I had the good fortune of being contacted by Art Pollard of Amano Chocolate not too long ago asking if I'd mind reviewing some chocolate. I'm sure I don't need to tell you my answer.
Art sent me two different bars: the Ocumare Grand Cru Dark Chocolate (70% cacao), and the Madagascar Premium Dark Chocolate (also 70% cacao). I've tried the Ocumare so far and will write about the Madagascar later today or tomorrow.
The bars are packaged in a slim, attractive box and each weighs two ounces. I realized while I was opening it that there are few things more satisfying than opening little boxes when you know something you love is inside. But I digress. The chocolate itself was wrapped in gold foil which I always appreciate since I use that to help me break off pieces without anything falling.
The Ocumar is the kind of bar I wish were available close by, though my waistline would disagree (you can order online, of course!). It's the kind of bar I wish you could make people who only buy Hershey eat and say “THIS is what chocolate tastes like!” I also want to just say “this was so good!” but what kind of review is that? But yes, the chocolate is good. It's bitter of course, but smooth, and after a minute in your mouth you get a very faint smokey flavor with light fruit hints, though there are no fruits in the bar.
Now, one of my favorite parts about receiving these bars was discovering that they're being manufactured in my little hometown of Orem, Utah (though truth be told it's not so small anymore!). And I still have family there. LOTS of family. Family who I know would be more than willing to send me chocolate if I let them keep some for themselves, so it's safe to say I'll be throwing some more business Art's way!