  Comments (7)  

The right “how” for each moment

The most important representer of the Five Major category is probably Nestlè.

Nestlé was founded in 1866 by Henri Nestlé in Switzerland and is today the world’s leading nutrition, health and wellness company. Sales for 2009 were CHF 108 bn.  It employs around 280 000 people and have factories or operations in almost every country in the world.

The Company’s strategy is guided by several fundamental principles. Nestlé’s existing products grow through innovation and renovation while maintaining a balance in geographic activities and product lines. Long-term potential is never sacrificed for short-term performance. The Company’s priority is to bring the best and most relevant products to people, wherever they are, whatever their needs, throughout their lives.

The first Nestlè steps in Italy dated bacj 1875 when it opens a condensed milk factory, but only in 1913 Henry Nestlè snc was founded. In 1988 it overtakes Buitoni, which already owned Perugina, and italian culinary tradition started to spread all over the world, thanks to this  multinational company. In 1993 it acquired Italgel with its bands like Gelati Motta, Antica Gelateria del Corso, La Valle degli Orti

Culinary products:
Buitoni, Maggi
Confectionery products:
Perugina, Baci, Ore Liete, KitKat, Galak, Smarties, Fruit Joy, Nero Perugina
Icecreams:
Motta, Antica Gelateria del Corso, Maxibon, La Cremeria
Products containing milk:
Frùttolo, MIO, LC1 Protection, Sveltesse, Nesquik, Galak
Childhood products:
Nidina, Mio
Clinical nutritional products:
Meritene, Resource, Nova Source
Bevarage prepared products:
Nescafé, Nescafé Dolce Gusto, Nesquik, Orzoro
Breakfast muesli:
Fitness, Nesquik, Cheerios, Chocapic
Nestlé Professional:
Products for professional catering companies

Nestlé Italiana is member of Gruppo Nestlé and connected with Sanpellegrino – Nestlé Waters, Nestlé Purina Petcare, Nespresso.

What does it mean?

That we are not dealing with a simple Chocolate producing company, but that we have in front of us one of the major colossus of food industry: NOT JUST CHOCOLATE BUT THE “HOW” FOR EACH MOMENT!

Let’s see how Nestlè is able to satisfy you in every moment of the day.

Breakfast:

Nescafé, Nescafé Dolce Gusto, Nesquik, Orzoro + Fitness, Nesquik, Cheerios, Chocapic

Nestle’s best known brand is Nescafé – a combination of Nestlé and café. Nescafé, the first commercially successful soluble coffee, was introduced in Switzerland in 1938.

Nesquik powder along with the Nesquik Bunny provides kids and families with a fun way to turn milk into an irresistibly delicious, extra nutritious drink.

Nestlé, as the infant nutrition expert, has developed Nesquik Junior for children from 18 months old. The cocoa powder specially made for toddlers’ specific nutritional needs that turns the milk more nutritious and complete.

  

  

  

  

  

 

 

 

 Morning break at 10.30 

Fitness cereal helps women manage their line in a sensible way. Fitness helps women not only take off weight but also keep it off as it is made with delicious whole grain flakes. Research shows that women who eat more wholegrain tend to weigh less and are less likely to gain weight over time. Fitness also contains essential vitamins and minerals.

Or better for children: SNACKS!

 

Lunch:                                                                                                                                                                                  

Guilia Buttoni’s Pasta was the preferred pasta in town after she opened her little shop in Sansepolcro in 1827. Over 127 years of history make Buitoni one of the few remaining big Italian food brands with a rooted expertise in Italian cuisine.

Maggi:

In 1883 Julius Maggi had a vision: good-tasting, nutritious food accessible to all. The Maggi brand has grown to become one of the Nestlé Group’s most popular brands.

 

 

 

Afternoon break:

A carefully constructed balance of diverse tastes, textures and colours, culminating in an intense chocolate tip: Icecream!

Dinner:

The Stouffer’s brand traces its roots back to 1922, when the Stouffer family opened a small coffee shop in Cleveland serving delicious home-made food. With growing popularity, the family went on to open a chain of restaurants. Today, the Stouffer’s brand is still devoted to bringing families together around a table of delicious food.

