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Results tagged “Mayordomo” from ChiamMaya - Custom Crafted Mexican Chocolate

On Sunday, February 6th, Dave Lavender of the Herald Dispatch newspaper ran a story on Chiammaya Custom crafted chocolate. ( www.herald-dispatch.com/life/.../Almost-Heaven-Mountain-State-Chocolate and http://www.herald-dispatch.com/life/x1838467874/Food-Network-junkie-gives-up-home-brewing-for-chocolateering?i=0 )What followed was totally unexpected.

Knowing that Valentines day was nearly upon us, we had worked hard to build up stock in order to have enough stock for the season. Little did we know that the article combined with Valentines Day would explode in unexpected volume!

The story ran on Sunday and by lunch on Monday, our local distributor, Old Village Roaster, was calling asking for another delivery of chocolate. An hour and a half later they had chocolate. Two hours after that delivery they asked for more chocolate and again within an hour and a half, they had chocolate.

By the end of business Tuesday they were calling again! Wednesday the same thing. Their delivery volume was doubled and they were STILL running out and so was Chiammaya.

We fired up the molinos to grind more chocolate and quickly ran out of raw ingredients. Quickly we call out supplier who told us that beside being snowed in, the beans needed to roast for our order was still on the boat and would not arrive for another week!

I suppose selling so much that you run out is a good thing, but not knowing how many sales you've lost by not having enough inventory is really upsetting.

The story has generated more interest than any other article up to this point. A couple of potentially interesting project may be coming from this.

So go ahead and order more chocolate, just realize that the next available orders won't be shipping before March 15, 2010
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http://www.wchstv.com/traveling/2009/twv091217.shtml

Last Monday, WCHS TV came to visit Chiammaya and did a VERY nice piece. The explored Chiammaya and it's link to Oaxaca Mexico and did a VERY nice job.

I hope you enjoy the piece as much as I have.

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WOW what an exciting day it was today. I've been e-mailing back and forth with a person from Norway who had visited Oaxaca and, like me, couldn't shake the call of the chocolate. Finding Chiammaya on the web, they wrote asking about shipping to Norway. I had looked into it once before and found shipping was going to be nearly $50 to Australia!! I dug a little deeper and found that I could ship two pounds of chocolate to most anywhere in the world for $15.00!!! Even better was that it would deliver in 6-10 days!

After exchanging emails over the course of a few days I ended up shipping TWO packages containing four pounds of delicious Chiammaya Custom Crafted Chocolate to Norway. I dropped it off this afternoon and in less than two weeks I am sure we will have some adicted customers in Norway.

Today Norway, tomorrow the WORLD!!
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Last week, WSAZ, a local TV station ran a great story in Chiammaya that can be found here: It has gotten some interest and a few orders and that is always good!

Two interesting things came from this story so far. The first was an invitation some time in the future to J.B. Millers show in Magic 97.9 radio show. It is looking like I may get to spend some time in the hot seat with J.B., take a few phone calls and maybe give away some chocolate.

The other interesting one came from an order that was the result of the TV spot. This order was for two sampler packs and the intent was to give one to a friend and keep the other for personal use. Upon opening the package the person who ordered the two packages wrote:

"after sampling your sampler I am thinking I don't really wish to allow my friend to suffer through the experience as I have. I think this stuff is terrible. Of course that is just my opinion. I expected something better than Hershey's. I was surprised to find you need a hammer and chisel to get a piece broken off to put in your mouth, then felt like I had a mouth full of sand, which did eventually melt, with rock hard pieces scattered through the sand which would not melt. I finally took it from my mouth."

The writer went on to predict the doom of Chiammaya.

I replied that I thought I had made it clear on the TV spot, and I am SURE it is all over the web site that this is not primarily intended as a candy bar. The "go to" use is hot chocolate, baking or cooking. I have offered a full refund with the return of the unused portion but have not gotten it back yet.

I have to admit, the texture is NOT what you're expecting if you go into a bite thinking " Hershey bar". I do eat it often just as it is, but I know this is a rustic product. It does take the edge off hunger for me, gives me a burst of energy and the health benefits of the MUFA's ( Mono Unsaturated Fatty Acids -- are coming out every day.

I hope you enjoy the news piece and hope to be finding retail outlets all over soon.
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http://www.google.com/search?q=flat+belly+diet&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a

This diet includes TWO of the four ingredients in Chiammaya Custom Crafted chocolate. The perfect diet with the perfect chocolate. Buy some now!

http://tinyurl.com/9j689l

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http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123069062782044697.html


What could be more premium chocolate than one specifically blended for you? Your recipe, your design? Order some today!
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Last Saturday, Octover 25th, Chiammaya was the guest "chef" at the Marshall Culinary Institute. We had it planned so that The class cound observer or even create their own blend of chocolate and then we would go inside and discuss the history of chocolate and share some secrets of the best hot chocolate and how to make world class fudge.

