Our chocolate now comes from Colombia!
In 2010, a decision was made by our chocolate manufacturer in Colombia that they would start looking into producing chocolate couvertures and exporting them to Europe. Colombia has some of the best “Fino de Aroma” cocoa beans in the world; a category established by the International Cocoa Organization (ICCO) for cocoa that reaches certain flavour, aroma, and quality levels. Only 8% of the total global cocoa crop is granted this premium status. For the entire international chocolate portfolio, only cocoa beans from Fino de Aroma growing regions in South America are used as well as local cane sugar. Our chocolate company produce all the chocolates in Colombia and then export to more than 35 countries as a true origin producer from tree to chocolate.
Most of the beans are bought locally through agreements with the cocoa cooperatives instead of the stock market, and this is very important as this drastically shortens the chain meaning that more money goes back to the origin country. It also means that the chocolate company have a very close relationship with the farmers and have built commercial agreements with more than 40 associations over the past 110 years.
They believe in sustainability first and foremost and this is backed up with their connection with the cocoa farmers, the environment, direct employees, clients and society at large. They believe in sharing opportunities, technology and the fantastic knowledge behind cocoa growing. In 1962, a chocolate farm was established; one of the few cocoa research centres in the world. This farm has allowed them to develop an education and training model to provide their farmers with the necessary knowledge to build profitable cocoa farms that will have a great impact on their quality of life. More than 800 people are trained every year.
While we are not vegan certified we are in our eyes vegan friendly. This means our dark chocolate does not contain any milk products but as it is processed in an enviroment which handles milk we do have to use a disclaimer that it may contain milk. All our chocolate is gluten free.
This new chocolate not only tastes amazing but it also contains a lot less sugar than most high street brands. We all want to reduce sugar and if you change from a leading high street brand to our milk chocolate there is a 25% REDUCTION IN SUGAR. That has to be better for us.
Chocolate is good for a cough!
A cough expert explains chocolate could be the answer for calming coughs. When we have a hacking cough, lots of us will reach for the cough syrup to soothe symptoms.
But it turns out you might be better of indulging in a bar of Dark Chocolate, as a doctor has said chocolate is better for cough and respiratory problems than standard medicine.
According to Professor Alyn Morice, head of cardiovascular and respiratory studies at the University of Hull and founding member of the International Society for the Study of Cough says, “chocolate can calm coughs”.
This proves that a new medicine which contains cocoa is better than a standard cough linctus. Researchers at Imperial College in London found that theobromine, an alkaloid in cocoa, is better at suppressing the urge to cough than codeine – and ingredient often used in cough medicines.
They are saying it’s down to chocolate’s “demulcent properties” – in other words, it’s sticky which means it forms a coating on the throat’s nerve endings, suppressing the urge to cough. So sucking on a piece of dark chocolate could provide better results than your normal medicine.
Give it a try it cannot hurt…..
2018 what a year!
2018 has been an unbelievable year for us so this is just a quick thank you for your continued custom.
It’s easy to get carried away with the emotions of receiving awards and accolades but we’d like to credit you the customer. Without you to share the awards with, they are meaningless.
So thank you for your support in 2018, we’ve enjoyed meeting and serving nearly everyone of you (you know who you are!!). We wish you all the best for 2019 and hope you achieve all you set out to do.
World Awards revealed in Italy
We are proud to announce that at the International Chocolate Awards (ICA) World Final 2018, we won 2 awards:
Bronze – Kalamata Olive Oil in “Dark chocolate bar category”
Silver – Chilli Cappuccino in “Milk chocolate bars with infusions or flavourings” category
The International Chocolate Awards is pleased to announce the Winners of the 2018 World Final, which was judged in Florence Italy. We were one of only 7 UK chocolate companies to pick up a World Award. This now takes us to 5 World Awards and 40 in total.
The judging panel was made up of member of our Grand Jury and international judges who traveled to London, joined by local chefs, journalists, bloggers and chocolate specialists. This year there were more than 2,200 entries from all the corners of the globe and 250 Gold, Silver and Bronze awards were handed out more than 55 different chocolate categories.
Lancashire Tourism Awards 2018 – The Finalists
THE COUNTY’S TOURISM INDUSTRY ‘BEST IN CLASS’ REVEALED
Marketing Lancashire, the county’s destination management organisation, today (Thursday 28 September) revealed the finalists of the Lancashire Tourism Awards 2018.
