Chocolate Naive gets an A+ for presentation with their new Encyclopedia of Chocolates collection. Eight tasting sized bars are nestled in a white box like a little library, with a descriptive title on their different colored spines. Not only does every .53 ounce square sport its own lovely cardboard cover, each is wrapped in re-closable cellophane. (This set comes in the mini version I reviewed, and one with full size bars.)
Most of these bars are conched for 60 hours, which makes them exceptionally silky and smooth.
Milk Chocolate with Salted Caramel was the gentlest chocolate of the eight. It starts with a 38% chocolate roasted at a medium level of heat. Sugar and milk solids are caramelized through a slow browning and finished off with a touch of vanilla and sea salt.
Milk Chocolate with Hazelnut Cream is a 33% cocoa roasted at light heat. This gianduja is super velvety and rich.
Milk chocolate is a 53% blend of Criollo and Forastero beans. The flavor is highly influenced by the lightness of the Criollos, which is fairly typical of dark milk bars.
Dark chocolate, 70%, is sourced from Trinidad and Tobago and made from Trinitario beans. This is a more complex bar, enhanced by a light roasting.
Dark chocolate with Creamy Coffee is a delicious edgy mocha experience roasted at medium, containing Trinitario beans and Pacamara coffee with 65% cocoa.
Dark chocolate with Forest Honey, 67%, is a lovely pairing of Trinitario beans from Madagascar and biodynamic honey.
Dark chocolate with Sugar Crystals is a wonderful textural juxtaposition of creamy dark 70% Trinitario chocolate and tiny, crunchy sugar crystals.
Dark chocolate Nacional. 78% pure Peruvian Nacional beans serve up my favorite square of the collection. Deep, dark, earthy, yet with a sophisticated velvety texture, this bar’s fruity undertones are complex, yet accessible.
Chocolate Naive’s Encyclopedia of Chocolate would make a very attractive and fun gift for any chocophile on your list.