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July 1, 2019
Authentic: Estelle Tracy
The most compelling story ever might be one written in chocolate. Meet Estelle Tracy food writer, chocolate sommelier, and storyteller. Her interactive chocolate tastings, seasoned with her infectious Joie de vivre, tell stories, spark curiosity, and give participants resources for further exploration.
“I thought of chocolate as one flavor—brownie. But not all cocoa beans are created equal.”
Estelle’s own story begins outside Paris, where she graduated with a chemistry degree in 2001. She found a job in Pennsylvania, and she and her husband and two daughters are happy to call Kennett Square, this small town full of interesting people, home. Estelle’s successful blog, “Le hamburger et le croissant,” demystifying American cuisine for French expats, led to a book and eventually to chocolate. A friend who ran a 50K to celebrate her fiftieth birthday inspired Estelle to try something new for her thirty seventh. When Philter’s Chris Thompson gave her a tiny piece of chocolate that “didn’t taste like chocolate,” she decided to taste and review 37 chocolates. She soon realized she wouldn’t stop at 37.
“I thought of chocolate as one flavor—brownie. But not all cocoa beans are created equal.” Like wine, chocolate reflects terroir. “Some beans are so light you can eat them like peanuts. Some taste of citrus, raspberry, or lavender. Each has personality.”
The chocolate world needs guides who will open wrappers, invite people to taste, and give them a context for enjoying chocolate. Whether at the Kennett Library or a local winery, Estelle designs each tasting around several chocolates they might share a common origin, percentage, or maker and tells their story.
These stories are just beginning. Estelle is a collaborator at heart and is exploring, for example, chocolate pairings with wine and bourbon. “2019 is for chocolate,” she says. Keep up with Estelle’s tasting schedule at 37chocolates.com.