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Monday, April 14, 2008

Theo Chocolates, Seattle

Okay. Hold up the Cacao Train...because a stop in Seattle is warranted. Behold the latest organic-fair trade-sustainable chocolate trend for the cacao purists: Theo...brought to my attention by my lovely Seattle native friend, Alex (no amount of thank you's would suffice for all the varieties, shapes and forms of joy that Alex brings)...and, if you can believe it, Theo is so good and so trendy that it even has its own blog, theonista.

I should probably preface this entry (read: rant) with the fact that I am an avid fan of cacao....such a fan, in fact, that--at any given moment--I could host a cacao tasting of anywhere from 6-8 different cacao courses, if you will, with cacao amounts that vary anywhere from 60% to 99% pure cacao... Dark chocolate might even be the currency in the State of Morgan's Menu.

Anyway, I was first spoiled by a truffle sampler of some of the best truffles I have *ever* had in my life. And if you ever get to visit Theo at 3400 Phinney Avenue, I highly recommend inquiring about the Jasmine tea trufffle. or perhaps the scotch whiskey. or lavender (which will make you think you've literally been chewing on a lavender twig). or salty caramel. or peanut butter and jelly. The truffle flavors are unique, sometimes seasonal and in limited supply so you never know what flavors will be available--but i am certain that you will not be disappointed with the bursting flavor that can only be described as perfection...

Perhaps you have seen their 3400 Phinney line of chocolate bars at Whole Foods (or all the other smart hip-and-with-it places that carry Theo)...if you have, grab one immediately! They make a Coconut Curry Milk Chocolate that will confuse your tastebuds like the twisted streets of Prague...But my favorite is one called "Bread and Chocolate" which doesn't sound like much but, in reality, it was a smooth bar of dark chocolate augmented by little, delicious, buttery french baguette crumbs complemented by the perfect amount of salt...ohhhhhh, it is so delicious! And, for my vegan friends out there, they also make a Fig, Fennel and Almond dark chocolate that is really, really good--the fennel seeds bring such a unique flavor to the chocolate that you wonder why this combo isn't more widely available or known...instead, its a delicious secret...

And if you aren't already sold by now, Theo also produces a full line of vegan chocolate bars that use imported cacao beans from different parts of the world and it uses organic beet sugar grown in Sweden!!! I felt ever so fortunate to try:

Theo Ghana Dark Chocolate Bar (84% cacao)
"The Fair Trade Certified™ cacao used in this single-origin dark chocolate bar is from the fertile growing region surrounding Kumasi, Ghana. The perfectly fermented and dried beans yield slightly floral notes over golden and round chocolate flavors." I thought the flavor of this bar was mellow and delicate, with a very subtle but real sweetness...

Theo Venezuela Limited Edition Dark Chocolate Bar (91% cacao)
"This special bar is available for a limited time only and it will change the way you think about dark chocolate! It features the delicate flavors of a blend of cacao from Barinas, Merida and Tachiras, the remote western regions of Venezuela, and offers 91% cacao content without any of the bitterness typically associated with such a high percentage dark chocolate." For me, this bar had personality: a sassy girl with a touch so soft that you forgive her for being slightly bitter...

And though, ultimately, it didn't come down to a Ro-Sham-Bo contest, my friend James kept the Madagascar bar while I gratefully absconded with the Ghana-Panama-Ecuador blend, which is sitting patiently on my desk because we all know I have consumed more than my fair share of chocolate in the past couple of days...

Oh, Theo, I love you.

3 comments:

Happy Herbivore! said...

sending an email to my friend billy who lives in seattle.

"billy, send theo chocolate. thank you."

:D

so jealous!

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure I truly appreciated truffles until I tried the assorted Theo pack. The Jasmine truffle melted my face off.

Alex B. said...

Oh Morgan - I didn't know it was possible, but that article was so delightful that it actually IMPROVED the chocolates...

You are ever so welcome! I will never come to you without Theo chocolates again.