Sunday, September 11, 2016

10-Years of Chocolate Celebration - Sept. 11, 2016

Chocolate Banquet: Celebrating 10 Years of Chocolate
September 11, 2016

Ten years ago, I accepted a bet by my daughter to eat a different kind of chocolate every day for a year. That year was so enjoyable that I continued to eat a different chocolate of the day for ten years and to write about chocolate on Today marks the 10th year anniversary of that bet

This month I'm celebrating this 10th anniversary in 10 ways:

1.) Eating my usual Chocolate(s) of the day. Today, it's 2 Ecuador single origin bars from Arete Fine Chocolate
2.) Eating 10 different chocolate items this weekend as part of a Bay Area Chocolate Field Trip
3.) Continuing with Theme Weeks -- Ecuador this week, Cacao Nibs and French Chocolate after that
4.) Visiting and thanking some of my favorite local, San Francisco Bay Area suppliers where I've bought chocolates in the past decade
5.) Writing about my 10 favorite places to find chocolates
6.) Highlighting my favorite chocolates in the past 10 years
7.) Taking a look at Chocolate Maps and Chocolate Math
8.) Summarizing what I've learned in 10 years of chocolate research, tasting and travel
9.) Remembering chocolate field trip/travel highlights
10.) Continuing Chocolate Banquet and eating a different chocolate every day. After all, there are 1,000s of new chocolates to try.

So, stay tuned my friends. And thank you for your interest.
- Corinne

Arete - Hacienda Victoria 70% Ecuador bar - Sept. 10, 2016

Chocolate of the Day:
Arete Fine Chocolate
Hacienda Victoria 70% Dark Chocolate (Ecuador) bar
Good +++ - Very Good
Weight: 1.15 oz. (32.5 g.) / 2.3 oz. (65 g.) in total bar
Calories: 172 calories (estimate) in 1/2 bar
Cost: $12.00 (estimate) in 1/2 bar
Purchased from: The Chocolate Garage, Palo Alto, CA

Bienvenidos a (welcome to) Day #6 of Ecuador Chocolate Theme Week, and the day before Chocolate Banquet's 10-year anniversary.

To mark this occasion, I'm proud to be able to spotlight a series of bars made with Ecuadorian cacao from local Bay Area maker Arete Fine Chocolate (Milpitas, CA).

Nestled in the heart of Silicon Valley, is a single-story facility where David and Leslie Senk are crafting a growing number of single origin chocolate bars.

Today's Arete Hacienda Victoria 70% Dark Chocolate bar combines beans from cocoa beans from a single large farm (Hacienda Victoria) with organic sugar and cocoa butter.

It's worth pointing out that the makers at Arete pressed the cocoa butter in this bar from cocoa beans from this same farm. This elevates the meaning of single origin.

Cacao growing close to the Equator (e.g. in Ecuador) is typically leaner than cacao growing farther away from the Equator, say, in Hawaii ("the North Pole for cacao")—where beans may have 10 percent more fat to protect them from harsher/cooler weather. Plants are smarter than we think.

This Ecuador had a flavorful, fruity (dried fruit such as plums, raisins) taste with a slight nutty flavor note.
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