2011年3月13日 星期日

Rococo Chocolates

Our new flagship store in Belgravia's Motcomb Street opened in December 2007. It is full of hidden treasures, including the MaRococo secret garden, a Moorish courtyard oasis for sitting with a rich hot chocolate, tea or coffee from the cafe. A glass window in the shop floor lets you spy on the kitchen as we make delicate fresh truffles and dream up new flavours. This kitchen is also where we hold chocolate school (the kind of classes you dreamed of as a child), host bespoke parties and where we have even organised (successful!) marriage proposals.

朱古力 (廣東話) /巧克力 都是力

原來世上有朱古力師!83年剛自大學畢業Chantal Coady到底是先有這個發現,抑或純粹是一股對朱古力無法抵擋的熱情,帶她走了這麼遠?Rococo Chocolates開在倫敦Belgravia的店,是一家個性小店。小店地牢是工場(圖1),地面有塊玻璃讓客人的視線直達下面,看得見朱古力師的專 注,貨品的價錢並不便宜,但跟香港慣見的意大利名牌的華麗氣派很不一樣,她儼然就是童話中的糖果屋,歡欣的田園氣息滿滿,朱古力花樣百出也色彩繽紛(圖 2、3),每一個角落都放着無限驚喜——說的暫且是視覺上,好戲還在後頭。

Coady在大學念紡織設計,一切出於她對朱古力的喜愛。市面上 只那幾個銷售商,根本滿足不了她,她很想做一點徹底不一樣的。初開店,倫敦不過幾個朱古力師,「可能是英國人事事挑戰的精神吧,why not?」28年過去,在著名產可可豆的格林納達開立聯營公司,出了3本書,共有3家店,拿過獎而且看來很有機會拿個更大的獎,辦了一間朱古力烹製學校, 她仍然繼續做着拓闊朱古力定義的各種嘗試,為朱古力調出無數味道。來自香港的我,對朱古力的味覺世界認知牢固地貧乏,不外是果仁花生脆米酒心橙等選擇吧, 香港不就是來來去去都是ABCD餐那幾味嗎?此行我首次知道竟有海鹽朱古力這回事,多麼paradoxical!他們說這是奧巴馬(相關)的摯愛。

都 是舊故事了。新的,在大家喝一口未經發酵的英國茶以後正式放上枱面,那是2010/2011年度特色設計的多款新口味,我們在創作人的指導下,一邊聽他描 摹品味一邊順着次序放肆地吃,先由牛奶味開始,然後是原味,格林納達麥芽甘納許,黑加侖子紫羅蘭,玫瑰荔枝山莓——配搭多麼新奇,賣相也經過悉心設計,全 都是前所未有味道感受。到咬一口青檸芝麻,精神為之一振,就是前面說過的風和日麗了,清新輕快而甜美。驚鴻一瞥,離去前心想,鐵定是要回來再慢慢精選手 信,讓大伙兒也開開味界了,這一回,他們不會說「又買朱古力?香港都有啦」了吧。



About Rococo

Rococo was founded in March 1983 by Chantal Coady.

Coady graduated in Textile Design (Camberwell School of Art & Crafts) in 1981, and went on to complete an MSC Small Business Course. Armed with a little knowledge, a dangerous passion for chocolate and a belief that there was room for a radically different approach to chocolate, she decided to open a shop in the King's Road (Chelsea, London). 26 years later, the author of three books about chocolate, Coady still pushes forward to boundaries of chocolate retailing with 3 shops in London - the flagship store is at Motcomb St, in the heart of Belgravia.


Rococo, Grococo and the Grenada Chocolate Company: A Potted History.

This story began in Spring 2002, when we first tasted some chocolate from the Grenada Chocolate Company. We fell in love with it, and in 2004 we visited the island of Grenada to make a chocolate documentary with film maker Eti Peleg. During this visit we met Mott, Edmond and Doug who founded the Grenada Chocolate Company in 1999, and with whom we formed strong friendships, forged over countless cups of Grenadian cocoa tea and chocolate bars. Later that year, Grenada was hit by Hurricane Ivan; when Hurricane Emily came less than a year later, more damage was sustained at the northern tip where the GCC are based. All the cocoa on the island was devastated, and it would be 5 years before the next really good harvest. In aid of the Grenada Relief Fund, ‘Hearts and Hands’, Rococo produced a special edition ‘Hurricane Emily Bar’. This was made from the chocolate that had been in the conch when the storm hit, combined with Rococo’s own organic chocolate.

In 2007, a small cocoa farm came up for sale, close to the Belmont Estate, offering the perfect opportunity for a joint venture between Rococo and the Grenada Chocolate Company to produce fairly traded "ethical" chocolate. This plot of land, which we call GROCOCO, is now the ‘home farm’ which supplies 100% of its harvest of fine flavoured organic Trinitario cocoa beans to the GCC where they are made into fine chocolate. It was also one of the founding farms that make up The Grenada Organic Cocoa Farmers' Cooperative.

Seven years after our first taste of Grenada chocolate, we will be mixing Grococo beans with the Rococo Organic House Blend. From now on, all Rococo’s organic products will include Grococo beans in the recipe.

Fair Trade

According to one of the founders, it's more than procrastination that's kept them from filing the paperwork: Fair-trade chocolate companies still, almost exclusively, process the value-added product in the first world with raw materials they import from the equatorial belt where cocoa grows. In that way, even the fair-trade system perpetuates a cycle the founders of the Grenada Chocolate Co. are determined to break. "They're buying cocoa from the south part of the world to bring it to the north part of the world," Green said. "But what we're doing can effectively make sure that the people doing the work are actually part of the process.

Source: Salon magazine.