This past Saturday, the awards ceremony for the International Chocolate Awards for the Americas took place. DWN had three products chosen as jury selections as potential award contenders, however, we did not end up winning.
As a small chocolate maker located in a small town, these types of awards are a great promotional tool because it shows that great craftsmanship can be found anywhere regardless of production size and operational budget. As a solo entrepreneur who shows up every day to continue producing and improving, it is nice to occasionally be recognized by one's peers.
However, we can't let awards affect our ego too much because they are not the only indicator of taste. For the past two years, we have submitted the sesame chocolate chip bar for contention. This chocolate bar is the flavour that started the company and remains our bestseller of all time. The chocolate is a combination of two house-made flavours using the best quality ingredients that we can afford. But the marks from the International Chocolate Awards were lower this year than last.
The International Chocolate Awards are judged by professional chocolate tasters who use a grading system based on a variety of elements. These grades are then tabulated and generate a ranked list of the submissions, which are then tasted by the jury. A mark of 85 or above can then go on to win a bronze, silver or gold in their category and then go on to the world finals.
The three products that were contenders this year (with their score) were the caramelized macadamia nuts (84.22), the forest bar (83.53) and the popcorn malt balls (81.50) that are part of the chillin' mix.
The popcorn white chocolate is not considered a traditional chocolate and we think it is a quirky addition to our lineup, which we think is reflected in the judge's feedback and brings us lots of joy.
"Interesting idea" "Very appropriate texture" "Visually beautiful" "Appealing balance of textures" "Interesting reinterpretation of classic ideas" "Very uniform pieces" "Innovative concept"
All of the nominees are currently in stock and we will be making 75g bags of just the popcorn malt balls so that you can judge for yourself.