Look, break, smell, taste were the instructions given to me as I sat across from chocolate purveyor Jo Coffey. I had been drawn to her Behampore premises by the exotic bars of chocolate my wife brought home from a Wellington on a Plate event in August.
As I tasted the chocolate (mostly dark 70% or higher) from Tanzania, Indonesia, Ecuador, Madagascar and Columbia I picked up hints of wood smoke, caramel , dried fruit , molasses and more. Furthermore I experienced dry finishes and subtle aftertaste similar to a wine tasting.
However good wine is more plentiful. The single origin bars below are made from the criollo bean which is regarded as the finest of the three main varieties of beans (the other two are trinitario and forastero). Criollo chocolate represents less than 3% of the world’s supply.
The chocolates from El Ceibo, Kallari (naturally organic because they could never afford any chemicals) Menakao and the Grenada Chocolate Company (who have completed the first carbon neutral chocolate delivery to Europe) are distinctive, as they all come from groups of growers who retain autonomy over the whole process - from tree to bean to packaged bar - all from within their own regions.
L’affair au Chocolat is the only New Zealand distributor of these gorgeous bars and they are in limited supply (Jo does distribute some of the range at Urban Harvest). Have your own affair with this equatorial produce over Christmas – the bars make great stocking fillers.
L'affair au Chocolat can be found at 464 Adelaide Road, Berhampore, Wellington, and if you are lucky you can park right outside.
Unfortunately L'affair au Chocolat has now closed.