Whimsy goes a long way in my book, and Chocolate Naive has a healthy dose of it on every wrapper. Each micro story they print, like a semantic Magritte or Zen koan, is philosophical and endearing. Another fetching feature is the chocolatier’s signature and production date.
While the wrapper is a riff on lightness and innocence, their mostly dark 70 gram bars are deep and intriguing. The chocolate is poured to a very well tempered, glossy, thin, flat shape I always find enhances the experience, since it melts faster and delivers itself up almost instantly. I also like their lovely retro image of a man on a unicycle in chocolate bas relief.
The 43% Organic Milk illustrates how cows from Lithuania produce distinctly different milk from cows grazing elsewhere. There’s a freshness, along with a hint of grassy flavors that permeates this delicious darker milk bar. The finish is a bit sere, which complements the creamy texture enhanced by a 60 hour conche. I could eat it, if you’ll pardon the expression, until the cows come home.
Their 68% Ugandan bar with sea salt and vanilla, conched for 55 hours, also boasts a creamy texture, softening the slight acidic edge and bite of the salt.
A 71% Grenadan chocolate, conched for 59 hours, is a completely different experience. At first taste, it’s a bit dry, but that gets dominated by a rich, full cacao flavor, where no one note predominates.
63% Organic Orange and Cinnamon with Nibs has been conched 19 hours and uses the House Blend of Haitian and Ugandan beans. I might have thought the far shorter conche would make this a much more rustic bar, but the addition of crunchy nibs masked the slightly less creamy texture of the base. Hints of orange and cinnamon support an earthy chocolate flavor perfect with the nibs. Since they are scattered unevenly across the bar, you can break pieces off with them, or without them, getting two different chocolate experiences from one bar.
Chocolate Naive isn’t easy to find, but they have an active Facebook page and a website that should be up and running soon.