July 2016 – Durci, Nathan Miller, Hello Cocoa and Taza Chocolate

Featured Chocolate Makers

We are pleased to showcase bean to bar chocolate from Durci, Nathan Miller, Hello Cocoa and Taza Chocolate.

Durci Chocolate (USA) Corona Arriba, 70% is made from heirloom Nacional cacao beans from rain forests in Ecuador. While Durci was only recently launched by chocolate maker Eric Durtschi, he is no stranger to chocolate. A former cacao bean importer, Eric has been sourcing rare cacao for Crio Bru, a cacao beverage, and perfecting recipes for chocolate for many years. This particular bar is our favorite from his line of bars. The flavors are a unique mix of blackberry, floral and spice.

Nathan Miller (USA) Peru 72% is, as one restaurant critic put it, unusual and easy to like. Bars like this elevate and make the case for talking about the terroir of the cacao as we do with wines. This is a strong, dark, and smooth bar with a dark honey, chewy date/fig flavor, and hints of rum or burnt sugar. I really enjoy small pieces of this with my mid morning coffee. I think this could make a nice pairing chocolate for many foods.

Hello Cocoa (USA) Venezuela 74% is a bar made from delicate Venezuelan Criollo beans. This relatively new chocolate maker handcrafts their bars in Fayetteville, AR.  It is exciting to see more makers pop up all over the US, with chocolate being made from not only refined cacao beans, but also from ethical and sustainable sources. According to Hello Cocoa, you may taste hints of gardenia, light apple, and strawberry & cream. This chocolate pairs with drier red wines like a Cab Sauvignon or a Zinfandel.

Taza Chocolate (USA) Dominican Republic Bar 70% is the first time we are featuring an unrefined, stone ground chocolate bar. This unique texture comes from an old process of grinding the beans in hand carved traditional Oaxacan (Mexican) stone mills. (We’d love your feedback!) This is purposefully not refined or smooth, it is granular and sandy. All of Taza’s chocolate is minimally processed and made in this manner. This bar is surprisingly sweet for 70%, and has rich flavor notes of wild berries, and tobacco.

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