NW Chocolate Festival Seattle, WA Chocolate Trends 2018

This past weekend marked the 10th year of the NW Chocolate Festival in Seattle, WA and my fourth time to attend.  Some years the chocolate trends jump out at you, however, this year I found them to be a bit more subtle.  Keep in mind, these trends are related to the show specifically.

Trend #1:  The show itself has become more international than ever with more makers joining every year such as Mirzam and Fu Wan, both of which were selling out fast!

Mirzam Chocolate NW Chocolate Festival 2018

Fu Wan Chocolate at the NW Chocolate Festival 2018 Continue reading “NW Chocolate Festival Seattle, WA Chocolate Trends 2018”

Interview with Hans Westerink of Violet Sky Chocolate

Hans Westerink is a craft chocolate maker located in South Bend, Indiana.  I have been lucky enough to have been able purchase his bean-to-bar chocolate in November at the NW Chocolate Festival in Seattle, WA.  In my opinion, Violet Sky Chocolate features one of the loveliest chocolate bar packaging which is so colorful and often shiny which really makes it stand out, and Hans often uses unique inclusions in his bars as well.  Read on to find out more about Hans!

Hans Westerink of Violet Sky Chocolate with his wife Alison Continue reading “Interview with Hans Westerink of Violet Sky Chocolate”

Michel Cluizel ChocoVoice Winterland Chocolate Display Review

Introducing Michel Cluizel’s ChocoVoice(R) Winterland Chocolate Box with a jingle and personal messaging. This item will be available to purchase on Michel Cluizel’s website starting November 1, 2018. 

Michel Cluizel’s ChocoVoice(R) Chocolate Box

This post features pictures of the Winterland version with a holiday jingle, however, there is also a 24 piece bonbon version with jingle options such as birthdays, Valentine’s day, and more. 

Continue reading “Michel Cluizel ChocoVoice Winterland Chocolate Display Review”

Askinosie’s New Avocado Rosemary & Peppermint Chocolate Bars Reviews

Askinosie, one of my favorite bean-to-bar chocolate makers, has recently released two new chocolate bars to their already impressive lineup.  While I have purchased several of their items on multiple occasions, I was lucky enough to have received these two new bars to try thanks to Lawren Askinosie. 

First up is Askinosie’s 61% Tanzania Dark Chocolate + Avocado & Rosemary Bar, for which  Askinosie has partnered with Heath Ceramics to create.  Rosemary is one of those ingredients that can easily overpower other flavors, however, Askinosie did a great job balancing the flavors in this bar!

Askinosie Dark Chocolate + Avocado & Rosemary Pic by Victoria Cooksey Continue reading “Askinosie’s New Avocado Rosemary & Peppermint Chocolate Bars Reviews”

Dick Taylor 58% Milk Madagascar Chocolate Bar Review

When I heard Dick Taylor was making a milk chocolate bar I couldn’t wait to try it and it doesn’t disappoint! Often Madagascar’s fruit notes can get a bit lost in milk chocolate bars, but not in this one!  Dick Taylor manages to capture so many scents and tastes in this bar using Madagascar cacao with milk from Humboldt Creamery.

Dick Taylor 58% Madagascar Sambirano Milk Chocolate Bar

Color: Light/medium brown.

Texture: Great snap with a smooth, full-bodied mouthfeel.

Nose: Red fruit, oak, red currant and orange. 

Tastes: Red currant, blood orange, cream, subtle rosemary and caramel. 

Finish: Malt, caramel and orange notes linger with a medium-length (around 10 minutes) finish.

An exceptional bar!

Dick Taylor:

https://dicktaylorchocolate.com/

https://www.instagram.com/dicktaylorchocolate/

Victoria Cooksey

https://www.instagram.com/victoria.cooksey/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCm-lp-lF_wB2oX_592jK9UQ

Interview with Kara Hayes of Chocolate Pursuit

What does rap, chocolate tours, dancing, running a business, teaching chocolate classes, and the Portland Chocoholics Meetup all have in common? Kara Hayes founder of Chocolate Pursuit, which offers craft chocolate tastings in tours in and around Portland.  Grab some craft chocolate, put your feet up and read on to, as Kara would say, “melt into the experience”.  

Kara Hayes of Chocolate Pursuit Continue reading “Interview with Kara Hayes of Chocolate Pursuit”

Raaka Chocolate Single and Double Fermented Chocolate Bars Review First Nibs

As subscriber to Raaka’s First Nibs (Raaka Virgin Chocolate is a craft chocolate maker located in Red Hook, Brooklyn, New York) I particularly love the August selection of First Nibs educational aspect for featuring both a single and a double fermented cacao bar, made from unroasted Zorzal Cacao, Dominican Republic, with each bar at the 75% mark. 

Raaka’s August First Nibs Single & Double Fermented Cacao Bars
Continue reading “Raaka Chocolate Single and Double Fermented Chocolate Bars Review First Nibs”

Soma Chocolatemaker Creole Gardens Haiti 70% Dark Chocolate Bar Review

Soma Chocolatemaker, located in Toronto, Ontario, Canada features bean-to-bar chocolate creations and was founded by David Castellan and Cynthia Leung.

The very first item I tried by Soma Chocolatemaker was their Dark Side of the Mug drinking chocolate (which I was inspired to order right after seeing an IG post on it in March 2016 by Ecole Chocolat).  Since then I have now tasted 23 items made by Soma including chocolate bars, cookies, toffee and drinking chocolate.  Why so many?  Because Soma  always manages to demonstrate consistent quality, texture and taste in their items.  And if you want to know what a great “snap” should sound/feel like when biting into a piece of chocolate this is the maker to learn from. 

Soma Chocolatemaker Creole Gardens, Haiti Bar  Continue reading “Soma Chocolatemaker Creole Gardens Haiti 70% Dark Chocolate Bar Review”

Willie’s Cacao 8 Different Chocolate Bar Reviews

In March of 2018 Willie’s Cacao (a bean-to-bar chocolate maker located in the U.K.) held a live Facebook tasting event featuring eight of their chocolate bars.  I was not able to attend this event, however, my chocolate pal Patricia Baker of the blog Eating the Chocolate Alphabet kindly sent me a piece from each bar to try.  

My tasting notes are based off of having two bites from each bar and not having watched the tasting video.  If you have watched it, or if you have had these bars, please comment below what tasting notes you perceived.  

Willie’s Cacao El Blanco Venezuelan 00 White Chocolate Continue reading “Willie’s Cacao 8 Different Chocolate Bar Reviews”

Raaka 1st Nibs Subscription May 2018 Chocolate Bar Reviews

Raaka Virgin Chocolate is a craft chocolate maker located in Red Hook, Brooklyn, New York.  Each month their 1st Nibs Subscription features seasonal and creative micro-batch chocolate bars.  

The May 2018 selection involved brunch themed bars including French Toast and Turmeric Latte bars. 

Raaka 1st Nibs Subscription May 2018 Bars Continue reading “Raaka 1st Nibs Subscription May 2018 Chocolate Bar Reviews”