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WHAT IS THE BEST CHOCOLATE IN THE WORLD?



WHAT MAKES SOME CHOCOLATE BETTER THAN OTHERS?

In any search for the best chocolate in the world, we must start in France. What makes France so important? As in so many matters relating to gastronomy, the French government strictly legislates the production of chocolate. Regulations prohibit the use of any vegetable or animal fat in French chocolate: Only pure cocoa butter is authorized. In addition, French chocolates must contain at least 43 percent cocoa liquor, and a minimum of 26 percent pure cocoa butter. Most French chocolates now contain well above the government's minimum of cocoa liquor. The best bonbons in French chocolate boast up to 80 percent of dark rich cocoa liquor. And, since it is the cocoa liquor that gives chocolate it's rich taste, it is not surprising that French chocolates remain the best in the world.

The flavor and nuances of chocolate will also depend on the quality and origin of the cocoa beans used to make it. The best chocolates beans come from: Venezuela, Brazil, the Ivory Coast, Madagascar, Central America and the Caribbean. Robert Linxe, owner of Paris' Maison du Chocolat, considers the "Ariba" bean from Central America as the finest of all cocoa beans due to its pronounced character and intense flavor. Other widely used beans are: "Guanaja", "Manjari", "Pur Caraibe" or "Guayaquil" on their chocolate bars.

Editorial Note: While these great delectable taste great they are also very expensive running 2-3 dollars for each 'single bonbon' shown below. On the other hand Chocolate Bars using the same high quality cocoa liquor run a fraction of the cost. Chocolate bars from such makers as Valhrona and Michel Cluizel are ideal ways to get acquainted with some of the best tasting chocolates in the world. See also What are the Best Chocolate Bars in the World.

HERE IS OUR SELECTION OF THE BEST CHOCOLATE IN THE WORLD

La Maison du Chocolat Created in 1977 by Robert Linxe. la Maison du Chocolat sets the benchmark for his unusual and subtle associations of natural flavors coupled with chocolates from different origins. Main boutique shops are located in Paris, New York, and London. Chocolate can be purchased online. La Maison du Chocolat remains our favorite pick.

Richart Design et Chocolat --1, rue du Plat 69002 LYON --- 7 E 55TH St New York, NY 10022-3102 Richart are smaller, and the flavors are more exotic. Michel Richart is fond of using exotic spices and herbs, and likes to make tiny chocolates that are just one mouthful. In the NY store the chocolates are flown in twice a week from Lyon, France 80 year old chocolate gallery -- inventive flavors -- with an accent on fruit, spice or flower-flavoured ganaches. Stores in Paris, Lyon, Barcelona, Milan, Tokyo, New York

Jacques Genin from Paris. Mort Rosenblum picks Jacque Genin as his top Chocolatier. The only problem is that Jacques Genin does not have a chocolate boutique, instead he sends his creations in chocolate off to Alain Ducasse's restaurants, hotels like the George V and Crillon, and luxury-food purveyor Hédiard. Genin recently began taking customers into his workshop on a quiet residential street. At 18 Rue St.-Charles, 15th arrondissement; 33-1-45-77-29-01.

Amedei's Chauo .The Italian chocolate maker, Alessio Tessieri, owner of Amedei, a small chocolate works in Tuscany, has secured himself the exclusive rights to the Venezuelan plantation where the legendary Chuao cocoa bean is grown. His sister Cecilia is the master chocolate maker and has formulated a chocolate so unique that it has won over even a highly discerning chef like Heinz Beck. The newly formed Academy of Chocolate in London has named Chauo the best chocolate in the world. [via Nickie Goomba.] Chauo won the Gold Medal. Chauo won "because of its fruity flavor and unique character". See also: The most delicious chocolate in the world is Italian.

