An Italian Chocolatier Makes it Her Way in America

Amedi Chocolate

An Italian Chocolatier Makes it Her Way in America
| Published March 26, 2014 |

By Victoria Prather
Thursday Review contributor

Chocolate is considered to be, by many, an aphrodisiac. People claim it has addictive qualities or that somehow it just invokes a passion within them. One thing is for certain: chocolate, when exquisitely prepared, is truly a treasured treat that many find hard to resist.

Some modern historians have estimated that chocolate has been around for about 2000 years, although recent research suggests that it may be much older. There is evidence that in pre-Columbian Mexico and Central America, chocolate was consumed as a drink by both the Aztecs and the Mayans. Later, Spanish and Portuguese explorers brought the rich flavors back to Europe where it was also served in liquid form.

Smithsonian magazine says, “For several centuries in pre-modern Latin America, cacao beans were considered valuable enough to use as currency. One bean could be traded for a tamale, while 100 beans could purchase a good turkey hen, according to a 16th-century Aztec document.”

Fast-forward a few centuries, and we are still craving the cacao in all its glory, just paying good old fashioned greenbacks for delicately refined versions of sweetness. Today, small start-up companies specializing in chocolate have proliferated in several U.S. cities and towns. One recent company to emerge on the chocolate-making radar is Amedei.

This chocolatier is from Italy, a country already internationally famous for their passionate culture and high-fashion sensibility. And this product which has its roots in Italy has a quality all its own.

What makes Amedei different is the woman behind Tuscany’s Amedei Chocolate, Cecilia Tessieri. Ms. Tessieri is the first woman master chocolatier in a male-dominated industry and brings years of experience and dedication to her craft. She initially created the high-end brand in Pontedera, Tuscany in 1990. Amedei sources cacao in many locations such as Ecuador, Grenada, Jamaica, Madagascar, Trinidad and Venezuela, and Ms. Tessieri personally supervises the production from the very beginning to the end product. Early in 2014, an Amedei storefront opened in New York City, the first to arrive in America. Amedei also has an online shop with shipping. (Sweet!)

Not only has Amedei won international awards for their chocolates, they have a “no compromise on quality” mantra, according to Amedei’s NYC flagship storeowner, Ms. Pepi Giacomo. According to the company’s website, “Tessieri comes from a long line of confectioners and has won numerous awards worldwide, including the Chocolate Academy of London's prestigious Golden Bean award four times.”

Among some of the finest chocolates offered, there is Amedei’s rare Porcelana blend, an award-winning chocolate made from a special translucent white cocoa bean pure-strain variety of the Criollo of Venezuela. With a mere 3000 kilograms (approx. 6,600 lbs.) of this chocolate harvested each year, it is a delicious delicacy. Other chocolates offered by Amedei are just as decadent, and each one has distinctive notes—just like a fine wine. In fact, some of the names include wine label jargon such as “Cru” and “Toscano Red.”

One of the best facts about chocolate is also one of its least known: chocolate is derived from a fruit tree. Therefore, eating chocolate should be a part of everyone’s balanced and healthy diet—because by consuming chocolate, you’re practically eating fruit!

Personally, I can manage to do this daily, as well passionately, and I’m not even Italian.

To learn more or purchase Amedei chocolates, visit Amedei Store online.