I’m very excited to say that this is my 100th post on this blog!!! I started writing the summer of 2015 and with the blog being just over half a year old, it has grown more than I thought it would. I’m so grateful for those who have encouraged me to keep writing and supported the idea of my creating a blog to share what chocolates I’ve been trying. This blog has helped me grow in that I’m more likely to try chocolates I otherwise would not have been willing to try and I want to be better educated in general about chocolate. I’ve become more open minded in how I approach craft chocolate and learning more about how chocolate is prepared and made. I still go to your typical grocery store and get certain chocolates there, but I’m appreciating more and more the efforts and work that chocolate makers and chocolatiers put into their creations. I’m more likely to stop and admire the simplicity or the complexity of the chocolate’s appearance. If the brand, chocolatier or chocolate maker has a mission or better yet forwards funds toward conservation or bettering the world somehow, I want to read about it. I’m more likely to try combinations or inclusions that I otherwise would shy away from trying. I’ve definitely grown into a more adventurous chocoholic because of this blog. I have more of an excuse to splurge on more expensive chocolates, but they are worth the experience!
I’m realizing that though I want to use this blog to explore various brands and types of chocolate from the U.S. and different parts of the world, I also hope that maybe I can somehow represent the Washington, D.C. area with what chocolates are offered here, locally. I can only imagine the struggle that small businesses face when trying to get their product out into the world, and I hope that somehow I can help do that. New York City and California get so much attention for what they have to offer, but I feel like not much is said about D.C. at all. We’re overshadowed by what’s going on in politics and the drama the ensues, but what about the good food that’s prepared here? What about the chocolate makers and chocolatiers who work so hard to provide a literally sweet escape for those of us stressed out working in the metro D.C. area? They deserve attention too! So I hope my Staying Local posts will help bring future customers to those chocolate makers and chocolatiers around my geographical space of work and living who dedicate their living to chocolate 🙂
Harper Macaw is based out of D.C. and offers factory tours on site. Their cacao comes from Brazil with their efforts going toward forest conservation. Each of their bars with the unique bright colors and pictures represents an animal that is endangered. For this bar, the poison dart frog is represented. On their website where you can shop online and view their bars, there’s a description for what animal is on each bar. What a creative way to bring attention to animals and forests that need our help!
The chocolate itself has attractive, crisp lines on it. The chocolate cleanly snapped apart and was earthy in scent. It had a bit of an acidic flavor to it, but the chocolate is very smooth and delicious! Usually I don’t like dark chocolate that tastes acidic, but this was not overpowering at all and I wanted to eat the whole bar in one sitting, except I couldn’t because I promised to share some of it with my boyfriend 😉 I highly recommend this chocolate! I definitely encourage you to try Harper Macaw’s chocolate and support their efforts in Brazil! What better way is there for helping restore nature?
Harper Macaw: Made in Washington, D.C.
J. Chocolatier is definitely a favorite of mine! My boyfriend and I used to get Jane’s chocolate often when she held shop in Georgetown, but now she has a pop-up shop near the Eastern Market metro in D.C., which is a bit further for us to travel. I always recommend J. Chocolatier for those who want to get some local chocolate! I’ve never had a chocolate by Jane that I did not like!
This was my first time trying the Cherry Blossom Bar. First of all, it’s SO pretty to look at! I almost didn’t want to eat it, but then my chocolate craving got the best of me 😉 My mouth was filled with a mixture of sweet and sour, crunchy and chewy, and the smoothness of the dark chocolate underlying the commotion of all the inclusions. The candied rose petals are very, very nice! They were sugary and crunchy. The cherries had the perfect amount of chewiness and sour flavor to add to the overall chocolate bar. The almonds and cocoa nibs were down-to-earth and added more fun crunchy texture. It’s an all around awesome bar!
J. Chocolatier: Made in Washington, D.C.
This isn’t my first time trying a bar by Charm School Chocolate, and I was very glad to be able to get my hands on another of Joshua’s bars. During the D.C. Chocolate Festival, Joshua confirmed that for his Coconut Milk Chocolate Maple Pecan Bar, the inclusions were hand sprinkled on top so that every bite contained a bit of the delicious maple pecans. The same goes for this 70% Dark Belize bar! I could see that the cocoa nibs were evenly spread on top, and as promised, every bite contained some of those crunchy nibs. My mouth was on fire while trying this chocolate! The jalapeno was definitely burning, so I definitely had to take my time enjoying this chocolate. I’m not a huge fan of spicy things, but I made an attempt and I would recommend this for people who do like spicy flavors 🙂
Charm School Chocolate: Made in Reisterstown, MD