Jean-Paul Hévin 23 bis avenue de la Motte Picquet Paris, France 75007 France -- other locations A pastry chef by the time he was 24 years old, Jean-Paul Hévin started out at the Hôtel Intercontinental and then worked at the Hôtel Nikko from 1976 until 1988, where he spent seven creative, discovery-filled years pursuing his craft alongside Joël Robuchon. Cheese-flavored chocolates (with tastes like Camembert, goat cheese, and Roquefort) are as outrageous as they are offbeat. Moreover, each variety features a flavor-enhancing dried fruit, herb, or spice: époisses cheese/ cumin, Pont l'évêque cheese/thyme, goat cheese/hazelnut, and roquefort/walnut.

Michel Cluizel -- "La Boutique Michel Cluizel" (alias "La Fontaine au Chocolat) displays Michel Cluizel's main products in the heart of Paris, 201 rue Saint Honoré. Since 1948, Michel Cluizel is one of the rare chocolate manufacturers to process cocoa beans. Assisted by his four children, he elaborates exceptional chocolates in his Chocolaterie, in the south of Normandy. Selections: Created in Michel Cluizel's chocolaterie, with a blend of cocoa beans from several origins, these fine dark and milk chocolate stand out from others by their cocoa content or specific added ingredients. Noir de Cacao 72% Grand Noir 85% Noir Infini 99% Noir au Café (coffee) Noir aux Ecorces d'Orange (orange peel) Noir au Grué de Cacao (cocoa nibs) Noir au Praliné à l'Ancienne Grand Lait 45% (milk) Grand Lait aux Noisettes (milk / haselnuts) What to try: Noir au Grué de Cacao (cocoa nibs) Dark chocolate : 60% cocoa This 'grué' is made from small fragments of cocoa beans specifically produced by the Island of Santo Domingo. After fermentation and drying, the beans are roasted, their shells removed, then ground and blended with the chocolate for a fine chocolate-cocoa harmony. A branch is now located in ABC carpets, NYC.

Christian Constant --37, rue d'Assas, Paris -- Mr. Constant is a master chocolatier who travels the world to garner the best ingredients for his creations. He makes the chocolates from the finest cocoa liquor and cocoa butter. The flavors are delicious and subtle. The sugar addition is just enough, so the texture is incredibly smooth. Mr. Constant offers four different hot chocolates, described with adjectives like onctueux, cremeux and parfumé.Dave Lebovitz's (author of the Great Book of Chocolate) pick is the glossy slick as ice tarte au chocolate with a rich chocolate crust.

Patrick Roger - (108, blvd. Saint-Germain, Paris -- recently opened)....Patrick Roger is said to be the "craziest of all the chocolatier" by many in the field. Patrick Roger is a chocolate maker in the town of Sceaux. He creates boxes of chocolates. Green boxes of chocolates. He gets his quinces from the family garden and makes sweets with them. His chocolates offer a new take on classics by using unexpected flavor combinations. He earned the distinguished title of Meilleur Ouvrier de France in 2000

Bernachon 42 Cours Franklin Roosevelt, 69006 Lyon, France. Phone: (33) 78 24 37 98, (33) 78 52 67 77 (fax). daily roasting of cocoa beans, from Puerto Cabello, Guayaquil, Santa Fé, San Antonio, Madagascar, Jamaïca, Bahia. Chocolates arise out of the clever mixture of these cocoa beans and inimitable products such as Echire butter and Isigny cream. Best Picks: Le palet d'or (Fresh cream and dark chocolate adorned with a golden leaf). The Bernachon Kalouga bar --rich and smooth salted butter caramel in 55% dark chocolate. Rating:

Pierre Marcolini -- Stores in Brussels, France, Japan, UK and New York. Pierre is one of only two Belgian chocolatiers, and one of four in all of Europe , the title of chocolatier being bestowed solely upon those who select their beans, roast them and make their own basic ingredient, couverture. He uses only the finest cocoa beans from Venezuela, Madagascar, Ecuador and Mexico. New location for the signature collection of Pierre Marcolini is at: 485 Park Avenue, New York City. Products" Coeur Framboise -- A bitter ganache with raspberry pulp coated with white chocolate, wide selection of bonbon's from different origins, herbal infusions. Try: Java Fondant and Coeur Framboise.

