As you may recall, we've been fans of the Italian chocolatier Amedei for a while now, which is why we were so excited to be invited to the opening party for their first U.S. store, right here in New York City!
When we arrived, we were handed shot glasses of hot chocolate, which was excellent. Then we were introduced to Cecilia Tessieri, Amedei's founder and the only female maître chocolatier in the world, who was in town from Tuscany for the store's opening. In fact, it was her first time in New York City, but she politely turned down our offers of a tour.
Starting in 1990, Cecilia spent seven years traveling the world to find the finest cacao beans harvested at plantations held to stringent ethical and humanitarian standards. We had a great conversation while we were there about how important it is to support chocolatiers who make a point to steer clear of slave labor and are willing to pay a premium to do so.
To this day, Cecilia maintains complete supervision over the production process from bean to bar. She showed us around the room and told us about the various chocolates they had out for tasting. From our earlier post on Amedei, you know that they do single-origin bars very well, and those were prominently displayed. Here are some of the other goodies we tasted:
Incidentally, "nut brown" is milk chocolate, "Toscano black" is the dark chocolate, and "9" is a dark chocolate blend of nine plantations, and probably our favorite of the four.
Another of our favorite items was this Nutella-like spread, using hazelnut butter instead of actual dairy. It was even richer than Nutella, if you can imagine. Very highly recommended.
This was a fondue pot with melted chocolate, and you could dip vegetables into it, you know, for vitamins and health and stuff. This is a carrot bathed in chocolate, which is how all carrots should be.
There were delightful truffles with white, "black," and "nut brown" coatings. The store is open now, and it sells these truffles and bars and the single-origin napolitains, as well as chocolate spreads and hot chocolate mix.
BOTTOM LINE: Go to the Amedei Store. Welcome them to the neighborhood. Eat some chocolate. That's what we did!