Happy new year, everyone, I hope January is already off a great, chocolate-y start! While 2015 has revealed my passion for craft chocolate, 2016 will be the year I will investing in said passion. Although I have learned a lot from many makers last year, I have recently enrolled in the Chocolate Flavor 101 Class by Ecole Chocolat to learn more more about cacao production and chocolate flavor: have you ever wondered why chocolate tastes so different at different times of the day?
In 2016, also want to share my passion with more people. I have found the world of chocolate to be very intimidating to the non-initiated like I was was 6 months ago. In June of last year, I probably had the same questions you have had: why is craft chocolate so expensive? What is the big deal about single origin? Is my palate refined enough to perceive the “notes of hibiscus” mentioned on the chocolate wrapper?
60+ bars later, I now know that you should not worry about having a sophisticated palate to appreciate good chocolate and I am on a mission to convince you that appreciating craft chocolate is within everyone’s reach. How? Well, here’s the plan.
First, I will reopen my online craft chocolate shop this month. I will be carrying bars from two of my current favorite craft chocolate-makers: Map Chocolate will be back on my shelves, but I’ll be also welcoming a new maker just in time for Valentine’s Day. The selection process for these bars is simple. Are the flavors balanced? Does the chocolate give me chills? Also, do my friends like it? Yes, the bars do have to be made of ethically grown, organic cacao, but if the answer to all three previous questions is yes, into the shop they go!
Next, I want to let you sample craft chocolate. Local Chester county friends can meet me from 2-4 at the Galer Estate winery in Kennett Square on Sunday, January 17th (this coming Sunday) to learn about my French book, using social media to promote your work, and my passion for chocolate. You’ll also meet Robert Campbell, Philadelphia’s only bean-to bar chocolate-maker, who will be there with his delicious chocolate bars – wait until you try the Clasico! I hope to see many of you then but stay tuned for more chocolate-tasting dates. You can find more details here.
Finally, I’ll be sharing interviews with makers so they can share their answers to your questions on their chocolate-making process. Again, why is craft chocolate so expensive?!
2016 promises to be an exciting year and I hope you’ll follow me on this delicious ride.