Yep it was another tough one. My Friday evening was spent with the amazing Cocoa Runners who introduced the West London Wine School team to an amazing range of artisan chocolates.
I love chocolate, and I thought I was onto some good blocks which regularly include Green and Blacks and Lindt. Little did I know that I had been missing out on some delights that knock these better known brands right out of the park.
What makes the Cocoa Runners range different to your average bar of chocolate, are quite a few things. Firstly, they source many of their bars directly from small producers who are solely focused on quality. These producers invest a lot of time and also money on production, to enhance the flavours and aromas from their quality cocoa beans. Some even have cameras in the jungle where their beans are growing, so they can provide guidance to the local workers throughout the production.
Climate, harvest times, bean selection, fermentation temperature, drying methods, roasting temperature, conching and grinding (love that phrase), and tempering all influence how the chocolate will feel, smell and taste. Who knew that chocolates had vintage variation? I was skeptical at first about just how different chocolates could actually be. But after sampling some that we fudgy, others more vegetal and herbal, smokey (through burning fires to dry out the beans) or floral, I am a complete convert.
After munching our way through copious amounts of chocolate I was buzzing! And hopping in an Uber for a speedy drive through the streets of London wasn’t the most pleasant experience. But I am still buzzed by this delicious chocolate world and how it has so many similarities with wine in terms of production, taste and variety.
Check out Cocoa Runners selection and story here: http://cocoarunners.com/ You can even take up a monthly subscription and get quality chocolate delivered to your door.
And keep your eyes peeled for our chocolate and wine pairing masterclasses at West London Wine School which will be live in the early Autumn.
Click on the pics below for more details.