Monday, October 8, 2007

Some Gourmet Chocolate Thoughts

This post is by Brian Maurizi

Reading the book "Chocolate: A Bittersweet Saga of Dark and Light," I was struck by a couple things:

1) The chocolate that Kallari will be producing is a gourmet, high-quality, "choice" product. After all, these are some of the best cacao beans in the world. What comes to my mind is wine, and it occurred to me that even the word "factory," although accurate, is missing something. They don't call it a "wine factory," after all.

2) The fact that, at Kallari, the collective will start with cacao farming and end with making chocolate bars, in the same general area, is almost completely unprecedented, maybe unique. Most people who farm cacao beans have never seen a chocolate bar, and most people who make chocolate bars have never seen a cacao tree. This will be a total upending of the usual business model, and this could have some implications for our design. For one thing, it's likely that world class choclatiers, and people who might want to stock the bars on their shelves, will want to come and meet with the managment, and they may need, quite literally, a meeting room. I.e. a room that is not part of the production process, not part of the library, not a "public" tourist area, but rather some place to conduct business meetings. (Clearly this could be a dual use area)

3) Do we know if the chocolate making will require some control of humidity and / or temperature (or other things) at some points?

4) My office is the basement of Cupples I, and (no kidding) there is a cricket living in the wall. This has nothing to do with anything, other than the fact that nature can be impressive and unexpected. And that, outside of its normal context, it can be really hard to figure out what is making that darn chirping noise!

1 comment:

Jake said...

Good thoughts.

With regard to temperature and humidity we know that they are both very important. For optimal chocolate-making, LOW humidity and LOW temperature are optimal. Chocolate keeps very well in the absence of humidity, and the chocolate will set up best in a cool room, maybe around 60-65 degrees F.

Both of these factors will play a big role in design, since different rooms will ideally be at different temperature and humidity levels (chocolate-making room will be cooler than cafe, etc).