I dropped into the institue earlier that week to drop off ingredients and see how things were shaping up. I was dissapointed to learn that there were only three participants signed up.

I had to move the truck down very early Saturday morning so I could get parking close enough to the storefront. I fired up the kerosine heater Friday night and ran it all night in order to keep the stones warm enough to produce chcolate.

Shawn, the owner of Le Cooks Store, nextdoor, was a bit concerned that I was parked right in front of his store on what looked to turn out to be a busy saturday but it all worked out in the end and I was able to move more in front of the institute.

Class time cam and saddly only one participant showed up. I think she really enjoyed the class and the chocolate, she bought two pound of chocolate and that was on top of the sampler pack that came with the clas.

After the class I walked next door to Le Cooks Store and spoke with Shawn about featuring Chiammaya chocolate in his store. He recieved my inquiry with enthusiasm  and mentioned that they loved local products and thought that Chiammaya Chocolate would be great in their gift baskets this holiday season.

So, in spite of a low class turnout, it looks like product placement is on its way!
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Well, a lot has happened since I last wrote. It took a while for the chocolate machine to arrive. First I had to wait a week for my payment to clear PayPal. Things were going slow and I hadn't heard a word so I asked e-bay for the sellers information. Now the auction stated the equipment was in Lorado Texas, so imagine my surprise when I reached a woman in SEATTLE!!! Well I explained who I was and explained that I was getting concerned as I'd never sent SIX GRAND to a total stranger before... She hemmed and Hawed a bit and said, "well you probably should talk with Michael, he's the one with the equipment." I explained that SHE was the one that had recieved the money so I'd just as soon talk with her.

Irony is a strange beast. You see, it turns out the equipment was not in Lorado Texas at all, but it was about 10 hours from Lorado in MEXICO! Imagine getting U.S. equipment for making Mexican style chocolate from a factory in MEXICO.

I DID speak with Michael and we exchanged several e-mail. He told me of his negative experiences with trying to do business in Mexico and I told him a bit about my dealings. He assured me that my equipment was in good hands and that it would arrive in good shape.

Another week went by and it arrived. Sadly, it arrives a couple hours after I had left town for a trip, so I had to wait to see what arrived until the weekend was over.

My conversations with Michael indicated that I would be getting two pallets of equipment. I allerted the warehouse people that I was expecting two pallets and then I thought I should confirm this so I wrote another e-mail. No, it wasn't two pallets it was one crate. Back to tell the warehouse!

I got to the warehouse Monday morning looking for my one crate only to find a single pallet. I was worried a bit but after inspecting everything it all seemed there though in several pieces but it seemed well labeled.

There are no manuals or instructions. I wrote Savage Brothers asking for their assistance. They have been somewhat slow but I THINK they aresending the manunals.

I've got the equipment off the truck and in my garage. I had to play LET'S MAKE A DEAL with my daughter. She can still have her Halloween party but after it is over, my daughter and her boy friend are going to help me re-model to make a chocolate factory.

The equipment needs a water line into it, a drain line out of it and an air compressor to operate the depositor. It is more than I expected but I'm in up to my hips so there's no turning back.

Wish me luck and stay tuned for more!  
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http://dailymail.com/Life/200808200476

Another story which I always love. Thanks to the Charleston Daily Mail, the word of Chiammaya is spreading.

Though there are some time line errors I am happy with the story and hope to be hearing from people in Charleston soon.

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When I got back from the strawberry festival, I returned with a great deal of information. I learned how to improve my fudge recipe, I learned what kind of festivals would work for Chiammaya, and I learned that though watching and receiving your chocolate fresh and hot from the mill is a cool thing, MANY customers want it in a familiar form, a bar.

So I came home and began working on bars. I've come up with a 4 ounce bar, perfect for the fudge recipe, 2-3 cups of hot chocolate or easily broken to measure for your favorite recipe.

The original intent was to package 4 bars in our standard box to make one pound, after all, a pound of freshly ground chocolate fits in the box. Well I was surprised to learn that once molded, only three bars will fit in a box. EURIKA!!! an idea was born.

We're not quite ready to sell the bar form of Chiammaya Custom crafted chocolate, but when our production facilities are complete, we'll be able to offer a sampler package of three bars -- one of each of our standard blends of chocolate -- for one price.

Thank you all for giving giving me honest feedback, support and encouragement.


