A new day has dawned: I have finally discovered a small, Vermont-based artisanal chocolate company! This was truly a magnificent find. There I was, minding my own business while strolling through King Arthur Flour on the hunt for another bottle of Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla when lo and behold, a little basket with pretty colored envelopes lay before me. What are these lovely little things? I thought. Well, blow me over! Chocolate bars! Artisanal chocolate bars! From Vermont! Beautifully packaged in colored envelopes were 70% bars from Black Flower Chocolate with names like Mayan Spice and Mangosteen Crunch. I took a deep breath and said to myself: they will still be here tomorrow - just take one! I chose the Mayan Spice and then made my way over to the vanilla before I lost my composure and bought the other three: Mangosteen Crunch, Espresso & Cacao Nibs, and Green Tea & Almonds. Yes, I will go back for those, but I did make it out of the store with only the one bar, which is a huge achievement for me.
Black Flower Chocolate is owned and run by a woman in Charlotte, Vermont with a passion for the culinary arts. Her 3 oz. bars are made from Ecuadoran chocolate and are made in small batches and then packaged in envelopes of a color that corresponds well with the theme of the chocolate: red for Mayan Spice, green for Green Tea & Almonds, etc. They are beautiful to behold and filled with exotic ingredients. The Mayan Spice bar is a treat for any spicy chocolate fan. The heat slowly builds, rather than the Big Bang effect of Grace Under Fire by Lake Champlain Chocolates. I love placing a square of chocolate on my tongue, tasting the chocolate and cacao butter, the sugar, and any other ingredients present, and then suddenly: whoa! here comes the heat! There is a little cinnamon and nutmeg in this bar, but it is quite subtle. There are some Mayan themed bars out there that are more strongly flavored with orange and clove, but this one is all about the heat! A definite winner, in my book! This bar is an artful approach to subtlety in flavor with a heat that builds and hangs steady as you go. I am very much looking forward to the other bars!
Black Flower Chocolate creates several other exotically flavored bars, truffles, and fruit and nut barks. Check them out here.