Boston is a (cacao) bean kind of town

03 Aug

After far too long away from writing this blog, I am back. Buying, tasting and reviewing, but most of all, enjoying the chocolate the world offers.

A recent trip to Boston (planned and for the fun of it) resulted in the purchase of about a dozen bars, most of them found in several fine gourmet shops around the Harvard University campus. The weather was cold and rainy most of the time,  but nothing dampens what visitors expect from this city – history, food, culture and  people who are proud to be from here. The city is big, and seeing it all means breaking it into sections and wandering a section at a time. Plan to walk a lot, and don’t hesitate to use the city’s public transit. Buy a weekly unlimited pass and go everywhere without ever pulling out your wallet again. Do the touristy things, like the Tea Party ships, Faneuil Hall, Harborwalk and Fenway Park, but go off the beaten path, too. Wander the old stone streets of the North End, where family owned shops are still the norm. Head out to Dorchester’s Polish Triangle for old-fashioned delis and working-class vibe or tour the Harvard and MIT campuses and find the small student pubs, bars and bookstores.

For a nearly 400-year-old city (founded in 1630), Boston still has a lot of surprises. And the chocolate I found is one of them. Here are two bars I found in a shop called Cardullo’s:

Dolfin 88% (Belgium): Heavily wrapped with an outer plastic pouch enclosing a sealed inner package, the bar was difficult to get to, but worth the work. From the second I opened the package, the woody, earthy scent emanated forth. The first and last taste were very strong on the wood and smoke, but middle notes were roasty with coffee tones. A very dark bar in every sense of the word.

Chocolat Bonnat Porcelana 75% (France): In contrast, this Venezuelan-sourced bar with nothing but buttery smooth, with a little trace of vanilla.  You could eat a lot of this bar without noticing the decrease, unlike the Dolfin.


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