Food & Drink

NY Chocolate Show— New York


The Big Apple’s annual ode to chocolate is packed with punters unwrapping exotic bars of the brown stuff from around the world. The push this year – chocolate as a sophisticated and healthy option for a nation that continues to battle the fat.

ChocoBolo, Chocolate, Des Lis Chocolat, Pestat, Small Business, Vanessa Barg

Despite the smiling children and sweet smells, there was little that was Willy Wonka-like about the chocolatiers coursing through Manhattan’s Metropolitan Pavilion at the 14th annual New York Chocolate Show. The 52 chocolate makers represented had come to do business.

With everything from Italian gelato and traditional Middle Eastern sweets to a chocolate-based fashion show on the programme, the trade fair – which drew 15,000 attendees in total – offered an expansive definition of chocolate. At its core, however, was the cocoa-based sweet stuff…

Top trends

1. Pepper-spiked chocolates Alluding to chocolate’s Mexican origins, premium companies offered bars dusted with chipotle pepper. 2. Raw chocolate Like the “raw food” movement a decade ago, slow-roasted chocolate is gaining market momentum. Gnosis, Antidote and Nibmor are leading the raw revolution. 3. Liquid chocolate Chocolate drinks, spreads and fondues rivalled conventional truffles and bars. Highlights included the hazelnut and salted-butter cream spreads from Paris’s Comptoir du Cacao and fondue-styled flavours from Aux Anysetiers du Roy.

Monocle favourites

1. Porcelana Bars from Valrhona Grown in Venezuela from “cult” Criollo beans, Porcelana chocolate is harvested once every three to five years into 64 per cent dark chocolate bars.
2. Pomegranate woodbury clusters from Xocolatti This brother and sister-owned New York company specialises in truffles, bark-like slates and sponge-shaped “clusters”.
3. Avola Almonds from Les Cinq Amandes This Connecticut-based newcomer arrived with a small collection of quality, almond-based confections including oversized Avola almonds from Sicily that are covered in a sugar shell.


François Payard

Owner, Payard


How different was the show this year to previous editions?
It felt more elegant, less “street fair”. Booths and tables looked better.

How important is giving out free samples?
Very important. If you want to be a real player you have to play the game. We gave out 3,000 pieces of chocolate over three days.

Why the macaron trend this year?
We’ve been doing macaron for a long time so they’re hardly new for Payard. But I think that people now appreciate both their taste

Chocs to watch

1. Prestat Colourful British brand coming to New York for the first time with over a century of confectionery history.
2. Des Lis Chocolat This small-scale chocolatier from Nemours, France, has mastered the marriage between chocolate and flowers with its signature, poppy crème caramel-filled dark chocolate discs.
3. ChocoBolo This São Paulo-based bakery has a global expansion plan that includes the US and Portugal. The company – which now has four New York outlets – presented its flagship chocolate mousse and meringue cake in both full and bite-size versions.


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