There is something especially beautiful about simplicity; so, I was immediately charmed when Millcreek’s pure silver cube with its subtle cross-hatch design and sumptuous wide brown ribbon arrived. Opening it revealed six brown cardboard squares, each like a little drawer, enhanced with a narrow paper sleeve label in a contrasting color. Clearly, Millcreek’s founders, Dana Brewster and Mark DelVecchio, have an aesthetic vision that just won’t be compromised.
As much as I was swept away with the visuals, it was ultimately the chocolate that had to entice. And it did. Every bar was perfectly tempered, and molded with Millcreek’s lovely logo of a cacao bean in a circle.
All six varieties are sourced from Ecuadorean Arriba Nacional beans, with their characteristically delightful floral notes.
Dana and Mark roast the beans, break and winnow the shells, grind the nibs, and refine the chocolate to produce an excellent, high end product. In addition to insuring a great eating experience, Dana and Mark have developed close relationships with farmers to ensure they are responsible not only to the environment but to the growers.
I sampled their full range of 70% bars.
Macadamia Nuts looked plain on top, but underneath it was studded with little pieces of lightly toasted nuts that added extra crunch and buttery flavor to this snappy bar.
Tart Cherry had a scattering of very fresh dried cherries that picked up on the fruity Arriba chocolate.
Himalayan Sea Salt had just the right amount of crystals to perk up the smooth, silky chocolate, as well as adding the barest hint of crunch.
Orange Peel was enhanced with tiny squares of candied peel, giving a chewy, citrus presence to this very adaptable chocolate.
Coffee Beans was a marvelous combination of intense coffee bean shards with fruity chocolate that really popped with flavor and crunchy texture.
The Pure bar was just that, with all its Ecuadorian glory shining through.
Each bar offered visual beauty with various textures, flavors, and aromas against the backdrop of a bean that adapts to whatever accompanies it.