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http://www.foodnavigator.com/Publications/Food-Beverage-Nutrition/NutraIngredients/Research/Cocoa-flavanols-may-boost-blood-flow-in-the-brain

EVERYONE always knew chocolate was great to eat and now and then we hear it is good for us too! Here is a very interesting article showing it can be brain food too!

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About three weeks ago I got a call from WOWK TV about an interview for their business section. We scheduled a meeting and I made sure the truck was completely cleaned and I had a batch of fudge for samples of what you could do with Chiammaya Chocolate.

I was all ready and I got a call from the reporter that she was covering a murder trial and could we re-schedule. Sure that would be fine ( I'd just eat all that fudge myself!)

We re-scheduled and the day we were to meet again, she called and said she'd never had to reschedule before but the trial was going to jury and she had to stay there.

Yesterday we FINALLY made it, but what a day!

I walked out to my car first thing in the morning, opened the door and saw the glove box opened and all the papers scattered. I'D BEEN ROBBED!!!

The police were called but they didn't know when they could come to take a report so I went on to work. I pulled up in front of my office and my cell phone rang. The police were at my front door, where was I?

So I turned around and went back home and gave a report. Since I had serial numbers they gave me a 5% chance of recovery. Just about what I had expected. So now back to work.

It was about 10 after 9  when I got a call to confirm that we were on for the WOWK interview at 9:30. NINE THIRTY I exclaimed! I thought we were scheduled for 1:00. I checked my cal lender and sure enough it was scheduled for 9:30.

I hustled BACK home and got ready with time to spare. The interview went well and I asked when it would air. She suggested 6, or 7 and then again at 11.

WOW that's fast. She called about 1:30 and said for sure at 7 and 11 so I set the DVR.

I checked my web tracking site about 3:30. The story hadn't aired yet and I already had nearly 50 hits, ALL from the WOWK web site! NEVER underestimate the power of the press.

Today, after the WOWK piece ran twice I got a call form the Charleston Daily Mail, we have an interview set for Monday. MAN, THIS IS GREAT!

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Well I got my name in the local paper -- http://www.herald-dispatch.com/business/x2102944713/Shop-creates-custom-chocolate-for-clients -- and things got CRAZY!!! The web site had a 4000% increase, and the phone began ringing off the hook.

I called the department in West Virginia to ask about label specifications and began getting calls for the county health department, the agriculture department and everyone in between. Though our facilities are REGULARLY inspected by the health department and no points yet, It simply was a reminder that my tax dollars ARE being well managed!

It seems that in order to produce the bars of chocolate that YOU, my customers have asked for I will have to make so investments in equipment and expand facilities, but that's what growing a business is all about.

I also was supposed to be interviewed by the local TV channel but the reporter got sick so we've re-scheduled for Thursday.

I have equipment being delivered regularly for expansion and have called about getting the custom molds so the bars will look right.

Growing a business is really fun and I owe it all to my customers, THANKS
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Don't let anyone tell you making fudge is easy and for sure don't let them tell you making GOOD fudge is easy either. Yes, there are a million fudge recipes out there, but getting everything correct takes some patience.

The first time I made Chiammaya Total Chocolate indulgence fudge -- actually I used Chocolate Lovers Blend -- it TASTED delicious, but was as grainy as a spoon of table sugar. One guy even said it was the best fudge he'd ever had, but he was probably drunk -- thanks anyway Blake! :-)

Last month at the Strawberry Festival I met a professional fudge maker  -- Bob Brown from Oh Fudge! -- Who was as nice a guy as you would ever meet. Bob used some of my chocolate to make a small batch of fudge and it for sure was better than the grainy mess I had concocted. He reminded me of something I'd heard from Alton Brown on Food Network;  adding a small amount of corn syrup prevented crystallization.

I came home and revised my recipe and it sure was less grainy, but still had a grit that just wasn't right. Bob had given me a proportion and I recalculated and re-worked my recipe. I can't say it's perfected yet but MAN it's getting close.

