Monthly Archives: June 2008

Felchlin–The Brown Pearl

This bar is $12 and worth it. Its presentation is incredible and I highly recommend it for gifting. The slender envelope is embossed with a sweet tree design and encases two lengthy flat bars of delicate dark chocolate.

The embossed tree design is duplicated on the bar itself, which has creamy notes and would be perfect for someone who seeks a slight d. chocolate tang rather than an outright bitterness or leather.

Among the details I’ve read about Felchlin, the following description is one of my favorites: “Only noble grade beans are used in their Grand Cru Selection.” This bar seems to stand noticeably ahead of many others as a bio-organic single-bean, but I gather that it is most often used as a couverture rather than enjoyed in its pure bar form.



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E. Guittard

E. Guittard is one of the better known bars in the mainstream. I’ve noticed that with Valrhona and Sharffen Berger–also more mainstream darks–that the bitterness is more extreme than in the Amanos and Cluizels (not so mainstream). The Guittard bar I sampled was 65%, but that really isn’t an indicator of bitterness. So I was delighted to discover how smooth this one was. There also seemed to be more fruity and creamy notes than leathery–right up my alley. So I definitely recommend this pleasant little bar for those who don’t have time to stop into a specialty shop. I also look forward to keeping this bar in stock in our own little chocolate tin at home.

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Chocolate Moment

I was finally able to make a chocolate stop on Saturday and our chocolate tin at home is overflowing.  Please stay tuned for more photos and chocolate reviews.

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Guest Blogger #4 — Forte Chocolates

My girl, Robin, moved to Seattle not long ago. Those of us left behind in DC miss her VERY MUCH. She has innumerable talents: reporting/media, dancing, language (Spanish and Portuguese), writing, cooking (Mexican in particular), running a one-woman sugar-cookie sweatshop, quilt-making, and the lengthy list goes on. Below is her review of Forte Chocolates. Thanks, R!! You’re the best!
I like chocolate. Preferably dark chocolate. Salty is good too, as are chilies, or coconut, or cranberries. My freshman year of college, I took up a second job at Kara Chocolates. I manned the truffel machine. I dipped pringles in chocolate (delicious!) and doused apples with milk chocolate, then caramel, then dark chocolate. That was my only experience with chocolate-making until my friend decided to go cuckoo for dark chocolate.

“Artisan” was an uncharted word for me. I like Twix, 100 Grands, Baby Ruths, Watchamacallits, Mounds. Those make me just as happy as the next chocolate. I wasn’t quite sure what the big deal was. But when I was at a women’s show here in Seattle, I decided to stop at a booth swathed in pink and brown and screaming “ARTISAN.” I chatted with the gal of Forte Chocolates but was ill equipped to answer any of her questions. I didn’t know my way around this artisan kingdom. I did know I loved anything made of Mexican chocolate. I add chili powder and cinnamon to any hot chocolate or cupcake I get my hands on. So I chose the comfortable and familiar.

These red hots (pictured below) have some bite; it’d be on the medium side of things in salsa lingo. The chocolate is smooth and rich and the picante kicks in right away. The size for me was almost overwhelming. I was satisfied with just a portion of that chocolate.

So there you have it. My first bite into artisanland. There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home.

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