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Artisan Chocolate Reviews

Dallas Chocolate Festival 2017

This was my first year to attend the annual Dallas Chocolate Festival, a spectacular event featuring chocolate vendors from around the world who came to showcase their delicious treats.  My focus on attending (well, besides eating chocolate, of course) was to review the artisan chocolates sold. 

It was a mind-boggling event with over 60 booths filled with bean-to-bar chocolates, truffles, a chocolate fountain, baked goods and more. 

Noise (60 vendors and hundreds of people vying for chocolate) and the wonderful aroma of chocolate greeted us as we climbed the stairs to the first attraction, an exhibit featuring small-scale machines which showed how chocolate is made. 

It was the first time I’d ever seen an actual, roasted chocolate bean, which in itself was fascinating.  The demonstrator let me turn the crank on the cracking machine, which cracks the beans to expose the “nibs,” or the meat of the beans.

Next came the winnowing machine which separates the heavier nibs from the light bean skins.  Cacao nibs are edible by themselves and are often used to sprinkle on cakes or ice cream, or tossing them into candy brittle instead of nuts.  (They’re crunchy tender, yet not sweet).

Cacao nibs can also be tossed in a salad or used as a crust on a savory such as duck breast or fried calamari. 

Back to the Chocolate Festival…

A few artisan chocolatesChocolates from all of the chocolate makers I interviewed (even cacao nibs!)

I interviewed quite a few of the artisan chocolate makers and sellers who all had fascinating stories, and I will share them here as well as include links to their websites.

Note:  these reviews are mine personally because I tasted their chocolates and enjoyed them.  They are not paid for and never will be.  The reviews are strictly to share these unique chocolates with my readers.

If you are a chocolate maker and would like your chocolates to be reviewed, please contact me through my contact page.

Potomac ChocolateBen Rasmussen, Owner and Chief Chocolate Maker

Potomac Chocolate

Potomac Chocolate is the innovative brainchild of Ben Rasmussen, the genius behind the unique flavors of these chocolates.  Chocolate with...homemade sourdough breadcrumbs?  Full review here...

Dandelion Chocolate - Greg D'AlesandreGreg D'Alesandre, Chocolate Sourcerer

Dandelion Chocolate

Dandelion Chocolate is a bean-to-bar chocolate factory in the Mission District of San Francisco. They offer tours of their factory as well as all manner of chocolate pastries and drinks at their cafe.  Full review here...

Toffee Treats maker, ML DubayML Dubay, Chief Toffee Maker

Toffee Treats

Toffee Treats and Chocolate Sweets is the brainchild of ML Dubay, who makes delicious toffees using the same recipe handed down by her grandmother.  Full review here...

Izard Chocolate

Nathaniel Izard, of Izard Chocolate, is the first artisan bean-to-bar chocolate maker in Central Arkansas.  Come along and experience his divine creations.  Full review here...

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