Thursday, August 21, 2008

Taza Chocolates

A recent trip to Boston delighted me with the discovery of Lionette's, a tiny underground market in the South End, replete with produce, meats, cheeses, and all things locally produced (including a killer pulled pork, sold in bulk).

Taza Chocolate caught my eye, primarily as I'd never heard of it before. And I'm always on the lookout for new theobroma. Well, it turns out this stone ground chocolate is not only darkly delicious with a slight graininess you might expect from a stone ground product, but it's a new company based on Boston.

Note the engaging and clever way they include the batch number! It makes me want to collect them all. One might think that around $6 it's expensive. But square for square that comes to $.30/each. And as an artisan produced product with materials sourced directly from the producers, hey, it's worth every cent.

I was slightly disappointed, discovery-wise, to find out they already have nationwide distribution. Or buy online. I have yet to see them in any stores I might expect in the San Francisco area. I predict a presence at Bi-rite is imminent.

Here you're treated to a shot of my 80% cacao Taza bar before I demolished it, atop an airplane seat. I have no boundaries.

Post-Slow Food Nation update

It was delightful meeting Alex Whitmore, one of Taza's founders, at Slow Food Nation in San Francisco. Unfortunately our fun interview got cut by the Camera Gods, so here you can see 1/2 a sentence.

He had Batch 160 on hand...
exciting that it was a mere 3 batches beyond the one I'd had.

I believe he said there are about 1600 bars in a batch, although you'll need to confirm that one yourself...a good reason to visit Taza or read their story.

What he told me was: While working on ZipCar he was very much into chocolate. When he went to Oaxaca and saw stone ground process, the spark to form a chocolate company was ignited.

A piece of the Cinnamon Chocolate Mexicano with "roasted cocoa beans, cane sugar, and cinnamon stick" tasted exactly as such and would surely make a great cup of thick hot cocoa.

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