Lucienne’s Ecuadorian Chocolate

Lucienne’s Chocolates hail from the Finger Lakes area of Western New York, a stunningly beautiful part of the country with lush greenery, vineyards, and one of my favorite places: Ithaca. I have spent many hours hiking the trails of Robert Treman State Park, soaking up the soothing negative ions of its abundant waterfalls, and grooving on its vibrant hippie vibe. Lucienne’s is situated right outside Ithaca in a town called Trumansburg.

Lucienne’s uses Ecuadorian Nacional chocolate and all natural flavorings and fillings. I was intrigued by some of their more unusual combinations.

70% Dark with Cinnamon and Cayenne was an immediate hit. Just the right amount of heat, rounded out and softened by a touch of cinnamon. I happened to have a cup of hot green rooibos tea nearby. That duo was a real revelation, as it intensified the cayenne while melting everything into a an addictive creamy texture. This treat is also known as their Cinco De Mayo bar.

70% Hazelnut Praline perked up with a hint of sea salt, was another keeper. Little bits of crunchy hazelnut praline punctuated dark chocolate in just the right amount.

The 43% Dark Milk bar had a lovely floral undertone, and a bit of sea salt to lift it out of the ordinary. A creamy bar with a nutty bouquet.

70% Dark chocolate with Chipotle was sensational, enhanced with smokey chipotle peppers and sea salt. If you feel like venturing into sweet-hot territory, Lucienne’s rendition is not too hot, but still exciting.

70% Dark with a hint of Vanilla Salt was a gentle, rounded vanilla infused bar.

Their Dark Milk with Almond Praline was not too sweet, and full of crunchy, nutty bits of praline. Excellent.

Earl Grey Matcha in a 70% dark base had me from the first whiff of its heady aroma. The taste followed suit with its grassy notes, delicious orangey bergamot oil and touch of sea salt. An unusual, and delightful experience.

70% with Lemon and Raspberry was a tantalizingly citrusy-fruity bar that tasted fresh and light, while offering all the deep, dark chocolate presence you could hope for.

For those of you who love extremes, Lucienne’s 100% bar was as pure as it gets. Bitter, intense, and all chocolate. I’d use it for baking, melted into smoothies, or
added to ganache.

43% Dark Milk with Black and Light Sesame seeds was a great combination of silky chocolate and little crunchy seeds.

Their 75% Dark vegan, soy and dairy free bar offered a deep chocolate experience consisting only of chocolate and sugar. A great choice for you purists.

Sugar Free 83% Dark Chocolate with Orange was heightened with a hint their Stevia blend. Since Stevia is sweeter than chocolate, they are able to make an 83% bar taste more like a 70%. If you seek Stevia-sweetened chocolate, this orange enhanced rendition is a nice change of pace.

Its sister, enhanced with Mint, offered a refreshing herbal option.

The plain Dark 83% with Stevia was also sugar free, dairy free, and gluten free. It was my favorite of this Stevia trio.

Each bar was marked into 10 glossy, crisp sections. The semi-pyramidal diamond design, in bas relief, was attractive, as was the landscape painting on the label by Lucienne, herself.

It may be hard to believe after reading this long list of flavors, but there are even more varieties on their website, including Frogs, clusters, and their signature Brownie Bar.

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