I had been busy extolling the virtues of Valrhona chocolate to friends on Facebook when one of them, a bloke named Chris, asked if I had ever tried Amedei, an Italian brand of chocolate which is often heralded as among the world’s most expensive. I hadn’t, but made it my mission to do so.
This turned out to be surprisingly easy. With retailers all over the world, and the chocolate’s high reputation, I was astounded to have not come across it before. A selection from Harvey Nichols was therefore soon winging its way to my parents’ address in the UK for our delectation (French retailers of this brand are strangely lacking in spite of the country’s close proximity to Italy; we tried one Parisian establishment, da rosa, only to be met with a surly reception and to find they no longer stocked the brand anyhow).
We had ordered three 50g bars – two of the Toscano Black (63% and 70% cacao respectively), and one of the Gianduja (32% cacao). In addition, we’d also plumped for a 180g box of 16 Amedei pralines. This order came to a whopping £34.80 before we’d even thought about delivery.
The selection box struck us as being the worst value for money. While the chocolates within it were delicious, provided a good range of flavours, and gave us a better idea of what types of Amedei we would consider purchasing in future, the Valrhona equivalent box (180g of a selection of praline chocolates) comes in at more like £15 – which, for many, is significantly more affordable than £23 for the same amount of chocolate. Put another way, the Amedei chocolate is 53% more expensive in this regard.
To compare the bars was trickier. While the Amedei bars are possibly more refined, there is relatively little of them: each 50g bar costs £3.95, whereas Valrhona’s versions are around £3.55 for 70g. So it seems you get a little bit more bite from the Valrhona bars – at least financially (although by Keeper’s reckoning they have more bite taste and texture-wise too). Taste-wise, the Amedei bars are perhaps creamier, whereas the Valrhona bars are more tannic, but that doesn’t necessarily make one ‘better’ than the other – just different.
The expense of Amedei’s chocolate certainly makes us consider carefully whether or not we would purchase again, but as far as I can tell, it’s not enough to stop us completely – otherwise why would I be trawling the internet now, ahead of our trip to New York next week, looking for places where we can buy and drink the stuff?…
Where can I purchase Amedei?
As mentioned, Harvey Nichols is a good place to begin for UK buyers. Other retailers include The Chocolate Trading Company and Kings Fine Food. For American purchasers, Chocosphere gets rave reviews as an online retailer. As for us, we’ll be heading to Food Emporium, Worldwide Chocolate, and/or to MarieBelle’s for our fix in New York next week.