American Chocolate Vol.1 - Tasting Kit (20 pcs)Hello Chocolate®
"There is a new, more ethical chocolate movement going on as we speak, with at least 50 new chocolate makers in the U.S. popping up over the last three years. Think microbrew beers and specialty coffee roasters—we are similarly at the beginning of a chocolate revolution. "
After the great success of our Bonnat Chocolate Tasting Kit we would like to offer you something different. This time we are going to feature two great chocolate makers from the US. One of them is Fruition Chocolate that already was in our collection before. And another is Ritual Chocolate – great chocolate maker from Utah recently featured in one of the Makers episodes of The Slow Melt podcast.
Fruition Chocolate is award-winning chocolate maker with the best world’s milk chocolate in its arsenal. Bryan Graham, the founder of Fruition, attributes his long-term interest to baking and pastry to his grandmother, who was an amazing baker. Spending time at her farm in upstate New Your he learned a lot about choosing the right ingredients and to transform them into delicious jellies, jams, tarts, and pies. From a young age, he was passionate about both chocolate and food. At age 18 Bryan was already a Pastry Chef. During his formal study at the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) he attended a lecture about how to make chocolate from scratch and he was hooked. Later he and his lectured ended up buying a pan coater – the machine one uses to make chocolate coated almonds – to grind cocoa nibs that CIA used to garnish desserts. It was the first step in studying the process of chocolate making. Bryan continued to learn the secrets of chocolate making at Jacques Torres Chocolates- another famous artisanal chocolate maker from NYC. His first chocolate bar “was the worst stuff I’ve ever tasted,” Bryan said. “But that didn’t matter. It was my shitty chocolate.” Now Fruition Chocolate is internationally recognized for its detail-focused process of chocolate making, slow roast and stone grinding of rarest and most delicious cocoa beans. The whole process directed toward to preserve the inherent flavor of the beans. Bryan never was a chocolate snob who thinks that only plain dark chocolate can bear the name of real chocolate. He makes milk and white chocolate. He even uses vanilla. And he does it in a great manner. Usually, during our chocolate tasting sessions, we hand Fruition’s Maranon Milk chocolate without any comment. We just love to see people’s faces when they try this “Best Milk Chocolate in the World” for the first time. Yes, it is so surprisingly delicious. Fruition Chocolate is a tiny company that consistently wins a lot of awards from Good Food to International Chocolate Awards. The chocolate is loved by everyone from The New Your Times to The Wall Street Journal. 2016 was especially successful fro Fruition. Their brand new Maranon Canyon Milk collected three!!! Golden medals during International Chocolate Award. Fruition is an absolute king of the dark milk category which they called “a great gateway for people to get into more flavourful, unique, dark chocolates.” This bar is a remarkably mild chocolate that starts melting on your tongue almost immediately with the fruity notes and traces of walnut and barely noticeable hint of milk. And, of course, the chocolate is made from fair trade and organically grown cocoa beans. And only from delicious ones. In case of Maranon Fruition used very special cocoa beans called Naciounal. Those cocoa beans are known for their white colour which is the sign of low bitterness and high quality. Until recently they thought to have been extinct for 100 years. We love Fruition and we highly recommend to try the whole assortment of dark, dark milk and white chocolate bars. They are all extremely delicious and with a great story.
Ritual chocolate is conched using vintage Suchard conche machine Robbie Stout and Anna Davies, the founders of the company, purchased from a farm barn in Germany. They spent a year and a half refurbishing the machine, but this is what their success finally was based on. Unlike most of the American chocolate makers who throw nibs into CocoaTown ( the most widespread bean-to-bar chocolate making equipment) and walk away for a day or two coming back to a finished chocolate, Ritual first roast, grind, refine further with a roll mill and only then leave chocolate in the conche for several days. The process of mixing and aerating creates the effect of a flowing silky, smooth chocolate in which all the particles of the same size.
Ritual Chocolate is from Utah state which has huge Mormon population. Since Mormons can’t be involved in other specialty foods like coffee, beer or tea, chocolate seems like an obvious choice. But in chocolate like in wine or specialty coffee terroir is very important. The only difference is that craft chocolate industry is 10-15 years behind, let’s say, specialty coffee movement. So, with no added flavours, Ritual’s chocolate is a good example of the authentic expression of single origin concept where flavours are different for each region. In addition to their chocolate making facilities Ritual owns one of the best chocolate shops in the US. In 2016 Utah was called the craft chocolate capital of America by Saveur magazine. Along with Ritual, the state has such award-winning chocolate makers like Amano Chocolate.
Like in many cases of bean-to-bar chocolate making the two started with Chocolate Alchemy website – encyclopedia of craft chocolate making – and continued with rare textbooks describing the process, chemistry, physics and art of making food. This obsessive neediness is what makes Ritual to be outstanding chocolate which is not from France or Belgium. The origin of the name is rooted to the couple’s habit to eat European single-origin bars they brought from San Francisco, where Anna’s brother lives, each night after dinner. They called it The Ritual. Both being professions cyclists, they noticed that a lot of coffee brand we focused on marketing among cyclists, so this is where the idea of diving into specialty coffee business popped up. But in 2008 the competition in the coffee segment was so severe that Anna and Richard decided that it would be better to find something else, where the “craftiness” similar to specialty coffee can be applied. Luckily, they managed to buy their first bags of cocoa beans through a coffee buyer who asked farmers to throw in some cocoa beans. First money for building a factory they raised via a series of cycling events. After one of the educational trips to Costa Rica, they met Steve DevRies, knowledgeable chocolate making pioneer, who offered them to rent his chocolate factory equipped with vintage German winnower. For some time, the couple was working alone, but they spent a couple of years hanging out with Steve DevRies debating different aspects of chocolate making. In 2015 the couple moved the whole factory to Park City where they could spend more time outdoors. Their new Ritual’s packaging reflected their athletic lifestyle: muted colours, mountain imagery, clouds, wind, and teepees. “It’s very Utah inspired.”, says Robbie.
1. Fruition Maranon Canyon Dark Milk 68%
2. Fruition Hudson Valley Bourbon Dark Milk 61%
3. Fruition Heirloom Costa Rica Dark 74%
4. Fruition Toasted White
5. Fruition Strawberries & Crean with Nibs
6. Fruition Brown Butter Milk Chocolate
7. Fruition Dark Milk with Flor de Sal
8. Fruition Hispaniola
9. Fruition Rustic Crunch
10. Fruition Wild Bolivia 74%
11. Ritual Mid Mountain Blend 70%
12. Ritual Madagascar Sambirano 75%
13. Ritual Ecuador Camino Verde 85%
14. Ritual Peru Maranon 75%
15. Ritual One Hundred Percent 100%, Cocoa Blend
16. Ritual Mexico Soconusco, 75%
17. Ritual Fler de Sel, 70%
18. Ritual Bourbon Barrel Aged, 75%
19. Ritual Vanille Blend, 70%
20. Ritual the Nib Bar, 70%