Thanks for the help Bob and I hope someday I can re-pay the favor. Try the recipe, I think you'll like it.

http://www.chiammaya.com/blog/recipes/

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Chiammaya Total Chocolate Indulgence Chocolate Fudge

 



1.5 tablespoons butter ( I use the butter wrapper to grease the pan)
1 cup half-and-half

5 tablespoon corn syrup

2  cups sugar

3/4 Cups Brown sugar

4 ounces CHIAMMAYA Total Chocolate Indulgence

1.5 Tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup chopped, roasted walnuts optional

 

Grease an 8 by 8-inch pan with the butter wrapper. In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, put 1 1/2 tablespoons of the butter, half-and-half, and corn syrup the sugar, brown sugar and chocolate, . Stir over medium heat with a wooden spoon until the sugar is dissolved and chocolate is melted. Turn up the heat and bring to a boil. Now lower the heat to medium-low and cover for 3 minutes. Remove the lid and insert a candy thermometer into the mix.  NOW you just get to watch and do nothing. Don't stir, just let it boil until the thermometer reads 234 degrees F. Now remove the pan from the heat and add the remaining butter. Do not stir. Let the mixture cool for about 10 minutes or until it drops to 130 degrees. Add vanilla, and the nuts if you like them, and mix until well-blended and the shiny texture becomes dull. Pour into the buttered pan. This takes a while and your arm WILL bet tired! Let sit in cool dry area until firm. Cut into 1-inch pieces and store in an airtight container for up to a week.

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The Strawberry Festival went well. The weather was fantastic except for a couple of brief showers. The crowds were great and for the most part. I did have an incident where a woman asked for a sample of Total Chocolate Indulgence and told me it was totally disgusting. I think she was expecting some thing sweet even though it was clear that it was 71% cacao.

With each show I do, I learn something new.

To me to cool thing about Chiammaya is that we make the chocolate on the spot and you know how fresh it is. But what I think is cool doesn't matter and doesn't pay the bills.

I have realized that a packaged bar is what I need so I'm looking into custom molds and packaging.

The  plan is to make quarter pound bars that fit into our current packaging so four bars make a pound.

I hope the public likes it!
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Aztec Hot fudge sauce

1 cup sugar
3 cups cream
1/4 cup light corn syrup
4 ounces CHIAMMAYA Total Chocolate Indulgence
1/4 cup butter
OPTIONAL:a pinch of chianne pepper
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Put it all (except the vanilla) in a pot and bring it to a boil. Cook it until it looks like it's separating. Take it off the heat and add in the vanilla. Pour it all in a blender, cover and blend for 10 seconds to smooth it out. Chill until you are ready to serve. Heat it up in the microwave for 30 seconds or more until it is warm and pour over scoops of ice cream. YUM!

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Chiammaya Total Chocolate Indulgence Chocolate Fudge

2 3/4 cups sugar
4 ounces CHIAMMAYA Total Chocolate Indulgence
3 tablespoons butter ( I use the butter wrapper to grease the pan)
1 cup half-and-half
5 tablespoon corn syrup
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup chopped, roasted walnuts optional

Grease an 8 by 8-inch pan with the butter wrapper. In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, pour the sugar, chocolate, 1 1/2 tablespoons of the butter, half-and-half, and corn syrup. Stir over medium heat with a wooden spoon until the sugar is dissolved and chocolate is melted. Turn up the heat and bring to a boil. Now lower the heat to medium-low and cover for 3 minutes. Remove the lid and insert a candy thermometer into the mix. Cook until the thermometer reads 234 degrees F. Now remove the pan from the heat and add the remaining butter. Do not stir. Let the mixture cool for about 10 minutes or until it drops to 130 degrees. Add vanilla, and the nuts if you like them, and mix until well-blended and the shiny texture becomes dull. Pour into the buttered pan. Let sit in cool dry area until firm. Cut into 1-inch pieces and store in an airtight container for up to a week.

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After the Long Grove Chocolate Festival I realized that the names for the different blends along with the look of the menu board was confusing people. I can't tell you how often I overheard people walking by saying, " Oh, that's just coffee." Now don't get me wrong, I LOVE coffee. I've even been called a certified coffee snob, but what I'm creating is custom blended chocolate.

Research was done and with budget in mind we've come up with new names and a new menu board to more accurately depict what we at Chiammaya are all about.

If you've enjoyed the Mayan blend in the bast you can now enjoy it as Sweet Chocolate Dreams. American blend is now Chocolate Lovers Blend, and Aztec blend is now Total Chocolate Indulgence. NOW I hope there is no confusion. Everything even SAYS chocolate in the name and the menu board shows a river of chocolate flowing toward the customer.

Please, never fear, the chocolate you know and love is the same, the names have changed to avoid confusion.
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Since I returned from Tabasco and the exploration of the cacao plantations I have stayed very busy making chocolate and getting ready for the Strawberry Festival in Long Grove IL. In order to keep things fresh I always try to keep my eye out for new and exciting products for you to try. Since the Aztecs, Mayans and Olmec gave chocolate to the world I thought it might be nice to honor them with a small chocolate piece in the shape of one of the stone carvings I saw in Mexico. I am currently exploring mold making to see how to get a mold of this guy:
P5120016.JPGImagine a cute little bite sized piece of chocolate looking like this. You tell me, is this something you'd like to eat a box of?

