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New from Quebec

Canada has a great craft chocolate scene, with several excellent makers located in Quebec. We tried a bunch of new brands this year, all ordered from Etat du Choc. They can ship to the US if you order over the phone!



Belize Maya Mountain 72%


A very pleasant, highly recommended bar from one of my favorite makers and one of my favorite origins. I visited Maya Mountain Co-op a few years ago in Belize; they collect wet cacao from farmers in the region and carry out a carefully controlled fermentation that helps ensure high quality and good prices. The result is some of the finest cacao in the world. 


Flavor: This bar has a super smooth texture and a pleasant, mild flavor. A little fruitiness emerges as it melts with notes of peach and marzipan. When chewed it offers some darker notes of raisin and sorghum molasses.

Recommendation: Highly recommended! Look for their Tanzania and Madagascar bars as well.



Kilombero Tanzania 72%


Flavor: Nice Criollo-like, delicate acidity with mellow fruitiness on a nutty base. Less tangy red fruit flavors than some Tanzania bars, more dried fruit and brownie flavors, also hints of apple juice and caramel apple. An excellent fudgy texture that I think is in part due to the two-ingredient recipe - it can be challenging to make chocolate without cocoa butter, but I find that it lets the flavor come through in a more intense way and results in a wonderful texture. I’ve noticed it in other two-ingredient makers such as Dick Taylor.

Recommendation: Highly recommended!


Chaleur B

Belize Maya Mountain 70%


Flavor: Good! Really nice rounded flavor, marshmallow and hot cocoa, but with a tangy element that adds complexity. Also dried figs, violet. Slightly starchy. Not super strong flavor, but pleasant.

Recommendation: Overall recommended!


Chaleur B

Madagascar 70%


Flavor: Classic Madagascar red fruit flavors, as well as notes of chocolate cookies, candied lemon, and cantaloupe that emerge really nicely as it melts. Slightly grainy texture.

Recommendation: Recommended.


Chocolats Dicitte

Vietnam Dak Lak 76%


Flavor: Mild flavors of creamy lemon, brownie, and raisin. Slightly starchy; very smooth texture. Pleasant.

Recommendation: Recommended.


Chocolats Dicitte

Venezuela Carenero 70%


Flavor: Dominated by dry and toasty flavors; not unpleasant but not great depth of flavor. Some vague notes of unrefined sugar, dry leaves, tea, dry wood like a tongue depressor, graham crackers, whole wheat. No juiciness; very little acidity. Not particularly bitter.

Recommendation: Interesting to try, but can’t recommend it.


Palette de Bine

Tanzania Femmes Exceptionelles 72%

Aroma: wood, dry leaves

Flavor: Creamy and fruity, great base complexity in beans, cherimoya, strawberry, lemon ice, back of throat tangy. Raisin, oatmeal raisin, tart cherry, prune, caramel

Recommendation: Recommended.


Palette de Bine

Tanzania Kokoa Kamili 72%

Flavor: Lots of fruitiness, with more raisin than red fruit: dried cherry, dried apple. Also some pastry & chocolate cakes notes and a butteriness that emerges as it melts. A spicy wood kind, kind of life cinnamon.

Recommendation: An enjoyable bar; recommended.

Palette de Bine

Ecuador Hacienda Victoria 85%


Flavor: Coffee-type bitterness, mostly bitterness, dark almond butter, black olives, earthy, muted fruitiness, touch of raisin, graham crackers, dark roast, mineral earthy, sorghum molasses.

Recommendation: Recommended with reservations. Good, but not my favorite Ecuador bar.


Palette de Bine

Guatemala 85%


Flavor: Overall pretty good with some fruitiness. Notes of raspberry, PB&J, tart dried cherry, baked chocolate/brownie, almond extract and a coconut finish. Very little bitterness, some tannins but minimal, a little chalky but good flavor, a little bit of a vinegar note.

Recommendation: Recommended with reservations. Good, but not great.


Chocolats Monarque

Philippines Tupi South Cotabato 75%


Flavor: Some pleasant flavors of graham crackers, peanuts with skins, brownie edges, raisin, molasses, and grapes. They list speculoos cookies; I would agree with that.


Recommendation: It's a bit bland and starchy overall, so I can’t particularly recommend it. Not bad though, and no major defects.


Chocolats Monarque

Guatemala San Juan Chivite 70%


Flavor: Overall, a good bar with quality cacao. Notes of raisin, chocolate covered cherry, grape, and an underlying starchy creaminess like rice pudding. Very little bitterness or astringency.


Recommendation: Recommended.


Ava Naa


Flavor: Powdered sugar, some pleasant flavors. Nothing exceptional.

Recommendation: Not recommended.


Ava Naa

Colombia Tumaco 70%

Flavor: There were some nice flavors in this bar, but overall it was not so good. Some pleasant tanginess – red fruit, lime zest, key lime pie – but also a grassy/unrefined powdered sugar note; kind of bitter, a little herbal. Noticeable astringency. Texture was a bit rough/unrefined; grainy and dry with some kind of crunchy crystals.

Recommendation: Not recommended.

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