I cannot believe that Christmas is just around the corner. Wow, where did the time go? I am still sitting here wondering that myself. This is the bad news. The good news is that I have a ridiculously awesome, stunning, and whimsical giveaway. The items that are up for grabs, I have personally put them together myself. The prize is unisex, for everyone, whether you are a man or woman, young or elderly and somewhere in between. Nobody goes home disappointed. In order for a chance to win though, you must definitely be a subscriber to my Incredibly Delicious, Yummy, Can’t Get Enough of Chocolate Blog: www.chocolisciouslydelightful.com.
What are you waiting for, get going. Who knows, it might be you!!!
Pitch Dark is a company based out of Portland, Oregon. Their moto is to create a “new and yet authentic” technique for really appreciating chocolate. They combine “proven old-world methods with new and innovative technology”. All of their cocoa beans are handpicked from Ecuador, Nicaragua, Fiji, and Madagascar. They take the bean-to-bar craft very seriously. Every single one of their chocolates are packaged by hand in Portland, Oregon. Pitch Dark chocolates have only three ingredients: Cacao Beans, Cocoa Butter, and Sugar. Wow!!! So far so good, okay, move it up a notch now. Packaging is simple and yet elegant. Now let’s see how the taste holds up. It is a true delight There you have it. The cocoa butter is definitely up there in terms of smoothness. What a difference that simple ingredient makes. Melting action is superb. Nice, slow, and very creamy. The cacao is of exquisite quality. Truly impressive. One word can describe my overall impression of this chocolate bar: Enticing.
Chocolisciously Delightful Ingredients: Cacao Beans, Cocoa Butter, Sugar
Chocoliscioulsy Delightful Rating: 4.9 / 5.0
Hello crazed Chocolate Monsters and mighty Ladybugs. I kept my promise, new review. This makes it two in one week. I know, I know, I already gave myself a pat on the back, but thank you all anyhow, so very much. He he he! So this review is based on a new company for me, Mindo. I have never heard of them before, never tasted anything from them. Nevertheless, I have found some really cool information about this chocolate company's journey from their website that I will now summarize and share with you. Their story begins with an auto repair shop in Ann Arbor, Michigan. In 2007, Jose Meza and Barbara Wilson retired from the auto repair shop that they had both owned for years in Ann Arbour. Jose is from Riobamba, Ecuador and has not been back to visit his home in 41 years. Sometime after their retirement, Jose and Barbara decided to return to Ecuador and spend time there since the climate is amazing and the landscape is absolutely gorgeous. In 2008, they purchased a plot of land in Mindo, in a small town situated within the Andes Mountains. I can just imagine this beautiful sight. Despite the fact that they retired from their auto shop, they still wanted to keep in contact with the new owners. There was a problem though. It is expensive, and not easy to get internet access for communication in the Andes Mountains, especially in their remote area. So Jose and Barbara decided to solve their dilemma by opening an internet café for themselves as well as others in the area who suffered with the same issue, no internet connectivity. Once their café was opened, they began to roast, and serve locally grown coffee, and as time passed by, their menu simultaneously grew larger. Barbara was constantly baking. Her baked goods became so popular that people would want shipments sent to countries as far as Belgium. Now the two entrepreneurs ran into secondary problems. Barbara needed chocolate to continue baking her famous sweets, especially brownies, but could not find anything of quality in Ecuador. Whenever she went back and forth from Michigan, she would pack a few pounds of chocolate into her suitcase for their Ecuadorian café. That was kind of ridiculous, and did not make any sense. Barbara and Jose then decided that there must be a better way to get their hands on quality cacao. They purchased cocoa beans and a tabletop juicer. From there forward, they experimented with many batches of chocolate. Eventually, it became so good that people began to take notice of the fine chocolate with quality ingredients. Their precise method for the chocolate creations did not go unnoticed as well. The café became a further success. Barbara and Jose began to devote more time to the cacao processing. They would go on huge hunts for farmers that were growing the exquisite flavor, Nacional variety of cacao. At the same time, they made sure that their farmers were practicing environmentally-friendly methods. On their property, they set up facilities that would give them the ability to ferment, dry, roast, and winnow cacao.
