FCIA Fine Chocolate Glossary

Spotlight on Glossary Author Albert Chau

This week’s post is dedicated to one of our most foundational Glossary contributors: Albert Chau. Albert authored the entries for Award, Filled Chocolate, Molded Chocolate, and Truffle. And even more entries are on the way.

Albert is the co-founder and Chief Chocolate Taster of Fifth Dimension Chocolates. Fifth Dimension is an award-winning British chocolate company that specializes in luxury handmade chocolates. They use exclusively single-origin cocoa, which they combine with exciting flavors and ingredients.

I had the pleasure to ask Albert some questions about his contributions to the Glossary:

Albert, can you tell me, why do you think the Glossary is so important?

It’s tremendously helpful to have a “common language” when communicating with each other. There are terms which have been used inter-changeably, but they can mean different things to different people, and this may result in confusion or even misunderstanding. It’s also useful when it comes to communicating and educating consumers, so there is a definitive “go-to” place when they need to clarify any conflicting information.

You have written the entries for Award, Filled Chocolate, Molded Chocolate, and Truffle. What did your research process look like?

I usually start with jotting down a list of associated terms that may be linked to an entry, and then performing searches on the internet as well as looking for terms in printed literature such as books and journal articles. I will usually identify potential co-authors who I can speak to and discuss the Glossary terms, as they may have other useful resources also.

Sometimes, during this initial search, new information may appear and additional searches may be needed. I would usually put all the key information from various sources into a document first, and then start looking for common ground or conflicting information. Further verification or searches may be required. Finally, once I have a final draft of the definition that I am happy with, I would ask the co-author(s) to do a critical review of the definition. Once this is finalized, then the entry is submitted to the Glossary.

And why have those particular terms you have defined appealed to you as an author?

I have a strong personal interest in filled chocolates and chocolate-related products. Having run a chocolate company for the last 10 years or so, I have come across different uses (and misuses) of certain terms. From a personal development and learning perspective, it is also useful for me to gain further insight and knowledge into some of the related information on these terms.

Lastly, I want to ask you a fun question. What do you recommend eating or drinking, anything related to cacao or chocolate, at least once in our lives?

Have an open mind and try chocolate with something you have never thought about before! At home, I would sometimes grate some dark chocolate onto fried eggs, or add milk chocolate into tomato soup! You may discover some new flavor combinations with chocolate. It may not always work, but that’s part of the fun.

Thanks a lot Albert! We are really looking forward to the entries that are on their way!

A contemporary interpretation of truffles; photo by Keith Hurdman, courtesy of Albert Chau

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