Monday, November 28, 2011

Dick Taylor Chocolate...for the DARK chocoholic and for those who appreciate single-origin hand-crafted chocolate

A few weeks ago I had placed an order for Dick Taylor chocolate, which is handcrafted chocolate made in California. They make four very dark chocolate bars in the over 70% cacao range. Each chocolate bar is made from different single-origin beans from the Dominican Republic, Ecuador and Venezuela (Dick Taylor's Fleur de Sel bar is made from the same beans as their Dominican  Republic chocolate bar).
I was so excited when I finally received my package at the post office that I took photos of the packaging as fast as I could because I just wanted to tear into it and taste the chocolate. So unfortunately, my photos do not really do the product packaging any justice. The chocolate bar wrapping really took my breath away. I'm not sure that I've seen many chocolate bars wrapped in white paper before. Usually chocolate is wrapped in brown or tan-coloured paper or other colours, so I was surprised when I opened the package.  The white instantly caused me to think that the chocolate might be sunny-flavoured and refreshing.  It also, for some reason I cannot explain, seemed to be the epitome of craft chocolate.
A wonderfully rustic wrap around four exquisite chocolate bars. 
This extra attention to detail really made me excited
about the chocolate bars inside the package!
Since I did not have my laptop with me while traveling last week, and was too busy to blog the week before, I had a lot of time to taste, savour and enjoy this chocolate before writing about it. This is a good thing because it is the type of very flavourful chocolate that can taste different each time you taste it, so you need to keep coming back to it time and time again to really understand the flavours and determine which is your favourite.

Unfortunately, I tasted all four bars so many times that I could no longer determine which I liked best. And each day I had a new favourite. Finally, I just got so confused, that I brought the remaining chocolate  (except for the Venezuela because I managed to finish the whole thing myself) over to my brother- and sister-in-laws house one evening last week. While the kids played, we tasted and compared chocolate! 

My sister-in-law, "K" as I'll call her, is my go-to person when I need someone to taste some dark chocolate and give me an honest opinion about it. She has a great palate for chocolate tasting, and enjoys it just as much as I do.  And it is always much more fun to taste chocolate with someone who also likes the same kinds as I do!  Her husband, my brother-in-law (we'll call him "C"), has also grown fond of dark chocolate recently so we had a nice small group for a dark chocolate tasting.

Everyone agreed that the Dominican Republic bar was the best. It was full of robust fruity, or more like, bitter berry, flavour.  The Ecuador had a lot of earthy flavour, but also industrial in some way.  We both tasted that "industrial" sort of flavour, like gasoline and automobiles, mixed in with earthiness. K thought the after taste was not great.  I found the flavour strong and a bit off-putting at first, but at the same time I liked all the complex and strong flavours in the Ecuador bar.

K also had the same reaction to the Fleur de Sel Dominican bar as I did.  Initially it seemed like it was too salty, or it did not pair well with the bitterness of the chocolate.  We both thought that it might have been better if the chocolate had been a bit sweeter.  But then we just kept coming back to it over and over again.  So although our initial reaction was not great, we could not stop eating it and it grew on us with each bite. At the end, we both agreed that we liked the Dominican Rep. Fleur de Sel bar by Dick Taylor.

C liked the Dominican chocolate bar the best, and also seemed a bit confused at first about the taste of the Fleur de Sel bar.  Overall, I think C and K (as I like to call them!), both enjoyed the Dick Taylor chocolate that they tasted that evening, just as I did. Even their two-year old daughter stole a piece off the counter and seemed to really enjoy it.

My only regret is that I had not eaten all of the Venezuela chocolate bar, so that the others could have tasted it. However, I liked it the first time I tried it and at subsequent tastings.  I found it milder than the other chocolate bars with a well-rounded flavour that could be enjoyed by anyone who likes dark chocolate.

My recommendation is to definitely buy and try all four of Dick-Taylor's chocolate bars and just taste each individuallly, one day at a time.  Then perhaps, after you have reflected on each flavour, save a piece from each chocolate bar and compare them all at once.  There is so much flavour in the beans used to make each bar that you will surely notice a difference.  This will also give you time to determine which one is your favourite.

The front and back-side of the Fleur de Sel bar.
My  poor photo does not do the beauty
of the chocolate mold used by Dick Taylor
any justice. Just trust me, it's gorgeous chocolate.
 Overall, I liked Dick Taylor Craft Chocolate - the flavour,the texture, the look of the chocolate and most definitely the packaging. If you are curious, check it out at .  And they ship to Canada!

Here are the stats from the pacakging of each of Dick Taylor's chocolate bars:

Dick Taylor Chocolate
Arcata, CA (U.S.A.)

75% Venezuela chocolate bar, + 2 oz
Ingredients: organic cacao, organic cane sugar

74% Dominican Republic chocolate bar, + 2 oz
Ingredients: organic cacao, organic cane sugar

70% Ecuador chocolate bar, + 2 oz
Ingredients: organic cacao, organic cane sugar

74% Dominican Republic & Fleur de Sel chocolate bar, + 2 oz
Ingredients: organic cacao, organic cane sugar, fleur de sel

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