How long have you been open?
- The store opened as Biagio Fine Chocolate in 2006. Ownership changed in May 2011. The new owner is committed to continuing to offer the international selection of chocolate you have come to love.
Why did you change the name of the store?
- We decided to change the name to one that more directly relates to what we do: We “go” around the world, in person and online, searching for the finest chocolate available.
When did the name change?
- The name of the store officially changed 10/1/11.
When did you renovate the store?
- We started renovations at the beginning of September 2011 and finished just in time for September's Sample day!
Who designed the new store?
- The redesign was architected mostly by Robert Cabeca, the owner. However, he did have some great input from friends, family, and Design 22.
Who did the great work?
- We used Arlington Floor Coverings for the floor and new wall. We used David Martinez for the ceiling and shelving and lots of the things needing detailing. We also used University Painters for all the painting, Ravensworth Welding for the base of the display case, Fairfax Marble for the Onyx slab, and Ultra glass for the glass shelving and display case covering. Team Cocova did all the rest!
What is your email?
- “The Worlds Best Chocolate” = TWBC
What is your phone number?
Where do you get your chocolate from?
- We purchase our chocolate from all around the world. Some we import directly, and others we purchase from importers. Those chocolate makers located in the U.S. ship to us directly.
What is the best chocolate in the world?
- That is a difficult question. In today’s age, location of production is not as important as it once was. It used to be said the best chocolate came from Belgium, France, and Switzerland. Now there is chocolate made in the United States winning international prizes.
- Chocolate makers source their cocoa beans from specific plantations or commodities brokers, then have them shipped to wherever they are in the world. They then process it using their specific techniques.
- Now it is not important at all where the chocolate is made, but how it is made and what it is made with.
Where does the best cacao grow?
- This can change depending on global climate conditions. The most famous cacao grows in Peru, Venezuela, Madagascar, Sao Tome, and Ecuador. Everyone has their individual palate giving everyone the option to choose their favorite.
At what temperature does chocolate melt?
- Technically, cocoa butter and cocoa solids start to molecularly separate at 63 degrees. The less cocoa butter in the chocolate, the greater resistance to melting, but the more brittle it becomes.
What is the best way to freeze chocolate?
- Wrap your product in some paper towel to absorb any moisture. Place it in an airtight freezer bag and seal with as little air as possible. Place it in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to acclimate the chocolate. Then place it in the freezer. When you are ready to eat the chocolate, place the entire package in the refrigerator for 1 hour. Then remove it from the fridge to room temperature. Let it sit for another 30 minutes. Open the bag and enjoy.
- Reverse the process to re-freeze.
What is the best way to store chocolate?
- You mean you are going to save some for later? Place it in an air tight bag with as little air as possible and keep in a cool, dark location away from sunlight and drastic temperature changes. Open and enjoy as needed.
How should I travel with chocolate?
- Always a challenge! Refrigerate your chocolate as above. Place it in the center of your luggage with an icepack in a towel on top of it. It will be just fine.
How long will chocolate stay fresh?
- If stored properly, it can last three years. It will become brittle over time as the cocoa butter looses its malleability.
How long will truffles stay fresh?
- Fresh Cream Ganache Truffles? Not long. 3 – 4 weeks in general. Store them in the refrigerator if you will not be able to eat them all right away. If the truffles have preservatives, they can last for 6 to 12 months. If they are Vegan (made without dairy), they can last for about 6 months as well.
Can you cook with any chocolate?
- Pretty much, but make sure you choose a high quality chocolate. Some chocolate is made to be cooked and baked with, so you are better off if you choose one of those.
What is the difference between baking chocolate and couverture?
- A chocolate identified as “Baking Chocolate” generally is not very tasty and made with inferior beans. The reason is that you will rely on the other ingredients to enhance the flavor of the chocolate.
- Couverture is chocolate that has been made for work with Pastry and is typically very fine and expensive chocolate. Couverture generally has a higher percentage of cocoa butter for better viscosity. Viscosity refers to the thickness and pourability of melted chocolate. The higher the viscosity, the more “liquid” the chocolate is.
What do the percentages on the bars mean?
- A great question! The percentage usually refers to the total amount of cocoa butter and cocoa solids contained in the chocolate bar as a ratio to other ingredients. For example, a 60% chocolate bar would have a total of 60% cocoa solids and cocoa butter and 40% other ingredients, usually sugar, vanilla, and maybe an emulsifier. A 100% bar would have 100% cocoa solids and cocoa butter, and no other ingredients (for the brave connoisseur.)
What kind of events do you hold?
- We host many types of events in our newly renovated Studio B Art Gallery and Tasting Room. We host art exhibits, chocolate tastings, lessons, wine pairings, and many other types of events. We allow the space to be rented for special events as well.
Why are the once-monthly Sample Days free?
- Quite simply, we love to share great chocolate and give people the chance to try something new!