I love chocolate.
I love dark chocolate and milk chocolate. I love chocolate with fruit, chocolate with nuts, and chocolate with nothing in it. I love cheap chocolate (Hershey’s not included), and expensive chocolate. But I don’t love chocolate enough to buy it constantly, and give up other things so that I can spend more money on chocolate. So, why did I spend almost forty dollars on chocolate in one day? As you read this I hope you will be able to understand.
Taste (http://www.havetaste.com/#shop-taste) is a new store that is opening in downtown Provo that sells fine foods, especially chocolate and vinegar. My family and I went to Taste yesterday afternoon, and, thanks to Char and Morgan Coleman (two of the three partners who own Taste.) who are friends of my parents, we were able to try several different kinds of chocolates and vinegars. We got to try chocolates of every kind, from milk to dark to white – and each kind was better than any I have ever had before. Morgan taught us how to taste chocolate, and then introduced us to several different kinds of dark chocolates. Most were about seventy percent cacao, but they were all completely unique.
One of the most beautiful aspects of these chocolates, and also the only one I can accurately pass on to you, is their packaging and the designs on the chocolate itself. I bought five different bars, and I’ll show you some pictures of each of them.
Dick Taylor’s (http://www.dicktaylorchocolate.com/) is a California based chocolate manufacturer with some of the most attractive packaging, and one of the fanciest bar designs, among chocolates that I bought. This maple-coconut is a very interesting flavor that I didn’t expect to find in chocolate. The sea salt helps to bring out the subtle taste of the maple, and the distinctly individual taste of the cacao in this seventy two percent dark makes this very exquisite. I was also able to taste a Dick Taylor ‘Belize’ bar, which had a very fruity taste, and I think may be my favorite from the company.
Solstice Chocolate (http://www.solsticechocolate.com/), is a Salt Lake City, Utah based chocolate maker. They make six different dark chocolate bars, each of which is made with cacao beans from a different country. The most popular seams to be Bolivia, which has a nutty taste. I bought the Peru bar, which has a mint-like scent and taste. The tastes in these bars are very subtle, and are almost indistinguishable when not compared side by side.
Domori (http://www.domori.com/en/catalogo.aspx) makes a one hundred percent cacao bar, which is surprisingly good, and not nearly as bitter as I expected. This is a bar that I bought completely for the experience, and will enjoy the pleasure of sharing with a few friends.
Michel Cluizel (http://www.cluizel.us/) is a French Chocolate company with an older history than most of the other brands I’ve included. The Noir Infini 99% is the darkest, and most bitter tasting chocolate I have ever had, including the one hundred percent from Domori. The other one percent in Noir Infini is comprised of four ingredients; sugar, ginger, cinnamon, and bourbon vanilla pod. Seeing sugar in the ingredients might make you think that this is not as bitter as raw cacao, but you must remember it is less than one percent sugar, and they also add ginger and cinnamon, both of which only make it more bitter.
Rózsavölgyi Csokoládé (http://www.rozsavolgyi.com/en/index.php), is a chocolate producer based in Budapest, Hungary. By far the most expensive that I bought, but also one of my favorites, this chocolate comes in very exotic and creative tastes. The one I got was milk chocolate with caramelized lavender pieces and star anise. The aroma is very distinct, and the flavor is unique to match it. It comes in one of prettiest wrappers, and has a very elegant design on the bar itself. This one tastes so good that I will have trouble saving it and prolonging the experience.
Now, the reason I spent forty hard-earned dollars on this chocolate is not so that I could eat it as fast as I can, and not so that I can eat little pieces of if for the next few weeks. It’s because these chocolates are an experience. One of my greatest goals in life is to have many special experiences that people who are not in my position are not likely to have. thanks to Taste, I learned how to distinguish and appreciate the amazing flavors of these chocolates, and I don’t regret the way I spent my money at all.