Daniel, can you tell us what you are doing and why you have become essential to our chocolates …
I advise clients for the Confiserie Karl Hug and work in product development. One of our projects is Choba Choba. About two years ago, Christoph called me and told me about their project. I immediately loved the idea: A chocolate company, where cacao farmers are shareholders!
And I think it’s the other way round, it is the chocolate that is essential to me! I am a chocoholic and see my job as a passion!
Gut feeling or science – How do you know what ingredient works best with which couverture?
I love eating good food and I enjoy every bit of it. With the time you become sensitive to the various flavors and their combinations. When I try a new chocolate creation, its world of aromas opens up like a colorful bouquet of flowers. Now you only have to pick the right flowers and put them together. And never underestimate your imagination. It can do wonders!
What is the craziest chocolate creation you have developed with Choba Choba so far?
There are two of them: the coffee bar Nancy and Pasiona with strawberry & jalapeño – both made with the cacao “Colección Yoplac Pucallpillo”.
When Christoph first brought the couverture made with this very special cacao and asked me what ingredients would go well with it, I took a bite of it and let it melt on my tongue. It was immediately clear to me that coffee would be a great match. I called a coffee roaster – A real coffee freak like me with chocolate! His reaction: “I have a great coffee bean from Colombia. From organic farming and with an excellent aroma: fruity with light citrus notes.” So all while enthusing over coffee and cocoa, we tested various roasting profiles. For chocolate creations with coffee, it is very important that the coffee is added fresh and right after grinding to conserve the oil. After various tests we decided that lightly roasted coffee beans fit perfectly this dark chocolate.
And the story behind the Strawberry & Jalapeño creation? Christoph and I visited a spice shop and I told him about the idea of combining strawberries with pepper, since pepper intensifies the aromas of the strawberry. His eyes lit up and he said, “We should use a pepper from Latin America: the Jalapeño!” Two days later the first sample of the future Pasiona was ready – an extraordinary tasting experience!
By the way, we are working on the next extraordinary creation for this November that will certainly spark discussion. So there is something to look forward to!
You became an essential part of the Choba Choba adventure. What makes this project so special to you and what has been your best experience with it so far?
Working with the Choba Choba team is something extraordinary! You can really feel how passionately every one of them works for this project. And we, the partners, are very enthusiastic about what has become our project, too. The best experience for me has been the visit of three cacao farmers in Switzerland last November: Maria, Oswaldo and Lindley visited our Confisserie where their chocolate is moulded. I could show them how important their work is. Only when the cacao farmers deliver beans of good quality, the chocolatier can produce good chocolate out of it. At all levels of production, everyone has to do their best and has to receive a fair price for their work. I could really see their faces lit up during this visit … Finally, all the thee could mold their own chocolate bar themselves. I carefully wrapped up the fruit of their work and gave it to them before they left. With tears of joy in our eyes we said goodbye…
What do you wish the Choba Choba rebels for the future?
Keep on swimming against the tide, even when times get harder. Remain true to your own credo and always regard the cacao producers as partners on equal terms. This will motivate them even more in their work!
Daniel Gisler, Project Manager at the Confiserie Karl Hug