What a month. I don’t think even we realised how special our July boxes were going to be as we put them together! We knew it was a selection from around the world – the US, Canada, Italy and (of course) Australia. And we knew that, given three of these chocolate makers are being featured on The Slow Melt podcast Makers Series, this would be a special box. But we really didn’t appreciate just how great they would be.
The Askinosie Mabubu bar from Tanzania went to all our subscribers. This means that everyone got a taste of what it was like to taste a chocolate alongside the chocolate maker, by listening to the Slow Melt podcast. Chocolate expert Simran Sethi interviews Shawn Askinosie about his chocolate making journey, and then they sit down together to taste the Mabubu bar. It is a fantastic experience to hear them talk about the flavours they are tasting, as you are tasting them yourself – so much fun!
Old School style is a phrase we normally associate hipster trends, but we’d never heard it applied to chocolate before. Our subscribers tried Soma’s Old School bars. These come in either milk or dark, and both are amazing. These are unlike any other chocolates we have tasted, and are certainly not a hipster trend (or if they are, they’re a trend that isn’t going anywhere!). They look like a chocolate brownie, but melt in your mouth much like chocolate when you eat them. With an earthy, chocolately, malt flavour they are incredibly moreish. So moreish in fact that we had numerous requests for more bars after people tried it in their subscription boxes – alas we have sold out! Given how much everyone (including us) loved it, I’m sure we’ll be getting more soon…
Our third chocolate maker was Valrhona. Not a brand we would normally think of as bean to bar chocolate, but they do in fact do everything themselves. They are now one of the leading producers of chocolate and have moved beyond the ‘craft’ chocolate designation so it’s lovely to have this excuse to include them. Their dark Manjari bar (featured in Episode 3 of the Slow Melt series) has all the delicious cheery and smooth bitter flavours that you expect from a Madagascan chocolate. The milk chocolate bars came with cereal pearls for a bit of fun!
Finally, our Australian bars this month came from Cicada chocolate, based here in Sydney. The Cicada team are inspired by the Slow Food movement. Deliciously smooth, both the milk (Madagascar with rice crisps) and dark (Ocumare Valley) bars were sweet but satisfying. They do market stalls and festivals frequently, so keep an eye out and stop for a chat if you see them!
There has been lots happening behind the scenes in July as well. We have done a few private chocolate tasting events, which are always great fun, as well as working hard improving the survey and website experience. It was International Chocolate Day on July 7th, so we spent the whole day drooling over Instagram. And finally, we’ve also been busy sending out Slow Melt tasting packs – if you want one and haven’t ordered yet you’ll need to get in quick!