From the beginning of his talk, it became readily apparent that Alan is extremely passionate about chocolate. He also loves to educate folks about all things chocolate and educated we became about the intricate process that is chocolate making.
As a self-professed “micro-producer of fine chocolate,” Alan is one of only five artisan chocolate makers in the United States who produce “from bean to bar,” that is, he begins the process with harvested, fermented, and dried cacao (or cocoa beans) from Madagascar then cleans, roasts, winnows, refines, conchs, ages, and packages the chocolate himself.
Alan also taught us about the fine art of chocolate tasting. In a nutshell, here’s what to do:
- Smell the chocolate.
- Break off a piece and pay attention to the sound as it should “snap.”
- Put the chocolate in your mouth, break it apart slightly, and let it begin to melt.
- Move the chocolate around to all parts of your tongue.
- Breathe in.
- Explore the flavors at the beginning, middle, and end, and put a name to the flavors you taste.
Sounds simple enough, huh?
Alan currently produces two products, a “67% Madagascar Sambirano Valley” made with only cocoa beans, sugar, and cocoa butter, and a “70% Madagascar Sambirano Valley” made with only cocoa beans and sugar. The Slow Foodies is attendance thought that the 67% bar had hints of grape, apple, red wine, and “nuttiness,” while their comments on the 70% bar ranged from raspberry and orange to tomato and coffee. No matter what you tasted, both were delicious.
Patric Chocolate is available online at their Chocolate Store. The website also hosts a blog, written by Alan, which includes information about chocolate making, chocolate tasting, and lots, lots more.
With two other products under development right now, Patric Chocolate has a lot to offer. Order yours today.