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Thursday, March 9, 2017
French Broad Opens the Book on Chocolates
"Once upon a time...." are the words that begin every timeless story. And those are the words found on the inside of French Broad Chocolates` new high-end chocolate packaging. The chocolate bar box is designed to look like a beautiful hardcover book, and when all lined up together, they create a wonderful 'library' of chocolate.
During their Instagram takeover of @ChocolateNoise a while back, French Broad Chocolates founders, Dan and Jael, refer to it as "locally-crafted packaging", and a way of sharing the "stories behind the chocolate", whether it is their "own love story, a special relationship with a cacao farmer, or a brilliant local coffee roaster."
chocolate maker's website.
Now let's continue our story by talking about the chocolate...
When it comes to dark chocolate, French Broad Chocolates seems to be a two-ingredient chocolate maker. This can be identified just slightly in the texture of the chocolate, there is always something a little stiffer in the texture of two-ingredient chocolate. But usually, I have found, the natural cocoa bean flavours of two-ingredient chocolate are more intense. Often, when cocoa butter is added, it can change or dilute the flavour (depending if it is deodorized or non-deodorized cocoa butter). So by choosing two-ingredient chocolate, Dan and Jael have chosen a chocolate philosophy (as I call it) of featuring the pure flavours of the bean.
I have tasted a few of French Broad Chocolates over the last few years, and enjoyed each one immensely. In fact, I always vow to share, because I find their chocolate bars so pretty I want other people to see it, but inevitably, I end up eat it all myself.
Most recently, I purchased French Broad's Guatemala 73% chocolate bar and their Nicaragua 68% bar. I was testing some new Nicaragua beans myself, and I was curious if the flavour was just as citrusy, with some bold acidity as the other Nicaragua beans I had been trying. I found a similar flavour profile, but loved how French Broad Chocolates featured the flavours of this Nicaragua bar. To me, it offered a robust roast flavour, the slightest hint of lingering grape, then a citrus-lemon aftertaste. After looking at the chocolate makers notes, I see they tasted something very different: "buttered toast, black tea, and brown sugar." Of course, upon tasting it again, those flavours also come to mind, but that may be from the memory of reading it. I still taste citrus, and the black tea is a flavour that features a certain measure of acidity, which this chocolate certainly has. I like how the chocolate makers have used the art of chocolate making to tone down the natural acidity with a little more sugar and a good, strong roast. It is a very good, balanced dark chocolate.
French Broad Chocolates offers many other kinds of chocolate bars, so many that you can line your book shelves at home and chuckle every time you trick your friends into thinking you read a lot of books. I suggest you check them out on French Broad`s website: https://frenchbroadchocolates.com/frenchbroad/. They also offer lovely desserts and confections in their store-front locations, so if you are ever in Asheville, North Carolina, you won`t want to miss the experience of visiting.
Have a great day! Hope you discover a new chocolate today!