Another bar from Chuao, Venezuela made from the much sought after criollo beans, food of the gods.
A sweet cacao start, beginning with a bright acidity. It will travel across your palate, delicately caressing your senses with notes of citrus, then up tempo to a nutty finale. For the finish a light tartness remains on your tongue as the chocolatey tail pleasantly melts away.
The drama. The intrigue. Chuao.
Amedei is a bean to bar company based in Pisa, Italy. It was started in 1990 by a brother and sister team, Alessio and Cecilia Tessieri. Chocolate is a family craft. They started out as chocolatiers, but turned to chocolate making after an unpleasant visit to the French chocolate maker Valhrona, where they were unable to purchase the company’s best products because according to Valhrona, “…Italy wasn’t evolved enough to appreciate such extraordinary chocolate.” This information comes from an article in Food & Wine by Pete Wells. After this event they vowed to make the best chocolate in the world working in cooperation with the farmers and paying them fair prices.
They seem to have done quite a good job, because for the last two years in a row, Amedei has won the “Golden Bean” award for their “9″ bar from The Academy of Chocolate in London, an international honor reserved for those companies capable of producing the best bean to bar chocolate in the world. I now need to try out this “9″ bar, made from a combination of beans from 9 different plantations.
While Cecilia was learning how to make artisan chocolate, Alessio set out to source the highest quality cacao beans in the world. The search led him to Chuao, where he out bid Valhrona for the harvest, a source Valhrona had monopolized for years. Aside from succeeding in an apparently cut throat industry, Amedei is involved with the beans before they even leave the plantation. They also oversee the fermentation process, which has a major impact on the mellowing of the beans and developing the prominent flavors that will be released through the roasting process. This allows them an even greater control over the flavor of the final product.
I love the descriptions they give on their packaging. Very poetic. very Italian. Just like their chocolate.