The Hot Pockets brand was created in 1983 by brothers David and Paul Merage. Transforming a simple sandwich idea into a revolutionary product, they created Hot Pockets: a unique combination of a crispy-in-the-microwave crust and great tasting filling. Hot Pockets is the No. 1 frozen stuffed sandwich brand in the USA.

This unusual post is obviously not all about chocolate, but it is aimed to show how a small industry can start from a particular business and expand to many others, which are completely different!

The question I want to make you reflecting on is: if the business of Nestlè concerns everything from milk, to pizza, icecream, water, clinical products…how can we consider the quality of its chocolate? Can it be compared with the one of Lindt, or better Biasetto or Estense one?

Just think about it…

Published in: on aprile 25, 2010 at 3:36 pm  Comments (57)  

Are you a vegan? That’s for you…

Raw Chocolate Eggs

This is the first Easter-themed raw chocolate I’ve seen. It is particulary suitable for a restricted category of people: vegans or health food fans biological eaters…

Raw chocolate is chocolate that hasn’t been heat treated, has had minimal processing and is made without refined ingredients (like sugar). It’s usually dairy free and vegan, and these eggs from raw chocolate are no exception.

 

Inside the standard egg carton are four 70g, foil wrapped eggs. Slightly larger than a hens egg and much nicer to eat raw too.

There are three varieties of egg: Dark Purity, Orange Zest and After Dinner Mint. Each egg is solid chocolate, but made in two halves so they’re nice and easy to share. If you happen to like sharing. 😉

When it comes to raw chocolate, one of the things many people struggle with is the texture. The cocoa isn’t overly refined,so it can have a grainy or fibrous texture. It’s not tempered like regular chocolate either, so it doesn’t form large crystals that give chocolate that satisfying ‘thunk’ when you snap a piece off.

Raw chocolate makers use different techniques to help overcome these obstacles, so the final texture of the chocolate can vary enourmously. This raw chocolate, produced by Rawr Chocolate, with its solid, firm feel and glossy finish is a perfect example of a mass produced chocolate for a targeted group of people.

 

The texture is still quite grainy and soft, but once you get used to it, it’s really quite nice. The flavours are natural and subtle, and it’s never too sweet. There was a slightly woody flavour that came through at times, but as with the texture, I quickly got used to it.

Make no mistake though, if you’re used to your cheap mass produced supermarket Easter Eggs, solid raw chocolate eggs will take some getting used to, and they’ll never be to everyone’s taste. Some people won’t be able to get past the unusual texture and flavours at all. But if you’re a health food fan or just looking to try something a bit different, then I recommend giving these a go.

Published in: on aprile 9, 2010 at 10:59 am  Comments (4)  

Innovation in the “How”: Content, Taste, Website

Lindt Excellence Dark with a touch of Sea Salt

One of the hottest trends in candy has been the addition of sea salt. A little savory touch to a sweet. The use of salt in candy is as old as toffee, caramel, & licorice but now it’s popping into chocolates. Lindt just released their newest, an Excellent Dark with a Touch of Sea Salt bar.

The package is quite pretty and elegantly simple. The standard paperboard sleeve with a cool dark blue background for the chocolate square sporting a little sprinkle of salt.

 The chocolate bar has paperboard sleeves which protect the chocolate well, and should make it easy to keep the leftovers. Lindt has designed theirs so that once you open it, there’s no tab to tuck back in, instead it falls apart completely without a little piece of tape or a rubber band.   

The bar is fresh and has a wonderful sheen. 

The package turns out that this simple dark-named bar is only 47%. The ingredients also list butterfat but feel it tends to make dark chocolate a little less potent. Smell aside, the texture is quite nice. Silky smooth until a little pop of salt grains. 

It’s a pretty well balanced bar and a nice example of salt & sugar being used together: an innovation in the way of perceiving chocolate.  It’s not quite as deep and satisfying as the darker offerings from Lindt and of course the fact that they’ve used butterfat means it’s off the list for vegans.

Lindt just relaunched their Excellence Chocolate website with big images, lots of information about the products, including ingredients and nutrition label. And most importantly it’s not done in all flash so no crazy sounds or music & and you can link directly to a product page if you want to.

Published in: on marzo 24, 2010 at 12:13 am  Comments (4)