Cacao Sampaka -- Eight collection of bombes (bonbons) 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. Grandes orígenes del cacao Frutos secos y crujientes Cacaos y especias de América Flores, hierbas e infusiones Vinos, licores y aguardientes Frutas y mermeladas de frutas Trufas forradas de cacao amargo Innovaciones gastronómicas --- culinary consultant Ivan Stoler says: "Cacao Sampaka is the pushing the boundaries of what chocolate can be, using ingredients such as Eucalyptus and Cardamon in his Chocolate Bars" .Stoler's personal favorites include the single bean variety bonbons and the bonbons with liquors (Collection No.5 -- Vinos, Licores y Aguardientes)

Pierre Hermes -- The Pierre Herme patisserie is located in the 6th arrondissement at 72 Rue Bonaparte, 75006 Paris Phone: +33 1 43 54 47 77 Fax: +33 1 43 54 94 90. Pierre Hermé, widely considered the greatest pastry chef in the world, has some of the most interesting chocolate in town. Herme is the “Picasso of pastry”, in the words of fashion magazine Vogue. Try his version of “Death by Chocolate”, a moist chocolate biscuit base layered with smooth chocolate cream, frothy chocolate mousse and fine leaves of crunchy chocolate for an explosion of textures.

Debauve & Gallais --30, rue des Saints-Pères Paris VIIe. For years savvy travellers have flocked to the legendary Debauve & Gallais store on Paris' Left Bank. Established in Paris in 1800 and appointed the official chocolatier to the French court, Debauve & Gallais has since built a cult following among chocoholics, gourmands, and connoisseurs all over the world. Formerly a treasure closely guarded by the French, Debauve & Gallais chocolates have finally made their way states French company’s new Manhattan boutique --20 East 69th Street off Madison)

Michel Chaudun 149 rue de l'Universite, Paris 75007 (Stores in Paris and Tokyo) A former employee of La Maison du Chocolate, Michel Chaudun set out on his own just a few years ago, opening a little corner shop on Rue de l'Universite. According to one well-known Parisian food critic, Chaudun's product now equals that of his mentor, Robert Linxe, in both quality and creativity. His base chocolate, a blend of chocolates from nine sources, is rich and complex. Products: includes over twenty-five creations, the latest of which is a crunchy, dark chocolate (70 percent cocoa liquor) flavored with toasted, crushed cocoa beans.
Michel Chaudun 149 rue de l'Universite, Paris 75007 (Stores in Paris and Tokyo) A former employee of La Maison du Chocolate, Michel Chaudun set out on his own just a few years ago, opening a little corner shop on Rue de l'Universite. According to one well-known Parisian food critic, Chaudun's product now equals that of his mentor, Robert Linxe, in both quality and creativity. His base chocolate, a blend of chocolates from nine sources, is rich and complex. Products: includes over twenty-five creations, the latest of which is a crunchy, dark chocolate (70 percent cocoa liquor) flavored with toasted, crushed cocoa beans.

Enric Rovira -- Avda Josep Tarradellas 113, Les Corts (93 419 25 47 / www.enricrovira.com). Metro Entença -- Barcelona Spain --The most deluxe of Barcelona’s growing tribe of chocolate boutiques, Rovira produces velvety smooth, hazelnut-studded versions of Gaudí’s hexagonal pavement slabs, pink peppercorn truffles, Cabernet Sauvignon bonbons and twisty blocks of Christmas turrón in unusual flavours. Enric Rovira is a chocolate artist. Each of his unique creations is not only a work of art in form, but in taste as well. Having grown up surrounded by sweets in his father's pastry shop, today Enric uses chocolate as his artisic medium to portray the tradition and character of his city, Barcelona. Try: Chocolate covered corn/maize.

Valrhona Chocolate -- - Valrhona Chocolate continues to be one of our favorites and it has been accessible throughout the world. Many restaurants will use this product in their pastries. And it is even recommended by the Great Pastry Pierre Hermes in his pastry book. Perhaps the best choice in cooking is to purchase the large blocks. Products: Chef Grand Cru and Domain Dark Chocolate - Classic Dark Chocolate - Milk Chocolate and White Chocolate - Pure cocoa -- - Ground praline - Gianduja - Almond paste/marzipan

 

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