I was able to try Ohiyo for the first time thanks to a fellow chocoholic friend who is originally from Ohio, which is where Ohiyo is based 🙂
Ohiyo was started in 2014 by Mike Condo who simply wanted to make the best chocolate bar he could and as simply as possible. His journey into making his own chocolate was also propelled by his suffering from Crohn’s disease and needing to cut soy and processed sugars out of his diet. He started making his own chocolate as a way to still be able to enjoy it. He uses his company to share good chocolate with the central Ohio community where he’s been raised. At this time he doesn’t ship any orders outside of Ohio.
In this excellent Q&A with Mike, I love his description of how craft chocolate makers are different from industrial chocolate companies: “Even though many large chocolate manufacturers do start with raw cocoa beans, they usually are not considered bean to bar chocolate makers. This is due to the fast processing times, automated procedures, and high level of additives in the finished chocolate.” This is a great explanation for people who aren’t entirely convinced that craft chocolate is different from industrial chocolate! At the time of this Q&A (2014) Mike mentions that he only uses cacao from the Moho Valley region of Belize due to its flavor. But that has clearly changed as my chocoholic friend has shared with me a 74% Tien Giang, Vietanam bar.
The tasting notes on the back of the packaging list dried cherries, honey and warm spice. I could smell cherry, sweet honey and spice from this bar. The flavor was a little nibby, cherry and what kind of reminded me of the scent pipe tobacco. The spice and some acidity developed as my bite melted. The finish consisted of that same pipe tobacco flavor from the beginning. I can’t say I experienced honey, but it was a good bar! Thanks to the same gracious chocoholic friend I was able to try Mike’s Coffee Dark Chocolate bar, which was insanely delicious! I ate that bar so quickly that I barely had time to think about it.
As a final note regarding Ohiyo, the name comes from the “Iroquois name for ‘great river,’ a word Condo came across while researching the history of Ohio and chocolate, which was originally a Native American food.” I’m looking forward to hopefully trying more of Mike’s bars in the future.
Ohiyo: Made in Columbus, Ohio
These are my personal thoughts and experiences. I did not receive pay or any compensation for reviewing any products. Though at the time of writing this post I am working in the chocolate industry, my work in the chocolate industry has no affect on my personal thoughts and experiences with the chocolate products shared on Time To Eat Chocolate. 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.