Sunday, April 4, 2010

Bar of the Week: Amedei's Chuao

Throughout the month of April, we'll be highlighting chocolate made from Venezuelan cacao.  This week we're featuring the Chuao bar from Amedei, a 70% dark chocolate with an intense flavor and a fascinating backstory.

Writing in Food&Wine, Pete Wells tells the story of how this bar brought fame to a small Italian firm run by brother and sister, Alessio and Cecilia Tessieri. Following in their parents' footsteps, the Tessieri siblings began as confectioners, using pre-made chocolate couverture rather than raw cacao.  Their focus shifted after a visit to the French choclate maker Valrhona, where the Tessieris were denied access to the company's best products on the grounds that, "...Italy wasn't evolved enough to appreciate such extraordinary chocolate." 

From that moment, the Italian David resolved to cut the French Goliath off at the knees.  Cecilia immersed herself in learning to make artisanal chocolate while Alessio set off to find the world's finest cacao.   His quest took him to Venezuela's Chuao region, where ideal growing conditions make for amazing cacao--but in relatively small quantities.  For years, most of Chuao's output had been sold to Valrhona.  By offering above-market prices, Alessio secured the region's cacao for Amedei instead.
Most chocolate lovers say that the final product was worth all that trouble.  Will you agree?  Join us on Saturday, April 10th, for a taste of Amedei's Chuao bar. 

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