This stunningly beautiful new magazine is a complete delight. CocoAroma, with its enticing photography belongs on a coffee table, but it begs to be read. I often find long pieces on chocolate tedious. Even though I love the topic, I have a personal distaste for chocolate reviewers who borrow from effete wine writers in their pedantic descriptions of chocolate’s subtleties, but there’s none of that here. (By the way, some things are indescribable. You simply have to experience them for yourself. At the same time, I do appreciate knowing if a chocolate tastes of leather or tobacco, or is fruitier.)
What distinguishes CocoAroma, is its amazing balance of material. Alexander Morozoff, the young publisher and executive editor, has a keen eye for beauty. This glossy compendium of reviews, in-depth interviews with chocolatiers, and cutting-edge chocolate news, is different from anything else I have seen. There are stories about new chocolate frontiers, like Vietnam, and reviews of chocolate shops in Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan, and other places across the globe. I may not actually venture that far afield, but I can virtually savor their wares. Lest I misguide you, Morozoff extolls the praises of one and all, not just the fanciest chocolatiers, but gentlemen like Robert Lambert, a chocolate sauce maker from California, and Michael Mischer a creative chocolatier in Oakland (see my review of his criollo chocolate bars).
Yes, there is a recipe section: one breathtaking recipe by chef Pascal Janvier in each of the two issues I sampled. I may not attempt these on a typical Saturday, but it’s inspirational to see them assembled step-by-step.
My favorite aspect of CocoAroma is the accessible intelligent writing, though I think listing the links to websites for everything they report on is an extra little gift. (It’s on the back inside cover of the most recent issue.)
A subscription is $40 US on http://www.cocoaroma.com