I hope to see everyone in Long Grove though I know many of my friends will be at the RCI convention and you will be missed. I'll see you at the reunion though.

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Not THAT Tabasco, the state in Mexico. You see, Tabasco is about the closest cacao growing region to us here in the USA.

I spent the better part of Last week with Elaine Gonzales -- the QUEEN of chocolate -- on her farewell tour for Marilyn Tausend and Culinary Adventures and their Discover Mexico's Chocolate Legacy with Elaine Gonzales tour. ( That was a mouth full)

I had planned on going on this tour with Elaine last year but the day I was to fly out I got hit with a kidney stone and had to leave Mexico in extreme pain. It was worth the return trip.

I arrived in Villahermosa Mexico in the state of Tabasco LATE Saturday night, May 10th. The tour didn't OFFICIALLY start until Dinner Sunday night and since several of us were getting early, they offered us a side excursion to Pelinque, an Olmec -- BEFORE the Maya -- archeological site. We were to leave at 7:00 am and though it was a LONG day Saturday, I went for it and was not disappointed. It was a fascinating day of exploration and we had an amazing guide -- Alberto Cabrales. We spent the HOT -- average 100- 105 f -- day hiking around the site learning this amazing civilizations history.

About 3:00 it was time to head back to Villahermosa and we were all glad to get into the air conditioned van. Glad until Alberto began to slow down and pull over and mumbled something about seeing what this fellow wants. It seems the Federales were behind us with lights flashing. After a bit Alberto came back and told us the van didn't have the proper license plate for transporting passengers. We had a letter of intent but not the right plates.

We first were told to go to this truck stop. We waited and waited and then were told we had to go to the police station. Though not really scary it was kind of weird getting pulled over and detained by federal police in a foreign country. After about an hour they told us to go so we headed back to the hotel JUST in time to grab a quick shower and head to dinner.

Villahermosa is an extremely modern city. They told us that in the 70's the population was about 90,000. Today it is 750.000. The discovery of oil was the driving force for that rapid growth and explains why a lot of Villahermosa is new, modern and shiny.

New, modern and shiny describes Sundays dinner choice. We ate at a place called LO. They explained that street slang for boy was lo and that is where their name came from. The specialized in what I would have to describe as Mexican fusion cuisine. We had a FIVE course dinner with everything being top notch!

Monday morning started bright and early and we headed to Comalcalco to Cacep Chocolate and the cacao plantations.

Vicente Guiterrez was the owner and an amazing host. Vicente is determined to bring back Criollo, the original Mexican cacao, the one that started ALL chocolate. He showed us the plantation, the pods growing right off the trunk of the tree, the harvest procedure and all the steps it takes to get the cacao ready to make chocolate. HOW a primitive civilization figured it all out is beyond me, but I sure am glad they did.

I have pictures of the entire trip -- including a few short movies of some of the processing processes -- at http://www.flickr.com/photos/chiammaya.

Though this was Elaine's final voyage for Marilyn, I am sure it will not be the final cacao trip .

I was surrounded by chocolate professionals and was humbled by their knowledge and their willingness to share with this novice.
   
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There were no bands, no screaming adoring fans, no fan fair at all. Mostly it was because it didn't arrive home until after midnight last night. You see the contract called for the trailer to be completed by Saturday April 26th. I called the 25 and they said it wasn't likely. It wasn't ready the 26th or the 27th either. They said it probably could be complete Monday the 28th at the end of the day. As I mentioned in the past post, they gave me a plan B but it just didn't work for me.

So I left work early Monday to make the two and a half hour drive to get the trailer. I arrived about 5:00 and was told it's almost done. Great I thought until I looked at it. You see it was supposed to be made of brown aluminum. you know, brown, like chocolate. Well it was white. Ok, don't panic, you're putting graphics on three sides. Two sides are covered completely so no worries there. The side with the window isn't a BIG deal, the menu board covers some and I can just have the sign company cover the rest in brown vinyl.

Hmm, the drawings showed the propane tanks on the FRONT of the trailer, not the back where that GREAT graphic was to go. Oh well, what's done is done.

Then we looked at the wiring. The trailer wiring was for a 7 pin connection. The had my truck there for two weeks, surely they noticed that it had a four pin connection on it!!!! GRRRR don't worry, Walt, It will be OK.

Then there are the missing shelves inside. Or are they there. I forget! The bottom line is, I have a working trailer that looks pretty darned good, is solidly built and is going to work out just fine. Tonight, when I get it from the sign shop I load things up. I have to go get sugar and money for an opening bank and then I hit the road tomorrow.

