Sunday, September 26, 2010

Bar of the Week: Michel Cluizel's Grand Lait

When customers ask about the difference between "single-origin" and "blend" chocolate, I usually explain that a single-origin takes advantage of a particular cacao's unique qualities, while a blend starts with a particular chocolate maker's unique vision.  With an "ideal" chocolate in mind, the chocolate maker can pick and choose different cacao, mixing and adding to achieve the desired effect. 

Case in point, the Grand Lait bar from Michel Cluizel, our current Bar of the Week.  This incredibly smooth milk chocolate contains 45% cacao and features rich, creamy notes of hazelnut and caramel.  If you've been disappointed by weak or cloying milk chocolates, this is definitely one to try. 

Stop by on Saturday, October 2nd, for a sample of Cluizel's Grand Lait. 

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Bar of the Week: Madecasse's 67%

This bar of the week is a taste-good, feel-good combo.  Madecasse was founded by two former Peace Corps volunteers who leveraged their experience in Madagascar to start a chocolate company that trades directly with rural farmers.  Even more unusual, Madecasse chocolate is made in Madagascar itself; as Madecasse's website notes, "85% of the world’s cocoa comes from Africa. less than 1% of chocolate is made there."  By basing their operations in Madagascar, Madecasse ensures that more of its profits stay in the country.  Although Madecasse isn't certified "fair trade", the company estimates that localized manufacturing has even more benefits for its farmers than would certification alone.  

And how does it taste?  The 67% bar is characterized as "mellow and subtle," a toned-down take on the fruity notes of raspberry, cranberry and cherry that you'd expect from Madgascar chocolate. Other ingredients include the emulsifier soy lecithin, and a hint of vanilla.  

We'll be sampling Madecasse's 67% on Saturday, September 25.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Bar of the Week: Domori's Sur del Lago

We're on a Domori roll this week with another featured bar from the Italian chocolate maker.  This time it's the Sur del Lago, a 70% dark chocolate made from Venezuelan cacao grown south of Lake Maracaibo.  It's a smooth, rich, well-rounded chocolate with notes of almonds and coffee, and a subtle smokiness

Stop by on Saturday, September 18th, for a taste of Domori's Sur del Lago. 

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Bar of the Week: Domori's Rio Caribe

This 70% dark chocolate from Italian maker Domori uses premium cacao from a single estate in Venezuela.  The Rio Caribe bar is intense but well balanced, with fruity notes and hints of tobacco, nuts, and spice.  Come by on Saturday, September 11th, for a taste of Domori's Rio Caribe.