Sensual Chocolate...

Wow, I just found a cool new retail store in Seattle that sells my favorite food...CHOCOLATE! The name is Chocolopolis. Small and quaint, yet providing a very in-depth array of specimens of cacao. The magnitude of such, seemingly spoke out in an eloquent manner almost in overload. There was a nice organizational and categorical arrangement, ranging from various blends to single origin beans to single estate bars, all laid out for one to see, smell, feel, taste(perhaps), purchase and explore. If you enjoy chocolate, this is a cool place to hang. They had a member of the team from Theo's Chocolate (also in Seattle) there(one of the only producers and roasters of organic and certified fair trade cacao beans/chocolates in the US), offering up a "degustation" of some of their product line, which was quite tasty, and the customers were definitely stoked. After some time of discussing the realm of bean and bar with Pam from Theo's, I engaged in a lengthy conversation with Lauren Adler; the owner of Chocolopolis, who shared with me her thoughts and passions for opening her boutique retail store. Although they do not produce a lot of confections there at the store, they seek out, procure, and sell some of the finest around the nation. As for bars, they literally carry products from most all of the heavy hitters...Valrhona(my fav!), Pralus, Amedai, Michel Cluizel, Theo's Chocolates, Chocolate Santander, Dolfin, and many, many others, of whom I was not familiar with. I wanted to buy one of everything, yet I refrained from doing so, as that would have kept me from returning any time soon, so I opted for these three so I can make sure to come back shortly after this ephemeral experience to try some more. Here are some notes...

Chocolate Santander, 70% cacao, Colombian Single Origin- a bar with fair amount of acidity, quite smooth and yeilding notes and nuances of tobacco, coffee and richness tempered with hints of savoriness and moxie. A good one for savory cooking.

Valrhona Araguani, 72% cacao, a blend from Venezuela flaunting bitter, sharp notes of cocoa, with a slightly sweet flavor profile yet leaving one with a pleasant fruity finish. A tad sharper than my favorite Manjari, yet nice, with aromas of licorice, raisins and chestnuts.

Valrhona Ampamakia, 64%, 2007 Estate Grown vintage from Madagascar, which was a wonderfully sexy chocolate with a very fruity character showing off beautiful notes of cherry, huckleberry, and ripe fruit with just the right hint of acid, sweetness and snap.


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