All you folks in Chicago, don't worry that it's supposed to rain, I have the best hot chocolate to warm you up. So come on out to the Long Grove Chocolate Festival and see chocolate made like it has been made for centuries, like it was enjoyed my the Mayans. Come see the trailer and shake my hand, I always like meeting new friends.
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Today has been a blessing and a curse. I went home for lunch and when I got there, I found 350# of freshly roasted organic cacao! I AM in business, Life is good!

Then I call the All A Cart to make sure we were still on track for Saturday Pickup of my hot off the presses concession trailer. Well, they said they were really jammed up and though they would TRY to get it finished, they maybe had a plan "B" in mind!!!

PLAN "B"?!?! I don't want a plan "B", I want MY trailer! See, the plan was to puck up the trailer Saturday, Spend Sunday outfitting and packing the truck and trailer, then send the trailer to the sign shop to get the graphics done, giving me Tuesday and Wednesday to be the cushion for last minute things.

So what IS plan "B"? Well they MIGHT have a trailer out back that COULD be out fitted the way I need it.

The Long Grove Chocolate Festival is a real Class Act, it is Chiammaya's premier event and we are a featured vendor. Showing up with a make-do trailer just isn't what I want.

So I've written the owner and pleaded my case and now I guess it is time to turn it over to God and have faith that what is meant to be will happen.

Wish me luck, and if you have any pull with All A Cart, give them a call and plead for me too.
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Though I haven't gotten through my first chocolate festival I am looking for more. As I have to drive, distance is an issue but I am finding festivals that range from 500 people to 50,000 people.

Just as I had trouble explaining what I was doing -- NOT making bon bons or other candy but CHOCOLATE -- I am having trouble explaining to festival coordinators what exactly I am doing and how my presence can benefit their event.

Case in Point, I wrote for some information on a chocolate festival in a major east coast city. I got a polite reply telling me the dates of the events and that it seemed the person receiving my inquiry was enthused, the person in charge wasn't enthused and didn't feel I was a good fit for their event.


Their feelings were:

"The reason being the folks coming to our festival is looking for chocolate
that has already been prepared. Thursday and Friday are visitors from
surrounding offices and they like taking the staff some tasty treats back to
work and also a treat for the family. Saturday is shopping for families and
there may be a little interest for your chocolate but again these are folks
that work all week then do there shopping on Saturday and take home one of
our tasty chocolate cakes, cookies, candy, and chocolate covered fruits."

They went on to say they had, " background in Chain Food Markets and knows that most folks don't use cocoa as they did years ago, if baking they use choc chips, for
drinking they buy prepared hot chocolates."

It never seems worth the effort to try and convince someone of something they have already made up their mind on. Since the "boss" knows people don't buy chocolate like they used to, I suppose it is the better choice to say thank you and look elsewhere, but knowing that Chiammaya is a unique product that is rarely, if ever, seen in the U.S.A. it would be a benefit to have at ANY festival.

I even sent them to the site and sent the video so they could WATCH what is going on, after all, a picture is worth a thousand words.

The opportunity for press releases for something "educational" and news stories of more than your run of the mill festival opportunity abound. This would be a win/win situation for both of us, but I've not inspired the vision.

If any of my readers have any thought to help me inspire the vision I'd love to hear your ideas.

More to come as Long Grove gets closer. 
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When I first built the truck, it was a representation of a kiosk intended to be located in a high end retail store. I invited people into the truck as I would into a shop in a store and it was for demonstration only.


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Now that I'm actually going to do production in the truck and sell from the concession trailer, I wanted people to be able to watch their chocolate being made without interfearing with the traffic flow between the truck and trailer.

All A Cart said they could do what I wanted and after two short weeks they did an amazing job!


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Now people can stand in the shade of the awning and press their faces up to the plexiglas and watch me making their chocolate!

This turned out far and away better than I had ever dreamed! Thanks All A Cart. If the trailer is as good as this window I will be very pleased indeed.





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I was asked this question the other day and realized that it comes up so often that I should blog about it.

As I mentioned in past posts, my original intent was to have a strategic alliance with the largest chocolate concern in Oaxaca Mexico. I was going to use their name with USA tacked on the end.  After months of negotiations and requests for contracts I found myself facing what turned out to be an easy choice; accept a contract that gave all the advantages to the Mexican concern or change the name and go it alone.

Every time I introduced my concept to new people I was told I was onto something so the choice seemed clear, change the name and keep going.

