By Sylvie Bigar
The scent of chocolate’s future was wafting through the streets of Chelsea last week. The ninth Annual New York Chocolate Show was in town again with the latest creations of the city’s great chocolate makers.
Show co-founders Sylvie Douce and François Jeantet invented the concept of a Salon du Chocolat in Paris, and are now exporting it successfully around the world. Said Douce, “We strive to be a link between the producers and the consumers, the industry and the artisans, and foster a deeper appreciation for this magical substance.” The husband and wife team is preparing for the next show in Moscow and will launch a Shanghai Chocolate Show in 2008.
Florian Bellanger became an expert at making macarons, the traditional French pastry dating back to the 18th Century, as the pastry chef for Fauchon U.S. But last September, he left the company to launch Mad Mac, an internet-based mail order venture specializing in macarons and madeleines. The macaron flavors range from dark chocolate to peanut butter, raspberry, lemon and apricot. They are moist and delicately crunchy at the same time. The madeleines are ethereal, fluffy and of course, lemony. Both cookies ship well and will keep two weeks in the refrigerator.
One of France’s finest chocolatiers since 1948, Michel Cluizel opened his first store last year in New York on the ground floor of ABC Carpet & Home. Michel Cluizel USA President Jacques Dahan said, “What makes our chocolate different is our innovative commitment to chocolate from single plantations, pure cane sugar, and no soy lecithin.” One of the best sellers is a package that looks like a prescription bottle, complete with child-proof lid. The label reads, “For concentration, energy and bliss. Savor 3, as needed.”
Founded in 2001 by Frederick Schilling in Boulder, Colorado, Dagoba Organic Chocolate was the very first certified organic chocolate company. Manufactured entirely at an organic facility powered by renewable energy, the company set the standards for sustainability and ecology in chocolate making. You can find their delicious products at Whole Foods and other fine markets. One caveat, two weeks ago, Dagoba was bought by Artisan Confections, a subsidiary of The Hershey Company.
One delectable treat: Sweetriot, chocolate covered cacao nibs created by Sarah Endline, whose company is based in the West Village. At about one or two calories per nib, the entire tic-tac-like tin contains only 140 calories. For a chocoholic concerned with the size of her waist, this is utter bliss. There are three varieties, Flavor 50 for the milk chocolate fans, Flavor 65, a more intense flavor covering real pieces of cocoa for the serious connoisseurs, and the latest, Flavor 70, with a hint of espresso. You can find these addictive delicacies at Zabar’s, Balducci’s and Garden of Eden.
No chocolate show would be complete without a visit to the Payard booth. François Payard, the Upper East Side darling, is launching a new line of dairy-free kosher cakes, flourless chocolate almond, and lemon almond. He is also introducing kosher truffles as well as a series of liquid chocolate fondue in four different flavors.
But not all chocolate is meant to be eaten. Sephora was touting “Indulgences,” a chocolate raspberry body scrub.