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Club News

The monthly newsletter from the Tasting Club

Issue 1203

YOU’LL BE

Hopping Mad… …if you miss out on the Tasting Club’s renowned Easter eggs. Last chance to make sure yours is reserved. See page 4

NICE FIGURE! Can you guess how many tasting boxes we’ve delivered in 14 years? Turn to page 15 for the results

DID YOU This new concept is no doubt set to become the jewel in Hotel Chocolat’s crown.

Wake up

and smell the cocoa

Hotel Chocolat is delighted to announce the opening of a groundbreaking new venture, Roast+Conch, in the heart of the buzzing Seven Dials district of London’s Covent Garden.

1203NL

Roast+Conch is a brand new concept for Hotel Chocolat that brings together all of its activities under one roof – from growing cocoa at Rabot Estate on Saint Lucia and making chocolate here in the UK, to innovative new cocoa-based drinks and food that have been pioneered both here and in Saint Lucia. Linking cocoa growing with chocolate making and tasting in one location is, to our knowledge, utterly unique, not to mention extremely exciting for chocolate lovers! continued on page 8...

WIN? If you know your cocoa islands from your elbow you could well have won our Name That Island Competition!

Find out on page 14


Letter from the

Editor

I

was in London the other day and so dropped in to see what Hotel Chocolat’s new Roast+Conch concept was all about for myself and I must say that I cannot recommend a visit highly enough if you find yourself anywhere near Covent Garden. It doesn’t just smell good in there (of cocoa being freshly roasted), it also tastes amazing. Plus, I was lucky enough to be there when Hotel Chocolat’s Cacao Cuisine Chef, David Demaison, was also there to make me one of the new coffee-style cocoa drinks he has developed. I also managed to leave clutching a small bag full of freshly roasted Saint Lucian cocoa nibs, which are delicious sprinkled on my morning bowl of cereal – I’m a true cocoa nut!

Where else can you have your chocolate idea made up by chocolatiers and then served up in a monthly box for your fellow members to taste?

Also this month you can catch up with more of my cocoa antics as I, quite literally, got down to some grafting in Saint Lucia. But it’s not all about me this month – it’s also about you, as we preview the launch of our utterly unique Create a Chocolate Competition on page 12. Where else can you have your chocolate idea made up by chocolatiers and then served up in a monthly box for your fellow members to taste? And finally, if you entered our Name That Island Competition, then have a look on page 14 to see if you won! Until next month, happy tasting! If you haven’t reserved your Tasting Club Easter Collection yet, there’s still time, just hop over to page 4!

Simon Thirlwell Club News Editor

Send your letters to The Chocolate Tasting Club, Mint House, Royston SG8 5HL, or simply email me on simon@hotelchocolat.co.uk or via our website: www.chocs.co.uk We are waiting to hear from you! Club News Editor: Simon Thirlwell; Contributors: Simon Thirlwell, Terry Waters.

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© The Chocolate Tasting Club plc 2012


Improve your chocolate knowledge

COCOA GROWING REGIONS

T

he exact origin of cocoa remains hotly disputed,

with Brazil’s Amazon basin, the Orinoco Valley in Venezuela and Central America all considered possibilities. One fact that isn’t disputed, however, is that cocoa only thrives in regions ten to fifteen degrees either side of the equator, where frequent heavy rainfall and sunshine are in plentiful supply. However, despite that restriction, cocoa is now grown across the globe, from its roots in the Americas, to Africa, Asia and Oceania. The spread began in the 17th century when cocoa was introduced to many islands in

the Caribbean, led by the Spanish and then carried on by the British, Dutch, French and the Portuguese. In the 19th century, the sheer demand for cocoa led to its introduction to West Africa (Ghana, Nigeria and Ivory Coast predominantly), and from there it spread across the continent to Congo, Tanzania and Madagascar amongst other countries. And with cocoa’s popularity only increasing, the 19th and 20th centuries saw cocoa planted further afield in Malaysia, Indonesia and beyond to Papua New Guinea, Fiji and more – a true worldwide success story.


This month’s Prize Draw

Winners

D144 Classic Selection

prize draw winner is Mrs C McCafferty from Newport Pagnell who wins a Milk Oblivion Sleekster Selection. Next month’s prize is a Classic Milky Liquid Chocolat.

Time to get CRACKING? Last year’s Easter Collections sold out early – hurry!

K77 Dark Selection prize draw winner is Mrs J Perkins from Southampton who wins a Dark Signature Collection. Next month’s prize is Dark Liquid Chocolat.

