Late last year, I grew curious about an Italian chocolate brand called Amedei. I mean curious in the same sense that sharks are curious about surfers. Amedei, founded in 1990, is the joint project of a 42-year-old Italian named Alessio Tessieri and his younger sister, Cecilia; he buys the cacao and she turns it into dark, glossy bars. In November, a competition in London awarded a gold prize to one of Cecilia’s handiworks, a single-plantation chocolate called Chuao. Two other Amedei products tied for silver.
Both the visionary French pâtissier Pierre Hermé and the visionary Spanish chef Ferran Adrià have said that Chuao might, in fact, be the world’s greatest chocolate. And yet Amedei is sold in only a handful of stores in the U.S., and—while a new importer has big plans for the brand—few Americans have heard of it.
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How had the Tessieris vaulted from obscurity to produce chocolate in the same rarefied league as Cluizel, Scharffenberger and even the mighty Valrhona? And, more urgently, where could I get some?