June 19, 2012, by Recovering Chocoholic
Single Origin is the New Gourmet Chocolate
Do your friends look to you to set trends? Tell them that organic chocolates (while delicious and sustainable) are yesterday’s news. The new name in artisanal chocolates is single origin chocolate. How can you enjoy your chocolate if you know the beans were jumbled together with inferior specimens from unknown locales. Just like with wine, where your chocolate comes from makes a difference.
Love at First Bite
I still remember my first bite of a Michel Cluizel Maralumi bar from Chocolopolis in Seattle, WA. The cacao beans in this bar originate on a plantation in Papua New Guinea and their flavor is as wild as the island. The bar snapped just so as I broke it and as the red berry flavor melted into a salty caramel on my tongue, I was in heaven. Though I’m usually a dark chocolate kind of girl, I have to say the milk version of this bar stole my heart.
Valrhona chocolates takes luxury one step further and makes chocolate bars from beans that are pulled from a single harvest at a specified plantation. So now your chocolates as well as your wines can have a vintage. They feature beans from Madagascar, Trinidad and Venezuela.
You could assemble a tasting platter of chocolate bars from around the world, but there are still more ways to enjoy your single origin chocolate:
- Jean-Michel Carre hand crafts individual chocolates from single origin sources and I’m looking forward to telling my vegan friends about his vegan-friendly Hispaniola truffle.
- Salt & Straw in Portland, OR offers a single origin chocolate ice cream with beans straight from Venezuela. Called Ocumare, I can’t wait to get on the train to taste this new frozen delight.
- Make your own treats using single origin cocoa powder and this chocolate cream cheese frosting recipe.
Not only is single origin chocolate luxurious, it’s socially responsible. If you can name the plantation where your cacao beans come from, you can bet someone is watching the labor conditions. And that makes the chocolate even sweeter.
You are well on your way to being able to pinpoint by taste which continent your chocolate originated on. Please post a comment telling us about your favorite. And if your next party features the Ocumare ice cream, call me.