Canadian and American bean-to-bar craft chocolate makers. The American list is rather long, so it's taking me a bit of time, but I have nearly tasted all of Canada's bean-to-bar chocolate. I say nearly, because just when I think I have reached the end of the list, a new chocolate maker starts up!
And that is the case with Eau de Rose, or Rose Chocolat as it is branded on the chocolate bar packages, a chocolate maker new on the scene in Canada. In fact, Quebec is where this bean-to-bar chocolate maker has 'bloomed'.
Owned by Karine Drolet, Eau de Rose makes two single origin chocolate bars in its micro-factory. It works directly with a co-operative in Columbia to produce two different origin tablettes (chocolate bars) from the same country: Tumaco 70% and Arauca 70%. Although both are made from cacao beans grown in the same country, these two chocolate bars truly highlight how chocolate flavour is affected by the specific local areas where the cacao is grown.
The Arauca 70% chocolate has only three ingredients but packs a big flavour punch. Before taking the first bite, the aroma was so fruity that I knew it would be a good chocolate experience. The robust acidic fruit flavour is a mix between that familiar fruity Madagascar flavour, and the flavour of Grenada Chocolate Company's chocolate. It has a nice bitter cocoa taste mixed with rich berry flavours, like blackberry, and an interesting roasted fruit flavour, with citrus overtones. The texture is well-balanced between cacao and cocoa butter, with a perfect bitter-sweet profile.
Although also made from beans grown in Columbia, the Tumaco 70% chocolate bar is an absolute contrast to the Arauca 70% chocolate bar. It has a very different flavour than I am used to. There is an upfront flat flavour combined with dried and preserve fruit flavours, like raisin, dried apricots and fig jam, with perhaps that funny mild flavour of groundcherries (Physalis). There is also some nuttiness, like raw walnuts. The texture again is quite smooth and pleasant.
The Tumaco is certainly a contrast to Rose Chocolat's Arauca 70%, which is why this duo is great for a tasting workshop, to teach about the differences in cacao and flavour development. And to show how regionally the cacao can differ depending on the soil in which the Theobroma tree is grown.
These chocolate bars can be purchased online from La Tablette de Miss Choco here. Learn more about the chocolate maker (in French only) on the website at: http://www.eauderosechocolat.com. Ms. Drolet also produces filled chocolates and truffles, such as maple and caramel creams, fruit-flavoured ganaches and even spiced chocolates. Learn more here.