New chocolate-makers are springing up across America, in the most unlikeliest of places. Like Missouri.
Who’d a thunk it?
Using good ‘ol American ingenuity, a little over a year ago, Alan McClure started grinding up beans and molding them into lithe bars of very dark, and very sleek, bittersweet chocolate.
His company, Patric chocolate, makes bars that are “micro-produced,” and he’s got two in his line-up, both using cacao from Madagascar.
When I asked Alan what attracted him to the cacao from that region, he said “Since the bars are made from cacao that come from one single estate, and since the family there has owned it for quite some time, they really have been able to exert an extremely high level of control on the quality and consistency of the fermentation and drying, which is actually quite rare in the cacao world.”
Alan proclaims that this isn’t pure “criollo” chocolate, a much-touted term for a varietal that almost all chocolate experts say no longer exists in its pure form. (Some chocolate-makers are claiming to the contrary.) Right now, the all the beans for Patric’s bars are from a plantation in the Sambirano Valley.