It has been a long time since I have personally written a blog post. I wish I had more time, but with our recent growth I have been too buried to justify time to write. However, few things send jolt me to attention like two new chocolate bars from Chocolate Naïve — made in a little town on the Eastern side of Lithuania.
Here’s how it happened.
I was sitting down with another unrelated chocolate maker tasting through a bunch of new bars while being filmed for a chocolate documentary. Throughout the tasting we were enjoying or not enjoying things as much or as little as might be expected. However, shortly after we popped our first bite of Naïve’s Chuao and Porcini bars, I gasped in ecstasy then involuntarily made guttural exclamations of awe and disbelief.
At the exact same time the other chocolate maker expressed his first compliments of the day. I knew instantly something incredibly great was sitting before me.
Although Chuao is more commonly accompanied by a balancing amount of vanilla, Naïve’s rendition has none. I appreciated this rare opportunity to delve into the aromas intrinsic to raw Chuao beans that always remind me of horse blanket. Other aromas like, fine cigars, campfire, perfumed woods, toasted marshmallow, black currants and molasses are harder to pinpoint if you’re not really trying, but certainly make for one profound flavor journey either way.
Sure the Chuao bar has a far from silky texture, but one should not look a gift Chuao in the mouth. Instead, a jaded connoisseur should appreciate this visceral glimpse into the soul of this prized jewel of the rain forest.
The Porcini bar is even more of a surprise given I did not expect to like it. Porcini is not the most hip ingredient and it seems that inclusion bars (bars with non-cacao ingredients) these days have to have super trendy flavors added to them to get attention. Also, inclusion bars with mushrooms normally highlight the mushroom and the chocolate is an afterthought. Not the case here. The origin is completely clear and the Porcini add depth and nuance to an extent that truly is still freaking me out.
I have a lot more to say about the ethos surrounding Chocolate Naïve, but that will have to wait for another time. Until then, make sure you get them quickly “Limited Edition” means limited edition with Naïve and both of these bars will be gone soon.