Highlights from the Chocolate Show, in NYC until 11/13/2005.
Bissinger's has just launched a line of dark chocolate covered seeds and nuts they call Naturals. The Black Sesame Crunch is one of the best things I've tasted recently. Crunchy, savory, handmade...they are high in antioxidants and protein and low in sugar and carbs. The bag disappered within two minutes at CH HQ. Available online and at some Whole Foods. $7 for a 5 oz. bag.
Chocolove has been committed to great tasting, high quality, reasonably priced dark chocolate for ten years. When some of the employees were saying how much they missed the old days they came up with a dream bar of milk chocolate with toffee and almonds. They convinced the chocolatier to whip up some samples and it quickly evolved into the new Toffee & Almonds in 33% Milk Chocolate bar. Be careful, it's highly addictive. Currently available online at Chocolove; 12 3.2 oz. bars for $20, and appearing in a store near you or from other online retailers.
Veré is a new Manhattan-based chocolate company that is equally concerned about taste, wellness and ecology. They built their own factory to control the manufacturing process and use a single variety of sustainably grown, pesticide free cocoa bean from the Ecuadorian rainforest that is particularly high in antioxidants. Its naturally high cocoa content eliminates the need to add a lot of sweeteners (and they use fructose, not sucrose). Their products are gluten and chemical free and the ingredients (mostly) organic. Many are vegan. I sampled a few of their confections and all were incredible, especially the brownie bites. Available online and at several New York City retailers later this month. You can sign up for more information on their mailing list. Their factory is down the street from CH HQ so we may have to make a site visit soon...
We know that many of you like to have custom everything. Sid Chidiac is an artist who paints in 100% edible chocolate (Callebaut, nonetheless). While this portrait (right) won't last an eternity, it is one that can be (truly) enjoyed by friends and family. His custom paintings will set you back around $1,000 but make quite an impression at a party.
Another impressive piece of edible art is this very large work (right) made by Mary's Chocolates, a Japanese chocolate company. It is a chocolate interpretation of Kitagara Utamaro's well known Ukiyoe style painting Takashimaya Ohisa from the late nineteenth century. [I'm glad my degree in Asian Studies has been put to some good use.]
Other discoveries (including many hot chocolate mixes) to come...