Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Another "mmmmmm" moment!

(photo © Amano Artisan Chocolate and used with their permission)

The last of a bar of Amano Artisan Chocolate Jembrana chocolate has just melted on my tongue.  There's no heavy, thick coating of chocolate in my mouth; no feeling like I need a glass of water to rinse or wash it down (a red wine would be good - but that's just because...well...a red wine would be good!)

I received this bar of chocolate from a giveaway on Blake Makes (which reminds me, I have another win from Blake Makes that I need to post about at a later date...I completely forgot about it! Bad, Gina!)  Wow.  I was having a really bad day when it arrived.  Just the smell of the chocolate made it a little bit better, a little less frazzled.  I opened the bar and inhaled the smell of bittersweet chocolate - ahhh. Easter.  Not cheap, hollow, artifically-flavored chocolate bunnies - but the scent reminded me of spring a wonderful change from the dreary winter days of late.  When I put the first piece in my mouth, the first note that hit me was a bit smoky.  I'm not sure what it was - and I don't mean BBQ smoky - but something just a bit smoky in it.  And each piece after that, I would analyze "was it because there was a fire in the fireplace when I ate the first piece?"  I don't think so because as this last piece melted in my mouth - it still had a very wee bit of a smoky quality to it (at least to me).  It was not an overwhelming quality at all.  The main initial taste note was the sharpness of the bittersweet chocolate; however, as it melts - the notes become sweeter - never a cloying sweetness...never, never, never.  But a light sweetness.  Is it possible for something to be light AND rich?  Because this was it.  Seriously.  And you know, I don't know if Art intends for people to cook with his chocolate, but I'm not sure I ever would. While I'm certain it would make a chocolate eclair filling that would make my toes curl...I don't think I'd be willing to add cream, eggs, sugar, etc. etc. etc to the chocolate.  It is a fine, fine bar!  :)

Oh, and yes, if you know me well enough you know that Katherine - my 4.5 year old - wanted a piece.  I instructed her that she was to take the square and allow it to melt on her tongue, that she wasn't to chomp on it like a Hershey's Kiss (tm).  She did wonderfully.  And as the chocolate melted in her mouth, her face lit up.  "Mommy, this is the best chocolate I've ever had!"  (and she's not been deprived of good chocolate over her short life, I promise)


  1. Hey Rob - from their website FAQs:
    Is Amano "Fair Trade" certified?

    Unfortunately, the history of chocolate is full of unscrupulous companies and people who have engaged in unethical business practices. One of these is that the large companies created a lock on the industry so that they could dictate the price to the cocoa farmer. This meant that the farmers were always living on borderline poverty and often had to resort to child labor or poor farming practices in order to stay afloat and feed their families.

    Since Amano is concerned only with the highest quality cocoa beans, Amano always pays farmers and co-ops significantly more for their product than is set by the "fair trade" organizations. Unfortunately, it costs significant amounts of money for the farmers to become fair-trade certified in addition to it being a long drawn out process. Many farmers simply cannot afford it. At Amano, we believe in paying a premium price for premium cocoa beans. The prices we pay are measured in multiples (i.e., 3-4 times) the London Cocoa Terminal Market price. This not only ensures that we obtain the highest quality beans available but this also ensures that the farmers we work with not only can provide for their families but are encouraged to produce a high quality product and improve their farms. We don't pay the prices we pay to get a label on our box — we do it because it is the right thing to do.