Monday, October 26, 2015

Is Sweeter Better? Proof may be in this line-up of lightly sweet, dark chocolate by Patric...

Last week, I wrote about Pralus chocolate, and seemingly the 'French' or more European way of making chocolate, where indulgence and 'par plaisir' are still the primary features - and selling points - of fine chocolate. High cocoa butter content is the key to a rich and indulgent chocolate.  But what is the traditional American version of fine chocolate?

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."

The world renown chocolate makers of recent past - before the worldwide bean-to-bar craft chocolate trend took hold - were Valrhona, Michel Cluizel and for professionals, Cacao Barry, among others. They were the ones who seemingly introduced single origin chocolate to North America, along with a widespread offering from Lindt.  And most of those chocolate makers introduced dark chocolate in the mid-to-high 60% range, knowing that a little extra sugar can open up the palate and allow more tasters to truly enjoy the origin flavours.  Let's face it, very bitter chocolate takes some getting used to, but certainly all kinds of chocolate lovers can palate a 60-something percent chocolate bar and enjoy it.

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 Patric PBJ OMG chocolate bar was revolutionary when it was introduced nearly five years ago. Simply using peanut butter and the natural flavours of raspberry, citrus and berry found in Madagascar origin chocolate, Mr. McClure was able to mimic the flavour of peanut butter and jam without added flavourings. And we are now seeing other chocolate makers add peanut butter to their chocolate bars to achieve similar success and loyalty among their customers as Patric has achieved with the PBJ OMG bar (I could eat one of those every week for the rest of my life and be a happy chocolate lover!).

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.

Piura Dark Milk, 2.3 oz (65g)
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!

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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.

1 comment:

  1. great blog very nice review, thanks for sharing Lisabeth, I liked it very much and with your permission I would like to share it on my blog, regards Geert

    ReplyDelete