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A Continuous Success Story: „The Crunchtastic Walnut Chocolate Candy“

This year’s “Crunchtastic Walnut Chocolate Candy” contest comprised contributions for every palate, ranging from classic interpretations with marzipan and walnut décor to rather unusual creations with white chocolate and curried walnut chunks. In total, 16 companies participated in this year’s contest, submitting 32 kinds of chocolate candies. Out of these, eight belonged to the category “Retail”, 24 into “Premium”. A jury of eight, consisting of product developers, nutritionists, journalists, bloggers, and marketing experts, examined the candies and evaluated them according to five selection criteria: quality, composition, taste, interpretation, and market potential. Again, the contest proved a great opportunity to promote California walnuts and was well received by both contesters and jurors.

On September 19th, the six winners of the contest received awards for their chocolate candy creations with California walnuts in the framework of the garden party of the U.S. embassy in Berlin. Three prizes for each of the two categories and an additional special prize for outstanding conceptual work were awarded. The USDA Foreign Agricultural Service’s (FAS) Agricultural Counselor Mrs. Kelly Stange concluded wonderfully that “awarding the prize to the best, most crunchtastic walnut praline was a perfect fit with promotion of U.S. artisanal food and drink – high quality and amazing flavors always go together.”

In the Retail sector, confectioner Fabrice Noel’s Crunchy Walnut and Biscuit Candy carried the day with a creation of whole milk chocolate covering a crunchy walnut and biscuit filling topped with a caramelized walnut chunk. Second and third in Retail were Dirk Korkenbrink’s Spirit of Walnuts of Café Möller and Confiserie Paulsen’s Walnut Butter Truffle by confectioner Daniel Biebl.

Sweet Kiss of the Walnut , a sheer work of art by Julia Kahnt of Kempinski Hotel in Berchtesgaden, convinced the jury in the category Premium. Her refreshingly fruity raspberry ganache combined with tenderly melting walnut butter caramel, fleur de sel as well as white and dark chocolate was almost unrivalled. Christian Lorczyk of Confiserie Freundt won second prize with his candy Apricot, and ranked third was Pot of Gold by Sandra Luz and Veronika Koller of Confiserie Neßbach & Schwalber. This third prize was of particular interest to the jury due to its excellent concept, which had been elaborated meticulously to a perfectly crafted piece both in theory and practice. This beautiful proof of commitment had earned the two lady confectioners the glory of a specially designed prize. Both were very pleased to see their second run in the candy contest’s history turn out that well for them.

The two winning confectioners of the competition, Mr. Noel and Mrs. Kahnt, are now looking forward to their prize – a trip to the walnut harvest in California next year. But there is something to look forward to for everybody else as well: In spring 2018, preparations for the contest’s third round will kick off. Application forms and conditions of participation will be available on www.californiawalnuts.eu from December 2017.

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