In 2009, Mindo Chocolate Makers opened in Dexter, Michigan. These two entrepreneurs had set up a business that eventually spanned internationally. Since then, Barbara and Jose have been on a quest to make the most delicious chocolate. They still, to this day, split their time between Mindo and Dexter since they have operations in both places. At Mindo Chocolate Makers in Ecuador, daily tours are available with information about Barbara and Jose's chocolate making experience. They even offer week-long intensive courses solely for the making chocolate. They believe that great chocolate starts with great beans. Theirs happens to be Arriba Nacional cacao. At Mindo, the “bean-to-bar” is taken to the extreme. They work directly with organic farmers in Ecuador. All of their chocolate bars are then carefully hand-wrapped. They inspect every chocolate bar before it goes out into the market to be perfect, blemish-free, and overall - flawless.
There you have it, a little background on Mindo. You can of course check them out on their website: http://mindochocolate.com/.
Now for the tasting and review. Let’s start with the wrapper. Simple, subtle but it works. The chocolate bars are enveloped in plastic wrapping for further protection. Each chocolate is stamped with the company name and logo, which happens to be a cacao bean. How neat is that? I love the idea. As for the taste. Remember, this is a dark chocolate, 77% to be exact, but the truth is that it does not taste as though the cacao content is high, meaning it is not bitter. There is a sweet aftertaste that lingers around, most likely due to the dried, Michigan cherries. That occurs after the chocolate has smoothly melted in my mouth, and this step does take its time. Prior to consuming, I observed and could visibly see the dried cherries immersed within the bar. They are larger than normal in size, very generous of Mindo. This is quality chocolate and a true delight. I highly recommend the Mindo Michigan Cherry Bar for a pleasant surprise.
Chocolisciously Delifghtful Ingredients: Organic Cocoa Beans, Organic Evaporated Cane Juice, Dried Michigan Cherries
Chocolisciously Delightful Rating: 4.7 / 5.0
Okay, this dandelion chocolate is just the beginning of a long trail of chocolates, mostly dark chocolates to be precise, that are waiting and ready for some serious testing. All of the goodies that you are about to witness in the next month or so came home with me directly from the Northwest Seattle Chocolate Festival. I will be very healthy by the end of Christmas, devouring so much pure cacao; FOR testing purposes of course. We all know what high, dark cacao content equals: = antioxidants. Nice benefits for such pleasure. These two words “benefits” and “pleasure” normally do not go hand in hand, especially in one sentence. You are about to experience the unknown, unforeseen, untouched! Are you ready for the ride of your life? Okay, maybe I am exaggerating just a bit now but seriously, I will take you on a chocolate feast all the way through to Christmas. Join me on this adventure by subscribing. That way, you will never miss out on any of my new “once upon a time” stories. Also, be on the lookout for an awesome Christmas Giveaway, but once again, you must be a subscribed member in order for a chance to win. Let’s get on with the review now, shall we? The Dandelion Chocolate is bitter, quite bitter. This is a company based out of San Francisco, California, USA. Their moto is “bean to bar”, which I greatly appreciate. They were a very small company initially, growing cacao plants directly from their apartments. Perseverance!! This company adores the close working relationship that they still retain, and value with their cacao farmers, no middle men to interrupt or disrupt quality. Their beans are roasted long and slow, to retain the utmost flavour. Even their stunning, chocolate wrapping paper is specially made for them from India. I must admit, the packaging is absolutely beautiful, and at first sight, really caught my attention. The material is almost like touching thick cotton. So impressive. Even the gold foil is heavy, nothing flaky here. The gold leaves on the wrapping are especially delicate and calming. I love the subtleness of the look. As for the chocolate itself, warning to sugar lovers out there, this one is just not for you. It is very bitter, equivalent to literally eating raw cacao beans. The sugar content quantity must be minimum. It does melt smoothly, but the aftertaste is incredibly abrasive, all I sense is extreme tart. One must be an obsessed chocolate maniac to be in love with this particular bar, but then once again, I am that obsessed chocolate maniac. I truly appreciate the differentially from other chocolate bars, and I have to mention that it has a sophisticated, grown-up flavour which the majority of people will just not fancy. Would I re-purchase it again, yes, most certainly, but that is coming from a chocolate connoisseur. The ingredient list is unfortunately not labeled however, it clearly states on their website that all of their chocolates solely contain cocoa beans and sugar. There is no lecithin, no added cocoa butter or vanilla. I am now crazy impressed. Healthy nuts out there, this company is just for you!!!
Chocolisciously Delightful Ingredients: Cocoa Beans, Sugar
Chocolisciously Delightful Rating: 4.8 / 5.0
My name is Soriah and I am an enormous lover of fine chocolates. I enjoy strolling through charming towns and by chance, finding a little, delightful chocolate gem hidden in the corner, offering bon bons that are ready to be just devoured.