Cacao Review has outdone themselves this year with Collection No. 2, a very limited (only 200 made of each item, ever) chocolate set featuring Chocolate Naive, Marou, Omnom, Ritual and even a bar by Cacao Review. While a few of the chocolate bars are available for individual purchases (50 individual and 150 box sets) the only way to try Chocolate Naive’s Nano_Lot drinking chocolate is by going for the whole collection (ahem…holiday gift perfection, just saying).
Chocolate Naive’s Nano_Lot collection made in Lithuania features a new chocolate bar every two months. Each bar is limited so if you see one be sure to get it!
What does it take to become a Chocolate Naive Nano_Lot bar? To quote Domantas Užpalis when I recently interviewed him: “Scarcity, flavour and background. I wanted to create the product that constantly evolves and tells a story or two”.
Chocolate Naive is a specialty bean-to-bar chocolate maker in Vilnius, Lithuania. Chocolate Naive has won several awards and Domantas was recently named 2017’s Chocolate Maker of the Year by Chocolate Uplift. After being a fan of Chocolate Naive’s bars, and communicating through direct messaging, I was pleased to met Domantas Užpalis in person at the Northwest Chocolate Festival in Seattle, WA. Domantas is great at giving complete, one- on-one, attention which is sometimes rare these days. Even more recently I had the chance to interview him.
Domantas Užpalis of Chocolate Naive with Victoria Cooksey at the Northwest Chocolate Festival November 2017
Victoria Cooksey: How has your work with craft chocolate changed you? What changes have you seen in the craft chocolate industry since you started Chocolate Naive?
Domantas Užpalis:My former background is with IT and urban city development – nothing to do with food. So jumping into chocolate was quite a change and it did change everything. I have no official culinary education although I was always interested in what we consume and where our food comes from. I was and still am a proponent of the slow food movement and this is where it all started. My first encounter with slow food concept was through the making and selling of fresh farm-made dairy products and then I slowly shifted towards more sophisticated produce – chocolate. It has been almost 8 years since I became fully engaged with this multilayered product. Continue reading “Interview with Domantas Užpalis of Chocolate Naive with Victoria Cooksey”
I can’t believe another amazing craft chocolate tasting year has past! That means it’s time for the 2nd annual Dark Matters Craft Chocolate Awards.
I have only included bars I have purchased myself. I’m also only including bars that I tried in 2017, so some of these bars might be new creations and some may be part of a maker’s permanent collection.
Full reviews of the winning bars are available on this blog or on my IG account.
The 9th Annual Northwest Chocolate Festival took place this year on Nov. 11 -12th, 2017 in Seattle, WA. This was my third year to attend ( I live in Port Townsend, WA so I drive to the Bainbridge Ferry to get over to Seattle. So grateful to live this close to an event like this!).
The NW Chocolate Festival is a fantastic place to try 100+ craft chocolate makers from both the U.S. and international locations. Plus, there are several educational talks, presentations, and workshops throughout both days. There is something for everyone!
For example, Hazel Lee presented a workshop that involved tasting chocolate while utilizing her lovely Taste with Colour Flavour Map and then the participants painted what colors or pictures they envisioned while savoring the craft chocolate. It was enjoyable to listen to what attendees tasted and the colors the envisioned. Especially people who weren’t overly familiar with craft chocolate flavors. (Want a Taste with Colour for your own? Check it out here: Taste with Colour). I’ve had her flavour map for a few months now and didn’t even know I associated colors with flavors until then. (Find out more about Hazel in my interview with her: Hazel Lee ).
I’ve been a fan a Chocolate Naive for quite some time now and have enjoyed watching, and tasting, the progression of taking what started as good bars and overtime experiencing Chocolate Naive elevating their craft chocolate to even higher levels of great taste.
Chocolate Naive is a craft chocolate maker in Lithuania. I’ve tried several of their bars before these particular ones in the Nano_Lot collection, and have even more bars I’ve purchased that are now in my collection to post reviews on soon, so I was especially excited when Chocolate Naive’s founder Domantas Uzpalis sent me these two bars from his new collection.
Nano_Lot Chocolate bars are made in very limited amounts from unique, high quality cocoa with emphasis on education and continued exploration into the world of rare, high quality chocolate. I hope my reviews on these bars also help inspire you to continually seek out more bean-to-bar chocolate and add to your tasting palate.
Nano_Lot Elizabeth Agudelo:
Per the inner card of information the cocoa beans used in this bar are listed as “FTA, a clone selected by Colombian Cacao Federation”. This bar is made of the first yield from four year old cacao trees from a section of Villa Gabi that was renewed by Elizabeth Agudelo with “experimental clones selected from the old hybrids”.