Sunday, October 26, 2008

VeganMoFo Day 25: Stone-Ground Vegan Chocolate

Are you much into the vegan chocolate scene? I admit that I'm really not. I try to save the chocolate eating for those special moments (PMS and just plain "bad" days!) when I really need it. Regardless, I do call myself a chocolate lover (or fiend) and I enjoy especially during our trips to Germany trying new chocolate (always dark of course!).

We can trace a long line of chocolate fiends through my maternal line starting with my great-grandmother ("Big Nanny"). My own grammy recently passed away this past spring at 90 (sad..miss her) but even in her final moments, she couldn't say no to chocolate. It was the last food that she ate before the dementia shut her body down completely. Although this sounds sad, it actually makes me smile..I never thought that I looked much like my gram so the idea of this "chocolate fiend gene" being passed down with the maternal DNA gives me reason to smile and remember her whenever I see chocolate. At a memorial "party" for her this past summer, chocolate was a big part of the celebration.

A big part of why I probably haven't tried a lot of vegan chocolate is most likely laziness! I am so fortunate to have a local chocolate company practically in my backyard. Taza Chocolate makes only vegan chocolate and it's very unusual chocolate. I can't say whether you will like or not. The flavor is strong but if you like variety in your chocolate, you may just love it!

Last winter, we went on a tour of the Taza Chocolate factory and it suddenly became clear to me why the taste is so unusual. Taza is one of only a handful of bean to chocolate makers in North America. You know those specialty chocolate places that you see in cities and also in more touristy areas? Well, the majority don't actual make the chocolate..they buy it pre-made. They then make it into bonbons, fudge, you name it. Taza doesn't do that. They actually purchase the cacao beans themselves and stone grind them right here. They do not process their chocolate quite as much as the what is known as European style chocolate. Taza uses a stone-ground Mexican method that results in stronger flavors that are almost fruity tasting. Here's a photo of these chocolate covered cacao nibs below. They are super yummy and perfect for a small chocolate fix!

If you can locate another bean to chocolate maker near you (or not) hope you'll try it. Most times the chocolate is vegan and the taste may be like nothing you've ever tried.

1 comment:

Aaron Foster said...

Hi There! This is Aaron over at Taza Chocolate. Thanks for writing about us.

I just wanted to let you know that we're having another open house at our factory in Somerville on December 6th 2008, from 10 AM to 6 PM. It's free, and we're located at 561 Windsor St, between Inman Sq and Union Sq.

You should get a group together and come by to say hi. Hopefully, it won't be too cold.