Guess what we have only gone made it to the finals again in Lancashire Producers & Makers Award
The event, now in its 15th year and is the only Lancashire tourism-focused awards.
World Awards revealed at London’s Chocolate Week
We are proud to announce that at the International Chocolate Awards (ICA) World Final 2017, we won 2 awards:
Bronze – Turkish Charm in “Milk chocolate bars with infusions or flavourings” category
Bronze – Bitter Orange in “Dark chocolate bars with infusions or flavourings” category
The International Chocolate Awards is pleased to announce the Winners of the 2017 World Final, which was judged before and during Chocolate Week in London, 1 – 11 October 2017 and were announced live at The Chocolate Show, on Friday 13 October 2017.
The judging panel was made up of member of our Grand Jury and international judges who traveled to London, joined by local chefs, journalists, bloggers and chocolate specialists. This year there were more than 2,000 entries from all the corners of the globe and 245 Gold, Silver and Bronze awards were handed out more than 50 different chocolate categories.
THE COUNTY’S TOURISM INDUSTRY ‘BEST IN CLASS’ REVEALED
Marketing Lancashire, the county’s destination management organisation, today (Thursday 28 September) revealed the finalists of the Lancashire Tourism Awards 2017.
Guess what we have only gone made it to the finals in Lancashire Producers & Makers Award
The event, now in its 14th year is the only pan-Lancashire tourism-focused awards ceremony, taking place this year on Thursday 9 November in the magnificent, world famous, Blackpool Tower Ballroom, with Headline Sponsor University of Central Lancashire.
We are really happy to be part of this amazing day. The event will challenge, inspire and celebrate Lancashire’s food economy, bringing together retailers, buyers, chefs, hoteliers, entrepreneurs and exporters in a hot pot of ideas; with guest speakers and food & drink experts from the UK and the world, sharing insights and expertise to help further develop Lancashire’s food & drink sector. The keynote speaker for the day is food writer and broadcaster, Jay Rayner
It’s a good job we make an award winning dark Kalamata Olive Oil bar.
Dark chocolate with olive oil associated with improved cardiovascular risk. Dark chocolate enriched with extra virgin olive oil is associated with an improved cardiovascular risk profile, according to research presented today at ESC Congress. “A healthy diet is known to help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease,” said author Dr Rossella Di Stefano, a cardiologist from the University of Pisa, Italy. “Fruits & vegetables exert their protective effects through plant polyphenols, which are found in cocoa, olive oil, and apples.” After 28 days, the researchers found that the chocolate enriched with olive oil was associated with significantly increased EPC levels (EPCs are critical for vascular repair and maintenance of endothelial function) and decreased carnitine and hippurate levels compared to both baseline and after consumption of olive-enriched chocolate.
2017 Clitheroe Food Festival is not long away. We have two chocolate talks with tastings, so why not book your place now.
Clitheroe Food Festival is an annual showcase (2nd Saturday of August)of the hard work and dedication from local food and drink producers, and their fabulous produce.
The Festival takes over the town centre with the best food and drink you’ve ever sampled with tastes, smells and sounds to entice all the senses! Local food producers are handpicked from across the county to set up market stalls in every available conceivable public space, to offer samples and sell their wares with demonstrations and food related activities and entertainment in the most unlikely venues.
Is chocolate good for you?
For centuries, cocoa-rich chocolate has been known not only for its good taste but also for its proposed health effects. The Incas believed it the drink of gods, an association that gave rise to the scientific name of the cocoa tree, Theobroma cacao, from the Greek words theo (god) and broma (drink). The first hints of cocoa consumption date back to 1600 BC. In Honduras, archeologists uncovered elaborately designed bowls of this period that are believed to have been used by the Aztecs to drink liquid cocoa thousands of years ago.
In the 16th century, Aztec Emperor Montezuma was a keen admirer of cocoa, calling it a “divine drink, which builds up resistance and fights fatigue. A cup of this precious drink permits a man to walk for a whole day without food” (Hernán Cortés, 1519). In the language of the Aztecs, this drink was called chocolatl. With the discovery of the New World, cocoa came to Europe in the 16th century. Since then, the modern chocolate industry has developed, and cocoa seeds are now processed in different ways.
