Sunday, March 18, 2007

can it be true?

I grew up in an uninspired town. It has no town center, just one long row of chain stores and fast food joints. It does have some amazing mountains surrounding it, but the town itself is about as boring as a city can get. It is essentially a suburb without the urb. The town council was so worried about non-existent crime that they recently installed bright street lights on every corner making the entire town glow like a football stadium. My town is nicknamed "Family City, USA" in a mountain valley that everyone calls "Happy Valley." It used to be a town of fruit orchards, but most of those were gone by the time my family moved there. The last hold out just got shut down in order to widen an already very wide (and not terribly busy) road. There used to be a good mexican restaurant there, but that closed. It's certainly not a town known for its food.

And then I learn that there is someone making artisinal chocolate in my home town. What?! We're not just talking about a choclatier here, we're talking about someone making chocolate from bean to bar. In Orem, Utah? Amano chocolate has only been in production for about a year and only widely available (you can order on their website) for a couple of months. They currently make two single orginin bars: Madagascar and Ocumare. Even though they've only been around a short time, they are getting some good press.

And how does the chocolate taste? Both bars have a clean and crisp break. The two bars have very distinct flavors: citrus for the Madagascar and mint for the Ocumare. The Ocumare is pretty amazing; it's surprising that the beans themselves can have such a minty undertone. At $6 for a 2 oz. bar, the chocolate probably wouldn't be my choice for baking projects (I'll stick with my standby Scharffenberger for that), but for general eating and chocolate bliss Amano may be a new favorite. The chocolate is a little spendy, but how can I resist near-perfect artisinal chocolate from my home town?


Blogger Lisa B. said...

Where does one acquire this chocolate?

By the way, I love the word "spendy," which I heard for the first time from a mechanic, recommending a transmission guy. "He's a little spendy, but he does good work," he told me. "Spendy!" I thought. Is this a Utah word, do you think?

12:20 PM  
Blogger tara said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

3:51 PM  
Blogger tara said...

Melissa's back! Yay!

Wow, there aren't many companies doing "bean to bar" ... which reminds me, did you hear about the Noka Chocolates scam? Read this story, broken by a Dallas food blogger (yes, it's long, but worth the read):

Long story short: They're buying wholesale chocolate, melting it down into bars, kinda sorta giving the impression that they're actually making the chocolate, and charging up to $2,000 a pound for it (not a typo).

4:12 PM  
Blogger lis said...

lisa, you can buy it at Caputo's. I agree, spendy is an excellent word. I'm not sure if it's a Utah one, though. Non-Utah readers?

Tara, I did read the blog entries about Noka. Crazy stuff.

7:04 AM  
Blogger Judy said...

It's funny sometimes to find out what is lurking beneath the surface, and what could be better than chocolate?

7:01 PM  

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