The “Organic Chocolate Marche” at Crayonhouse in Aoyama, Tokyo is held during the Christmas season from November until March of the following year. This is an annual event since the start in autumn 2014 under the motto “Enjoy organic chocolate from all over the world!”.
This year, Crayonhouse sells 160 types of organic chocolate from 10 countries; from Belgium and Switzerland, famous for producing chocolate, to Germany, England, France, Austria, and Peru, the cacao producer. A wide range of chocolates that you can probably find only in Crayonhouse in Japan!
According to sales representatives, the trends of this year are dark chocolate, flavored chocolate, and chocolates bars.
Dark chocolate is made of 40% or more cacao mass, cocoa butter, sugar, lecithin and flavors and does not contain dairy ingredients. It is also called bitter chocolate. The cacao content is displayed in % and can be used as a guide for tastings and purchases.
Flavored chocolate contains fruits such as strawberries, raspberries, oranges and lemon peels, and other components such as mint, vanilla and ginger, or they are kneaded. The most popular is orange.
Superfoods and cereal products made into bar types are spreading as simple nutritional supplements, but many people also reach out to bar-type chocolates. There is also a unique rice milk bar.
In addition, trends such as “carob” and “vegan”, “raw” made at low temperature below 47 ° C without heating raw materials, and “agave” with low GI value instead of sugar. This year’s trend is that there are many health-oriented chocolates, such as those using agave syrup and those using rice milk as described above.
The most purchased chocolates are from People Tree fair trade and organic chocolate. At Crayonhouse, it is a “classic” chocolate, and milk chocolate is especially popular.
The products with a few exceptions are Organic JAS certified. In addition, many chocolates have EU, French or German AB and BIO organic certification labels. Products of the “3rd World Shop” in organic quality are also sold, but they are not certified, domestic products using imported organic raw materials are also available.
The British organic brand “Conscious” started sales in Japan this year. There are very few organic raw chocolates with maca and spirulina, citrus and chia available at most shops, but you can find them at Crayonhouse.
When I asked Ms. Kato, the store manager who had already tried half of the 160 varieties, what she liked best, she introduced me to her favorite, an organic agave chocolate “Pink salt”. Mexican agave syrup is used as sweetener for dark chocolate with a high cacao mass content, and the Himalaya pink salt gives it a deep taste.
Every Saturday is a tasting day at the Organic Chocolate Marche at Crayonhouse, which runs until March, covering all chocolate-related events, from Christmas to Valentine and White Day.
Find your favorite organic chocolates from around the world!