Last week I had the pleasure of meeting with Todd Masonis from San Francisco’s Dandelion Chocolate, an incredible small-batch bean-to-bar chocolate company. Todd opened my eyes to the quickly growing American craft chocolate movement—something I can really get behind! Unlike mass-produced chocolate, his bars have NO cocoa butter or vanilla: they are made from only cocoa beans and sugar, which highlights the actual flavor of the bean. Todd says, “We prefer to process the beans as lightly and minimally as possible to bring out their individual nuances. Cocoa butter adds a fattier, waxier mouthfeel." Todd also taught me some other cool facts about chocolate and the people who make it:
1. A chocolatier makes chocolates, but a chocolate maker makes chocolate. Did you catch that? Making chocolates (plural) is about crafting pieces of candy, whereas making chocolate (singular) is about actually producing the chocolate, from bean to bar. Dandelion is a chocolate making company, so they produce the chocolate itself and then make their outrageously intense bars for retail. (They also sell pastries and hot chocolate at their San Francisco shop.)
2. Chocolate can have more flavor complexity than wine OR coffee. That’s because it’s both fermented and roasted. This is serious business.