March 7, 2007
Single Origin Chocolate Brands On the Rise
An article that appeared last month in the New York Times has been on my mind for awhile: the new must-have chocolate is the “single origin” variety - sometimes called “exclusive-derivation” or “plantation” or “estate” chocolate.
Special chocolate from exclusive cacao bean harvests are called “grand cru” and we are told to be sensitive about the chocolate's “terroir.” The interest has not waned and the agreed upon term for this ultra-high end chocolate is “single origin” chocolate which even has Hershey’s responding.
What I am seeing, of course, is wine appreciation terms filtering into the world of chocolate product naming, something that seems to happening as well in the world of coffee - where different camps are bitterly fighting over the supremacy of “blended” vs. “single origin” java. Single malt whiskies, of course, are the top end of the class as well, and attract the same class of pernickety consumers. Winemakers, of course, are finicky about “single vineyard” wines.
There is obviously something about that word “single,” which reminds me of the word “unique” and “one of a kind.” Kodak, for instance, doesn’t have a new “disposable” camera, instead it has a new “single use” camera. You can even buy a Single-Bottle Wine Cellar.
I have written before about the recent rise of high-end chocolate brand names. Now, the industry has widely taken the rarified naming of regions and tastes direct from the wine appreciation vocabulary, making it possible for the real chocolate lover to go from being a gourmand to a gourmet.
Great news for all chocolate lovers.
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