16 May 2013

Top Moscow's Russian Chocolate Shops

5 Schyolkovskoe Shosse, (926) 616 7961, m. Cherkizovskaya, open daily 10 am-8 pm, chocolatier.ru
Only three years old, Chocolatier has earned a reputation as one of Moscow’s best artisanal chocolate makers. Its shop sells handmade chocolate, as well as molds, thermometers, mixers and other equipment, and also hosts master classes.
12 Nikitsky Bulvar, bldg. 3, (495) 690 5617, m. Arbatskaya, open weekdays 10 am-10 pm, Sat. and Sun. 10 am-12 midnight, confael.ru
Confael produces a wide array of high-end truffl es and chocolates, including chocolate sculptures made to order. Chocoholics can sample desserts including chocolate fondue with vanilla souffl e at the boutique’s adjoining cafe.
22 Ul. Pyatnitskaya, (495) 951 3764, m. Tretyakovskaya, open weekdays 9 am-8 pm, Sat. 10 am-6 pm, closed Sun.
This small, old-fashioned shop weighs out bags of all the most popular mass-produced candy from Krasny Oktyabr and other factories, such as Romashki, Belochka and Maska.
13/16 Bolshaya Lubyanka, bldg. 1, (495) 625 6411, open daily 10 am-8 pm, korkunov.ru
Founded in 1999 by businessman Andrei Korkunov, the Korkunov company was purchased by Wrigley in 2007. Though Korkunov’s massproduced bars can be found all over Russia, it sells handmade chocolates exclusively at its Moscow boutique.
Rot Front
13/15 Novokuznetsky Per., (495) 959 2951, m. Novokuznetskaya, open daily 8 am-8 pm, Sun. 9 am-5 pm
Russia’s oldest chocolate factory, famous for popular candies such as Krasnaya Shapochka, maintains a shop near Paveletskaya where you’ll fi nd all its signature caramels, chocolates, waffl e cakes and halvah.

Source: http://themoscownews.com/arts/20120326/189563834.html
Image Source: http://www.chocolatecakeblog.com/chocolate-cake-2/chocolate-russian-doll-cakes

Three Russian Confectionaries - One Story

I would like to introduce to you three main Russian confectionaries that have been popular for over the 200 years now. All three Confectionaries have a very similar history and currently operate in Russia.

1. Einem became The Red October Confectionary
by Einem Partnership
The Red October Confectionary initially was formed in 1867 by German T.F. vonEinem/Эйнемъ. In 1918 was nationalized and renamed as 'State Confectionary Factory  №1, previously Einem Partnership'. Adding to the name 'previously Einem Partnership' says about its popularity among the customers. In 1922 confectionary was renamed again - 'The Red October'.  Confectionary producing now lots chocolate products of a different taste, but the most popular one is called Alyonka.

The Red October
Concessionary Factory,
Milk Chocolate Alyonka
Alyonka/Алёнка is a legendary chocolate bar has started to produce and sell in Soviet Union in 1966, brand Alyonka (see link) became a symbol of a happy childhood times for several generations now. Image of a young girl is a collected from different photos of a young russian girls. Artist, who created this image was inspired by his small daughter. I remember this chocolate bars in a very small packaging about 10cm long, that we ate on occasions and holidays. These days, you can get any size of this famous russian chocolate 'Alyonka' (see link).
Sweet admirer says (see link) "I was surprised by the waxy flavorless nature of the chocolate and was wondering if this is specific to that type of candy or whether Russian chocolate leans toward a different flavor and texture profile than American chocolate. James H. Johnson, director of international marketing at the Chocolate Manufacturers Association talks about the difference in Russian chocolate in the CNNmoney.com article: "Another reason for the rise of Russian chocolate is that Russian tastes are different. 'Russian chocolate has a different taste and feel,' says Johnson. 'It's grittier because they use more cocoa. It's not as sweet.' CNN article on Red October (see link).

2. Abrokosov&Sons became the Babaevskiy Confectionary

Abrikosov&Sons Partnerships
Babaevskiy 'Elite' Chocolate
75% Cocoa

Another confectionary factory named as Babaevskiy (see link), formed in 1804 by Abrikosov&Sons, in 1918 the concessionary was nationalized by the Soviets and in 1922 it was named as Babaevskiy confectionary factory. The product assortment include chocolates, candies, caramels, gift packaged sweets for kids and in the future the assortment will be extended.

3. Lenov family became the RotFront Confectionary 
Leonov's Factory, Moscow

And finally, Rot Front confectionary was initially formed in 1826 by Lenov family. In November 1918 the Chocolate factory was nationalized and in 1931 it was renamed as RotFront. One of the popular brands is  brand 'Ptich'e Moloko/Bird's milk' is a soufflé based with a chocolate glaze candies - was extremely popular during the Soviet times.

Candies 'Ptich'e Moloko'
(if translated - birds milk
but this is nothing to do
with a birds milk)
by RotFront Factory
According to this source, after the Russian Food Industry Minister visited Czech Republic in 1967, where he was so impressed by tasty local candies. When he returned back (former USSR), he gathered in Moscow RotFront representatives of all confectionary fabrics, where was made an order to make the same candies as the example was provided, but without any initial recipe. In 1967, in Vladivostok Confectionary Fabric, technolog Anna Chulkova developed  candies named "Ptich'e moloko/Birds milk". Vladivostok Confectionary Fabric was the only one in the USSR that meet the plan for the candies production by producing the 12 tonn (423 287,5 ounce US/26 455,5 pound US).

During that time it was an order to all confectionaries to produce 6 tons (211643,7 ounce US/13227,7 pound US) of product. Later on, due to the machine process development vs hand made, production of the "Ptich'e moloko/Birds milk" reached 35 ton (1234588,7 ounce US/77140 pound US) monthly. The recipe and technological process was concidered to be the best in the USSR. First experimental orders were produced by the RotFront Factory in 1968 but due to the small amount of production the USSR Food Industry Ministry did not approve this recipe.
United Confectionary Manufacturers & Chocolate and Cocoa Museum
In 2007, all three confectionaries form the United Confectionary Manufacturers organization (see link).

United Confectionary Manufacturers Logo
The Red October Factory
Babaevskiy, RotFront
United Confectionary Manufacturers
And also the Chocolate and Cocoa Museum of History in Moscow (see link) was created by the United Confectionary Manufacturers.

If you are interested in Market Research Report - Chocolate Confectionary in Russia by Euromonitor International, please follow this link.

* Please note that the current Russian chocolate and sweets market is not limited to these three confectionaries. The competition comes from many local and foreign companies
Image sources: 
To see Russian chocolate click here, candies click here and handmade candies click here.
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