S55 Elements

prize draw winner is Sharon Talbot from Ayr who wins a Cookie Choc Chip Giant Slab. Next month’s prize is a Nut Mania Giant Slab.

P08 Purist Selection prize draw winner is Mrs G Buckley from Southsea who wins a Saint Lucia Collection.

B

efore you know it, Easter will be well and truly upon us, so now is the time to get cracking and make sure your Tasting Club Easter Collection is reserved – but please hurry, because last year’s collections sold out early. As always, there’s a great big Easter adventure in store for you – with two extra thick shells; a stunning collection of freshly made Easter chocolates; an exclusive solid chocolate Easter tablet; and an exclusive gift of Tiddly Chicks too. Just choose your favourite from Milk with 40% shells, Dark with 70% shells and The Classic Mix with milk and dark shells. To make sure you don’t miss your great big Easter adventure, please order yours as soon as possible for £26.95 (includes delivery) at www.chocs.co.uk/EASTER or call 08444 72 70 70.

Next month’s prize is a Purist Collection.

Don’t forget

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– score by post or online at www.chocs.co.uk and you’ll be automatically entered into this prize draw


Try the

Trio Selection AND save £5

If you’ve ever found yourself staring at empty spaces in your tasting box, wishing there was just one more of your favourite chocolates to savour, or wondering where the others went… Then the Trio Selection could well be the answer to your tasting dilemmas!

Trio is an extended version of our regular Classic Selection with three of each chocolate, plus six chocolate tasting batons too. And an extra chocolate could make all the difference – there’ll be no more bickering or bartering over your favourites and you could even invite someone else to join your chocolate tasting, if you can bear to share that is… Save £5! Switch to Trio now and you’ll get your first box for just £19.95 (inc delivery) instead of the regular £24.95 – just call 08444 933 933 and quote offer “Trio5”.

After trying, you can then decide to change back to your regular selection if Trio is not for you.


Website

Walkthrough 3

The what, where and how of using the Tasting Club’s website! There’s so much you can do on the Tasting Club website at www.chocs.co.uk/member – here we show you how to update your card details and personal information online.

Update card details:

Updating personal details online: 1. Log in to www.chocs.co.uk/member using your email address and password. 2. Click on ‘My Details’ at the top of the page (underneath the Chocolate Tasting Club banner). C 3. Click on ‘My Details’. D 4. Change the information you wish to amend. 5. Enter your email address in the ‘Retype email’ field. E 6. Enter your current password in the ‘Password’ field. 7. Click on ‘Update Account Details’. F C

1. Log in to www.chocs.co.uk/member using your email address and password. 2. Click on ‘Manage My Membership’ at the top of the page (underneath the Chocolate Tasting Club banner). 3. Underneath the Manage My Membership heading click on ‘Regular Club Selections’. 4. Click on ‘Make Changes’ under the enrolment information. A

D

5. Click on ‘Update My Card Details’. B 6. Enter your new card details and click on ‘Confirm Payment’.

A E

B

F

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Above – Simon gets to grips with his seedling under the guidance of champion grafter, Murray. Left – the real experts can graft up to 100 seedlings in a day.

GRAFTING in Saint Lucia

By Simon Thirlwell

During my visit to Rabot Estate last summer, I had the opportunity to get the inside track on cocoa farming in Saint Lucia and get down to a bit of grafting on the estate.

A

nd by grafting I’m referring to the practice of binding shoots to rootstock to create new cocoa seedlings, which is the method of propagation on Rabot Estate. My guide throughout the process at the estate nursery was Cuthbert Monroque, the characterful Nursery Supervisor who you are bound to meet should you visit The Hotel Chocolat at Rabot Estate. Not being a gardener myself, Cuthbert patiently took me through the whole process of grafting. It starts in a similar way to seedling production in Ghana, that is, by planting a cocoa bean. These beans grow to be the rootstock onto which we graft a shoot taken from trees on the estate. The rootstock used at Rabot Estate is all of the same strain, ICS 1 – which is No 1 of 100 so-called Imperial College Selections (ICS) of Trinitario cocoa, which were selected for their high quality and identified by cocoa expert FJ Pound in Trinidad in the 1930s.

