Chocolate is back at CapoCaccia! We will have a late start this year as I (Alex Rast) won't be arriving 'till the Sunday evening of the first week. So a tight schedule this year but we'll have plenty of things to try.
I will be doing 2 'streams' this year: the 'tutorial' stream and the 'competition' stream. The 'tutorial' stream is aimed at CapoCaccia chocolate newcomers; I'll introduce the types of fine chocolate, how to identify it, what all the funny labelling actually means and, of course, all lavishly illustrated with samples. Tutorials will mostly focus on bars, but if there's interest, and samples permitting, we may be able to do a limited confections session as well which would introduce you to filled, boxed chocolates, the sort of thing that sells for €35/500 g and up. By the time the tutorials are over you should be able to understand and recognise fine chocolate, and most importantly perhaps, be empowered to look for it in your home city.
The second stream will be the 'competition' stream. This will be aimed at the more experienced chocolate-tasters, but don't be too intimidated if you're coming into it 'fresh': it's always good to get a different opinion unclouded by previous background. In this format you bring your chocolates (and I wil bring several) and we will judge them against each other in a 3-part competition. Part 1 will be quick eliminations - just getting rid of anything so rubbish no one really likes it. Part 2 will be a focussed judging that will aim to evaluate the chocolate semi-objectively, and then Part 3 will be a final where we will all get around the chocolates that have survived, try them all, discuss, and pronounce winners. Everything will have detailed forms which guide you through the process so that it's not a matter of guesswork. If you are a novice chocolate-taster I strongly advise not attending Part 1 and going to the first tutorial instead. Part 2 will be suitable for all levels of experience.
There will be a limited-places, special confections judging competition as well. Because of numbers of samples limitations, we will be accepting only the first four subscribers to this competition for each of 2 rounds (we will not have the Part 1 'elimination' round in this one) but if you want to try some of the finest boxed chocolates in the world this is your opportunity. Please add your name below or send me an email to email@example.com if you want to be involved.
Those bringing winning chocolates will receive a special bar as a bonus prize. All remaining samples will, of course, be available for distribution at the end of the competition.
At the end of the final we will also have a 'guess that chocolate' competition: perhaps the hardest of all: you will be asked to identify each of several chocolates (which will have been tried before) based upon a blind tasting. Winner here will receive another special bonus.
Timing of rounds is aggressive owing to the small window. As I project it, it goes like this: Bar judgings for rounds 1, 2, and 3 on Monday 2 May, Wednesday 4 May, and Friday 6 May after dinner. Tutorial sessions on Tuesday 3 May and Thursday 5 May following dinner again.
The confections competition will be held during the afternoon breaks on (projected) 3 May and 5 May. Note that these times are subject to possible change to accommodate peoples' availabilities. We may also juggle the evening rounds depending on subscription and other things going on.
Finally, late on Sunday evening and in the afternoon of Saturday, 7 May there will be 2 'bonus' rounds. Nothing formal here, just tasting some interesting chocolates and discussing. If there is sufficient subscription the confections final judging may be moved to the Saturday slot. Be prepared for all sorts of chocolate surprises on both days!
The bar chocolates competition involved the following chocolates:
Marabou 70% dark chocolate Venchi 70% organic chocolate Venchi 80% dark chocolate Rozsavolgyi Porcelana Rozsavolgyi Chuno Duffy's 72% Ocumare Chocolate Tree Peru
Cacaosuyo 50% Piura Duffy's 55% Ocumare Pump Street Bakery 60% Ecuador Guantupi Baratti e Milano Finissimo Cioccolato Latte
In the elimination round the Venchi 80%, Rozsavolgyi Chuno, Duffy's 72% Ocumare, and Chocolate Tree Peru survived in the darks, while the Duffy's 55% Ocumare and Pump Street Ecuador survived in the milks.
In the second round, with more considered judging, the panel passed through to the finals the Venchi 80%, Duffy's 72% Ocumare, and Chocolate Tree Peru from dark bars and both milk bars - albeit with the Duffy's 55% Ocumare at a significantly lower score.
And so we get to the Final Round where the results were:
Winner: Duffy's 72% Ocumare
Second: Chocolate Tree Peru
Winner: Pump Street Bakery 60% Ecuador Guantupi
A clean sweep for British chocolate manufacturers! Does that say something? An argument for Brexit? Debates welcome.
As in previous years there was an exclusive subscription-only confections competition. A total of 7 chocolates were tried; after fierce competition the winners were:
Winner (unanimous!) Matthieu de Gottal Speyside Whiskey Chocolate
Second Place: Bonbon Lavender Mint White Chocolate
The 'bonus bars' went unclaimed since my entries won everything. People who were there - you know what sort of stuff to buy now!
Elimination form for DARK bars (file missing!) Elimination form for MILK bars (file missing!) Main judging form for DARK bars (file missing!) Main judging form for MILK bars (file missing!) Main judging form for FILLED chocolates (file missing!) Finals form for both DARK and MILK bars (file missing!) Finals form for FILLED chocolates (file missing!)
Elmination form (new) (file missing!)