The Ninth Annual Northwest Chocolate Festival took place in Seattle, WA on November 11-12 this year, and I was excited to attend for the second time. It has sure expanded from my first visit two years ago. It is the top show for artisan chocolate in North America, and one of the best in the world. My favourite aspect of this event is the large Education Program: each day there is a full schedule of workshops, classes, and seminars to attend. These range from speakers sharing stories from origins & farmers; tasting workshops to try fresh cocoa pod fruit, traditional drinking chocolate recipes, baking, and chocolate pairings such as wine & cheese; technical workshops on evaluating chocolate, roasting cacao, tempering, genetic diversity; supply-chain seminars; book-launches; and many more. The most difficult part is choosing which session to attend. And that's all in addition to the exhibitors on the main show floor and all of their information and tastings. Really, one weekend is not nearly enough to absorb it all!Read More
Holiday 2017 Hours and ClosuresRead More
The final day to place online orders will be Monday, December 18.
We will not process any online orders until January 8, 2018.Read More
We will be open on Monday, October 9 (Thanksgiving Day), from 11am to 5pm.Read More
Our weekly Saturday Chocolate Tastings are back for the fall!
Each Saturday, we pick a chocolate maker or cacao growing region to feature, and open 4-6 bars for you to taste, compare, and explore! Saturday Tastings are usually ready to go at 11:30am on Saturday mornings, and run until 3:30pm (or the samples run out).
Check our social media to find out what we are featuring each week! You can find as @thechocpro on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
See you on Saturdays!Read More
One of the most commonly cited differences between commercial chocolate and artisanal chocolate is that big commercial producers use beans from West Africa and craft chocolate makers do not, preferring beans from New World sources such as South America, Central America and the Caribbean. The implication here is that West African beans are of poor quality and suitable only for mass-produced industrial applications. It is a refrain that gets repeated time and again, but is it really true?Read More
We've heard some pretty crazy stuff over the many years of running The Chocolate Project and answering questions. The internet is a prime source of shockingly inaccurate information about the chocolate world and so here we'll try to set straight a few of the most common myths. Keep reading here to learn more!Read More
An Ode to Fat
We talk a lot about single-origin chocolate here and wax poetic about exotic flavour notes and rare strains of cacao. Yet rarely do we pay tribute to the magical substance that makes up most of a chocolate bar: cocoa butter. Once cacao beans have been roasted and winnowed they break up into nibs, which look like coarse brown gravel but are in fact more than 50% cocoa butter. A heavy stone grinder and the magical combination of time, heat, and motion reduce the nibs down to minute particles, each enrobed in its own tasty jacket of fat.
Conching further refines this process and tempering provides a finished chocolate that has sheen, snap, and a lush and gloriously slow melt.
So just what is it about cocoa butter that is so special?Read More
The process for converting the fruit of the cacao tree into chocolate is a complex one. Fermenting the fruit pulp and seeds together is the first critical step and one that is not well understood by chocolate lovers. In today's blog we will take some basic steps toward explaining this remarkable transformation.Read More
Our recent trip to Costa Rica this January was an eye-opener in many ways. The pristine rain forests and volcanic mountain slopes of this Central American country should be capable of producing sublime cacao. Historically though, Costa Rica has only rarely fulfilled this potential. For decades most Costa Rican cacao has been the Amelonado-type Forastero grown in large open field blocks, similar to how bananas and sugar cane are grown. This type of mono-cropping is a recipe for disaster with cacao and, sure enough, in the early 1980s a fungal disease called Monilliasis virtually wiped out the entire nation's production.Read More
We are back at it now, open 7 days a week, 11am-5pm.Read More
The last day to place an online order with The Chocolate Project will be December 22. We will close our online shop for the month of January while we await our chocolate shipments.Read More
Happy Holidays everyone! Check here for our holiday hours and closures.Read More
As we've been preparing for our huge craft chocolate retrospective we have planned for November 18th and 19th, I have been overwhelmed by the response and level of input from many of the world's finest chocolate makers. In the process of soliciting bars from them I have been asking why they keep at it, what advice they would give to up-and-coming chocolate makers, and what they feel is the future of the craft chocolate industry. Their responses have been enlightening, to say the least. A few constant themes have emerged and I feel informed enough to draw up a brief summary based on their input.
Which also has me thinking about the world of Chocolate Awards and how they play into all this. There are a number of organizations that taste, rate, and issue awards for chocolate bars and confections. The two most prestigious are the International Chocolate Awards (ICA) and The Academy of Chocolate Arts (ACA). You might think of these two as the Oscars and the Golden Globes of the chocolate world.Read More
Happy Thanksgiving! We will be closed Monday, October 10.Read More
Mondays and Tuesdays now will be “Chocolate Exploration” days. We'll be featuring bars that are not yet a part of The Chocolate Project, but may be in the future.Read More
Happy September! The Victoria Public Market will be CLOSED for Labour Day (Monday, September 5).
Pick up a tasty treat and enjoy your last summer vacation time!Read More
We are now open DAILY! Read post for more details.Read More