So, the rootstock is chosen for its dependability, but the shoot to be grafted onto it is chosen for other reasons, namely the quality of the cocoa. And on Rabot Estate they have identified, with the help of university experts, many fine and rare strains of ICS Trinitario cocoa. At present, the strains grafted are predominantly ICS 95 and 98, but with some ICS 1 and 6 too. It is this ability to control the precise genetics of the trees being planted out that makes grafting such a useful tool at Rabot Estate – allowing those trees that produce the best cocoa to be reproduced infinitely. It also allows areas of the estate to be planted with one strain of cocoa to produce even purer, even rarer chocolate. After grafting, it takes three or four months of growing and ‘hardening’ before the seedlings and its leaves are tough enough to be planted out. My own is apparently doing well and should produce its first pods towards the end of this year – I really ought to be there to witness that and report back. All I need now is the airfare… 7


continued from page 1

Wake up and smell the cocoa Small batches of rare chocolate will be made daily in the store’s basement kitchen, which takes the idea of a ‘theatre kitchen’ to a whole new level! Small batch chocolate making in the heart of London First there’s the chocolate making side of Roast+Conch, whereby cocoa beans are delivered fresh from Rabot Estate, straight into the small batch roasting and chocolate making kitchen situated on the lower ground floor. Customers can see, smell and taste the entire, delicious process in action – from the beans gently being freshly roasted, to them being winnowed to release the cocoa nibs, which are then mixed and conched before finally being tempered and cooled ready to be tasted. Small batches of rare chocolate will be made daily in the store’s basement kitchen, which takes the idea of a ‘theatre kitchen’ to a whole new level! Coffee Versus Cocoa Bar – a revolution in café culture At Roast+Conch you can also explore the revolutionary new Coffee Versus Cocoa Bar. It features a range of exclusive new drinks made possible by cocoa roasting techniques newly developed by Hotel Chocolat. Customers choose from a drinks menu written in familiar coffee language and decide whether they would like their latte, flat white or cappuccino prepared with cocoa freshly roasted on the premises or with coffee beans. It’s a stunning new drink that Club Founder and Hotel Chocolat CEO, Angus Thirlwell is clearly passionate about, “The difference between our new cocoa drinks and the heavier, traditional style of hot chocolate is stark,” Angus revealed. “Typically, to make chocolate you would conch the chocolate for longer, so that it becomes mellow, but our roasted cocoa is not the calming, soothing drink you’re used to… it retains the colourful leather, tobacco, spices and red fruit flavours of the bean. And by using our new techniques, we have succeeded in capturing the amazingly fresh and invigorating flavours of the whole

cocoa bean, which puts it firmly on a par with coffee.”

Cacao cuisine dishes for lunch and dinner At Roast+Conch, you’ll also be able to try the exclusive ‘cacao cuisine’ menu, developed at Boucan Restaurant – part of the real Hotel Chocolat situated on Rabot Estate, Saint Lucia. On the menu are innovative lunchtime wraps and open sandwiches featuring confit duck with roasted cocoa nibs, goats’ cheese with walnuts and dark chocolate, sweet crêpes with salted caramel, or cocoa whipped cream and chocolate. Plus, there are exciting plans to launch a supper club later in the year. Also on offer are chocolate and wine pairing – featuring an expertly paired introduction to cheese, chocolate and red wine pairing, with three specially chosen cheeses, three small batch chocolates and a glass of vintage Chateau Chocolat red wine. Of course, if you just need a normal Hotel Chocolat store, then Roast+Conch can be that too – with a gorgeous range of Hotel Chocolat goodies available on the ground floor. Angus summed up this exciting new concept for us, “From our cocoa estate on Saint Lucia, straight to our cellar in Seven Dials – we are the first to be able to make small batches of rare chocolate from our own beans in the heart of London. It’s an utterly unique opportunity for everyone to see the whole process in action, taste the differences between terroirs and experience a direct connection with our cocoa estate. Forget the ‘bean-to-bar’ that many chocolate companies seem to be shouting about, we’ve moved on to ‘Tree-To-Bar’! This is something that very few chocolate makers in the world could even consider doing and we are thrilled to be the first.” Roast+Conch is now open (Mon-Sat 8am-7pm, Sun 12pm-6pm) at 4 Monmouth St, Seven Dials, London WC2H 9HB.

Clockwise from top left – there’s a cocoa bean roaster and Coffee versus Cocoa Bar counter upstairs; while downstairs the roasted beans are broken; put into the mixer; and then into the conch; cocoa nibs are a beautiful golden brown colour; 9 irresistible chocolate chip cookies and delicate financiers are available too.


scores

Classic 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.

Dark 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.

