The history of Hill Bar
Jute bags, each weighing 50 kg, are piled up on the docks.
They are full of grains of black gold which, until recently, floated in the milky whiteness of their fruit before being separated from it several leagues from the European coasts.
Hundreds of years ago, an ocean away, with 4 of these seeds you could buy a pumpkin, with 10 a rabbit, with 12 a night with a concubine and with 100 a slave.
It is the story of a journey.
A journey within the journey, mixing past and present, mixing adventure and tradition, experience and avant-garde in a perfect alchemy.
This trip is called Hill Bar.
Hill Bar chocolate is a skillful and loving synthesis of essential flavors. It is a careful selection of raw and primary materials. Sensory maps that take us to the beginning of this journey; young olfactory memories.
Hill Bar is Corrado Barberis: his journey, his choices.
We could tell the story of how he began his life as a gourmet and foodie in 2013 with the opening of Gelato & Coffee ice cream parlor on Rue Basse in Old Lille, or how that first melted chocolate he let drip on his artisanal ice creams to create the traditional Italian stracciatella became the one-way ticket on his journey to a life as a chocolatier.
That would be a mistake, because this journey starts much earlier.
Much, much, much earlier.
It all starts with the cup of hot chocolate that every citizen of Turin could sip.
It all started with the commercial blockade imposed by Napoleon on the English market, which followed the routes to the Americas and forced the refined confectioners of Turin to replace part of the cocoa with the Tonda Gentile delle Langhe hazelnut to create the first Gianduja paste.
It all started with the first solid chocolate that became a chocolate and melted in the mouth of that first Piedmontese and then Italian palate.
It begins with the young Corrado Barberis who grows up convinced and certain that all this, quality, authenticity, experience and elegance, are absolute values and continues with a man who has let himself be chosen by cocoa on condition that he honors it in all its aspects.
The Bean to bar process, along with careful and painstaking processing was the most natural choice.
These same jute bags, which were once loaded onto wagons bound for the kitchens of European courts, now arrive at HillBar’s artisanal workshop in Villeneuve d’Ascq where they are opened by Corrado and his team. Here, each bean is received and checked to ensure that only the best, undamaged raw material goes into production.
The beans, selected one by one, are then roasted, then shelled and ground with sugar for at least 72 hours and subjected to all the other delicate stages of the transformation from bean to bar (conching, maturing, tempering, molding…).
Corrado’s visions are thus transformed into delicious and colorful packages of contemporary sophistication. How not to be attracted.
The real experience, however, will be to open them and let yourself be enchanted by their contents: a brilliant chocolate bar obtained from the purest cocoa, mixed with organic beet sugar and processed according to tradition to preserve all its original qualities. Nothing else! He tells us.