Today was the Seattle Luxury Chocolate Salon. Why I chose to eat something sweet (rustic cornmeal custard cake) for brunch at the Boat Street Café immediately beforehand is beyond me. (As is any reasoning why I’m making David Lebovitz’s fresh mint ice cream as I type.)
About 25 vendors attended, each offering multiple samples of chocolate bars, truffles, and other treats. I tasted chocolates with such flavors as balsamic and strawberry, soy sauce, Thai basil, kalamata olive, and various types of spicy peppers.
My favorite vendor was Cosmic Chocolate, out of Oakland. I enjoyed the playful packaging and product names (check out the fun website!) along with the intriguing flavor combinations—while also appreciating the high quality chocolate. They’ve got some interesting thin bars (would you believe a champagne and pop rocks pairing?), but I especially liked the hand-painted truffles—including dulce de leche chipotle and passionfruit caramel. And the pictured Obama truffles are, well, hopefully a winner!
But to me, nothing beats a bar of good ol’ dark chocolate, and best in show was Utah-based Amano Chocolate. These folks know their stuff, and while I liked all three of their bars, my favorite was the Ocumare Grand Cru Premium—a single origin bar (70% cacao) from Venezuela that’s rich with interesting fruit notes, including an incredible plum finish. At the end of the day (well, another day besides today’s chocolate-filled one), this is the sweet treat I’d most crave, and I’m glad to have discovered it at the salon.