Guest Blogger

Posted on December 09, 2015 by Linda Johnson | 0 Comments

Chocology is proud to present another article by Meaghan Sugrue. She is in France working on her studies in food science. We are proud to have Meaghan on our team. Thank you Meaghan for keeping us up to date on all you are learning in France!

guest blogger

Dear Chocology readers,

As I sit here at my desk savoring some delicious Belgian dark chocolate a friend brought home from her holiday in Brussels, I think of the incredible journey across continents that this treat probably took to become melt-in-your-mouth gold. Just recently, I discovered one of my classmates, Raphael, a friend from Ghana, had worked in the chocolate industry. As a quality manager, he was responsible for evaluating cocoa butter, cocoa powder, cocoa liquor and several other cocoa products to make sure these commodities were uniform and optimal quality for the industries and consumers they were sold to. Hearing this story briefly, I knew I had to learn more from him about the chocolate industry from the ground up.

We agreed to meet later to talk chocolate and Ghana. During our conversation, I quickly realized how truly global the chocolate industry is and how for Ghana cocoa is more than a commodity but a keystone enterprise and source of national pride. The first thing Raphael told me about working in the cocoa industry was how in demand cocoa products were. Most Ghanaian cocoa is grown and processed in Ghana and then shipped to Europe and the Western world where it is modified further or sold directly as the chocolate you may have enjoyed this past Halloween. Upon further explanation, I realized that cocoa is like oil or electricity, purchased ahead of time in mass quantities, not an investment but an essential. Not only that, but chocolate is integral to Ghana, considered a source of national pride. On February 14th, when most of the world scrambles to impress their significant other, Ghana celebrates National Chocolate Day. Here stores proudly sell chocolate saved from foreign buyers for a celebration of national and economic unity. However, even this day is subject to international demand, as there have been years where chocolate was sold out, come February 14th.

I also learned cocoa butter is in high demand within the cosmetics industry, containing compounds vital to anti-aging creams. This also made me aware of how unique and efficient cocoa processing is, where each component of the coco bean has a specific and valuable use. As we continued our chat, I learned that in Ghana the Cocoa industry is one of the most regulated ones, where the federal government funds progressive research, subsidizes crop prices and provides farmers with proper training to grow cocoa beans, making sure they are well off and able to sustain the industry for generations to come.

When Ralph and I finished our conversation, I asked him how he felt about being in France and seeing a renowned chocolate industry, knowing much of the raw material may have come from Ghana. He said he felt elated. As someone who has never been to Africa, I felt the same way, finally understanding the dynamic story behind each and every chocolate thoroughly.

Posted in chocolate, chocology, Guest Blogger

Savoring France

Posted on September 29, 2015 by Linda Johnson | 0 Comments

Chocology is proud to present another article by Meaghan Sugrue. She is now in France working on her studies in food science. We are proud to have Meaghan on our team. Thank you Meaghan for keeping us up to date on all you are learning in France!

guest blogger

cornellid

Hello all, hope you liked my first article on Chocology Today.

Reflecting on my semester abroad through food has been one of my favorite experiences of all time and I cannot tell you how happy all the positive feedback on my first post made me.  Thank you so much for reading and please keep in touch.

Anyways, it has been three weeks now since I arrived in Lille.  I am at the point where I’m officially settled in, accustomed to my classes with a group of new friends from all over the world, and finally feel ready to assess France via one of the country’s proudest commodities- chocolate.  I chose to sample some truffles from Chocolaterie de Beussent Lachelle, as recommended by a French friend.  Choosing this past weekend to sample them with a friend from Cornell on a pre-planned trip to Nice in search of warmth, the entire experience struck me as rich.  I mean how many people enjoy chocolate as the sun sets over the French Rivera alongside good company.  Interestingly enough, these truffles, though distinctly French, shaped like snails and fleur de lis’, reminded me much of the Chocology Unlimited stock, both in taste and in philosophy.  They were high quality, made with top-notch ingredients and sold in a tiny shop, which comfortably fit me and the chocolatier.  They were simple treats, decadent milk and dark chocolates flavored with classic compliments such as hazelnut and almond, with strong lingering aftertastes.  In particular I found one truffle with distinct buttery characteristics the chardonnay of the chocolate world.

As I caught up with my friend over the chocolates I thought about how closely these treats paralleled the French lifestyle, or at least what I’ve observed so far.  France seems to be a country steeped in subtleties.  A place where I pass buildings several hundred years old lined with gargoyles on each walk to school.  A place where people wear effortlessly well fitting clothes and shoes without sporting flashy brand names.  It is a much slower culture.  People walk most everywhere and a car looks large if it has four doors.  Not to say I have completely traded it for my American ways.  Just the other day a friend in one of my classes requested I watch a movie because I was frustrated with a group project.  However Lille has made me realize a conversation over tea can be just as important as achieving a high profile internship.  With the notion that less is more and that life is not a race, I hope to discover more about Europe, chocolate and myself as my travels continue.

Posted in fat ass fudge, food porn, France, Guest Blogger, lux chocolate, Meaghan Sugrue