Several supposed health effects of cocoa have been considered, including improved heart function and relief of angina pectoris, stimulation of the nervous system, facilitated digestion, and improved kidney and bowel function. In addition, cocoa has been used to treat anaemia, mental fatigue, tuberculosis, fever, gout, kidney stones, and even poor sexual appetite. In the 19th century, chocolate became a luxury item; hence, its consumption was a sin rather than a remedy. Nowadays, chocolate is associated with calories, obesity, high blood pressure, and diabetes. Therefore, many physicians currently tend to warn patients about the potential health hazards of consuming large amount of chocolate-based nutrients. However, the recent discovery of biologically active phenolic compounds in cocoa has changed this perception and stimulated research on its effects in ageing, blood pressure regulation, and atherosclerosis.
Did you know that chocolate is a useful tool for improving performance in lesser-known ways? With benefits ranging from improved healthy blood flow and cognition to beneficial alterations in gut bacteria and weight lose!
Here are some of the most important benefits of chocolate:
- Mood Improver?
One of the best effects of chocolate consumption is its way it can improve your mood. Your mood matters even more when you’re stressed.
- Chocolate makes you eat less?
Chocolate consumption may help reduce appetite. One study quantified this by giving participants a 100 g serving of chocolate two hours before being served an all-you-can-eat lunch. Ingestion of dark chocolate was correlated with a 17% lower calorie intake at the all you can eat buffet meal.
- Maintenance of a Healthy Cardiovascular System
Regular chocolate consumption is also associated with improved markers for cardiovascular health. The polyphenols in cacao increase HDL cholesterol (the good kind), which in turns leads to decreased oxidized LDL cholesterol (the bad kind).
Importantly, vascular function modulates insulin-regulated glucose uptake. It should come as no surprise that dark chocolate consumption also improves healthy levels of insulin sensitivity.
- Chocolate makes your skin glow…and may reduce sunburn?
Another cool thing chocolate does is help you maintain healthy skin by modulating healthy blood flow. Subjects who consumed high percentage dark chocolate for 12 weeks, had on average 25% reduction in UV-induced erythema (sunburn).
- Healthy Inflammation Levels from Powerful Antioxidants (for mice!)
Chocolate has inflammation-modulating properties. In one study, obese mice supplemented with cocoa powder had healthier levels of inflammation and insulin. These mice also had a 30% reduction in plasma levels.
- Chocolate is a prebiotic!
While many studies assume that it is the cacao polyphenols acting directly to modulate biomarkers, it is most likely the case that at least some of the effect is indirect, and works through interaction with our gut microbiome.
If gut bacteria are feeding on the larger cocoa polyphenols, then it follows that the composition of the intestinal microbiome will be altered. In fact, one study did discover a beneficial prebiotic effect of high flavanol chocolate consumption. After a period of 4 weeks of consuming a high flavanol cocoa powder, subjects had a significant increase in bifidobacterial and lactobacilli populations, as well as significantly decreased clostridia levels.
- Cellular Rejuvenation (Anti-Aging)
Last, but certainly not least, cacao can enhance mitochondrial biogenesis, or, the creation of new mitochondria! It is the flavanol epicatechin in chocolate which is responsible for mitogenesis. Treatment with epicatechin also improved exercise performance by 50% compared to controls, and enhanced muscle fatigue resistance by 30%.
NB: Sugar and Milk reverses the health benefits of Chocolate
By now you may be interested in picking up some chocolate, but be sure you get one with as little sugar as possible, or even none.
The consumption of chocolate has been linked to improving memory, short-term cognitive function and counteracting cognitive decline, according to new research.
The useful antioxidant abundant compounds found in cocoa beans are called cocoa flavanols.
Choc Amor was successful in gaining at International Chocolate Awards 2017 British Champions, Gold (Three Pepper), Silver (Salt & Pepper Lemongrass) and two Bronze (Bitter Orange and Turkish Charm 50%). At the Academy of Chocolates 2017 Choc Amor gained two Silvers (Three Pepper and Turkish Charm)……
We’ve teamed up with two Lancashire food fanatics to create a series of recipes for the ultimate Easter pies, Holland’s chocolate pies!
Baking tools at the ready!
