How I became a Chocolate Evangelist
A decade ago I was living in Toronto, working in a fancy boutique in a fancy neighbourhood. I’d often treat myself to lunch at Pusateri’s Fine Foods, a fancy gourmet grocery. I hit up the deli counter for some balsamic chicken breast and roasted vegetables and made a beeline for the cashier. You had to move quickly in this place if you wanted to avoid impulse shopping. Just when I thought I was safe, something caught my eye while I waited in line. It was a bar of chocolate by a brand I’d never heard of. It was clearly an Italian brand. The packaging was grown-up. This was no Dairy Milk. It was my turn at the cashier so I grabbed the bar and added it to my pile. When in Rome, right?
I remember paying my bill and feeling like it was a bit steep, but I was young and self-conscious about making a fuss in front of all the Yorkville old-money. I took my bag and found a sunny place to sit and enjoy my lunch. While I was eating, I reviewed my receipt.Thirteen dollars for a chocolate bar! What?!
I considered walking back to the store and asking for a refund. Really, the nerve of this place selling $13 chocolate bars. Who the heck was this Amedei company anyway? What on earth is a Porcelana? The bar wasn’t even very big. I could buy a whole bottle of wine for $13. This thing wasn’t even going to get me drunk. There are economic decisions you need to make in your twenties and this was challenging my practical sensibilities. After humming and hawing for awhile, I decided to keep the bar. I was curious.
I’d be lying if I told you that I remember how the bar tasted. I didn’t understand chocolate. I didn’t know the difference between a chocolate maker and a chocolate melter. I didn’t have a vocabulary to quantify my experience with the bar. I just ate it, shrugged and declared it good. The End.
Fast forward a decade and I am now a fine chocolate convert. It took years of casual research followed by formal study to get here. I consider myself an informed consumer and a cheerleader for a new wave of chocolate makers. As a cheerleader, I want to help excite and engage others in the pursuit of great chocolate. I want to be there when someone searches google to figure out why they just spent $13 on a chocolate bar. This is where Chocolate Codex comes in.
We created Chocolate Codex as an informational resource to help consumers expand their chocolate knowledge and appreciate chocolate in-depth. We feature tasting notes and commentary on chocolate from around the world. We hope to grow our tasting team to represent a broad, cross-cultural spectrum of individuals. Representation is core to our mission.
Ultimately, Chocolate Codex is an online magazine. As much as I love listening to myself talk, I’d rather hear from a diverse range of contributors. My dream is to make this a farm-to-bonbon publication, a place where we hear from voices involved in each step. I said it before, but I will say it again for emphasis: Representation is core to our mission.
With all that said, consider this the beginning of a long conversation. I’m excited to hear what you all have to say!
Jasmine co-founded Chocolate Codex as a way to share her enthusiasm for chocolate. She has a certificate in Chocolate making from Ecole Chocolat and she runs a foodblog called The Blenderist.