Selection – D144

Crème Brûlée Brownie by R Macfadyen 8.59 (40% scored it 10/10) Pink Champagne Truffle by O Nicod 8.59 (41% scored it 10/10) Dark & Mellow by E Desmet 8.44 (29% scored it 10/10) Pistachio & Lemon by Olejarz 8.33 (27% scored it 10/10) Custard Cream by E Desmet 8.31 (33% scored it 10/10) Raspberry Rapture by O Nicod 8.31 (33% scored it 10/10) Godfather Truffle by R Macfadyen 8.25 (35% scored it 10/10) Coffee Semifreddo by K Kalenko 8.24 (30% scored it 10/10) Crème Brûlée Brownie Triple Nut Sandwich by E Desmet 8.21 (29% scored it 10/10) Belgian Milk Chocolate Batons 8.18 (25% scored it 10/10)

Selection – K77

Crème Brûlée Brownie by R Macfadyen 8.57 (35% scored it 10/10) Dark Champagne Truffle by O Nicod 8.55 (36% scored it 10/10) Custard Cream by E Desmet 8.41 (25% scored it 10/10) Pistachio & Lemon by Olejarz 8.34 (21% scored it 10/10) Coffee Semifreddo by K Kalenko 8.30 (38% scored it 10/10) Raspberry Rapture by O Nicod 8.29 (35% scored it 10/10) Godfather Truffle by R Macfadyen 8.24 (47% scored it 10/10) Advocaat Truffle by R Macfadyen 8.20 (33% scored it 10/10) Crème Brûlée Brownie Triple Nut Sandwich by E Desmet 8.16 (34% scored it 10/10) 64% Dark Batons, Papua New Guinea 8.15 (21% scored it 10/10)

Elements 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.

Purist 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

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Selection – S55

Caramel & Co 8.73 (42% scored it 10/10) Belgian Milk Chocolate 8.68 (38% scored it 10/10) Crème Brûlée Brownie by R Macfadyen 8.39 (31% scored it 10/10) Pistachio & Lemon by Olejarz 8.27 (27% scored it 10/10) Triple Nut Sandwich by E Desmet 8.26 (37% scored it 10/10) Raspberry Rapture by O Nicod 8.02 (27% scored it 10/10) Cinnamon Feuilletine Batons 7.30 (20% scored it 10/10) Island Growers Truffle by K Kalenko 7.18 (21% scored it 10/10) 64% Dark Batons, Papua New Guinea 7.14 (13% scored it 10/10) Date & Walnut Marzipan by O Coppeneur 6.97 (27% scored it 10/10)

Caramel & Co

Selection – P08

Salty Caramel 8.17 (14% scored it 10/10) 70% Kallari Dark Chocolate, Ecuador 8.13 (29% scored it 10/10) 75% Tsachila Dark Chocolate, Ecuador 7.67 (0% scored it 10/10) Orange & Almond Crunch 7.57 (14% scored it 10/10) Habanero Chilli Truffle 7.53 (0% scored it 10/10) Shortbread Cookies 6.63 (0% scored it 10/10))

Salty Caramel


feedback

Have Your Say! Bouquet Coffee Semifreddo – Classic This really needs a score of 11 – don’t think I’ve ever given one of those before. Just delicious – taste, texture, looks - the works.

Jane Kearney, Bristol

Bouquet Dark & Mellow – Classic Absolutely lives up to its name... which should have been Dark, Mellow and Delicious!

Isabel Stainsby, Glasgow

Brickbat  Godfather Truffle – Classic The alcohol was too overpowering, it’s all you could taste.

Karen O’Connor, Chelmsford

Bouquet Godfather Truffle – Classic This blew everything off, never mind just socks! Superb.

Lesley Knight, Swanley

Brickbat  Crème Brûlée Brownie – Dark A very confused chocolate, probably needs counselling!

Ian Argyle, Southampton

Bouquet Raspberry Rapture – Dark Aptly named! The raspberry tasted like it was freshly juiced only moments ago. How do you keep all that flavour in?

Jane Wright, London

Brickbat  Pistachio & Lemon – Elements One of us thought it was very nice, the other thought it tasted like cleaning fluid...

Ann Morley, Chelmsford

Bouquet Date & Walnut Marzipan – Elements Thought I’d hate this, how wrong could I have been. What a wonderful chocolate.

