Global confectionery talent celebrated at the Academy of Chocolate Awards

This week saw the 2019 Academy of Chocolate Awards staged at Claridge’s in London, where a host of confectionery talent gathered eagerly to awaited the results of months worth of painstaking judging.

Confectionery Production was once again very pleased to be involved in the process, with the ‘blind tasting’ sessions offering up a complete spectrum of entrants – ranging from those that attempted some extremely complex flavours, through to some rare cocoa sources from around the world that offered up some genuine surprises in terms of their undoubted quality.

Speaking to a number of other fellow judges, my thoughts were confirmed that it was a particularly challenging task to make a final group judgement, with a number of strong contestants this year hailing from a record total of over 40 countries.

There were dozens of accolades dispensed on the night, including the winner of the coveted ‘Golden Bean’ award, which for the first time was claimed by a dark milk bar from US-based Castronovo Chocolate, with its 63% Sierra Navada offering impressing judges across the board. It was also pleasing to see plenty of interest in the ‘rising star’ awards, which also produced a range of worthy winners.

As the academy pointed out, one of its prime aims is not only to celebrate the work of emerging and established artisans, but also provide some education to the wider public on the sheer range of chocolate options that are available out there. While it remains a shame that many of these great bars won’t make it to the mass market due to the nature of the operations behind them (often being small family-owned companies), it at the very least demonstrates that the world of chocolatiers is an incredibly fascinating one, with plenty of intriguing tales behind the delivery of these products that have been lovingly crafted by their creators.

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