Sunday, February 20, 2011

ChocolateBet: February 20, 2011

Chocolate of the Day:
1/2 bar
Patric Chocolate
In-NIB-itable BAR - dark chocolate with nibs
Very Good +
Weight: 1.15 oz. (32.5 g.) / 2.3 oz. (65 g.) total bar
Calories: 169 calories (estimate)
Cost: $8.00 (member price)
Purchased from: The Chocolate Garage, in Palo Alto, CA

Time was that the best chocolate was considered to be made in Europe. Today I say -- Buy American. Patric is putting out some very fine "American Handcrafted Chocolate" bars. Today's In-NIB-itable dark bar (70% Madagascar dark chocolate), was texture-studded with crunchy bits of ground cacao nibs, and had a nicely balanced blend of acid-bitter and nutty-sweet flavors.

I ate this bar today after walking through the towns of Vallejo and Crockett, California (part of a 1,000 mile walk I'm doing around San Francisco Bay). These are very American cities. Why do I say that? Well, any area in the world seems grounded in their particular region when products are being made or manufactured there. Crockett is home to a large C and H sugar plant, and lies at the foot of a large bridge going into Vallejo -- a community that used to have an active shipyard and naval base, and still has a Maritime academy there. The picture at right is near where I stopped to eat this bar.

You get the feeling that people worked with their hands to build things here. Older men get up more stiffly and slowly from lunch counter tables. Fishing and commercial boats still glide by in the Carquinez Strait. Less than one hour's drive from here are the more vibrant cities of Berkeley, Oakland and San Francisco -- filled with many businesses, including many innovative chocolate makers.

I hope folks in Missouri appreciate the bars that Patric is turning out as much as I do. And I hope to continue to enjoy many more fine bars being made in Missouri, California, and other states in the U.S. Most of all I hope we all continue to take pride in making things.

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