About a month ago my wife and I attended the Seattle Luxury Chocolate Salon. With a name like that, I had no idea what to expect. When we showed up we paid our $20 admission (<cough>) and walked in. When we arrived, it looked like a miniature version of every computer trade show I've ever been to -- vendor tables with flyers and brochures and lots of people in variously matching polo shirts. You know what I'm talking about -- everyone looks a little bored after giving the same shtick a hundred times to semi-interested people wandering around.
Except this one was with chocolate. And they were giving out free samples.
So Amy and I worked our way around the room. It was surprisingly hard work -- the room was over 90 degrees in places, which meant not only that everyone was sweating, but that the chocolate was mostly the texture of mousse. Of course, mousse is good, too.
We tasted, I think, everything there. Four stood out for us:
- Claudio Corallo Chocolate. A single origin chocolate and cacao producer -- they make raw chocolate. The flavors were unlike anything I'd experienced before. I know it was meant to be used as an ingredient for other confections, but I could have eaten it raw. They have a store in Ballard.
- Kekau. A range of interesting flavors, including things like black truffle honey and Thai curry made these folks stand out -- they'd really done some interesting things. I've had many chocolate flavors before (curry chocolate, lavender chocolate, etc.) but they'd done them really well, including -- get this -- olive oil chocolate. Sounds awful, tastes great.
- Intrigue Chocolates. Truffles were the order of the day from Intrigue. Again, they had the standard flavors, but the ones that stood out for me were basil, and tequila-lime.
- Fiori Chocolatiers. These folks truffles also, but with an Mediterranean twist -- olive oil, fig liqueur, lavender and raspberry blossom. If you want a chocolate that you won't get elsewhere, try them.
By the end of the couple of hours we spent there I was thirsty, dehydrated, and tired. Oh, and buzzed on sugar.