In the Summer of 2016, Baskets & Boards will be carrying the preeminent chocolate brand of the world – Amedei, from Tuscany Italy.
Amedei is the six-time winner of the Academy of Chocolate's “Golden Bean” award and has achieved cult like status among top chefs for its rich, creamy textures and full-bodied flavors. Owner and maître chocolatier Cecilia Tessieri explains the technique behind the most delicious chocolate in the world in Bloomberg.
In the old foundry located in La Rotta, now headquarters to the Amedei factory, every year dozens of jute bags containing precious cocoa beans arrive from all over the world. Amedei`s cocoa beans come from plantations in Venezuela and Ecuador and have been individually chosen by a local agricultural expert, who monitors the harvest, fermentation, drying, and bundling. From South America, they’re shipped to Amedei’s plant in Pontedera, Tuscany.
Under the strict supervision of Cecilia Tessieri, these cocoa beans are transformed into chocolate after having passed through the stict processes. To ensure quality, Tessieri uses a guillotine like device to divide 50 seeds in half, then compares them with the agronomist’s previous samples. “The characteristics must match exactly,” says Tessieri, a rare female presence among master chocolatiers. “This is a very technical part of the process.”
Each bean is roasted individually at temperatures from 176F to 280F and, depending on the type of bean, from 10 to 40 minutes. The roaster, which dates from the early 1900s, is manually operated to give Tessieri even more oversight for quality control. At this point, the cocoa bean may end up destroyed; if it survives, the shell will be separated from the seed. Chocolate nibs are ground into a fine paste and mixed with only three other ingredients: refined cane sugar, vanilla, and cocoa butter. The mixture is kneaded for 72 hours—almost 10 times longer than at most chocolatiers—on machines from the 1800s. “It’s like a long massage,” Tessieri says. The secret of the process is that Tessieri oversees all the steps of the production are followed one by one, from the quality of the bean to the individual packaging, to maintain her standards. “Think of it as the couture of chocolate,” she says.
Amedei is available at Baskets & Boards in Toronto and at Harrods in London, England.