Monday, May 01, 2006

Shiny, Happy, Chocolate People

It’s true: people who work with chocolate are the loveliest people in the world. How could they not be? Sugar is a mood enhancer in itself, but chocolate has phenylethyamines which also improve mood.

I met Paul A Young, master chocolatier, today. I only heard about his store during yesterday’s tour and was thrilled to make it up to Angel this morning. The advantage also being that his normally pulsing store was comparatively empty, funnily enough not too many people rise early around Upper Street. Paul decorated his store himself and it’s clear his creativity is not limited to his chocolates. Many of the features were designed by Paul and then hand crafted by artisans. The wood boards have been soaked, rather than treated with chemicals and the spotless store is cleaned only with environmentally friendly Ecover products.

Paul makes all of the chocolates himself by hand downstairs. This means that the product range changes frequently and when something runs out, it runs out. Very frustrating for the local business people who have abandoned all the nearby cafes for their sugar hit and are rushing to Paul’s for one of his amazing brownies or his dairy-free hot chocolates. (You can buy the kit to make them at home too!)

This is also the only place in London where you can buy Amedei in 1kg blocks. The Italian manufacturer produces fine chocolate that will make an incredible difference to the outcome of your own home baking.

With only about 16 different chocolates on sale at any one time, you can actually try them all in one box. I did. My favourite? The raspberry. And they really all are delicious.

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