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Monday, October 26, 2015
Is Sweeter Better? Proof may be in this line-up of lightly sweet, dark chocolate by Patric...
Patric Chocolate is a brand that stands out in my mind as a hybrid between the over-the-top high cocoa butter chocolate of the French, and the new American-style of uber healthy, three-ingredient-or-less craft chocolate. You see, Alan McClure, the head chocolate maker, owner and founder of Patric Chocolate spent a year in France, and started his chocolate company upon coming back from the country of rich and indulgent food. And I believe his chocolate is representative of what he experienced in France.
Mr. McClure's mission, according to his chocolate bar packaging, is to "create the finest single-origin, blended and flavored chocolate bars imaginable." And I believe he has been tackling this mission with fierce determination. With a range of dark chocolates with 67% cocoa solids, instead of the 70% to 80%, and higher (so much higher these days) that other chocolate makers are focusing on, Patric has an approach that says to me, "Let's see how good the chocolate can taste and make it dark, but still indulgent the way it was intended to be."
In my opinion, Mr. McClure has offered a range of dark chocolate bars that enable more people to enjoy his chocolate, by way of sugar percentage in the chocolate, and in the vast and unique flavour combinations that he explores.
Now let's take a closer look at a few of those chocolate bars, and the wide range of intriguing flavours in which they come. I recently purchased several Patric Chocolate bars in Missouri, very near where they are made, from Root Cellar in the city of Columbia. I also received some as gifts, which were purchased at JoJo CoCo in Ottawa. And so now I have tasted nearly every flavour - but check out the Patric website - once per month you can purchase the monthly releases online, and you can sign up for the newsletter to find out when the release is available.
Patric PBJ OMG Smooth Dark Chocolate & Peanut Butter Blend, 2.3 oz (65g)
The PBJ OMG chocolate bar is a prime example of how Patric Chocolate is a hybrid of American-style chocolate and French chocolate. A French chocolate maker would likely not add peanut butter to chocolate, more likely choosing hazelnut or almond butter. But in America (and ahem, Canada), peanut butter and chocolate is a natural - and probably the most common - pairing. And so this chocolate is both fine and single origin, as was introduced to us by French chocolate makers, but yet it embraces a truly American flavour combination.
Madagascar 67%, 2.3 oz (65g)
This two-time Good Food Award winning chocolate bar is super smooth and super flavourful. Normally 'raspberries' come to mind when I taste Madagascar chocolate, but in the case of Patric's bar, I find it to be more like blackberries, which is a sweeter, yet similar berry flavour. I also find a hint of purple grapes. I tasted this against Dick Taylor's 72% Madagascar, and noticed that DT's has an overwhelmingly raspberries & citrus flavour in comparison.
I purchased two of these bars and wish I had purchased 10! I had already tasted Patric's original Dark Milk Chocolate and thoroughly enjoyed it, but this one was new to me. It was complex, with smooth and buttery caramel flavours, and also lightly acidic from the salt. The chocolate results in a less-sweet indulgence - not quite dark chocolate, and not like sweet milk chocolate. Sort of like how cheesecake is a rich dessert that is not sweet like regular spongy cake, but rather rich and indulgent.
Holy Mole 65%, 2.3 oz (65g)
"Tongue Tickling Dark Chocolate, Cinnamon & Chiles" is an the entirely accurate description for this chocolate bar. The chocolate begins with a sweet taste and an incredibly smooth texture that quickly melts away into cinnamon and then the heat of the chilies. The heat lingers long after the chocolate and sweetness is gone. The overall effect is a tingling on the tongue. And I can tell you from experience, that it has a wonderful effect on the sinuses during a head cold.
Mocha OMG 63%, 2.3 oz (65g) - I LOVE this chocolate bar. The coffee flavour is built into it in a super-smooth way. Smooth, rich and sweet, like a perfect cup of sweetened espresso. One of my fav's!
There are several more chocolate bars under the Patric brand, such as the Habernero 67%, the In-NIB-itable bar or the Signature 70% chocolate, but I think I have covered enough for today! Take my word for it - try them all - you won't be disappointed!
For more information on Patric Chocolate, visit: http://patric-chocolate.com.