The Ultimate Chocolate Blog is for people who love to taste and compare high quality chocolate, who want to improve their palate, and to increase their awareness of chocolate from around the world. We also want to connect you to fantastic chocolate recipes. Check us out on Facebook!

Quick Links: List of American Bean-to-Bar Chocolate Makers, List of Bean-to-Bar Chocolate Makers in Canada, The Raw Chocolate List, Organic & Fair Trade Chocolate List (U.S. & Canada), Soy-Free Chocolate List, Chocolate Recipes.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Patric American Handcrafted Chocolate: French-Inspired and In-NIB-itable-ly Delicious!

I have in my possession two Patric Chocolate bars and I have never been so excited to try a chocolate brand before! Well, that is probably not true, but right now it certainly feels like it because I have been following Patric Chocolate for more than a year, via the chocolate maker's e-newsletter, Twitter, and other media, but I had not yet tasted their chocolate.

I am also excited to try this chocolate because I have always felt like I would get along well with the chocolate maker, Alan "Patric" McClure (even though we have never met) because I have read on his website that he was forever changed by a year spent in France.  Apparently, the French chocolate tradition inspired him to begin making chocolate.  My story is also similar to his.  I too spent a year France (oddly enough in the same year as Mr. McClure) and decided that I would begin to work with chocolate in a way that I had not seen in Canada before. So since we have a shared inspiration, I feel the overwhelming need to buy his chocolate.

Why am I just getting around to tasting Patric Chocolate now? Well, I tried to buy some online a while back, and quickly learned that they did not ship to Canada.  Then after a few other unsuccessful attempts to get my hands on some, I guess I gave up.  However,  Patric Chocolate is now readily available in Canada through the "A Taste for Chocolate" website and can be shipped directly to poor little fine chocolate lovers like me who are isolated in the cold North. 

I tore in to the package and immediately chose to try the Patric Chocolate bars, despite the other amazing chocolate bars that came in the same shipment (i.e. Amedei, Bonnat, Amano, Michel Cluizel, and more).  I immediately liked the In-NIB-itable BAR. And when I finished that and opened the Patric Signature Blend 70% bar, I liked it too. The chocolate is oh-so-smooth, rich and deliciously full of flavour.  Each one offered me a unique chocolate experience in terms of flavours and texture, but yet a consistency in the smoothness of the chocolate.

The In-NIB-itable BAR is made of Madagascar cacao, which means an instantaneous burst of fruitiness. I'll be the first to admit that my sense of smell is better than my sense of taste, so I cannot always taste all the flavours that other people can, however, the fruitiness was very apparent in this chocolate bar.

The next interesting point about the In-NIB-itable bar was, strangely enough, the nibs.  Usually chocolate with nibs bothers my teeth, but in this case, the nibs were roasted to just the right point where they practically melted in my mouth, and yet still remained crunchy.  Also, there was a heavy 'roast' flavour, like the flavour of a perfectly roasted marshmallow (a tan-browned one, not a burnt one!) or like that roasted flavour of popcorn that has been cooked over an open fire.

And except for the nibs sprinkled on the back side of the chocolate bar, it was a surprise that the chocolate was so smooth, considering that Patric Chocolate is hand-crafted and it has no lecithin in the ingredients list (which helps to emulsify the chocolate and make it smoother).

I tasted the In-NIB-itable BAR against the Amano Madagascar Handcrafted Dark Chocolate bar (also a 70%) and I found them very similar in taste in terms of fruitiness and citrus overtones.  In fact, the smell is very much the same (the Island is not all that large, so one can assume the aromas of the cacao would be similar). However, the Amano bar is much lighter in colour and the flavour of the Patric In-NIB-itable BAR is influenced by the strong roasted flavour of the nibs.

The Patric Signature Blend bar is also very smooth and I liked the experience of eating it quite a lot. It tastes different from the In-NIB-itable BAR because it is made of a mix of beans from different origins, but again there is a strong flavour of "roasted" beans. Overall, it has a strong bold flavour like a robust red wine.

The only thing that I did not like is that - although the chocolate bar is beautiful - it is hard to break a piece off because it is a rather thick and not scored for individual pieces. But if that is the only downside, then it is clearly overshadowed by the wonderfulness of the chocolate.

I do hope that one day I can try the PBJ OMG chocolate bar by Patric, just because I love peanut butter and chocolate.

I just want to send out a big thank you to A Taste for Chocolate, who was able to ship such fine chocolate to a poor isolated Northern Ontario resident who loves the high end stuff. And, of course, to my husband who ordered and paid for the chocolate (it was not cheap, each Patric bar is about $9-$10 CAD + shipping) and gave it to me for Christmas!

As with all my posts, below are the details from the packages of the three chocolate bars that I tasted today. Please note that all three chocolate bars do not contain lecithin (i.e. soy) although Amano specifies that it is made on the same equipment as chocolate made with soy lecithin.

Patric American Handcrafted Chocolate "In-NIB-itable BAR", 2.3 oz (65g)
Handcrafted by: Patric Chocolate, Columbia, MO (USA)
http://www.patric-chocolate.com/
Ingredients: Cacao, cane sugar, cocoa butter.  Made in facility that processes dairy products, peanuts and/or tree nuts.

Patric American Handcrafted Chocolate Signature 70% Blend dark chocolate, 2.3 oz (65g)
Handcrafted by: Patric Chocolate, Columbia, MO (USA)
http://www.patric-chocolate.com/
Ingredients: Cacao, cane sugar, cocoa butter.  Made in facility that processes dairy products, peanuts and/or tree nuts.

Amano Madagascar 70%, 2 oz (56g)
Amano Chocolate, Orem, UT (U.S.A.)
www.amanochocolate.com
Ingredients: Cocoa beans, pure cane sugar, cocoa butter, whole vanilla beans. "Our vintage equipment is used to process milk chocolate and chocolate containing tree nuts, peanuts and soy lecithin (an emulsifier)".

2 comments:

  1. Note we've never run lecithin on our equipment. But they are restored antiques so we can't be sure what was run on them before which is why we put that warning on them.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for the info Clark! I will add that info on Amano chocolate also to the article on chocolate free of soy lecithin which I keep up-dated @ http://www.ultimatechocolateblog.blogspot.com/2010/12/chocolate-bars-with-no-soy-lecithin-are.html. To everyone else, check out Amano's website for more details on their products: www.amanochocolate.com.

    ReplyDelete