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Monday, August 29, 2016

Chuao Chocolatier produces the WOW! factor in chocolate form



Chuao Chocolatier (pronounced chew-WOW) is the first Venezuelan chocolatier in the United States and located right here in Southern California. Master Chef Michael Antonorsi founded Chuao Chocolatier in 2002 and named his company after the cacao-producing region of Chuao in central Venezuela. Chef Michael is Venezuelan born and it seems that chocolate runs through his veins. His ancestors once ran a small family farm that was a part of the criollo cacao plantation industry. The company started as a boutique in Encinitas, CA featuring chocolate bars, bonbons, truffles, and drinking chocolate. He now has two chocolate cafes in San Diego County and his chocolates are found across the United States in retailers including Whole Foods Market, Dean & Deluca, and Crate & Barrel. They can also be found in hotels including Omni Hotels and W Hotels nationwide.

Here is a look at some of their decadent chocolate bars. Each is handcrafted with ethically sourced cacao and free of artificial preservatives, sweeteners, colors, flavors, and hydrogenated fats.

Cinnamon Cereal Smooth Bar ($6) is cinnamon toast cereal in milk chocolate. Chuao Chocolatier describes it best, “From Saturday morning cartoons to midnight snacks, we've always had a "thing" for cereal. And, since the only thing better than cereal is cereal and chocolate, we've kissed our decadent milk chocolate with sweet nibbles of crushed, all natural cinnamon toast cereal. So, don't be shy; lean in for your Cinnamon Cereal Smooch.” Tasting notes: Aromas of chocolate and cinnamon experienced; Milk chocolate, cinnamon sugar, and Mexican hot chocolate flavors experienced along with crunchy cereal texture. This bar is great on its own but would also be great as part of a brownie recipe, crumbled on frozen yogurt, and/or with a cup of coffee. Rating: 4.4/5

Strawberry Waffle Wild ($6) is crunch waffles and tangy strawberries in milk chocolate. Chuao Chocolatier describes it best, “We get weak in the knees just thinking of the stacks and stacks of crispy, buttery waffles massaged with a touch of juicy, tart strawberries and showered in creamy milk chocolate. If loving this is wrong, we don't want to be right. Let's go Strawberry Waffle Wild.” Tasting notes: Aromas of chocolate and strawberries experienced; Milk chocolate, malty, and sweet & tart strawberry flavor experienced with rice crispy-like texture; This bar is good on its own but also be go well crumbled on ice cream. Rating: 3.4/5

Oh My S’mores Bar ($6) is fluffy marshmallows and crushed honey graham crackers in milk chocolate. Chuao Chocolatier describes it best, “Crushed honey graham goodness, fluffy mini marshmallows and creamy milk chocolate take your taste buds on a trip down memory lane with Oh My S’mores. The crackling of the campfire. The children’s ooey gooey grins. The sweet smell of toasty marshmallows in the air. Just one scrumptious bite and… oh my!” Tasting notes: Chocolate, marshmallow, and honey aromas experienced; Graham crackers, buttery, and milk chocolate flavors experience with spongy marshmallow and crunchy graham cracker textures. While good on its own, this bar would also be good mixed in with ice cream. Rating: 3.8/5

Ooh Ahh Almond Bar ($6) is made with crunchy whole almonds that are kettle cooked in sugar and sea salt in dark chocolate. Chuao Chocolatier describes it best, “"Live in the moment." "Stop and smell the roses." "Be present." Ooh Ahh Almond is the reason these sayings exist. Salted, caramelized almonds tickle our fancy in silky, rich dark chocolate. Treat yourself to a mouthwatering "me" moment.” Tasting notes: Chocolate aroma experienced; Salty, sweet, nutty, buttery, slightly bitter, and caramel flavors experienced with crunchy texture from the almonds.  For a more adult treat, pair with red wine or just chop up on top of ice cream. Rating: 4.6/5

Pretzel Toffee Twirl Bar ($6) is crunchy mini pretzels and buttery toffee in dark chocolate. Chuao Chocolatier describes it best, “We thought getting swept off your feet & spun around only happened in the movies… until we tasted Pretzel Toffee Twirl. Crunchy pretzels, buttery toffee and rich dark chocolate- so darn good, you just might dance with a stranger.” Tasting notes: Aromas of intense dark chocolate, toffee, and pretzel experienced; Bitter dark chocolate, salty pretzel, toffee, and honey flavors experienced along with crunch texture from the pretzel. This is another bar that would also be great inside a brownie. Rating: 4.1/5

Ravishing Rocky Road Bar ($6) is crunching caramelized almonds, chewy marshmallows, and a pinch of salt in milk chocolate. Chuao Chocolatier describes it best, “Fluffy marshmallows cozy up to the crunch of salted caramelized almonds in silky milk chocolate. One part classic and two parts sexy, Ravishing Rocky Road is simply irresistible.” Tasting notes: Aromas of chocolate and s’mores experienced; Creamy milk chocolate, almond, and marshmallow flavors experienced along with chewy marshmallow and crunchy almond texture. This bar is great on its own but would also be great mixed with popcorn, crumbled on top of ice cream, and melted between graham crackers. Rating: 4.1/5

Triple Nut Temptation Bar ($7) is whole roasted almonds, hazelnuts, and pistachios in dark chocolate. Chuao Chocolatier describes it best, “Luscious dark chocolate is studded with crunchy whole roasted almonds, hazelnuts and pistachios. Triple Nut Temptation is pure bliss for those enlightened beings who are nuts about nuts. Formerly known as Caracas Dark.” Tasting notes: Aromas of intense dark chocolate and nuts experienced; Pistachio, bitter dark chocolate, toasted hazelnut, and slight fruity notes experienced. This bar would be best served with a good cup of coffee. Rating: 3.8/5

For more information:
Chuao Chocolatier

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