Working with celebrity chef Tom Bridge, off The Great British Bake Off, and Choc Amor’s Master Chocolatier Paul Williams, from Tarleton, Lancashire, we have created three recipes for a series of savoury taste sensations, each with a hint of smooth, rich chocolate; including, Lamb and Potato Ragu Pie with Dark Chocolate; Butlers Blacksticks Blue Cheese and Onion Pie with Milk Chocolate; and Chicken and Mushroom Pie with White Chocolate, Garlic, Coffee and hint of Chilli.
The perfect treats for Easter; these pies are a seasonal classic from the Lancashire food legends.
Pie professional, and award-winning chef, Tom Bridge commented, “This Lancashire collaboration has been a great experience, using my knowledge of pies with Paul’s chocolate skills – we have created a real treat for Holland’s fans to bake over the Easter period!”
Choc Amor is yet another exquisite gourmet food shop in Cedar Farm that delights customers with indulgent Belgian chocolate. This award winning chocolate can be found in retail outlets and farmers markets across Lancashire.
The shop itself has a warm natural interior, with stacked wooden crates to display rows of rich chocolates in different flavors and forms. Birdcages and lanterns are peppered around the shop which adds to its bohemian feel.
MEET the finalists in one of the most anticipated nights in the culinary calendar – the Lancashire Life & Lake District Life Food and Drink Awards.
This evening of excitement, fun and celebration will salute the stars who make the hospitality and food industries among the most important contributors to our region’s economy.
Employing tens of thousands and generating millions in revenue, Lancashire Life aims to showcase all that’s great about our food producers and the people who turn it into delicious dishes at hotels, dining pubs and restaurants. We also salute the retailers who also play a significant role.
Tarleton’s favourite chocolate shop has swept the board at an awards show with their unique flavours.
Choc Amor was successful in gaining a Gold with its Orange Jalfrezi chocolate, two Silvers, with its Chilli and Lime and Salt Liquorice combinations and a Bronze for its Tonka Bean, Smoked Sea Salt and Cocoa Nib at the International Chocolate Awards.
Paul Williams, Director and Umpa Lumpa Rustler at Choc Amor said: “We are completely blown away this year, not just by getting four awards in the British Championships for our flavoured chocolate but winning a coverted Gold award for our Orange Jalfrezi in milk chocolate.
“The International Chocolate Awards helps to confirm that we are building a great brand based on taste and makes us stand out from others. By winning we are put through to the World Finals held in London later in the year so watch this space.
Tarleton’s favourite chocolate shop has swept the board at an awards show with their unique flavours.
Being made redundant from a job in banking worked out rather well for Paul Williams of Choc Amor. He decided to indulge his passion for good food and cooking and set up a chocolate making business in Tarleton. The multi-award winning chocolatier produces handmade, small batch Belgian covertures chocolate. It is all made on-site at the Choc Amor tea rooms where you can watch Paul at work.
There are lots of flavours to choose from including peanut butter, rum and raisin and chilli and lime. The latter, along with his orange jalfrezi and Tonka bean with smoked sea salt and cocoa nib, earned him some Great Taste Awards. If you can’t get to Tarleton it is also available at the Little Chocolate Shop at Botany Bay in Chorley or at the many food events and farmers markets Paul attends.
Belgian couverture chocolate… even the words sound delicious. This is a type of chocolate that contains extra cocoa butter, resulting in a beautiful sheen, a firm snap when breaking and—most important—a wonderful creaminess on the palate.
Outside of Belgium, a top spot for tracking down this special treat is The Chocolate Rooms in the village of Tarleton, Lancashire. Owned by Paul Williams, the man behind local brand Choc Amor, this offers not only chocolates, but also cakes and lunches.
The place she spotted had been an old cow shed in Tarleton many years back but she and her husband Paul saw its potential. ‘It was completely wrong for chocolate and baking, but it had something special,’ said Jacqui.
They both embarked on a radical change of direction. He had worked in the finance industry and she was a senior buyer in the textile trade, travelling the world to seek out new products. They set up Choc Amor, a bijou shop and chocolate workshop in Botany Bay, Chorley.
Success meant they needed to expand so, while keeping the original outlet and with the support of an ‘amazing landlord’, they moved into Tarleton creating The Chocolate Rooms providing chocolates, cakes, platters, sandwiches and salads.