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  • Jul 25

    Celebrate summer with craft chocolate ice cream!

    By Nick Saxby  ·  Cooking & Baking, History & Culture, The World of Chocolate

    Let’s start with a question with a surprising answer (unless you’ve guessed from the above picture!): Which was the first item, after drinking chocolate, that chocolate was used as a base ingredient and ‘cooked’ with? Chocolate Ice Cream? Chocolate Mousse? Chocolate Digestive biscuits? Chocolate Brownies? Chocolate Cakes? The answer is chocolate ice cream; we’ve a […]

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  • Jul 11
    map of camerron

    La Reine Astrid and Cameroonian Chocolate

    By Nick Saxby  ·  Environment, Geography, History & Culture, The World of Chocolate

    One of the wonderful benefits of working in craft chocolate is the serendipitous insights it offers into geography, history, food science and much more. And this week as part of introducing a new French craft chocolate maker, La Reine Astrid, I’ve started to scratch the surface of the complicated, painful and difficult history of Cameroon […]

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  • Jun 20

    Paris 1, London 0. Merci PLAQ!

    By Nick Saxby  ·  History & Culture

    Paris 1 – London 0 No, this is not a forecast for the Euros. Nor is it a reminder of the UK’s Eurovision song contest result. It’s a (belated) celebration of a wonderful new Paris based craft chocolate maker: PLAQ, created by Sandra and Nicolas. Not only are Sandra and Nicolas great craft chocolate makers. […]

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  • Jun 12

    Introducing Craft Chocolate Truffles!

    By Nick Saxby  ·  History & Culture

    For something so famous and ubiquitous, the story of chocolate truffles is infuriatingly vague. Their inventor, history, naming and even definition are obscure and complex. They are nonetheless amazing when properly crafted. And we are delighted to, finally, have some craft chocolate truffles from David Crichton of The Careless Collection, and Mike Longman of Chocolarder, […]

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  • May 16

    Anything But Plain; Vanilla

    By Nick Saxby  ·  History & Culture, Science

    If ever an adjective was unfairly associated with a spice it’s ‘PLAIN’ with vanilla (as in ”plain vanilla”). Vanilla’s history is anything but plain, what it contributes to many foods, again, is anything but plain (think milk chocolate, ice cream, cakes, and even curries) and what comprises ‘natural’ versus ‘artificial’ vanilla flavour is not at […]

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  • Mar 28

    Easter: A ‘moveable feast’ that is almost here

    By Nick Saxby  ·  History & Culture, Science

    There are lots of important dates and calendar related events this week and weekend: This Sunday, the clocks go forward in the UK, Daytime is now officially longer than night time (we’ve passed the March equinox), Easter is ALMOST here (and Passover starts Saturday night), Lockdown restrictions continue to ease (e.g. the Hampstead ponds for […]

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  • Mar 21

    Genius marketing, chocolate and Easter

    By Nick Saxby  ·  History & Culture

    ‘Easter’ and ‘chocolate’ evoke contrasting associations. On the one hand are Easter eggs, chocolate bunnies, chicks and other chocolate concoctions. …On the other hand is the idea of giving up, fasting, and abstaining from the likes of chocolate, wine, and other indulgences. The two are obviously tied together with the idea of ‘breaking your fast’ […]

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  • Jan 24

    Is Chocolate an Aphrodisiac?

    By Cocoa Runners  ·  History & Culture

    Is chocolate an aphrodisiac? Clearly this would be GREAT news for chocolate makers But when you look at the history and science it starts to get a little “shaky” . There are a few tantalising suggestions from science as to why chocolate could be considered a “food of love”. And its romantic properties have been […]

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  • Oct 30

    Advent Calendar and US Presidential election

    By Spencer Hyman  ·  History & Culture

    Next week, as I’m sure you are aware is the US Presidential Election.  And we are also putting on sale our Craft Chocolate Advent Calendar.  These two events are linked.  Read on below for the history of Advent Calendars to explore the link (it’s not that tenuous) and an overview of our Craft Chocolate Advent* […]

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  • Jun 08

    Chocolate’s Dark History – and the importance of Transparent, Direct Trade

    By Cocoa Runners  ·  History & Culture

    Craft Chocolate provides an amazing insight into flavour and is truly one of the most “affordable” luxuries to savour.  At the same time there is a darker history to chocolate’s affordability that shouldn’t be ignored, least of all in today’s troubling times.  By treating chocolate as a mere commodity and by buying chocolate snacks primarily off […]

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