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Candy Review: Amano Ocumare Milk, Jembrana Milk, and Montanya Dark Chocolate

Categories: Candy,Candy Reviews,Chocolate Candy,Limited Edition Candy,New Candy

Amano Montanya Box
I am convinced that the Universe is conspiring to prevent me from enjoying Amano chocolate. Allow me to illustrate for you my history with Amano and, well, the Universe.

Instance #1: About a million years ago (or seven months, give or take), I was offered the opportunity to sample and review Amano’s Jembrana dark chocolate bar. I eagerly accepted but, whilst awaiting my chocolate shipment, eventually forgot about it. Sometime after the holidays, I was reminded of the pending review and, having never received the samples, had no choice but to forfeit the article.

Occurrence #2: Out of the blue I received an email from Amano’s (lovely) PR people informing me that they had recently sent me their trio of new creations and I should keep an eye out for them. And, you know, if I wanted to write a review of ‘em, that’d be cool. Woo-hoo! A second chance! And free chocolate! Rarely does one get either of those, let alone both. About two weeks later, still sans samples, I realized that I had moved since the first time Amano tried to send me something (unsuccessfully, as you’ll recall). Well, free chocolate for the new tenants of my old apartment, at least.

Encounter #3: An actual encounter! After reporting back to Amano with my new address, they quickly sent another package and, it turns out, the third time IS the charm, because this one physically made it to my apartment. In Los Angeles. In May. That’s right, melt-o-rama. But I couldn’t bring myself to relay this back to the company. (I mean, at some point they were gonna start thinking I was just stealing all their chocolate, right?) So I popped these suckers into the fridge after their long journey and figured I’d check back with them later.

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Candy Review: Amano Jembrana Dark Chocolate

Categories: Candy,Candy Reviews,Chocolate Candy,Gourmet Candy

Amano Jembrana

When it comes to dark chocolate, I’m not exactly a connoisseur. So when it falls to me to review a dark chocolate product, I inevitably use my network of dark chocolate-loving friends and family. This time the job fell to my mom and stepfather. Over Christmas I asked them to taste Amano’s Jembrana with 70% cacao.

First, a little background. My mom LOVES dark chocolate. The more bitter, the better to her. In my childhood I swear I found her eating those horrid bittersweet chocolate chips for baking. How anyone can consume something like that is beyond me. I like my chocolate sweet and milky; apparently it’s how I rebelled against my upbringing. My stepfather likes dark chocolate as well, but neither of them is overly compelled to buy anything gourmet on a regular basis. So, this Amano chocolate would be a nice change (anything is better than baking chocolate – shudder).

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Candy Review: Amano Limited Edition Cuyagua Bar

Categories: Candy,Candy Reviews,Chocolate Candy,Gourmet Candy,Limited Edition Candy

Amano Cuyagua Bar

One of the chocolatiers I was most looking forward to meeting at the Chocolate Show was Amano. Brian was lucky enough to sample both the Madagascar and his Ocumare bar and was floored by what a wonderful quality chocolate it was. I was especially excited because Amano was awarded Best Dark Chocolate, Best Dark Chocolate Bar and Most Gifted Chocolatier at the 2007 San Francisco International Chocolate Salon. Now that’s more than impressive!

Unlike many of the chocolatiers at the show who had dozens of products to offer, Amano keeps things simple with his selection of three bars. Yes, you heard me, three. This year Art Polland (the genius behind the whole operation) introduced a new limited edition bar: Cuyagua.

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Candy Review: Amano’s Single-Origin Dark Chocolate Bars

Categories: Awesomely Addictive Candy,Candy,Candy Reviews,Chocolate Candy,New Candy

Amano Chocolates

Single-origin chocolate has become all the rage recently. Single-origin chocolate is chocolate that has been made exclusively from cocoa beans from the same region and even sometimes from the same farm. Doing this creates chocolate with a very distinct taste that is peculiar to that bean’s origin. I first wrote about Amano Chocolates back in April of 2006 with a preview and now they finally have some finished product for the world to taste.

Currently, they are making two different 70% cacao single-origin bars: Madagascar and Ocumare (Venezuela) and they sent me both varieties to try. The incredible thing to me is that the two varieties taste so wildly different yet have the same exact ingredients: cocoa beans, pure cane sugar, cocoa butter, and whole Tahitian vanilla pods.

Madagascar: This chocolate has an amazingly complex taste to it. It has lots of fruity undertones that develop as you savor the chocolate.

Ocumare: I would have sworn that they added mint to this chocolate because it has a wonderful minty taste to it. Incredible flavor and especially good if you like chocolate and mint.

Both of these chocolates are just amazing. Granted, I have not tasted any other single-origin chocolates, so I have nothing to compare to, but these are truly fabulous – probably the best chocolate I have ever tasted. I feel spoiled eating them. They are definitely chocolates that you should savor slowly and not chow down on. Gently allowing them to slowly melt on your tongue lets you truly enjoy the flavors. It truly does feel wrong calling this chocolate “candy” and at $6.00 for a 2 oz. bar, you won’t be munching on these bars like candy.

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candy, sweets, chocolate, dark chocolate, gourmet, Madagascar, Venezuela, Ocumare

Preview: Amano Artisan Chocolate

Categories: Candy,Chocolate Candy,New Candy

Amano artisan Chocolate

Amano Artisan Chocolate is a new chocolate company just starting out, but what makes them noteworthy is that they will be making chocolate here in the U.S. all the way from the beans. This means they will handle the chocolate-making process from the raw cacao beans all the way to the finished chocolate. Much of the equipment they are using is vintage chocolate-making equipment imported mostly from Europe.

They sent me a sample of a batch they just made and WOW is it good. It was 70% cocoa solids so it was a very dark and rich chocolate. It had some incredible flavor with some great fruity undertones to it. It’s really hard to describe, but soooooo good. They are still perfecting their recipes, but if the samples I tried are any indication of things to come, they will be making some great chocolate. Look for Amano Artisan Chocolate to open for business later this year.

candy, chocolate, artisan