June Davis, Pontyclun

In The Postbag… General Comments Dear Simon Your piece on Trinitario cocoa thrilled me, but for perhaps slightly unusual reasons. Reading it took me back, unexpectedly, to 1962 when, as a student at the then Imperial College of Tropical Agriculture, I first heard the story of the ICS 100 in lectures at the College. And also that many had been lost. So congratulations on the research that you have been involved in, and in finding at least one of the missing numbers. My memory was that the missing ones were assumed missing because ‘they weren’t quite up to it!’ Science has moved on. Unlike most of my fellow students, I was involved with cocoa later in my professional life, in Ghana, where I was a lecturer at The University of Ghana and living at the Research Station at Kade. Although our brief was to investigate alternative crops to cocoa, nevertheless we grew a lot of cocoa and looked at various aspects of growing the crop, such as ground cover, shading, insect control etc. I was there for about four years. At the age of 80, this was a pleasant foray back into the past! Many thanks Don Jordan Editor – I’m glad that the article on Trinitario cocoa in Saint Lucia brought back some happy memories for you. Thank you for taking the time to write to share them with us.

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The Create a

Chocolate

COMPETITION is coming

Ever dreamed of creating your own chocolate? Then your dream could well come true if you enter our utterly unique competition!

O

ur annual Create a Chocolate Competition is your chance to show us exactly how creative and brilliant you are by designing your own chocolate. Our very own chocolate expert Angus Thirlwell will judge each and every one of the entries (which could take him a while if last year is anything to go by…) and choose the winners. Each winning entry will be made up by one of our chocolatiers and will feature in a monthly Tasting Selection – to be rated and scored by your fellow members, which is nail biting stuff as any of our featured chocolatiers will tell you. “I absolutely love judging the Create a Chocolate Competition every year and this is the ninth year it has been running,”

Club Founder, Angus, told us. “Although every year the quality just gets better and better so it has become an extremely difficult task nowadays!” In recent and future Classic and Dark Selections you’ll find such winning creations as Scrumpy Crunchy, Camaretto, Dark Munro and Fleur d’Orange. So, while you’re tasting them, why not let your mind wander and come up with your own winning idea? Inspiration can come from anywhere – childhood favourites, a dessert you have just tried, a cake your grandmother used to make, your favourite after dinner tipple, or something you’ve always wanted to see made into a chocolate… the list is endless.

Don’t miss your chance to enter this unique competition – coming next month! 12


results

christmas 2011 The Results Are In!

Thank you to everyone who took time out over the holidays to send us their Christmas Collection scores and comments. Here are the top 3 chocolates that most impressed you from all three of our Collections – a warming reminder of the chilly days and cosy nights of the Christmas period. And what a successful time it was for chocolatier, Eric Desmet!

Classic 1. 2. 3.

The Alternative Mince Pie by E Desmet 8.65 (35% scored it 10/10) Chestnut Cookie by E Desmet 8.46 (31% scored it 10/10) Mousse au Chocolat 1st The Alternative by E Desmet 8.43 Mince Pie (29% scored it 10/10)

Dark 1. 2. 3.

Mousse au Chocolat by E Desmet 8.64 (35% scored it 10/10) Walnut & Coffee by K Kalenko 8.60 (39% scored it 10/10) Champagne Star by M Meier 8.49 (43% scored it 10/10)

1st Mousse au Chocolat

Elements 1. 2. 3.

Christmas Gift Slab 8.63 (35% scored it 10/10) Reindeer Slab 8.47 (30% scored it 10/10) Christmas Mess by O Nicod 8.38 1st Christmas Gift (33% scored it 10/10) Slab

THE Fortified Selection F07 – Winter

Our latest quarterly Fortified Selection was inspired by winter and featured some of the Club’s all-time favourite liqueurs as well as some lesser known gems – including comforting rum and warming armagnac, our new Pink Champagne Truffle recipe, whisky from Yamazaki and Ardbeg, as well as anisette, feisty Jagermeister, a shot or two of tequila and more. As you can see from the results below, the top three places are dominated by classic recipes, but each one of our top 10 scored well over the 8! 1. Dark Rum Truffle by K Kalenko 8.82 (35% scored 10/10) 2. Pink Champagne by O Nicod 8.77 (38% scored 10/10) 3. Armagnac Amour by R Macfadyen 8.74 (26% scored 10/10) 4. Yamazaki Truffle by K Kalenko 8.55 (24% scored 10/10) 5. Feisty Jagermeister by G Pereira 8.53 (24% scored 10/10) 6. Tequila Shot by R Macfadyen 8.24 (21% scored 10/10) 7. Punchy Coffee by O Nicod 8.24 (21% scored 10/10) 8. Absolute Nut by R Macfadyen 8.21 (15% scored 10/10) 9. Chambord Surprise by K Kalenko 8.15 (27% scored 10/10) 10. Caramel Anisette by G Pereira 8.15 (21% scored 10/10)

1st Dark Rum Truffle 13


news

All milk - Slight change The All Milk Selection will soon be available to members, extending our choice to seven regular selections – Classic, Dark, Elements, Trio, Purist, Fortified (quarterly) and the new All Milk.

