In 2006, Corinne DeBra was your average chocolate fan when her daughter challenged her: "I bet you can't eat a different chocolate each day for a year.” Now it's 2010 and she has yet to miss a day in her chocolate quest. Corinne has eaten more than 1300 chocolate bars in more than 1300 days. She maintains a spreadsheet of the varieties she finds to ensure that she never eats the same chocolate bar twice. She was kind enough to take time out her her chocolate project and discuss her experiences with us.
You travel a lot and you've tried chocolate from many places and countries. Any favorites, any patterns?
It seems that every chocolatier that makes finer, higher end chocolate went to Europe at some point or came from Europe. The Swiss and Germans have a rich history of craft and technique that lead to a very nice, smooth texture and taste. In Belgium as well. The French have their own sort of advantages. I always find it nice to see when people take these basic techniques and put creative spins on them.
What's your favorite city in the US for chocolate?
I didn't think of this when I started here, but San Francisco turned out to be an extremely convenient location for my undertaking. There are many small chocolate shops here, a lot of their founders came from the tech business, and they've formed a great community. Also, New York, and Chicago with Vosges. But really there hasn't been a city where I didn't find someone doing something interesting with chocolate.
Were you ever close to missing a day?
I've definitely been filled with panic a couple of times, where I ate the chocolate ten minutes before midnight. Since then, I always try to travel with a chocolate stash, which leads to funny situations like pulling out a chocolate bag at a business dinner in Japan because my partners wanted to know what the chocolate of the day was. But in the end it always turns out unnecessary - I always find something fun in chocolate wherever I travel.
How long do you think will you be doing this?
I used to say I'll do it until I run out of chocolate- but you just blew that goal with 27 billion different combinations at chocri! Maybe until I've eaten my weight in chocolate, we'll see.
Thank you for talking to us Corinne!