I began doing research in Spanish phrases that seemed romantic and cultural, then looked at Mayan and Aztec deities and words and was asking friends, family and strangers on the street for their suggestions.

I have a friend who has a mining business in South/Central America called chAImmaya. In the Quicki dialect chaim means gold; so we get roughly Mayan gold. The Mayans used cacao beans as currency and it was a way of life so that fit.

The Hebrew word for life is ChIAm. So Making it Chiammaya came out to be Mayan life. In Hebrew the "ch" has a guttural "H" sound. Americanizing that I decided that Mayan life and Mayan gold was what we were making here so Chiammaya was where I landed.

I soften the ch a bit and pronounce it Hi -ya - my - ya.

Lechiam! To life.
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I'm still going nuts getting ready for the Long Grove Chocolate festival. I've been ordering supplies and equipment and pacing the floor like an expectant father, waiting on news about the concession trailer.

It dawned on me that the way things are -- grinding equipment in the truck, sales "floor" in the new trailer, that once I got to the Long Grove Chocolate Festival, I was stuck. My Hotel is 3 miles away and that's a mighty long walk after a full day of making chocolate.

I decided a scooter was the way to go!

I just got a little 49cc scooter. In West Virginia, no license, no insurance, no helmet is even required -- though I think I would be stupid NOT to wear one.

It will get me back and forth to the hotel and allow me to run errands like getting more gasoline for the generator, more kerosene for the heater and cups should I run out!

I feel stupid riding it -- it isn't really masculine after all -- but it solves the problem and it gets 100 miles to the gallon too!
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The Long Grove Chocolate Festival ( May 2,3 and 4 ), In Long
Grove, IL is fast approaching. In order to fully serve our new customers we have
contracted with All A Cart in Columbus Ohio ( www.allacart.com) to construct a custom concession trailer for the festival.

Our new trailer will be 8 feet by 8 feet and will contain serving window, a 4 bowl sink for cleanup, a refrigerator to help speed the cooling of the chocolate when we make single serving packages for sale and a tankless hot water heater so we can make Mexican Hot chocolate FAST!

This is an exciting step in the progress of Chiammaya and we
are very excited to have this new piece of equipment.

In addition to the new trailer, All A Cart is opening the
side of our mobile - a shop where chocolate is ground - so that our customers can get a better look at their chocolate being made on the spot. Look for us in Long Grove; you really will appreciate chocolate like it is your first taste!

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aztecsmall.pngFor the true chocoholic, our rich robust 71% cacao blend. We blend  freshly roasted organic cacao, a small amount of sugar, a few freshly roasted almonds and a hint of cinnamon. Rich, powerful and delicious.

Chiammaya Total Chocolate Indulgence
$14.95/Lb.

Select Lbs:  

Shipping rates.


Please note, all of our chocolate blends contain almonds and should be avioded by people with allergies to tree nuts. You may, of course request a custom blend without almonds, but be aware it will be produced on shared equipment with nuts  in a facility that also processes nuts.
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mayan-small.jpgMuch like our Mayan blend but not quite as sweet, we mix it so you get 41% cacao. Combining freshly roasted, organic cacao, sugar, freshly roasted almonds and cinnamon brings American sophistication and a powerful chocolate flavor to the table. GREAT as hot chocolate or in your favorite recipe. ( I even eat it right out of the package! )

Chiammaya Chocolate Lover's Blend
$14.95/Lb.

Select Lbs:  
Shipping rates.


Please note, all of our chocolate blends contain almonds and should be avioded by people with allergies to tree nuts. You may, of course request a custom blend without almonds, but be aware it will be produced on shared equipment with nuts  in a facility that also processes nuts.
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mayansmall.pngMade in the Mexican tradition and enjoyed for thousands of years, our Mayan blend is custom crafted to achieve 32% cacao. Using freshly roasted organic cacao, sugar, freshly roasted almonds and cinnamon, this blend is sweet delicious and has chocolate flavor that lingers.

Chiammaya Sweet Chocolate Dreams
$14.95/Lb
Select Lbs:  

Shipping rates.


Please note, all of our chocolate blends contain almonds and should be avioded by people with allergies to tree nuts. You may, of course request a custom blend without almonds, but be aware it will be produced on shared equipment with nuts  in a facility that also processes nuts.
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Mexican Chocolate brownies

•    0.75 cup butter
•    4 oz CHIAMMAYA custom crafted chocolate, American Blend
•    4 eggs
•    1.5 cups flour
•    0.5 teaspoon salt
•    1.5 teaspoon vanilla extract (use good vanilla, not artificial vanilla)
•    1.75 cups coarsely chopped walnuts
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease 9"x9"x2" pan.
Melt butter,and CHIAMMAYA chocolate in a 3 quart, heavy saucepan over low heat. Be Careful not to scorch the chocolate
Remove pan from heat and mix in the Flour, salt, vanilla and nuts, beating well. Pour batter into greased pan.
Bake 35-40 minutes, until brownies just begin pulling away from the sides of the pan. Do not overcook! They always say let cool completely before cutting, but I never can wait!!

