An Italian Love Affair: Amedei Chocolate

THIS POST WAS ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED in 2017 AND UPDATED ON JULY 3, 2020.

How do you choose which chocolate bar to buy? Sometimes, you just have to listen to what speaks or calls to you. An Italian brand, Amedei, on the top shelf at a fine foods grocery store in DC, whispered in Italian: Andiamo.

The packaging of Amedei chocolate bars immediately provided an escape and began sharing a rich story. In particular, the Toscano Blond Cioccolato Fondente Extra 63% Con Pesche e Albicocche bar– dark chocolate (63%) with peaches and apricots, showcased a watercolor painting of a peach tree and the Amedei logo in a black square with a gold perimeter.

Time Cupsoul research revealed that: Amedei Srl, headquartered in Pontedera (Pisa), Italy, was founded by Cecilia Tessieri, the “maitre chocolatier.” Ameidei is the surname of Tessieri’s grandmother, who helped support the shop’s opening, along with other members of the family, in 1990. Tessieri started in a small shop making pralines and was later trained as an apprentice in Europe (Germany, France, Belgium). The first Amedei branded chocolate bars became available in 1998. Since, Amedei brand has won the “Golden Bean” award from the Chocolate Academy of London for bean to bar.

This was the first time ever that Time Cupsoul tasted cocoa with peaches and apricots. The unique combination was certainly alluring.

First snap of the bar was a bit softer than some other chocolate brands, which shortly after, made way for a decadent, soft mouth-feel (and texture) somewhat akin to “cocoa: chocolate brownie” on the chocolate tasters wheel. Savoring the flavors developed significant cocoa notes, including: melted chocolate ice cream, dry cocoa and baked brownie. More subtle notes included nutty: walnut and a touch of dairy. The peach and apricot pieces were finely intermixed within the cocoa, and therefore came through as fruity notes (and perhaps even a tad “floral”), but still, the cocoa notes reigned. It would be interesting to learn cocoa bean origin for this bar.

Time Cupsoul is very tempted to try the pistachio, hazelnut and red berry variations of these bars. Trying Amedei was a definite time cupsoul. 

Chocolate/Branding: Amedei Tuscany, Toscano Blond Cioccolato Fondente Extra 63% Con Pesche e Albicocche, with envelope-style packaging, semi-thick textured card-stock.

Description/Packaging Highlight:

 “Chocolate. The reward of our childhood. The softness of a warm embrace. The energy that makes us want to act, create and discover. The temptation which is so sweet to surrender to. The gift we love to give and wish we’d receive a little more often. A journey to distant lands to help the best cocoa varieties grow and thrive. Forming relationships of friendship, respect and partnership with the people who live where cocoa grows, keepers of ancient knowledge. An encounter with the past and a link to future. Chocolate. We make it just for you, with love.”

Zero additives: “Pure cocoa butter, soy lecithin and gluten free without colouring agents and artificial flavours.” Kosher dairy.

*Please note that all chocolate bars consumed and reviewed are randomly chosen and purchased with personal funds. This post is not sponsored.

Óbolo’s Merkén Smoked Chili Chocolate Bar Scores with Special Spice

Things are a bit crazy lately. Let’s just leave it at that. But Óbolo Chocolate Makers’ 65% Dark Chocolate Merkén Smoked Chili bar with “authentic, smoked chili pepper from Chile’s indigenous Mapuche culture,” has rocked our world. This bar is spicy and alive! We can’t wait to share more thoughts with you.

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“Tempered” by COVID-19: Three Areas To Shift Your Craft Chocolate Company Strategy

We write this post with heavy hearts. Sitting here in Washington, DC, as with many other international capitals, we are witnessing history. Every day, masses of people flood the streets of DC to protest, marching to the White House and elsewhere. Helicopters fly, extremely close to the ground, every night before curfew starts. The sounds and sights are intense. We are in pain and we are here to listen and to learn. If you are in DC right now, there are numerous ways to support the black community. One thing you might consider is purchasing goods from local black-owned businesses, such as a dessert from delicious The Sweet Lobby, or check out one of the many online lists of businesses. Order online. And stay safe.

Yesterday, we had the fortune to attend the Chocolate Business Webinar: The State of the Industry and Next Steps, held by the Chocolate Alliance, and we want to share some key takeaways with you about how to navigate as a chocolate shop or brand during COVID-19. Held on #BlackoutTuesday, much of the discussion was focused on the United States and the unrest felt here. In many ways, the panel felt not like a lecture to the consumer, but a letter to the industry itself. The key takeaways include: focus first and foremost on human health (at office, factory and at origin), embed transparency into your business model and innovate your offerings and how you share your stories.

New craft chocolate strategy: human health, transparency, innovation

Continue reading ““Tempered” by COVID-19: Three Areas To Shift Your Craft Chocolate Company Strategy”

Doting on Antidote’s Dark Chocolate Ginger Bar

How long has it been since we’ve written a review/musing? COVID-19 has us all cooped up inside, washing our hands, and wearing a mask when we take occasional (safe-as-possible) walks. And on top of the virus, what is happening in the USA right now is so heavy. There’s just no other way to say it. We frequently turn to chocolate to comfort and nourish our souls during these strange and difficult times.

Before COVID-19 and physical distancing, we were at The Chocolate House in DC and picked up a chocolate stash (fate would have it + you can still order from them online). It was very difficult to choose between the Antidote bars; each one looked better than the last and many bars matched with ancient gods and goddesses. How unique was this?! Chocolate and ancient folklore. Something we’ve been researching during COVID!

Continue reading “Doting on Antidote’s Dark Chocolate Ginger Bar”

How To Make Dalgona Whipped Chocolate Milk

Dalgona coffee is quite the current rage on social media. The recipe is a 1:1:1 ratio of instant coffee, sugar and hot water that creates a sweet, fluffy, whipped topping, that sits on top of iced milk. The creation came from Korean show Pyunstorang, “in which celebrities compete to come up with new products for convenience stores. Actor Jung Il-woo, who had encountered the coffee in Macau, christened it ‘dalgona’ after a Korean candy that resembles the foamy brown topping,” according to this article.

It’s very easy to find dalgona coffee recipes, instruction videos, social media posts, etc, all over the inter-web. But slowly, bloggers and consumers are trying to make “dalgona coffee” with other ingredients, such as chai, matcha, and cocoa. This is not an easy feat. We spent a few days and many failed attempts to make a dalgona chocolate drink recipe just for you.

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How to Support Local DC Coffee & Chocolate Shops During the Coronavirus Self-Quarantine

These are unprecedented times in recent human history. We now have the opportunity to be responsible and to stay at home to reduce the curve.

As that this is a website about coffee shops and chocolate stores, we know that many local businesses will suffer during these trying times.

Please consider buying some coffee beans, chocolate bars, online merchandise or gift cards to support your favorite local brands and enjoy their delicious offerings in the safety of your own home. Below you will find our DC list.

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Where to Buy the Best Valentine’s Day Chocolate Gifts in Washington, DC

Valentine’s Day is on Friday of this week! Do you have your gifts yet? Here are 4 places across the city where you can buy a great chocolate bar or box for your Valentine just in time for the holiday of love — using some great DC Valentine’s deals!

assortment of vegan chocolates“assortment of vegan chocolates” by QuintanaRoo is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

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Cafe Chocolat

“Hey Washington DC! Feb 8 – Feb 14, Neuhaus Chocolates will take over Cafe Chocolat. Stop by, pick up some amazing chocolate for Valentine’s Day (week)! […] It is the first time ever that Neuhaus Chocolates will do a pop-up inside another shop, and we’re very excited to host them.”

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