Published on Roads & Kingdoms on 24th July 2015:
“It’s rudimentary but it works,” Kim Russell shouts over the whirr of a vacuum cleaner as he slowly pushes the freshly ground cocoa beans down a shoot.
“And it costs a lot less than the industrial winnower. You need to do it a couple of times to get all the shells out, but it’s much quicker than by hand.”
There are probably not many vacuum cleaners involved in the making of a cup of hot cocoa, but this is what happens at Crayfish Bay, an organic cocoa farm on the Caribbean island of Grenada.
Read more at Roads & Kingdoms
Published on Yahoo Lifestyle UK & Ireland on 11th July 2013:
The air was humid and sticky, the mosquitoes were out in force and hungry but the patters of rain softened the blow. A little.
I was in the rainforests of the Dominican Republic to learn about organic cocoa production. The plantation I was in produces beans for Valrhona, the company that supplies some of the finest chocolates to the world’s best restaurants, patisseries and chocolatiers.
Having been involved with chocolate as a consumer, a chef and a judge at the international chocolate awards, I thought I knew a fair bit about chocolate and its production.
Read more at Yahoo!
Published on Foodepedia on 14th April 2011:
With Easter right round the corner, it’s time for us to bring you a round up of some of the best Easter eggs out there.
Everyday (under £5):
- There’s no quibble about whether the chicken or the egg came first with Smarties’ chocolate Chicken and Egg. The milk chocolate chicken shell opens up to reveal a chocolate egg, which in turn opens up to reveal a secret stash of Smarties inside. It’s available at all major supermarkets. (RRP £2.49)
- Carluccio’s have a rather interesting take on the Easter egg with their quirky Uovo alla coque. It looks like a soft-boiled egg but has dark chocolate and hazelnut paste inside and is topped with white chocolate. You can probably serve it up for breakfast. It’s available in-store or online at www.carluccios.com. (RRP £2.95)
- New for 2011 from Guylian, the people best known for their Belgian seashells, is a trio of hand painted eggs. Made from dark, milk and white chocolate, there’s a hand decorated egg for everyone and no need to share. It’s available from all major supermarkets. (RRP £3.99)
Premium (under £25):
- Get a real sense of spring with butterfly inspired floral Easter eggs from Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference range. Available in dark, milk and white chocolate, each egg stands up all on its own. It’s available only at Sainsbury’s. (RRP £6)
- Why let someone else have all the fun when you can decorate your own eggs? Stas Temper Temper Make Your Own Egg Kit has all the edible vital parts you need to create an owl, rocket or chicken egg. It makes a Easter great activity for kids. It’s available from Waitrose. (RRP £9)
- If you’re a Japanophile then the Easter tin from Matcha Chocolat is just the thing to have. Each tin contains eight ganache filled eggs with flavours such as sencha & cherry blossom, matcha & ginger, yuzu and raspberry & wasabi. It’s an eclectic mix of Eastern promises. It’s available from matchachocolat.com. (RRP £9.95)
- The Real Hen’s Eggs from Rococo is a great surprise treat for praline lovers. Real eggs are blown out and filled with hazelnut praline so while they look like real eggs, they taste divine. So good, you might be forgiven for any pranks you play. It’s available in-store or online at rococochocolates.com. (RRP £12.50)
Super-premium (under £100):
- William Curley’s eggs can be filled with a section of nibbles including Cinder Toffee, Caramelized Piedmont Hazelnuts, Roast Gianduja Almonds, Crystallized Orange dipped in dark chocolate. It’s available in-store or online at www.williamcurley.co.uk. (RRP £30)
- You just won’t know where to start with the Glam Egg from Demmarquette. Six assorted mini caramel eggs separate two parts of the main egg. There’s also another six hiding in the base of the egg, ready to be discovered. It’s available in-store or online at www.demarquette.co.uk. (RRP £35)
- Eggs don’t have to be 3-D with Belgian chocolatier Pierre Marcolini’s reinterpretation. The egg is embeded into a sheet of chocolate which then slides neatly into a shelf of one of his boxes of chocolates. It’s available online at www.marcolini-eboutique.com. (RRP £40 for two)
- Have your customisable egg and eat it too with a nougatine Easter egg from Godiva. The half chocolate egg shell comes filled with 1.5kg of Godiva chocolates of your choice and if you’re a real chocoholic you will want to add a second shell and even more chocolates. It’s available by order from Godiva stores. (RRP £50)
- Prepare to be impressed by the Ostrich Egg from Hotel Chocolat. The huge eggs, available in dark or milk chocolate, comes in multiple layers of chocolate and nuts. And if that’s not enough, each treat box also contains smaller chocolate eggs and treats to share or put inside. It’s perfect for a party centrepiece. It’s available in-store or online at www.hotelchocolat.co.uk. (RRP £65)
- Paul A Young’s exclusive Easter product is a large egg available in either 70% dark, caramelized milk or white chocolate all with silver leaf and inlaid with shimmering purple and gold decoration. Presented in a hand-made box specially designed for Paul each box contains a drawer filled with Paul’s award winning chocolates. A limited edition that’s available from both of Paul A Young’s London chocolateries. www.paulayoung.co.uk . (£75)
Out of this world (£580!!!):
- The Easter egg has been incorporated into a work of art with the Easter Vegetable Garden from La Maison du Chocolat. The white, milk, dark chocolate piece is scattered with slivers of chocolate and nut vegetables and praline eggs. It’s available only at La Maison du Chocolat boutiques. (RRP £580…!)