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•    1 large can carnation evaporated milk
•    2 sticks butter
•    4 cups of sugar
•    1 teaspoon vanilla
•    13 oz. jar marshmallow cream
•    1 lb Chiammaya American blend chocolate
•    2-3 cup walnuts
•    
In a deep pan, combine cream sugar and chocolate on medium heat, stirring constantly.  When combined, add butter and stir until melted.  Continue to cook, stirring occasionally until the mixture reaches 238 degrees on a candy thermometer.  Add marshmallow cream and stir until well mixed, then add vanilla, stir again, and then add nuts, stirring until well distributed throughout mixture.  Pour into a buttered pan (11" x 17").  Let sit for 24 hours, then cut into squares and enjoy!

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This cake ALWAYS gets raves!  Sinfully chocolaty and rich beyond belief

 

1          lb         Chiammaya custom crafted chocolate, Chocolate lovers blend blend, finely chopped
1          c          minus 1 tablespoon heavy cream
2          T          sugar
1/2       c          espresso or strong coffee
6                      eggs

1/2       c          sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Butter or spray a 9-inch round pan with vegetable spray. Line bottom with parchment paper - this is important or the cake WILL stick. Have a larger pan ready to serve as a water bath.

Melt the chocolate gently over hot water or in the microwave - 1 minute on 50% power, stir then 30 seconds at 50% stir again. There will be some chunks near the end, keep stirring and the will melt. Resist the temptation to microwave it too long or it will lock up on you and you'll have to start over! Keep warm.

Whip the cream with 2 T of sugar until the mixture forms soft peaks. Set aside.

Whip eggs on high speed in a stand mixer until double in volume. This will take some time, the more you whip it, the better, your patience will be rewarded. Gradually add the 1/2 cup sugar to the eggs, 1 T at a time. Continue whipping until the eggs have tripled in volume. They should have some body.

Pour the coffee into the chocolate and stir until combined. Fold the eggs into the chocolate in three additions. Fold in cream.

Pour the batter into the round pan. Place it in the larger pan. Fill the outer pan with hot water so that it reaches halfway up the side of the cake pan.

Bake for 40-50 minutes. The cake will still jiggle in the center when gently shaken, but you don't want it runny. Cool COMPLETELY on a rack. To unmold, slide small knife around the edges of the cake to loosen from pan. Cover the top of the pan with a Cardboard circle. Invert pan and cardboard together. Remove cake pan and parchment. Place the cake and cardboard circle in a wire rack over a sheet pan and let cool completely.

 

Chocolate Glaze

 

8          oz        Chiammaya Total Chocolate Indulgence
1/4       c          heavy cream
3          T          butter - I prefer salted ( chocolate and salt really do go well together )

Heat the chocolate, cream, and butter in the top of a double boiler or in the microwave using the technique above. Stir gently until the mixture is completely melted and smooth. Let cool a bit. You want it still pourable, but slightly thick so it will stay on the cake.

Pour over the cooled cake, making sure the top and sides are completely covered.

 

There will be a lot of chocolate that will fall onto the sheet pan below, that's the cooks treat!

This may be reheated to soften.

Sprinkle with cocoa nibs to add some visual interest and another texture dimension.

 

This cake is sticky; I find that slicing it with a long piece of waxed dental floss the best. Hold the floss tight and press down through the cake. Then release one end of the floss and pull through the cake. Repeat until the entire cake is sliced.

 

Makes 14-16 servings. I THINK this will last about 4 days unrefrigerated if you can keep it around that long!

 

 

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Chiammaya Sampler Pack
NEW Sampler Pack
Try all our delicious chocolate blends in this new 3-pack.
  

Chiammaya Total Chocolate Indulgence
Total Chocolate Indulgence
For the true chocoholic, our rich robust 71% cacao blend.
  

Chiammaya Chocolate Lovers Blend
Chocolate Lovers Blend
Much like our Mayan blend but not quite as sweet, we mix it so you get 41% cacao.
  

Chiammaya Sweet Chocolate Dreams
Sweet Chocolate Dreams
Made in the Mexican tradition and enjoyed for thousands of years, this blend is custom crafted to achieve 32% cacao.
  

 
 
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