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 Felchlin Maracaibo Chocolate
Felchlin’s Maracaibo Clasificado 65% couverture was named the best couverture by the Italian Pastry Academy. A pure Grand Cru Chocolate made of Criollo beans from Sur del Lago, Maracaibo, Venezuela, it has aromas of coffee and plum and notes of orange blossom, cinnamon and raisin. Visit Felchlin.com for more information.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

KAREN HOCHMAN is Editorial Director of THE NIBBLE.

 

 

October 2006
Updated February 2009

Product Reviews / Main Nibbles / Chocolate

Understanding Couverture Chocolate

Page 2: Where Couverture Comes From

 

This is Page 2 of a four-page article on couverture chocolate. Click on the black links below to visit other pages.

 

Where Couverture Chocolate Comes From

While there are many thousands of chocolatiers in the world—from large companies like Godiva to the local artisan who makes chocolates in your town, couverture is made by perhaps less than 50 companies in Europe and the U.S.  That’s because it requires a complex network of agents to scout and buy beans, and factories to roast and process them into the blocks of couverture. As a result, most chocolatiers—companies that make chocolate products for consumers—and pastry chefs buy their couverture from one of the couverture manufacturers. They can buy from the regular line, or request custom blends.

Couverture Manufacturers Chocolate Manufacturers & Chocolatiers That Buy Couverture
From Other Companies

Amano
Amedei
Blanxart
Bonnat
Callebaut/Cacao Barry* ‡
Castelain
Chocovic
Domori
El Rey
Fedora
Felchlin
Guittard*
Hachez
Jacques Torres
Lindt (owns Ghirardelli)
Michel Cluizel
Pierre Marcolini
Pralus

Santander
Scharffen Berger* Slitti
Theo
Valrhona
Venchi
Vintage Plantations
Weiss

 

 

 

*Kosher
†Organic
‡Trade Only

Chocolat Celeste
Chocolat Moderne
Chocolove
Christopher Elbow
Christopher Norman
Dagoba*†
Debauve & Gallais
Lake Champlain*
Godiva*
Knipschildt
La Maison du Chocolat
Marie Belle
Martine
Norman Love
Recchiuti Chocolates
Richart
Vosges Haut Chocolat
Woodhouse
XOX Truffles

There are numerous others that do not currently sell their products in the U.S., e.g. Bernachon, Chocolaterie de L’Opera and Corné de la Toison d’Or (France), Haigh’s Chocolates (Australia) and Ludwig Weinrich (Germany).

Most of the couverture manufacturers sell to chocolatiers that do not make their own couverture (like Godiva) and to smaller chocolatiers and pastry chefs. However, they also make their own chocolate products for consumers.

  • Some couverture manufacturers are small and produce only for their own use, e.g. Jacques Torres and Pierre Marcolini.
  • Some companies make only chocolate bars, while others have a full range of products from bonbons, chocolate sauces and novelties to drinking chocolates.
  • There are other companies that make fine couverture only for wholesale clients —Belcolade and OCG [owned by Cargill] (Belgium), Mercken [owned by Archer Daniels Midland] (U.S.), ICAM (Italy) and Omehene (Ghana) e.g. But they do not make consumer products, so their names are not generally known outside of the trade.
  • And, there are companies that produce couverture for the middle of the market chocolate, confection and pastry makers, like Blommer and Wilbur, as well as for the mass market. We have only addressed the premier producers.

 

Continue To Page 3: Choosing Couverture Chocolates

Go To The Article Index Above

 

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