Because Myrna, a dedicated chocolate aficionado, decided to return for a second Pronto Marcella tour, I wanted to arrange a special treat for her. The rest of the group readily agreed that a chocolate tasting adventure would be fun. (and really, who doesn’t like chocolate?) I decided a trip to the Amedei factory, an organic boutique company would be our entry into the world of Italian chocolate.
I arranged for the shortest tasting available which was ninety minutes, vs. the longest, at three hours. Amedei headquarters is in the town of Pontedera, not too far from Pisa so a trip to the seaside was arranged for the afternoon.
Our hostess, Lavinia, spoke perfect English and welcomed us with a brief history of the company founded by the Cecilia Tessari in 1990.
Amedei has earned the chocolate academy of London’s prestigious “golden bean” award for four consecutive years. Due to her hard work, dedication and long apprenticeships in France, Belgium and Germany, Cecilia Tessieri is the only woman in the world to claim the title of chocolatier.
We learned about the coco bean (and tasted it) and how and where it grows around the world.
Soon it was time for our tasting.
We tried different chocolates – from Tuscan brown to the richest criollo to milk chocolate with hazelnuts and pralines. Everyone had a different favourite. Mine was the de blanco criollo, though the white chocolate pistachio was a close second.
At the end of the tasting, we could buy our favourites to take home as gifts, if they survived that long!
Myrna was as happy as I’ve ever seen her, nodding her head and beaming and the rest of the group thoroughly enjoyed the experience.
We drove to see the leaning tower – a brief stop only and continued on to the seaside.
The weather was perfect for Daniel to dip his toe into the Mediterranean Sea, for the first time.