Banyan Tree Chocolate Receives High Honor in National Competition



Sarasota’s very own Banyan Tree Chocolate brought home multiple winning medals from a juried annual artisan chocolate awards, held on a prestigious level throughout North America. The International Chocolate Salon, which holds the ranking competition, was founded in 2007 by TasteTV and TCB Cafe Publishing and Media. Today, it is still renowned as one of the premier international bodies celebrating and honoring artisan and premium chocolates and confections with events held nationwide. Judges for the “Best of Salon” Awards Competitions include national and regional magazines, newspapers and blog editors, plus master chefs and food experts, many from the Academy of Media Tastemakers. The awards are based on the combined total number of votes received by each entrant from the Judging Panel. 

“I entered two of my gourmet truffles into the competition with the International Chocolate Salon—Hibiscus Liquid Caramel for ‘Best Caramels’ and Spicy Sunset for ‘Best Spicy Chocolate,’” says Morag Reid, founder and master chocolatier of Banyan Tree. Reid received her Master Chocolatier Certification in 2016 and has trained with Melissa Coppel and Richard Tango-Lowy—named two of the Top 10 Chocolatiers in North America. Her hand-crafted and hand-painted ganache bonbons take two to three days a batch to create, sourcing only fair trade-certified cocoa and all-natural flavoring ingredients. 

Results garnered the Hibiscus Caramel truffle—housemade caramel infused with hibiscus blossoms in a white chocolate shell—a Silver in Best Exterior Design, a Bronze in Best Packaging and a Gold in Most Unique. Meanwhile, the Spicy Sunset truffle—blood orange pate de fruit layered truffle with dark chocolate-chipotle pepper ganache—won the crowning prize for Top Spicy Chocolate. “Spicy Sunset melts fruity flavor, a creamy texture and the lightest hint of spice into a little piece of chocolate heaven,” the judges comment. It was recognized in other categories as, including a Bronze in Best Ingredient Combination, Bronze in Most Unique, a Gold in Best Taste and Gold in Best Flavor. 

The winners have the honor of being able to display and use the official TasteTV Winner Award title certification and logo merchandise in their store or with their products. “I was absolutely thrilled,” shares Reid.  “Our customers and clients are always saying how wonderful our chocolates are, but to receive recognition from such a prestigious organization really tells us what we do is top-notch.” 

Photo of the Spicy Sunset, courtesy of Morag Reid.

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