With Valentine’s Day sneaking closer, we all find ourselves scrambling for the sexier, more thoughtful chocolate alternative to those big, clunky, heart shaped boxes that you obviously grabbed last minute at the pharmacy. Our significant others (or secretly admired) deserve better, and I have the answer.
My birthday comes a few weeks before V-Day, and I was treated by Deb this year to a heaping supply of none other than my favorite consumable besides wine: Chocolate! From the moment my bounty arrived in the mail from WAC’s strategic partner David Bacco Chocolatier, we have been sampling through the varieties, writing tasting notes and comparing our favorites. Like serious wine, Bacco’s award-winning chocolates are compelling enough to warrant such attention and review, and this is by no means the first time we ran this exercise with his delicacies.
In addition to a dozen different single-origin chocolate bars (which my birthday order consisted of), Bacco is celebrated for crafting unique and exotic chocolate confections, many with outrageous ingredient combinations, all with stunning and flawless presentation. Furthermore, Bacco goes out of his way to acquire pure, fair-trade cacao, usually organic, and heirloom when possible. His made-to-order offerings can fit a spectrum of budgets, and in addition to Valentine’s gifts, his chocolates also make dynamite corporate gifts and wedding favors. To get a better sense of his background and the pedigree of his product, check out the David Bacco website, and have a peek below at my tasting notes on a few of the chocolate bar selections I’ve been devouring. Then, get your orders in – guilt free, because after all, chocolate is actually health food!
Wonderfully void of sweetness. Moderately bitter and mushroomy. Silky yet tannic on the palate, finishing with coffee and porter beer.
Olive Oil et Sel (Sea Salt) Dominican Republic 74%
Tangy acidity from the EVO component, with an earthy, grassy, bittersweet profile. The salt seduces the salavaries. The finest attempt at olive oil-infused chocolate I’ve encountered!
Peru 68% Fortunato #4 Heirloom Organic
Red fruit personality, notes of anise, floral spice, nut oils and coffee. Medium sweetness. Highly complex with a lengthy finish.
Noisette Madagascar 64% With Hazelnuts
Fluffy, light-on-its-feet texture is brilliantly offset by crunchy, hyper-roasted hazelnut bits. High tones, with a nutty purity throughout.
Hawaiian 38% Milk Chocolate
Seamlessly textured. Fudgy and caramel-laden flavors exude decadence. Rather sweet, and remains balanced. Sinfully satisfying in petite doses.
Venezuela 34% White
An assault of sweet cocoa butter intensity creates a caramel/honeyed flavor interplay. Balanced out by a savory vanilla bean presence.