A dear friend and sailorwoman recently navigated through the Caribbean and stopped on the island of Grenada. A gorgeous island located near St. Lucia, Barbados, and Trinidad and Tobago, Time Cupsoul looked up pictures of the stunning oasis and followed the friends’ adventures via reading articles online. Among other attractions, a key discovery was made: Grenada has cocoa trees, and The Grenada Chocolate Company is an award-winning bean-to-bar maker on the island. After a few short weeks, the “Organic Dark Chocolate Nib-A-Licious 60%” bar arrived at the Time Cupsoul doorstep, direct from the Caribbean Sea.
It’s another East Coast chocolate bar up for review today: Taza Chocolate, based out of Somerville, Massachusetts. This chocolate bar is very unique in its circular shape and texture. The bar is “stone ground,” meaning that the cocoa beans are “unrefined” and “minimally processed,” according to the labeling on the package.
In Time Cupsoul’s most recent chocolate bar review (found here), tasting of an East Coast bar was promised next… The lucky winner: Nathan Miller Chocolate.
Nathan Miller Chocolate received a recent nod of approval from this New York Times (NYT) article listing the best tasting bean-to-bar chocolate from the United States. The Nathan Miller bar chosen for the NYT article was the 72 percent Peru. Ceremony Coffee Roastery & Espresso Bar (Time Cupsoul review here) provided another vintage: Nathan Miller Pretzel & Cherry.
The false traceability scandal at Mast Brothers Chocolate (summary here) recently turned a spotlight onto other United States chocolate makers. It is safe to say that Europe is cocoa’s “hub” in terms of (chocolate) bar-making history and manufacturer legacy. Yet, the USA has numerous large chocolate companies, and furthermore, birthed many specialty and smaller “craft” chocolate makers besides Mast Brothers within the past decade or two. Time Cupsoul sets out to explore the best of American chocolate in the coming weeks.
One place to find unique chocolate bars of all origins (bean and brand), is at specialty food stores, such as Fresh Market, Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s. These store types each carry different selections of chocolate and sometimes, their own brand of bars.