Amedei Chocolate - Review
Food of the Gods
chocolate made from Criollo beans
say you’re at an art show. Does knowing the background
of a certain painting make you appreciate it more? It certainly
heightens the aesthetic experience. This is true for any
art form, even chocolate. Imagine a piece of Amedei Porcelana
is melting in your mouth. It certainly is darkly delicious.
But what happens once you find out it’s made from
the most expensive chocolate in the world? Suddenly it tastes
just a little more luxurious, doesn’t it? This chocolate
journeyed a long way from Italy,
where it was carefully crafted in a family-run operation.
But before it ever became a chocolate bar, it started as
a rare, translucent, white Criollo bean in Venezuela.
And so the story of Amedei begins.
Tuscan company was started in 1990 by brother-and-sister
team Alessio and Cecilia Tessieri, who had no prior chocolate
making experience and who named their company in honor of
their grandmother. Their mission was to create the best
possible chocolate on earth, to work under a stringent corporate
philosophy and to insure fair conditions for their farmers.
Searching for immaculate sources in Ecuador, the Caribbean
and elsewhere, in 2000 they came upon land in Venezuela
boasting 200,000 Criollo trees, and Alessio bought the exclusive
rights. At around $18 for 50-gram bar — or about $160 per pound — Porcelana is made
entirely from these Venezuelan Criollo beans, dubbed "food
of the gods," a mere 3,000 kilograms of which are produced
the Porcelana, Amedei offers many other luxurious sweet
and semi-sweet treats. Among these are five kinds of chocolate
bars or tavolette; pralines with flavors like grappa,
ginseng and rum; six kinds of truffles coated in smooth
Amedei chocolate; miniature 30-gram boxes of dark or milk
chocolate and Chuao, which along with Porcelana, is made
from exclusive Venezuelan beans. For an even more exotic
extravagance, Amedei offers Cru, a collection of six types
of chocolates, each made from a different cocoa variety
from places like Ecuador, Madagascar and Trinidad.
beans on their way to becoming Amedei chocolate
Cecilia runs the factory, located near Pisa, Alessio continues
to travel the world, ever searching for the best beans and
equipment while creating close relationships with the farms
and villages they source from. Amedei is not only concerned
with creating an exclusive, organic product, but also with
assuring that farmers who grow the trees and harvest the
beans are offered fair working and living conditions. This
might help make you feel better about indulging in such
extravagant chocolate. After all, if the taste is superior
and the all-natural product was made conscientiously, what’s
not to love?
Amedei Plant in Tuscany
You’ll find Amedei Chocolate at upscale gourmet stores
and in pastries at fine restaurants such as The
French Laundry and others. For more information visit www.amedei.com.
Reviewed by Alain Gayot