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Cocoa Pods Soon to Be Spotted at Tumacacori National HIstoric Park

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It's always interesting to see where and how our pods are used, especially for educational purposes. Parks, museums, colleges, elementary and high school teachers and other learning institutions use cocoa pods in displays, as teaching and visual aids, and for research. The Tumacacori National HIstoric Park recently purchased our Chocolate Education Kit and Ranger Rick Collins had [...]

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Why Isn't More Chocolate Produced at Origin?

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Previously I discussed why chocolate makers aren't and will never be like vintners. I had also just read an articlefrom The Chocolate Journalist discussing some very relevant info on this topic. So to expand on my previous post, here are some additional thoughts on why more chocolate isn't being made at origin. While there are a few companies with [...]

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Why Cacao Growers Aren't Vintners

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Many commentators have compared the burgeoning craft chocolate industry to the specialty coffee, wine industry, or craft beer industry.  While the wine model may look like a close match for a farm to bar operation, it is far from feasible for the industry. An article about Ritter Sport's purchase of land in Nicaragua for cacao production [...]

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Saving the Environment...with Cocoa Pods?

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We are regularly and delightfully amazed and surprised by the clients we have. From being used as a visual tool for education about chocolate and cocoa in the classroom or museum display, to a decorative item for a chocolate trade show, to a dessert display piece, almost every other week we are astonished by the [...]

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Tasting Fine Chocolate - Flavor Notes You Need To Look For

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This week we share some tips on what quality flavor notes to look for when tasting chocolate. It's easiest to start by looking for off flavors-the bad ones, the ones you don't want-as they are easier to recognize than good flavors.  We talked about those last week in this post. Now we move on to [...]

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7 Tips Towards Becoming a Pro Chocolate Taster

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Developing your palate for chocolate takes time and practice. Some basic knowledge about chocolate can help you develop your palate, provide you some tools to better describe what you're tasting, and help you better understand what chocolates you like and why you like them. Tasting Wheel, Blommer Chocolate, http://www.blommer.com/collateral/Flavor_wheel_cho...Tasting wheels like the one shown above are [...]

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Terroir and Chocolate-Just a Bunch of Bananas?

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I taste a lot of chocolate that comes my way. I also used to do tastings regularly several times a month for clients or tourists who came in to our shop when we lived in Ecuador. We regularly tasted the same chocolates, so it´s easy to tell if the same products really taste the same [...]

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Chocolate Percentages-What Do They Mean?

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You've probably heard a lot about dark chocolate, that you should eat chocolate that is 70% or higher in cocoa content. There are health benefits from dark chocolate and you want to get them. A lot of information and buzzwords are tossed around on food labels too: "raw," "gluten free," "vegan." Do any of these [...]

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​5 Questions for Your Chocolate Maker

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The chocolate bar section of your local grocery, special store, or retail shop is already a crowded space, and growing increasingly more so. There are new bean-to-bar brands popping up daily, new products incorporating chocolate coming out all the time, and new packaging and product selection makes distinguishing quality chocolate more and more difficult. Fierce competition for shelf space means you [...]

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How Do You Define Raw Chocolate?

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I get lots of requests for raw cocoa beans or products, see lots of raw claims, and continue to wonder what the *&@* raw is…you probably do too. I’ve read that foods remain raw if the food has not been heated over 118°F, or 114°F. Supposedly this protects any naturally occurring enzymes as well as [...]

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