World's best chocolate hits shelves at upscale Houston supermarket
Amedei Tuscany, which has been called "the world's best chocolate," has been added to the shelves at all Central Market locations, including the store in Houston.
Made in Italy, Amedei has won many best-chocolate awards and has acquired a cult-like status among chefs for its creamy texture and bright flavor. Food and Wine magazine did a story in 2012, describing Amedei's process of making the chocolate from bean to bar.
True bean-to-bar manufacturers are rare. Many companies buy chocolate already made, which they remold as their own. But bean-to-bar is the standard to which foodies aspire.
Amedei scored a coup in the late '90s when it obtained all of the beans from Chuao, often called the best cacao in Venezuela.
Up until recently, Amedei's chocolates were sold in only a handful of stores in the United States or by mail order from websites such as Chocosphere and Worldwide Chocolate.
But the company has boosted its marketing and distribution, hosting events such as a recent Amedei-themed dinner at Quattro Restaurant in Houston, and sealing a deal with Central Market that will offer a selection of bars at all stores.
"We are very excited, as it means that Amedei will be available to the masses and not just small chocolate shops," says Amedei spokesman Aaron Flamini. "I think Central Market will provide an excellent outlet for our chocolate."
The bars available are as follows, with Flamini's descriptions:
- Porcelana. The rarest subset of the rarest beans, the Criollo, this is a 70 percent dark chocolate bar. Amedei Porcelana is known as the world's most expensive chocolate.
- Chuao. Named after its source in a small region in Venezuela, this is chocolate perfected. 70 percent cacao.
- Toscano Red. Dark chocolate with red fruit: cherries, raspberries, and strawberries. 70 percent cacao.
- Toscano Blond. Dark chocolate with "orange" fruit, i.e., peaches and apricots. 63 percent cacao.
- Nocciole. Milk chocolate with hazelnuts.
The bars are $7 to $19 (for the Porcelana), and can be found in the chocolate section at stores in Dallas, Fort Worth, Plano, Southlake, Austin, Houston, and San Antonio.