My Dear Chocolate Loving Friends,
2015. 2016. 2017. Harvest years on the To’ak bars in the photo above. The nibs or the chocolate have been aged and noted on the packaging. The maker sees this as important. I agree, it is important. More important than cacao percentage, which is how so many people classify chocolate.
To'ak has just released the last of their French Oak Cognac Cask Aged Sipping Chocolate. Aged for six years. I'm very curious about it.
Dar Chocolate is making bars with Costa Rica 2009 harvest cacao Steve DeVries sun-dried, made into nibs in 2015, then sealed until just last month. Read the story here.
Fresco Chocolate aged Venezuelan chocolate for more than a year then blended it into a limited edition bar. (still available last time I checked their site)
made an anniversary bar a few years ago using cocoa "dry aged for a year in order to mature the cocoa aroma".
I'm currently tasting and savoring two Steve DeVries bars aged for seven years, gifted to me by dear friends. Tasting and savoring again and again until I recognize every last flavor note.
Wine, beer, liquor, and cheese are routinely aged, why not chocolate?
I've noticed that there is magic that happens to the flavor notes in aged chocolate bars. I'm not just talking about bars aged in liquor casks or barrels. Bars made from beans or chocolate that is aged to develop flavor without any outside influences. A product that celebrates the year or season of harvest and the time devoted to mellowing, maturing, and waiting for the right moment.
During aging flavors mellow and blend, becoming smoother and sometimes deeper. Sometimes bringing something completely different to the surface.
Aging cacao nibs or chocolate is something that isn't spoken about often enough.
Perhaps if we start to bring awareness to chocolate that has been aged, more people will understand it as the beautiful food it is. Perhaps more will see it as more than just candy.
This is your invitation, my invitation, to start noticing, thinking about, and discussing aged chocolate.
I'm excited about this conversation.
Tell me about your favorite aged chocolate.
With lots of chocolate love,
P.S. My notes on the Steve DeVries bars...
The Costa Rica bar starts slightly earthy, full of dry forest aromas. Somewhere mid melt notes of coffee and tart berries, similar to a slightly unripe blackberries during mid summer, start to come together and linger long into the finish.
The Ecuador bar is one of the most beautifully floral bars I've had. Notes of jasmine flowers and geranium, not overpowering, delicate floral aromas surfacing amid the malty chocolate flavors.
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