Salon Du Chocolat in Milano
Salon du Chocolat international show is dedicated, as you correctly guessed, to chocolate. It’s been 20 years since the first show. Now it attracts 8.2 million visitors in 32 countries around the world annually. This year dates in Milano were 9th-12th of February. I love chocolate and thought that this was the perfect opportunity to find out who makes the best chocolate. Here I’d love to share my finds, the best representatives of Italian chocolate world.
Let’s start with perhaps the largest of them, the Italian company Domori. It does not only produce incredible chocolate from natural ingredients but offers the ingredients to make your own high-quality chocolate. Besides Domori makes delicious chocolate ice-cream that doesn’t contain milk and has almost no sugar. It tastes nice and creamy and is optimally chilled, not too cold but not melting at the same time. The main company’s news, however, is their compact machine for producing chocolate from cocoa nibs in just 2 hours, first of its kind on the market.
Company CEO Jean-Pierre Willemsen told me a few facts about the new machine: “This machine can produce up to 5 kg of personalized chocolate in 2 hours. This is unique because usually, the process takes about 24 hours. We created absolutely new technology but to use it you have to have the best high-quality cocoa nibs. Only in this case, the conching phase can make it to the mentioned 2 hours. Then the chocolate mass proceeds to temper phase where the bar is formed. This process is unique because the temperature in the machine doesn’t rise more than 46C throughout the whole process. This allows keeping all the benefits of cocoa beans and their incredible aroma.”
I especially liked Jean-Pierre’s description of their idea: “If you take low-quality cacao nibs you will get horrible chocolate.” Domori appeals to chocolate makers to pay more attention to the quality of the ingredients. You can buy this machine for your restaurant, café or shop and produce your own chocolate also taking orders from clients. By placing it where everyone can watch the process of making chocolate you create another reason for a customer to stop by and have a cup of tea.
The next from my list of chocolate factories is BeWell from Perugia. They surprised me with their raw chocolate made without milk and suitable for vegans. It was delicious with a delicate taste. What is more, it was healthy not only because of all natural ingredients but due to various superfood components like goji berries, pumpkin seeds, ginger, lemon, etc. The company aspires to conquer the international market and I wish them every bit of luck.
Finally, the 3rd company I’d like to tell you about is Chokkono, another Italians, this time from Monza. They offer machines for making high-quality hot cocoa. The main thing about Chokkino products is that they are using only high-quality cocoa powder.
Here is what company representative explained me: “Why do we use cocoa powder? Cacao is fully packed with active compounds but all the active compounds are to be found in the dry portion of cacao which is cacao powder. But the occasions when we have to consume cacao powder are very rare. Chokkino is the answer to this problem. We have tested 46 types of cacao powder in order to test the content of polyphenols. Cocoa powder is one of the richest sources of polyphenols as it is of magnesium. The scientific name is cocoa is ‘theobroma cacao’, ‘theobroma’ means ‘food of the Gods’.
Our cocoa powder is natural. By saying so I mean it has a high concentration of polyphenols. It is more acidic comparing to dutched one which has been alkalized in order to raise the PH and make the taste and color stronger. But in this process, the good polyphenols are lost. What we offer is hot cocoa which looks like an espresso but much healthier because it is made with the high-quality cocoa powder. There is no milk, gluten, and coffee in it and only 21 kcal. What you see at the show are machines for HoReCa segment (hotels, restaurants, and cafes) but we’re working on the one you can use at home.”
Heading towards the exit, I got attracted by a group of women in colorful national dresses. Coming closer, I found out they were from Cameroon and represented a company offering a product called Cocoa Crunch. The ‘crunches’ turned out to be cocoa, caramelized with honey and pineapple. I think it could be a great snack for somebody who doesn’t like cocoa nibs but still wants to enjoy benefits of cocoa. It was the first time they presented this product and you can’t buy it anywhere yet but I think it’s the bomb! They are definitely the ones to remember.
Hope you liked my review of Salon du Chocolat in Milano.