Terroirist Tuesday: The Terroir of Chocolate, Part 1

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by L.M. Archer, FWS

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I attended Seattle’s 2014 International Chocolate Salon with one simple question for chocolatiers:

‘Does terroir inform the character of chocolate, as it does wine?’

The resounding answer? Yes, it does. Like Burgundy’s wine subregions, chocolate’s growing regions and microclimates vary, and these variations inform the flavor profiles of the finished product. More on this next week in Terroirist Tuesday: The Terroir of Chocolate – Part 2.

In the meantime, enjoy  binNotes’ favorite tasting notes from Seattle Chocolate Salon 2014:

Perfume and Chocolate

I didn’t get it at first. A gauntlet of hand-crafted fine fragrances bank the walls leading into the Chocolate Salon. I thought this event was about chocolate? After sampling the perfume, however, I got it. Both chocolate and fragrance creation involve the custom-blending of exotic ingredients – resulting in end products that delight the senses. So it does makes sense, no pun intended.

binNotes personal fave: Pamplemousse*, by SweetTeaApothecary.com. Sweet Tea Apothecary crafts ‘Historically Inspired Perfumes’ such as Dead Writers, Pemberly, and La Reine Antoinette. *Note: Owner and perfumer JT Siems shares that Pamplemousse is the number one seller in Seattle – a blend of Ginger, bamboo, white tea, saffron, grapefruit and honey.

Chocolate For All Diets

  • Smitten artisan truffles offer a lactose-free way to indulge with flavors like Vanilla Carmel and Tahitian Vanilla Bean Sea Salt. Chocolatier Vanessa Holden and her husband Otho Bel design their chocolates to pair well with wine, pinot especially…gotta love ’em!
  • Chocolatier Andrea Terrenzio’s Dolcetta Artisan Sweets provides gluten-free hazelnut truffles. And 10% of all profits go to feed people in need – a sweet treat all around.
  • Gusto Chocolates, the savory side of Forte Chocolates, mixes it up with combos like Bacon and Dark Chocolate or Rosemary and Sea Salt White chocolate bars…perfect with wine!


Wine…and Beer…and Chocolate


Indigenously Sourced Chocolates

Amano Artisan Chocolates sources their flavorful chocolates from diverse microclimates throughout remote regions of Venezuela, Dominican Republic, Madagascar, and Papua New Guinea.

binNotes’ personal fave: Dos Rios Dark 70% Chocolate bar, from rare Dominican Republic beans. Hints of lavender and bergamot, which chocolatier Aaron Davidson confirms reflects the surrounding vegetation.

Kallari Chocolates represents the only farmer-owned chocolatier attending the 2014 Seattle Chocolate Salon. Kallari sources from the Kichwa tribe of Ecuador in the Amazon Rain Forest.

binNotes’ personal fave: Sacha 60% cacao and coffee bean chocolate bar.


Thanks to  Seattle Chocolate Salon – see you back here next Terroirist Tuesday for Part 2: The Terroir of Chocolate.



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Copyrighted 2012-2014. All rights reserved. All images courtesy of the author.

4 thoughts on “Terroirist Tuesday: The Terroir of Chocolate, Part 1

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