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The Official Kiya chocolate thread (no bonbons)

post #1 of 46
Thread Starter 
I found out, sometimes in 2010, that Kiya of Self Edge is a chocolate afficionado in addition to a great many other things. Since I'm getting addicted to the good stuff myself, I have been asking him for recommendations, and the chocolate question equivalents of "What slim jeans are good?" or "Is Hugo Boss worth the price?"

In this thread, you talk to and around Kiya about chocolate. I declare this the official chocolate thread.

Fok.

On my list of favorites right now are Domori, Amedei, and Pralus.

Not impressed by the hipster Mast Brothers.
post #2 of 46
Slightly modified words from the past..

I've been following the chocolate world and studying chocolate for about 8 years now...
I love it, it's one of my favorite things because it's so endless, and it truly hasn't been fully explored yet, so there's so much to discover.. Same reasons I'm so heavily into craft beers and help run a beer club in San Francisco.
There's so much to discover and a support group always helps push further into the next level of chocolate, beer, or whatever other geeky thing warms your brain.

I'll start this off..

Single origin cacao is great and has been studied for years now, but single crop is a new thing coming up more in the chocolate world.. Where there's a single strain of bean turned into a bar, and done three or four seasons back to back and there's a vertical tasting to taste the differences between season and year.
Domori is doing amazing things with splicing strains that have been extinct for many years, mostly due to being wiped out by natural disasters such as hurricanes over a hundred years ago... They're taking it further by buying their own crop land in Central and South America and overseeing the entire process from bean to bar, which is intense considering they're an Italian company.

Some of my favorite brands:
http://www.domori.com/it/home.php
Domori is the shit... the way i see it is that they're leading the pack and seem to have quite a bit of money to work with to push cacao research into the next generation of manufacturers. They make some of the most expensive bars in the world, but you don't need much, they go up to about $20 for a 50g bar, so essentially it's a $40 bar of chocolate..

http://www.slitti.it/
Slitti makes the best dark milk bar i've ever tasted, clocking in at 72% it's perfectly balanced, i just wish the bars were thinner. Overall amazing..

http://www.claudiocorallo.com/
Claudio Corallo's line is well established by really brining in coffee beans into the mix, not really by using coffee beans but by using cupping techniques and bringing it over to the chocolate world. Their bars are mostly prepacks of five bars, they're quite pricey, but worth every penny. Bar shape is perfect and they're very well tempered.

My chocolate dealer...
Chocolate Covered: http://www.yelp.com/biz/chocolate-covered-san-francisco
I've been going there about once a week for six years or so...

Once we get to page ten of this thread we will have Style Forum SuperCacao Meet-up. "Hai Guys! Let's eat Theobroma and go to the Alden store!"
post #3 of 46
If buy "good stuff" you mean the equivalent of Ironheart denim, then I'm still at the APC level.

I like Rheo Thompson chocolates from Stratford, Ontario. I'm a simple guy, but I can eat my bodyweight in choco mint truffles....
post #4 of 46
The snow before last in Seattle, we went to the Theo Chocolate factory in Fremont. There was snow falling outside, a fireplace inside, and bowls of different kinds of chocolate laying around the store front. It was a great chocolate rush.
post #5 of 46
my local wegmans stocked valrhona, schaffenberger, and theo chocolates for awhile, but not anymore. otherwise i've had to buy off the internet ( $10 shipping for a $15 bar sucks)
post #6 of 46
what's some good midrange milk chocolate bars? there's a really good chocolate shop here with a huge selection, but i have no idea what to buy first
post #7 of 46
what're you looking to spend?

amadei bars aren't that expensive. like $13 to $15 for a bar if you can get it without shipping
post #8 of 46
Pairing chocolate and beer is amazing and can be lots of fun.
A couple of years ago i led a tasting at Toronado with Pete Schlosberg (founder of Pete's wicked Ale's and also Cocoa Pete's Chocolates) and we paired 11 beers with 16 different single origin chocolates.
Wit beers paired with high cocoa content bars with topical nibs went over very well, but was a bit too intense for some tasters.

Stone makes a fairly new stout where they incorporate cocoa solids into the final mash which creates a super full round tasting stout with overtones of berries, espresso beans, and an italian bitters finish. Others have attempted making a true cocoa beer, but Stone perfected it.

Back to chocolate... Glad to see this thread moving along, i was scared at first that people would look at the first post and say "uhm, this isn't for me..".
Another reason why Sufu is a great place for my head to live in.
post #9 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Teger View Post
what's some good midrange milk chocolate bars? there's a really good chocolate shop here with a huge selection, but i have no idea what to buy first

The best milk bar i've had is Slitti's 70% milk bar, it's rare to see a milk bar go that high up in cacao content but they do it very well, i just wish it was a thinner tempered bar.
post #10 of 46
I'd spend $15 for a bar. don't know if I could go beyond that. is there a difference between a high end dark chocolate bar and al ow end?.. dark chocolate is always so chalky and coarse tasting to me..
post #11 of 46
70% is prolly the perfectly balanced percentage

you should try different kinds of chocolates whether low end or high end. it's more than possible that some of the more expensive ones aren't to your liking.
post #12 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Teger View Post
I'd spend $15 for a bar. don't know if I could go beyond that. is there a difference between a high end dark chocolate bar and al ow end?.. dark chocolate is always so chalky and coarse tasting to me..

Even the rarest beans don't really yield a $15 bar. There are bars that are over $12 but it's not common, even Chuao's beans end up costing about $14 to $17 a bar.

If you've had dark chocolate that was chalky or coarse it's because it was made from stone ground beans or just mis-tempered.
post #13 of 46
I normally wouldn't be so into a company that isn't in the "bean to bar" business but i've loved See's since i was a little kid and this new article written about the company is firm proof to anybody that runs their own business that if you do things "right", go above and beyond what's expected from your customers, and stay true to what you do, you'll outlast all of your competition. Read on: http://www.foodgal.com/2008/10/a-pee...candy-factory/ Edit: In Japan it's customary to take a small gift to every trip we take out to Japan for the president and managers of EVERY company we meet with, and the Japanese love chocolate.. so about a year ago i bought 30 1lb boxes of See's chocolates, each one costing us $14.50. When we gave them all the chocolates we told them "these were made in San Francisco, blah, blah, blah.." and they were floored, even though we had given them all sorts of other things in the past, the See's boxes seem to make a big impact for some odd reason.. Then my wife and i were walking around Omotesando one day and walked across a See's candy store, we went in just for fun.... The same box of candy we took to Japan? $74 EACH! We talked to the SA for a bit and she told us that the store has been the hottest new chocolate store in Tokyo the last few months and they've been getting massive press due to their retro image and how the chocolates are made in American and not in Europe like 99% of the other "fancy chocolates" in Japan. So here they were, our guys in Japan thinking i bought $500 worth of chocolate for each company..
post #14 of 46
i wish they had see's in the east coast
post #15 of 46
Kiya -

I'd be interested in knowing what your favorite beer and chocolate pairing is? Do you prefer porters, stouts, seasonals like winter warmer, belgian brown?

I'll take a look at The Brewmaster's Bible by Oliver when I go home tonight to see what he has to say on the subject.
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