Don't worry - this isn't Chocolate 101, or which goofy chocolate box to get for Valentine's Day. Think more along the lines of the world we play in, and that's the world of American craft chocolate.
Tell me more about craft chocolate? We have worked with many chocolatiers and chocolate makers through our Caffeine Crawls. See list below for some of our favorites. What makes these chocolates different from what we grew up with? Ingredients, sourcing of products, attention to detail, final results in taste, and staff educated on the subject.
- Alma Chocolate (Portland)
- Andre's Confiserie Suisse (Kansas City)
- Annedore's Fine Chocolates (Kansas City)
- Askinosie Chocolate (Springfield, MO)
- Best Chocolate in Town (Indianapolis)
- Cacao (Portland)
- Dandelion Chocolate (San Francisco)
- David Bacco Chocolatier (San Diego)
- Elbow Chocolates (Kansas City and San Francisco)
- Kakao Chocolate (St. Louis)
- Nuance Chocolate (Fort Collins, CO)
- Patric Chocolate (Columbia, MO)
- Piece, Love and Chocolate (Boulder, CO)
- Ritual Chocolate (Denver, CO)
- Tejas Chocolate (Houston)
- Xoxolat (Vancouver)
Chocolatier - someone who makes chocolates, those dipped, nutty, or cream-filled confections that we all know and love.
Chocolate maker - someone, or a company, that buys and roasts cocoa beans and grinds them into chocolate.
(According to famed pastry chef and writer David Lebovitz.)
Here's a nice guide on chocolate flavor, and check out the Craft Chocolate Makers of America and their stories.
It's no coincidence that a lot of foodie holidays celebrating chocolate fall in February. Here's a list to take advantage of.
2/5 - Chocolate Fondue Day
2/14 - Creme filled chocolate day (Aka Valentine's Day)
2/19 - Chocolate Mint Day
2/25 - Chocolate Covered Nuts Day
2/28 - Chocolate Souffle Day
How does this tie-in with beverages and what we do? Well, craft chocolate is crossing over working with beer and coffee more and more. We've had some amazing mochas using chocolate from the list above, and we hosted a chocolate and coffee pairing class a few years back. In Kansas City, one of those yearly collaborations is happening with two among the top of their specialty industry, Boulevard Brewing Co. and Christopher Elbow Chocolate. This hit stores this week in greater Kansas City - will you be looking for that collaboration love in your neck of the woods? Lastly, here are a few other chocolate beers worth opening courtesy of CraftBeer.com.
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