Saturday, May 30, 2009

Bar of the Week: Byrne & Carlson Violet Bar

Region: Inclusion

Cocoa Content: 54%

This week we are featuring another elegant selection by New Hampshire chocolatiers, Byrne & Carlson. The Violet Bar is a stunning work of art inspired by Art Nouveau botanical motifs and replicated in semisweet Belgium chocolate studded with candied violets and mint leaves. Some might say this bar is too beautiful to eat, but we disagree. Enjoy with your eyes and then with your mouth!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

New - Madécasse Chocolate Bars

We use the term "new" loosely since these bars have been in our shop for a couple of weeks now, but in case you didn't notice them tucked away in our Madagascar section they are the newest addition to our collection. Madécasse, pronounced mah - DAY - cas, is the brainchild of two former Peace Corp volunteers who took on the challenge of producing chocolate at the source from tree to bean to bar.

The pods are grown and harvested in the Sambirano Valley of Madagascar, a region known for its fine cacao. The ripest pods are selected and split open, and the beans and pulp are fermented for 4-6 days and then laid out to dry in the sun. The beans are then sent to the highlands of Madagascar for the remainder of the chocolate-making process to produce the three bars available in our store, 63%, 70% and 75%.

"Why Madagascar?", you may wonder. The entire island is organic and much of the cacao is grown without the use of pesticides or herbicides. The cultivation and harvesting is done by hand, on a small scale. Processing the chocolate close to the source means that the beans don't sit around as long and the people of Madgascar profit more from their natural resources and receive four times more revenue than if they chose to go the Fair Trade route. Skills, market knowledge, profit and ownership are shared with the people of Madagascar, encouraging them to continue to produce some of the best cacao in the world.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Bar of the Week: Domori Carupano

Region: Venezuela

Bean Type: Trinitario

Cocoa Content: 70%

Our May feature of Domori ends with the delicious Carupano, named for the historic cacao grown in the eastern region of Venezuela. Notes of nuts, black pepper, woods, and vanilla permeate each bite, lifting this dark chocolate to the top of our list of bars to try. Another reason to get your hands on a bar now is that they are no longer being produced due to a corporate decision to cut back on Domori's product line. You may have noticed the change in packaging recently for the new Domori bars, but one thing we hope will remain the same is the taste.

Have a great Memorial Day weekend and we'll see you this Saturday!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Chocolopolis Update

Thanks to everyone who stopped by for our Christopher Elbow event last week. For those that missed out, Mr. Elbow was on hand to answer questions and sample out three confection flavors created just for us. A lucky handful of customers were also treated to a special demonstration of how to make the very popular fleur de sel chocolates, and we've posted photos below courtesy of photographer and chocolate connoisseur, Chris Blakely.

Our next event is a special Scotch and Chocolate tasting on Father's Day, June 21st from 6 to 8 pm. The cost for the event is $65 per person and includes a tasting of three scotches/whiskeys paired with five different single-origin chocolates. Tickets can be purchased through our website at or by calling our store at (206) 282-0776. This special event is limited to 12 people so make sure you reserve a spot early!

Bar of the Week: Domori Rio Caribe

Region: Venezuela

Bean Type: Trinitario

Cocoa Content: 70%

This week Chocolopolis continues its tasting of the Cru Line by Domori with our featured bar, the Rio Caribe Superior. Its beans come from the plantation San Jose in Venezuela which was acquired by Grupo Franceschi in 1840, and is known as being one of the great epicenters of fine Criollo beans. Domori paired up with Grupo Franceschi in 2004 with the idea to bring Criollo chocolate back to its pure origins.

The Rio Caribe Superior is a 75 gram bar that will leave you longing for more. Notes of nuts, ripe fruit, raisins, and tobacco surface on the palette throughout the tasting. The chocolate has the unique yet traditional Domori characteristic of being molded without any lines or indentations. This detail allows the consumer to savor as little or as much as they want without worrying about how many squares make up a single-serving portion.

Only two ingredients are combined to create this bar - cocoa mass and cane sugar. Free of soy lecithin, vanilla, and added cocoa butter, the Cru line by Domori allows you to taste the complex flavors of artisan chocolate by keeping the ingredients the way they should be - simple.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Bar of the Week: Domori Apurimac

Region: Peru

Bean Type: Trinitario

Cocoa Content: 70%
To inaugurate our month-long tribute to the Italian chocolate maker Domori, we've decided to aim our spotlight at the Apurimac 70%. This bar is named for the Apurimac River Valley in Peru where the beans are grown, and represents the shop's only Peruvian single-origin chocolate.
This bar is what we like to call "a kick in the mouth." It's full of personality, evident even in its rich, spicy aroma. We would describe the taste as an immediate and powerful burst of fruit, especially green banana, and a mild, creamy finish with notes of flowers and caramel.
Even the packaging is something to behold; a conglomeration of tropical birds and other animals, which can be found on Domori's entire Cru Cacao Cult line. Stop in and pick up these bars now, because the company is rumored to be changing their packaging in the near future.

Christopher Elbow Tasting Thursday!

Christopher Elbow is coming to Seattle to visit Chocolopolis this Thursday, May 14th. We've scheduled two tastings that day so that everyone can have a chance to stop by, and both events are free of charge.

1 to 3 pm - Tea and Chocolate with Christopher. Join us for a cup of tea, a finger sandwich and a sample of Mr. Elbow's chocolates.

7 to 9 pm - Cheese, Crackers and Chocolate with Christopher. Stop by and mingle with the man behind our most popular confections.

We'll also be holding raffles during both events. Every $5 spent in our store gets you a raffle ticket for a chance to win Christopher Elbow chocolate or a specially selected item from our store.

Save the date and we hope to see you this Thursday!