T

his brand new All Milk Selection will be slightly different to our Classic and Dark Selections in that it will feature three each of nine filled chocolates (rather than the usual two each). That’s as well as four chocolate batons, making 31 chocolates in all. One other difference you may notice is the box colour. A few months ago we selected a shortlist of colours and asked members to vote on which one they preferred. The lilac-blue came in first with just under 50% of the vote. However, many who voted

for that colour expressed the view that it was somewhat wishy-washy and we rather agreed. We sought to develop a stronger colour and succeeded – only to realise that what we had now created was uncomfortably like another very wellknown colour in the chocolate world…! So, rather than cause potential problems, we decided to look at the second choice, gold, which was a very close runner-up with 42% of the vote. Given that this was a rich, strong colour and also reminiscent of the golden yellow of cocoa pods, we decided to go with it. We hope you’ll agree we made the right choice. In any event, whilst the colour of the box is important, the key to success will clearly be in the eating – and on that we have no doubt that milk chocolate lovers will be in total agreement!

competition

Competition Results NAME THAT ISLAND!

And we’re delighted to say that quite a few of you could! Thank you all for entering – our winner, who wins a Hotel Chocolat Signature Collection, was picked at random from all of the correct entries:

Cocoa thrives on many tropical Mrs Jean Hewat from Selkirk islands from the East and West African coasts, to the Far East, South The correct answers are: America and the West Indies. But we A Papua New Guinea D Trinidad asked you if you could name the five B Sao Tomé or Thomé E Saint Lucia C Madagascar cocoa-growing islands below. a.

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b.

c.

d.

e.


and finally

Just four of the box designs we’ve had over the last 14 years.

Now that is a lot of

chocolate!

Since the Tasting Club was founded, we’ve been sending our distinctive boxes of chocolate to members every month without fail. And just in case you haven’t ever wondered how many boxes that would amount to in 14 years, we have…

A

s we ran our report and the results came through, we were actually astounded at the total, which is quickly approaching the 8 million mark. Now that’s what we call a lot of chocolate! If you consider that there are, on average, 32 chocolates in every box (26 filled recipes and 6 chocolate batons), then we arrive at a total of 252,353,088 individual chocolates, which is a truly mind-boggling number of chocolates. In fact, laid end to end, that would be more than enough to stretch from London to New York – and you’d still have several hundred left over to hand out when you got there. Selection & collection Total Classic

number sold 6,033,749

Total Dark

420,658

Total Elements

159,573

Total Trio

101,664

Total Purist

6,882

Total Specials

1,163,508

GRAND TOTAL

7,886,034

As you can see, our Classic Selections have been by far the biggest sellers, but then it must be remembered that it has been going for 14 years, while the Dark Selection is 7 years old, Trio has been going for 4 years, Elements 3 years and Purist has only a few months under its belt. And within that total figure for ‘Specials’ there are also some interesting facts – for instance, we have delivered well over 500,000 Excellence Collections, followed quite closely by the Tasting Club’s Christmas Collection, of which members have now enjoyed approximately 320,000 boxes. But which box has been the most popular ever? Well, you might now be able to guess that it was an Excellence Collection, which sold a whopping 57,814 boxes, however, it was only a very narrow victory over an extremely popular Christmas Collection that sold 57,636. Now that really must have been a very merry Christmas!

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Don’t miss your FREE gift!

Worth £7.50

Spend £35 with Hotel Chocolat this Spring & we’ll treat you to a Taste of Spring box of chocolates worth £7.50*

*£35 excluding delivery. Offer excludes any Tasting Club Selections or Tasting Club Easter Eggs. Available via mail order from 20th February & in-store from 1st March. Whilst stocks last. Full terms & conditions at hotelchocolat.co.uk/tandc

hotelchocolat.co.uk Tel: 08444 93 13 13


The Chocolate Tasting Club News D147 March 2012