Origin Chocolate Event – Amsterdam 2016

For now I will just ignore to further write about me recent abscense from my blogger-life…
Instead I’d rather briefly share some impressions from the Amsterdam Origin Chocolate Event that took place yesterday!

Amsterdam Origin Chocolate EventTasting some fabulous chocolates from Shattell in Peru at the Amsterdam Origin Chocolate Event 2016.

Similar to the last years, I very much enjoyed the event’s focus on very fine beant-to-bar single origin chocolates together with the fact that it’s a very tiny, cosy kind of festival full of fine chocolate lovers. I greatly enjoyed many chats with small-scale makers, importers, consumers, sellers, writers. A talk + tasting of Lisi Montoya who runs Shattell Chocolates in Peru was great. And I learned from her that conching is not necessary to make great, smooth, complex, rich chocolates!
She said that “you need conching only for bad beans”, which was a very interesting remark to me, since I often realized how boring I found many super-smoothened long-conched choccolates. But, yes, tastes are different. And many of those long-conchced chocolates also won many medals (just as most Shattell chocolates by the way). Anyway. Great chocolates, nice talk.
Clay Gordon’s presentation of his part in a rescent endevor to better understand the problems with cocoa and cocoa fermentation in Mexico (Tabasco more precisely) was also super nice. It again showed me how little we (and the whole industry!) still understand of the farm-based part of chocolate making. People increasingly rave about this or that genetic variety, but fermantation -probably THE biggest factor in chocolate flavor development- remains very poorly understood!

Shattell tasting and talk

Presentation with tasting from Lisi Montoya, the founder of Shattell chocolate in Peru.

Clay Gordon talk

Clay Gordon (to most chocolate world people probably known from the blog “the chocolate life”) presenting an interesting field study in the cocoa plantations in the state of Tabasco, Mexico.

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