Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Bar of the Week: Amedei Toscano Red

Region: Inclusion
Cocoa Content: 70%

This week we focus on Amedei's companion to the Toscano Blond bar, the Toscano Red. The chocolate is a bit darker and the added fruits this time are cherries, raspberries, and strawberries, but the flavor still packs a punch. If you're game for a challenge try both bars and decide which one you like better. I'll warn you though, it's hard to choose.

Fun Fact: Amedei's Toscano Black 70% was the first chocolate that Cecilia Tessieri made.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Bar of the Week: Domori Puertomar

Region: Venezuela
Bean Type: Criollo
Cocoa Content: 75%

While similar to last week's Puertofino, the Domori Puertomar is a great example of how different chocolate from the same region can be. While both are made from Venezuelan criollo cacao and have no added cocoa butter, the flavors are quite varied due to the different subclones used to make each bar (the Puertomar is from the Ocumare 61 while the Puertofino is made with Ocumare 67).

Come by the store this Saturday for a taste of the Puertomar, and for anyone interested in trying the two together we may be able to rustle up a sample of the Puertofino for you.

Fun Fact: The name Domori means two Moors in Venetian. It refers to the two bronze statues on the clock tower in St. Mark's Square, Venice, and to the two main crops of Venezuela, coffee and cacao.

Monday, October 13, 2008

New Flavors by Coco-Luxe

Our truffles case is at its maximum capacity with the newest addition being Coco-Luxe confections, a chocolatier out of Sausalito, CA. Head chocolatier, Stephanie Marcon, is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America and previously worked under Michael Recchuitti before creating her own line of chocolates. The whimsy designs that decorate each confection set her chocolates apart from the competition and make it easy to decode the flavors within.

We brought in a number of products from her line, including three flavors that are perfect for Halloween:

Devil's Food - dark chocolate ganache
Malted Milk - milk chocolate ganache with barley malt syrup
Dreamy Orange -
white chocolate ganache with a hint of orange

Stop in and try Coco-Luxe today!

Bar of the Week: Domori Puertofino

Region: Venezuela
Bean Type: Criollo
Cocoa Content: 70%

The Domori Puertofino is a great contrast to last week's Javablond. Together the two represent Domori's smooth style of chocolate making without added cocoa butter, but separately, the two types of criollo cacao are drastically different chocolates. While the strong, smokey flavor of the Javablond is present almost immediately, the Puertofino requires more careful consideration to identify the notes hidden within.

Fun Fact: Ocumare is a type of bean grown in the Ocumare de la Costa region of Venezuela. The Ocumare 67 strain of cacao used to make this bar was revived due to Domori's efforts to graft criollo subclones onto cacao trees. For those interested there is a lot of great information on grafting here.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Bar of the Week: Domori Javablond

Region: Southeast Asia
Bean Type: Criollo
Cocoa Content: 70%

This information regarding the bar of the week comes from the chocolate maker: Javablond is a criollo-type cacao from East Java. Many centuries ago, a light-colored criollo cacao with a good acidity, and that was easily separated from its shell, was cultivated on the island of Java. Then a volcanic eruption devastated the plantations and forastero-type cacao was planted alongside what remained of the criollo cacao. From this mix a trinitario-type cacao was born.
One third of the island’s crop has 50% light-colored beans and therefore is classified as criollo. This cacao is unique because of its notes of tobacco, berries, smokiness and earthiness. It is spicy with an excellent smoothness, long finish and marked sweetness.

Fun Fact: Domori was the first to create a uniform tasting guide to evaluate chocolate based upon five characteristics - aroma, appearance, snap, taste, and texture.