I’m happy to be covering New Jersey for the 50 States collaboration between myself and Trish since New Jersey is my home state! It was where I was born and raised. I’m now based out of the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area, and though my family and I are scattered around the U.S., we still call New Jersey home.
I had heard of Glenmade before, but I had no clue that they were based out of New Jersey! In fact, they’re based out of Hoboken, which is across the Hudson River from New York City. I remember when I was little I dreamed of someday working in New York City. Since living in the big city is so expensive, my backup plan at the time was to live in Hoboken. I do enjoy living around Washington, D.C., though, so I don’t plan on following through with that.
Glennmade was started by a man named Glenn, who started his chocolate making journey in the Bronx, NY. I think it’s neat that Glenn discovered his passion for chocolate when he in his early 20s. During that time in my life, I was inhaling grocery store chocolates. After taking multiple chocolate courses, his focus in 2014 was on making dark chocolate bonbons. In 2015 he changed his direction toward craft chocolate bars. He learned not only through Ecole Chocolat and other chocolate institutions, but also from working with the founders of Mindo Chocolate in Michigan. It’s a pleasant surprise seeing craft chocolate makers supporting and teaching each other, and as outsiders we get to see the connections they have with one another. In 2016 Glennmade was rebranded as a craft chocolate company and Glenn currently uses cacao from six different regions. I chose to try his Belize and Venezuelan bars.
The first thing I noticed about the Belize bar was that there were many air bubbles in the chocolate, both on the top and bottom of the bar. The back of the packaging said this bar was made in 2016, so maybe this bar was from an early batch. Even though there were clear break lines in the chocolate, it didn’t break apart very well. Otherwise, the chocolate had a good, sharp snap when broken apart.
The chocolate smelled fruity and a little nutty. It tasted tart at first, but then the flavor of blackberries filled my mouth. There seemed to be a light nutty finish to the bar with a touch of astringency. I really liked this bar! My boyfriend and I ate the whole thing within a couple of hours. This bar fondly reminded me of when my siblings and I would pick wild blackberries in our backyard when we lived in New Jersey. This bar had the same tart flavor as those wild blackberries.
The Venezuelan bar had a lighter color to it and it smelled sharp, like a pungent scent that slapped me in the face. The back of this bar said it was made in 2015/2016, so maybe age could have been part of the interesting flavor. I thought Venezuelan bars had a nutty flavor to them, but I also haven’t tried much chocolate made with cacao from that region. My taste buds detected astringency and tartness that overwhelmed them, but then the chocolate mellowed out into a grape flavor that reminded me of wine. My boyfriend said he tasted tartness, raisins and possibly black cherry from this bar.
The Belize bar was definitely my favorite and I want to get it again when I next get the chance!
Don’t forget to see which state Trish will be covering next in her blog, Eating the Chocolate Alphabet!
Glenmade: Made in Hoboken, NJ
Other chocolate makers in New Jersey:
These are my personal thoughts and experiences. I did not receive pay or any compensation for reviewing any products. Website links to articles, companies and other sources of information directly related to the topic written within the posts were included during the time of writing and the writer will not be held responsible for future changes on such website links. All images are original and the property of Time To Eat Chocolate unless specifically stated otherwise.