Love letters from Chocolove CEO Timothy Moley, whose lankiness proves that eating an entire Chocolove bar each day—plus tasting samples in the plant—is no sacrifice to the physique. Shown here is the Chocolador, a cigar box-style carrier of mahogany plywood containing eight of the most popular bars. All photography courtesy Chocolove.
We have been fans of Chocolove Premium Chocolate Bars for about ten years. We remember when they first appeared on the counter of our little coffee bean shop looking quite unlike anything we had seen before: twice as thick as a regular chocolate bar and created by someone who obviously had a deep love of chocolate, who packaged each of his precious bars as a love letter with a love poem from literature printed inside the wrapper (Shakespeare, Browning...you get the picture).
Oh, how those bars beckoned then, and they still do. Large*, bright packages in hot pink, orange, crimson, and olive green wrappers demanded attention with their foreign-looking stamps, labels, and embossed sealing wax. Adding to the design excitement was the fact that the bars were made in different percentages of cacao content—not just milk and dark chocolate, but dark bars of 55%, 65%, 70% and 77% cocoa†. This allayed our fears that Chocolove was a packaging gimmick: we knew there was a serious chocolatier at work.
*The bars are a hefty 3.2 ounces and 3" x 6". Hershey and Godiva bars, by comparison, are 1.5 ounces.
†Most of the remaining percentage of the bar is sugar, with some lecithin for smoothness and vanilla for flavoring.
And we were dying for a good fruit and nut chocolate bar. One of the problems of outgrowing the Chunky® and Hershey® almond bars of childhood is the lack of similar concepts from high-end manufacturers. Here, we were being offered our fantasy bars: Cherries and almonds! Crystallized ginger! Orange peel! Raspberries! We could have Christmas every day, for the price of a regular coffee at Starbuck’s.
How Sweet It Is: The Line-Up at Chocolove
Fruit & Nut Bars
Organic 61% Dark
Organic 73% Dark
in 55% Dark
in 65% Dark
Hazelnuts in 33%
Orange Peel in
Raspberries in 55%
Toffee & Almonds
in Milk Chocolate
Send yourself a Chocolove letter, send them
to your friends. It sure beats a greeting card
when you want to celebrate, congratulate, o
just cheer someone up.
Chocolove’s couverture—the large blocks of chocolate from which bars and other chocolate products are made—is made for them in Belgium (they don’t disclose who makes it, but we’re guessing Callebaut). The blocks are shipped to the U.S., and made into bars and packaged in Colorado.††
††Most American chocolate companies use imported couverture. Some have it blended to their own specifications; others buy and mix different couvertures in their kitchens to create their own blends; still others use the manufacturer’s stock couvertures, which, from a top manufacturer, are top goods. You can count on one hand the American prestige chocolate manufacturers that roast their own beans and make their own couverture. It’s laborious and generally not justified by the smaller quantities used by many prestige producers.
On a Chocolatour
Earlier this year Chocolove introduced three single origin bean, vintage year bars that were made in 2004: the beans are all from the 1999 harvest from from three specific growing regions: São Tomé (in the Gulf of Guinea, off the west coast of Africa), Grenada, and Java. These bars enable serious students of chocolate to see how different beans and different terroirs yield very different flavors. The 1999 Vintage bars sold out quickly, and the 2004 Vintage single origin bars were released in June 2005.
To educate your palate, try the 60% Grenada and the 70% São Tomé bars, made from cacao beans only from those regions (“single origin”), against the 65% Rich Dark Chocolate and the 70% Strong Dark Chocolate bars, which are blends of beans from several regions.
Then, test them against the 65% and 70% blended bars against the other dark bars—55% Dark on the semisweet side and 77% Extra Dark on the bittersweet side—to see how the different concentrations of cacao affect the bar—and your own palate preference.
Test the Java 33% Milk single origin bar against the 33% Pure Milk Chocolate blended bar.
Look for the differences between and among the bars. To help, study our Flavors and Aromas of Chocolate article. It will give you the vocabulary you need to articulate the characteristics and begin to appreciate the many nuances of a fine bar of chocolate.
Chocolove makes only bars. While a box of chocolate bars might not seem as impressive a gift as a box of bonbons, Chocolove has created two gifts any chocolate lover would be happy to receive.
The elegant Chocolador, in the photo at the top left, is an impressive gift; whether for the chocolate lover who needs to be upgraded to better bar, the connoisseur who wants a good everyday bar, or for corporate gifts. Each box is made of quality African okoume mahogany plywood by an authentic cigar box manufacturer (it’s a keeper), and is filled with eight of Chocolove’s ten bars (a total of 1.6 pounds of chocolate). Also included are tasting notes to guide recipients through the connoisseur’s experience.
If you don’t favor a wood box, a nine-bar assortment in a red, book-style gift box is charming in a completely different way (photo at right of open book; photo of cover below).
The Nine Great Chocolate Bars gift box in a book-style
format is a great read for any chocolate lover.
Crystallized ginger in dark chocolate, one of our
favorite flavor combinations, isn’t made by many
companies. We send ourselves this love letter regularly.
And while you can’t tell a book by its cover, or a chocolate bar by its wrapper, you can tell that a love connection with Chocolove bars is one that you should definitely make.
CHOCOLOVE PREMIUM CHOCOLATE BARS
3.2 ounce chocolate bars in Milk, Semisweet, and Bittersweet Plain Bars from 33%-77% Cacao; plus Fruit & Nut Flavors from 33%-65% Cacao
Kosher Certification: Tablet K (Dairy)
Note: There is only milk in the milk chocolate bars, but they are made on the same equipment as the dark bars.
12 Bars Of One Flavor
12 Chocolatour Bars
Chocolador wood box with 8 bars and tasting notes
$23.00 Also available as corporate gifts (call for pricing: 1.888.246.2656)
Tasting the 65% Rich Dark Chocolate blended bar with the
Chocolatour Grenada 60% bar, above, will show you what
single origin Grenada cacao tastes like compared with a
bar made of beans from different regions of the world.
A great “read”: this book of nine chocolate bars.
Prices and flavor availability are verified at publication but are subject to change.
Note: Chocolove does not accept credit cards but provides links to e-tailers that do. Prices given are the prices from Chocolove by mail order (prepaid by check).
At retail: Chocolove bars are carried at Whole Foods, Wild Oats, other chains and specialty stores (see website).
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